Light of my Life

Archive for the ‘Homeschooling’ Category

If you’re interested in Montessori activities for your preschool child but don’t have a big budget for such things, consider this book. (And while you’re at it, buy a bunch of her other products and tell me how you like them!)

I bought the Montessori on a Shoestring book about a week ago, and so far it’s been a big hit. I bought the book mainly for Carrie, thinking it would give her some fun activities to work on while I do school with Logan (she’s always begging me to “do school” too), but Logan enjoys the activities just as much as she does. And on the 5 or so activities we’ve tried so far, I’ve spent a total of $0.67.

So far, Carrie’s hands-down favorite is the “real tea party” where she gets to set the table for tea, then practice pouring “real” tea (water with food coloring) and “cream” (a bit of milk). She also spoons sugar into our cups and stirs. She loves to have tea parties anyway, so when I told her she’d get to pour real tea, well, let’s just say the girl was in heaven. And already she’s gotten quite adept at pouring. This week I’ve planned to try several new activities, but she’s been begging for the tea party again, so I have a feeling we’ll be doing that one… a LOT.

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I know I’ve probably raved about Handwriting Without Tears enough already, but I’m going to rave some more.

I love HWT!!!

Here is Logan’s spelling test from this morning.

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Amazing, no? Not so much the perfect spelling – my gosh, these words are way too easy for him – but the way his awareness of the lines has improved. And he has a proper sense of small, tall, and descending letters (something HWT emphasizes). And it’s all so tidy.

Did I mention I love HWT? 🙂

Logan writes amazingly well, considering he is five years old and completely taught himself. Here is an example of a note he wrote to David a week or two ago. He did this all on his own; I didn’t even know he was writing it.

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Pretty impressive for a kid his age, if you ask me. But he has always started most of his letters from the bottom, which makes them sloppier than letters started at the top, and he has never had any awareness of writing on the line. Also if you look at his lowercase a’s, they look like 2’s. There are some other quirks as well. It’s all very cute, and while I certainly don’t want to be a handwriting nazi, I do want to set him on the path to quick, neat writing.

My first idea was to try CHC’s starter handwriting book.

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Also really not bad, I know. But he still wasn’t paying attention to the lines, and it was rather challenging for him. So, on the recommendation of his occupational therapist, I decided to try Handwriting Without Tears.

Check this out. This is day ONE of lowercase letters.

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What’s really wonderful is how much he LOVES the program. He looks forward to practicing each day, and he even loves the cute, cheesy song about starting letters at the top.

This program is a real winner in my book. I will definitely use it with Carrie in a couple of years, too. I highly recommend it.

I should really be in bed right now. But I’m so excited that I actually booted up my computer after the kids turned it off for me, just so I could blab to someone about my excitement. Who’s the lucky blab-ee? That would be you, dear reader!

And just what has me so excited I’m willing to break the “no computers after 10:00” rule that I myself established? It’s nothing more than the fact that the bulk of Logan’s first grade homeschooling materials for this fall arrived today. They are beautiful and simple and thoroughly Catholic, and they’re just what I was looking for. I had originally planned to start him in Seton this fall, but after investigating their coursework thoroughly, I decided it was a bit too rigorous for his first “official” year of school (this has just been a test year with lots of fun activities and not much in the way of formal curriculum) – especially since he’s right on the cusp, age-wise, and could technically just be starting kindergarten this fall.

So I chose materials from CHC instead, plus we’ll do HWT for handwriting, and we’ll stick with Moving With Math since he’s doing so well with their kindergarten curriculum. I’ve been reading through everything I’ve received so far (still waiting on a few things) and I just love it all. I’m so tempted to start right now. (Well, tomorrow, anyway.) I have to keep reminding myself, he’s still five! He doesn’t need to start first grade yet!

I’m also considering doing Little Saints Preschool with Carrie. It sounds like it would be right up her alley. And maybe I could get Logan to listen in on some of it too.

Homeschooling is FUN! 🙂


About Me


I'm Erin, a 32-year-old homeschooling mother of three, doing my best to raise my children in the Catholic faith... (more)

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