This week I noticed that for the first time ever Little Brother vent up the stairs using alternating feet! This is the first time he has met that developmental milestone. It is exciting and sad to see my little one growing up so fast.
We had guests to dinner Saturday night and something amazing and stunning happened. Big Brother sat at the dinner table the entire meal, and carried on conservation in a typical way. He ate, not the dinner food (goat stew, rice, bread and green salad) but he ate at the table while everyone else was eating. This is the first time he ate with a group like that (our 4 family members and 3 others plus a new born); this was the first time he sat at the dinner table for an entire meal; this was the first time he sat at the table and behaved in an age typical style rather than a stressed / silly.
Daddy and I have been talking about all the things Big Brother has recently mastered or at least demonstrated a strong grasp of (like linking phonics sounds, at least the basic ones, to the letters) and I have decided it is time, once again, to print out the pre-school criteria list we are using and see where he stands. If you vould like a copy, in check off form, for your own use see this blog post. I suspect we are done with the list, on the items we expect (I have not tried to teach him his phone number of some things like that). This is the math standards list we are working from and that maybe our only sticking issue, Big Brother’s math skills are good as far as simple addition and subtraction and so on but he is still weak in patterns, and that is fine he is barely 5 and we are willing and happy to take academically at his own pace.
I am also going to print off the kindergarten check list and see if any of “is done”. That listing is fairly non-specific, but I guess most of them are. Soon I hope to add Core knowledge sequence: Content guidelines for grades K-8 to my Home School Library. I already have: What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know: Preparing Your Child for a Lifetime of Learning (Core Knowledge Series) . I got it off paperbacksvap.com. It is not great, but it is ok and provides some ideas and is potable for reading in the car and travel. On my list to acquire soon is Books to Build On: A Grade-by-Grade Resource Guide for Parents and Teachers (Core Knowledge Series) .
Also in January (can you tell I have been thinking about this during the middle of the nice nursing sessions?) I plan to put some time and effort in to compiling the ‘check off’ criteria we intend to use as a family. I will also be creating a kindergarten binder for Big Brother. One free curriculum I found for kindergarten is the Baltimore Curriculum Project Lesson Plans. It is broken down into month and subject (not phonics / reading or math nor handwriting); and has Core Knowledge criteria and then suggested book and activities. It includes songs and art / craft activities too. So I may use that as a frame to get started. Daddy and I have talked and we do not intend to ‘go to the table’ any more with our school in 2011 but he IS picking so much up and maturing so quickly I personally feel I need to step up my “intentionally exposure” style of home schooling we currently use. That is, I, momma, personally need to pay more attention to what I am intentionally exposing the boys to (especially Big Brother) the books I choose to pull out, the stuff we talk about and the crafts we do. Again, like a year ago when I realized I needed to buckle down more as a mom and what I was doing with out time, it is time again for momma to take things up a notch.
That being said Big Brother asked, Sunday, to go to the table for “paper school” and did over 35 minutes of work sheets. His fine motor is still lacking. I added a pencil grip to his pencil and he says he likes it better, but his grip is still not good, he is still holding his arm off the table and hooking his hand around, despite near constant reminders from Momma. He is really showing an excellent grasp of the subject matter (rhyming, internal sounds and simple math) but he is being hampered by his handwriting. it is a catch, I am not sure he has the fine motor to really improve his writing at this point, I think he is doing his best (most of the time, of course).
Other sites for educational standard by grade level
- http://www.educationworld.com/standards/national/index.shtml (excellent site)
- http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/standards/matrix.html Geographic Standards.
- http://www.educationworld.com/standards/national/soc_sci/economics/k_4.shtml Economics (!!)