Teaching My Baby To Read

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Staying Sane Over Christmas Break

Do you want to know what I’ve been waking up to every morning of vacation?  My six year old Bruce hovering and inch from my face saying “Wake up Mom; it’s time to do spelling.”  The first morning of vacation I didn’t move fast enough for him, and he said, “You’re asking for it—Freeze Out!” and yanked the covers off of me.  I couldn’t really object because that’s how I often resort to getting him up and ready for school each morning.  🙂

Two days into my Afterschooling Over Christmas Break project, he had read through eight books and I needed to add an extra poster board of options.  He’s also done four Hands On Equations lessons, finished third grade in Dreambox Math, and as result, has earned a lot of time playing Lego Ninjago on the computer.

There has also been a lot of piano playing over the past few days, since Bruce suddenly decided he wanted to learn how.  I’ll probably write more about this later because I have a lot to say about gifted children and intensity.  Suffice to say for now, yesterday I was basically chained in the living room trying to keep Jenna occupied while Bruce (entirely of his own accord)  spent about six hours at the piano learning 23 songs from his Primer Level Piano Book.  I’ve never seen anything like it. When I would try to get him to take a break from learning he would become irate.  So instead of waking up to my six year old asking me for a spelling lesson this morning, I woke up to piano playing instead.

Today was my husband’s first day of vacation, and as soon as we had breakfast I grabbed my canvas grocery bags, said “See ya later sucker!” and drove off in his new car!  (Okay, maybe I didn’t really say that, but there was some evil laughter involved.)  I finally got the chance to go to the teacher store by myself and look through all of the homeschool math curriculums I’ve been curious about.

Granted, twenty minutes of examination really can’t tell you everything you need to know about a program, but it seemed to me that the only similarity between Saxon and Math Expressions was the quantity of work they have children do.  Philosophically, they are quite different even though both programs are published by Houghton Mifflin.  Singapore Math Standard Edition seemed a lot more similar to Math Expressions, in terms of how they fall somewhere in the middle of the Back to Basics vs. Constructivist spectrum.  (Please correct me if I’m wrong about this!)  From what I could tell, both programs teach multiple strategies along with traditional borrowing and carrying methods. Where they differ, is that Singapore employs a lot more curriculum compaction, whereas Math Expressions has kids do page after page after page of work.  I went ahead and purchased a Singapore 4a textbook just because I wanted to examine it further, and see what Bruce thought about it.  Maybe it will keep him busy…



  1. jengod says:

    Piano intensity and the evil cackle are both making me smile. 🙂

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