25 August 2008


It has not been my first choice or what I imagined myself doing but today I realized, I am homeschooling my daughter. She is considered highly gifted and didn't do well in the regular preschool program that we tried last September. The Gifted Development Center in Denver recommended that I try homeschooling her until she's old enough to test into a higher grade level, maybe in 1-2 years. A few weeks ago we started the Distar Reading Program at home simply because she was so excited about letters and sounds and words and spelling things. By Lesson 7 she was reading words all by herself. Now we're on Lesson 25 and she's reading the level 1 easy readers from the library. In fact, she's reading EVERYTHING she can get her hands on; signs while I'm driving, my books, flyers on the door, the pizza box, everything. Half of her sentences all day long start with either "Mom, I can read the word ___!" or "Mom, I know how to spell ___!" She's started every morning the last week by waking up and opening a book and not waking me up until she's finished the book of the morning.

So almost every morning after breakfast (and before her cartoon) we sit down and do a reading lesson together. It takes 10 minutes. Since she was interested in doing more, we bought some school supplies and a Hello Kitty school supply box that she brings to "school" everyday with her learning folder. After the reading and writing lesson, I ask her if she's interested in doing more and she always says "Yes!" Sometimes I give her a color by number challenge or a connect the dots, sometimes a maze to figure out, or a shapes project that involves tracing, writing, coloring, cutting and finding the shape all over the house, sometimes she's matching what's different and alike, or counting and practicing her numbers, etc, etc. So, now she's doing two of these additional worksheets a day after her reading lesson (two only because that's my limit, I don't want to push her). You can see why today it occurred to me that I'm home schooling my daughter, not talking about it or learning about it, I'm actually doing it.

(Four of my favorite online resources for preschoolers or homeschoolers are: TLS Books, PBS Kids, the BBC's CBeebies, and Activity Village.)

Savannah hard at work at school this morning. Today we had a reading lesson, and she practiced writing the letters "d" and "n", read me some new sentences, learned about rectangles, and did a color by number, all in Hello Kitty style.

Because I'm a craft-minded person we do an art project a day. Right now she's into jewelry making. After wearing her new bracelets to karate class today (of course she had to take them off for karate) she is now going to make bracelets for the three "divas" aka the triplets in her class, Sydney, Sloane and Cici.

Plus, she's decided that she wants to make or help make all of her own meals. I told her I thought that was a good thing since she has to eat everyday. So she's helping me in the kitchen to get her cereal or oatmeal in the morning, to make her sandwiches and slice fruits and she's still helping me set the table, a chore she decided to start doing when she was just 2.

The best and the worst part is, I LOVE having her home. I love being able to teach her new things and then to fold the laundry together, run an errand, give each other hugs, go for a walk around the block, weed the yard, and work on a project. And I love having her read me bedtime stories now! I worry about the social aspects but she does have a regular social schedule (karate 2x a week, Thursday night concerts with Gracin, weekly play dates, and usually another class like music, dance or swimming). Part of me knows that socialization has just as many drawbacks as it has advantages, but still whenever it is finally time for me to let her go to some other teacher, it's going to be very, very, very hard.

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