Wednesday, October 1, 2014

First Grade

Today marks one month into the new school year. We had some changes this year, because M is going to preschool half-days (has to learn Czech somewhere) and K finished preschool/kindergarten and started homeschooling first grade.

We did our Official First Day of Homeschool on the first day of regular school. We went to the Sea Life Aquarium and had a play date. Think of it as a sort of school independence day. Then we started regular lessons on the second day of school.

We had a bunch of unforeseen circumstances, like M staying home from preschool for a week because he was sick, followed by a week of school, a nasty virus for me (while the Slovak was on a business trip!) and then several days of (planned) travel to a translation conference in Athens while the little ones stayed with the grandparents. And of course I came back home with bronchitis/pneumonia and had to stay on bed rest for several days.

With all of that, it's actually kind of surprising we have done any school at all! We're busy with math, spelling and handwriting (English print and Czech cursive) and spent quite a bit of time on prehistory over the past several weeks. We're doing ancient history this year just because history is fun. The extracurricular schedule of afternoon activities is just about complete, with things scheduled three afternoons per week.

K is still a reluctant reader, but she is capable of reading when she tries. She is much more willing to write, so she is learning to read through spelling. She enjoys math so much that she has mentioned the possibility of being a "math superhero" who saves people by doing math problems for them.

In fact, K enjoys math and science so much that I almost wonder if we have a STEM child on our hands. She complains to high heaven about history (I read a child's history book and then we do activities or look at books on the same topic), and yet a day or two later comes to me asking questions and wanting to learn more about...archeology, cave people (she objects to the term cave men), early farmers... She actually really enjoys history once I've introduced a topic.

K's new stated ambition is to be an archeologist. Maybe a paleontologist. She has asked me if kids can do archeology or if she has to wait until she grows up. There's a place an hour or two from here that shows a medieval Bohemian village with traditional crafts you can try and also apparently has an archeology section for kids. We are SO going there as soon as it re-opens (closed for the winter already, unfortunately).

As far as reading, K has acknowledged that it might be a useful life skill to acquire someday. She just doesn't want to rush into anything, so she told me she thinks she will be ready to learn in second grade. Maybe third.

Also, during spelling today, she flawlessly spelled ten words I gave her, then for the last, bonus phrase...drew a detailed picture to illustrate the phrase, instead of writing the words.

That girl still cracks me up.

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