By the time I had finished listing out (with pictures for once!) all of our books for Emily (in first grade) and the programs we’re doing together, I was too tired to get around to posting the last few pictures. So, here’s an overview of what my preschooler (Charlotte) and pre-kindergartner (Jenny) will be doing this year.
First, these are the core books for Jenny for pre-k. These are books that I’ll be reading aloud. Some of the books are missing (I’d had a stack of books that I’d just finished reading out, and when the kids cleaned the room they stuck them elsewhere on the bookshelf, so they missed the picture.
There’s a nice mix of more advanced picture books with some chapter books in which each chapter tells a different story (so no need to follow a plotline from day to day). So far she seems to be doing fairly well with them. She wasn’t thrilled about Uncle Wiggily the first day we started it (“No pictures! I don’t want to read a book without any pictures! There has to be a picture on EVERY page!”), but after the first story or so, she warmed up to it.
She is definitely very, very sensitive, though. Almost every day has her practically in tears over something or other. Animals or children getting hurt in the *slightest* will really set her off. And it doesn’t even take that. The other day, I was telling my mom my disappointment when I realized that I’d forgotten at a restaurant that I’d bought a sandwich to take home with me, and I’d thrown it away when I threw away the other trash. She overheard, and started crying, “Poor sandwich! It doesn’t get to be eaten??? Poor, poor sandwich!” Real tears, people. This is definitely my sensitive one. I was thinking to do Core A with her next fall, but… we’ll see. They’ve toned it down a bit, I know, but it may still be too much for her. If need be, I could reorganize P4/5 by geography and do it with Charlotte, and combine Jenny in with her. Doing it geographically would vary it up a bit, and I could use some of the other geography stuff from when when we did geography this past year. She might need that extra time before she’s ready for Core A.
Jenny also has several workbooks this year.
Her favorite is the Developing the Early Learner books (we don’t appear to have book 3, so I’ll have to buy one when she gets close). She’s zooming through those. She likes to call them her seatwork, since Emily has seatwork, and she really likes the activities. She’s way ahead on those versus the rest of the core (except the Berenstain Bears book, she’s ahead on that as well). I actually just found the logic book again, so I’ll have to try her with that again sometime, as it’s been a while. It’s a little complicated because I have to read it to her, and she needs a lot of help working through it. The Earlybird Kindergarten Math is her main math book. She’s not generally a huge fan, but she does well with it. I keep meaning to start Rightstart Math with her, as I have all the stuff, I just a) don’t always seem to have the time, and b) don’t seem to think about it when I *do* have the time.
Next is reading.
We’re using All About Reading to teach reading. Jenny is on level 2. We’re actually taking a short break from AAR, as she was getting to the point where she really just needed more practice with the things she’d already learned, and for more of the really easy stuff to become sight words, before moving on. So we’re actually running through the IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing) program PAL (Primary Art of Language). I’m not generally a huge fan of its structure, but it teaches things in a different order and from a different angle from AAR, and so it’s reasonably complementary as a second program. I’m not sure if we’ll go all the way through it and then go back to AAR, or just do it for a little while, or what. I’ll see how it seems to be working.
Along with that, I’m having Jenny practice reading a bunch of Dr. Seuss books. She’s getting more fluent and sounding out fewer words, which is good. Not only does it mean that she’s seen the words enough to remember them, but it helps her read faster and understand more, which makes reading less of a chore. She’s definitely getting more and more interested in reading. The other day, she wanted to read a picture book we’d gotten at the library (“Mrs. Chicken and the Crocodile”) which wasn’t even intended to be an early reader. She did really well. I needed to help her here and there, but she read most of it. These are some of the Dr. Seuss books that she’s reading.
She’s also been reading books from the library, like Biscuit books and some easy Caillou books. I think I might see if they have Elephant and Piggie, as those are a lot of fun. I don’t think these will last her a whole year, although it really depends on exactly when a kid starts to take off. I think she’s getting really close to that, though, based on how quickly she’s suddenly progressing from sounding every word out to know tons of words by sight and doing well with sounding out words she doesn’t know. Such an exciting time!
Charlotte is doing Core P3/4. We’re doing it fairly casually, usually I just grab a book and read a story from it each day before starting Jenny’s P4/5. I find it easiest to keep using the same book until we’ve read all the stories in that, so right now we’re reading the Richard Scarry book, which they both like.
I’ll probably do the Mike Mulligan and McCloskey books near the end, when she’s getting closer to 4, because they are definitely the slowest and hardest of the books here. We’ve already read Madeline a few times, as it’s apparently a favorite. And that Harper Collins Treasury of Picture Book Classics? It is practically falling apart, it gets so much use. It is probably the absolute favorite children’s book we own. It’s much better than the other big compilation, the “20th Century Children’s Book Treasury,” because that one eliminates a lot of the pictures and shrinks the ones it keeps, and is just not nearly as good.
Charlotte doesn’t really have any workbooks yet, but I’ve been having her do some of the “Letter of the Week” activities from “Confessions of a Homeschooler.” She likes those a lot. We’ve done A-D, I think. I need to get more of those printed and ready for her. We’re also going through All About Reading pre-level 1 (not sure why I didn’t think to take a picture of that one). It’s the precursor to the program the older girls are doing, and it teaches the letters and their sounds, plus other important pre-reading skills like rhyming, breaking apart words into sounds, etc.
And that’s basically it for this year! We’re having fun, hope you are, too!