2010 - 2011 School Year

This past school year I have used the ABC, Jesus Loves Me three year old curriculum with Julianne. It was more structured than what I did with her when she was two, but still allowed me the flexibility of adding extra activities when I saw fit. We did school time three days a week for an hour to an hour and a half in the morning. The thing I love about homeschooling is that we could pick what day to do school, so if something came up one day or we decided to do something with friends, we could just do school another day. The curriculum included a weekly Bible Verse, Bible story, song, poem, letter, number, classical children's book, name activity, fine motor skill, and gross motor skill. There were many extra activities as well, so I always felt we had more than enough to do.

Julianne came into the school year recognizing and knowing the names for most of the letters, so we worked on learning all letter sounds and how to form the letters. At the beginning of the year the focus was more on tracing the letters on tactile letter cards, but as the year progressed Julianne started writing them with pencil and paper. During the weekly name activity we started with simply matching letters in her name, to putting them in order by herself, to actually writing them. By January she was writing her first name independently, although she still writes her "J" backwards at times. She knows how to write most of the other letters too, but does not always form them correctly. Starting in March she really started showing interest in sounding out words and writing words using the phonics that she had learned.

Every school day after completing our Bible lesson, which we learned by using the felt board, Julianne answered a question relating to our Bible story and wrote in her journal. Julianne would tell me her answer and I would write it, stopping periodically to ask her to sound out words. We talked about other principles of writing/reading as well during this time. It has been neat to look through Julianne's journal to see the progress she has made in her drawings and writings. Last summer Julianne was only scribbling and wasn't even trying to draw specific things, but this summer she tries to draw just about anything. She even tries to write words, although mostly only writes the beginning sound and ending sound and any other prominent letters. She is much more aware of what words are, knows the directionality of print, recognizes the beginning/end/middle of a word, and reads very familiar words such as color words, names, etc. She has even started learning some blends and diagraphs. She thoroughly enjoys "reading" (telling stories and sounding out a few words) and "writing" (writing a string of letters and writing a few sounds she hears).

During our Math time we worked on colors, shapes, counting, recognizing numerals, the concepts of more/less, AB patterning, sorting, and measurement. One of Julianne's favorite math activities was making waffle patterns. She would use the waffle squares to put small edible items(chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, etc) in to make her own pattern. She still asks to do this every so often. She can rote and touch count to 29 independently and recognizes numerals 1-10. She still struggles with recognizing certain shapes, such as the triangle, rectangle and square. She learned to compare items and regularly makes statements such as, "That is small compared to ...".

I'm so thankful for what God has allowed her to learn during this school year and I absolutely love the Biblical focus of the curriculum we've used. Although it has been frustrating and exhausting at times teaching my strong willed girl, I have been so blessed to see her change and develop right before my eyes. Here are some pictures of school this past year.

I love the look of concentration on her face - notice the tongue out