Bambino will hopefully be going to daycare/preschool a few days a week this year, because he’s such a social creature. But I have also decided to start homeschooling him, and to continue the carschooling we’ve already started.
The Bambino is three, and while I’ve heard from homeschool mothers that one should not start schooling until the age of seven, I’m afraid I disagree. During my time in my early years of teaching, I assisted at two different Montessori preschools, where I was privileged to see young children (aged three, four, five, and six) delighting in learning their letters and reading. I, too, vividly remember the magical moment when letters finally became words, sometime between kindergarten and first grade: suddenly, I could READ and the world was a whole new place! Billboards, store signs, brand names on packages—I realized I had been totally ignorant of a vast part of living. Once my reading skills got stronger, I also keenly remember the joy of reading my first chapter book out loud to my mom while sitting on the kitchen stool. From then on, I loved reading and my life was never the same.
With my past experiences and personal memories of the power of reading, my literacy focus for this first year of homeschooling the Bambino is to work on sound-symbol recognition, including lots of phonemic awareness, pre-writing skills and fine motor work. I did purchase the Seton pre-K package, but recently I found the All About Spelling program, which seems to be better fitted for how the Bambino learns. One thing I’ll do differently, though, is to teach the letters following the method of the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, which allows beginning readers to put their new knowledge of letters to work right away. (I will use the Seton package for other subjects, like Religion, PE, and possibly Art.)
Our carschooling over the past few months has consisted of listening to a variety of CDs in the car while running errands or on the way back from Mass (on the way to Mass we listen to the extradordinary liturgical music show "Millennium of Music" on the Sirius XM classical music channel, hosted by Robert Audry Davis. Check it out if you are a medieval music geek like me!).
My absolute favorite CD is Catholic Songs for Children, which features vintage recordings of Catholic children’s choirs singing about the sacraments, the Creed, and other important things from the Baltimore Catechism. We also listen to the Baltimore Catechism itself on CD, which is great not just for the Bambino, but also for me, as a new convert.
The Bambino’s favorite CD is Greek myths, told by Jim Weiss. At this point I am soooo bored by it, but he is still soaking it up, so it stays in the rotation.
We will also be putting in Bible Stories CDs, and some phonemic awareness song CDs. Let me know if you have any recommendations for good car schooling CDs!
I know the best laid plans of mice and men gan oft a'glay, so I'm not concerned if these plans aren't followed through with 100 percent. After all, apparently I only REALLY have to start worrying until the Bambino turns 7!