Emily’s favorite thing as a toddler was letters. By 18 months she knew them like other kids know princess names and cars. She loves writing words and can sound them out waaaay better than I can. When she turned three she was probably at the point of being able to figure out how to read if we made it a priority. I held off so we could focus more on play. I didn’t want to rush into reading and miss the skill of entertaining herself and playing like a little girl should.
Now that she’s 4.5 and we are a year away from officially starting homeschool, we needed something to give us a soft start into the world of academia. After lots of research I decided to get the The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts and Literature Level K . The course is fantastic – “open and go” (aka no prep) – and very thorough. It includes everything you need to have a solid reading foundation: phonics, spelling, sight words, beginning reader books, a reader. The coursework also has poetry and art study.
I ordered the physical copy and it is beautiful. Even Nathan fell in love with the pictures and calls it his car book. We are SLOWLY SLOWY SLOWY working our way through the material. It suggests doing phonics, spelling, and coursework every day. At age six, probably. At age four, absolutely not.
I really love Charlotte Mason’s philosophy and technique for teaching reading that she describes in Home Education (although she firmly believed in not starting until age six). We are having lots of fun just spending a few minutes a day working on some element of the course. We are trying to build habits of consistency and attention. We are celebrating small victories of progress and stopping when tired.
The day that the course was supposed to arrive the mail lady (who we love!) said that she had it in her truck and would bring it by soon. The kids set up camp and waited and waited and waited until she dropped it off.
As soon as it arrived we set down and Emily helped me assemble the mini-books while Nathan poured over the reader.
Here is the first sentence Emily read, which she promptly erased and wrote herself. This is an example of using Charlotte Mason method using a few words given by the curriculum and expounding upon it with rhyming words.
We needed to pause reading so I could help Laura so Emily drew a classroom.