Friday, March 12, 2010

Unexpected Benefits

So we're on week 11 of our Sonlight curriculum. It's not exactly week 11 in the school year, but we've been adding in extra bits here and there, supplementing the "official" curriculum as we go along. We've taken breaks to do unit studies on Thanksgiving, Christmas and the Olympics.

When Ian hits a bit of a roadblock in a particular area, I slow things down a bit and focus a little more on that one subject, taking extra books out of the library, using extra worksheets, manipulatives, videos, games, whatever. Then we get right back into the "official" curriculum. This was a conscious decision from the start, as I was really hoping to stretch out the curriculum over two years, if possible. Sonlight is really packed with so many options that you actually have to pick and choose which things you will include and which you will leave out. They suggest various options to add in to round things out, but you're always free to throw in a few of your own.

This week we have been focusing on money in our Math time. Usually we use Horizons Kindergarten, which we ordered from Sonlight, but it's kind of short in the instruction area, and we needed a little extra work in the "value of money" department. Being of Scottish decent, money is very important to us, so we have to get this right! LOL...

Our local library has a subscription to The Mailbox magazine, so I picked up a couple of copies for the months of Feb/Mar in various years, just to see what they had to offer. I was delighted to find that because of the Presidential Holidays and St. Patrick's Day, coinage figured heavily into the worksheets and activities, so naturally, I made lots of copies to incorporate into our school time!

This little digression has been a nice break from the usual program of Math and Reading for both of us! The nice thing about copying worksheets is that The Little Man (3 years) can enjoy the cutting, pasting and coloring right along with his big brother. Sure, Little Man is doing his own thing, but he feels like a big shot because he's using the same papers and tools. :) An added benefit that I didn't really consider is that Ian sometimes finishes his work and comes over to help his brother with his "work", explaining it to him the whole time.... All nicely reinforcing the lesson of the day.