Teaching My Baby To Read

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Afterschooling Priorities

I think that there are two main goals for Afterschooling:

  1. Keep you child’s brain full.
  2. Provide one-on-one instruction.

In our house, this is how we prioritize:

  1. School
  2. Homework
  3. Playtime/Free time/Outside time
  4. Limited extras like soccer or piano lessons
  5. Afterschooling
  6. Screen time

It’s been a while since I blogged about Afterschooling.  That’s because my son Bruce(7.5) is in a very charmed situation at the moment.

For the most part, school is keeping my son’s brain “full”.

Wow!  How many parents can say that?  I mean no disrespect to teachers by posing that question, because I used to be a teacher myself.

Sometimes getting a student to work at the top level of his or her capability isn’t even about the teacher.  There is a whole combination of factors at play:  curriculum, the other kids in the class, the teacher, what’s happening at home, etc.

Our current situation with Bruce illustrates that point.  He goes to a top-notched public school.  Every single teacher he has there is excellent.  At home he does about 30 minutes to an hour of meaningful homework each day.  Then he goofs off.  Depending on the day, he also has Cub Scouts or a guitar lesson.  Bruce is also learning piano (from me).  Most days, he barely has time to watch one episode of “The Fairly OddParents” before crashing into bed.

If I asked him to do anything extra, that would be cruel.

But I know that we are still hitting the 120 hours of Afterchooling mark this year because of my A STEM Summer curriculum.  We also occasionally do fun projects on holidays, like the noodle geometry activity you see pictured above.

Last night I also invited Bruce to do a spelling lesson with me.  He was really excited to comply and said “Yes!”.

Right now we are on step 22 of All About Spelling Level 3.  It’s probably going to take us a long time to get to step 28, and that’s okay.

My son’s brain is full, and that’s something to smile about.


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