Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Quarterly Progress

I will be doing an assessment of what M has learned every 3 months. One of the things I love about homeschooling is the ability to do self-paced work and to focus on the things that I (as her parent) feel are important.  However, I would like to see if she is somewhat keeping up with the average educational standards.

BASIC PRESCHOOL SUBJECTS:
  • Letters and Phonics
  • Colors and Shapes
  • Vocabulary
  • Numbers and Counting
  • Drawing and Cutting
  • Sharing and Socialization
Letters and Phonics. M is not catching onto the phonics to well yet. I've noticed when I go over naming letters, she gets easily distracted and seems very disinterested in naming letters. She does know several letters and their sounds, but she dislikes it so much that she always tries to change the subject.  We have been using the BOB Books. I like the BOB Books because they are very short simple stories and the set is easy to transport anywhere.  M is for sure a "sight reader." She can read several of them on her own, but she is memorizing words instead of letters and sounds. I am still very proud of her progress. My 3.5 year old is reading! It's pretty cool.  Hopefully the phonics thing will fall into place later on. We will keep working on it. CLICK HERE to see a video of my girl reading.

Colors and Shapes. Nailed it! She knows her colors and all the basic shapes.  I think I will step it up and start teaching her the more difficult shapes like trapezoid and rhombus. She enjoys colors very much.  She seems to be very visual and artistic. Pictures and colors keep her attention much better than letters and numbers.

Vocabulary. Confession: M watches a lot of movies. I grew up watching television all the time so it is so difficult for me to turn it off. But I've noticed that her vocabulary has grown so much from watching movies.  Sometimes I ask her how she learned a word and she will tell me what movie it is from. Aside from that, 3 year olds are still building their vocabulary by asking "What's that?" everywhere they go. I find it is very important to answer those questions as much as possible. Even when in a hurry or at an inconvenient time, keep in mind that these questions are learning impulses. Your child wants to learn and expand their knowledge of the world. I try my best to stop what I am doing and look M in the eye and answer her questions and even start a discussion regarding the subject.  I honestly believe by just carrying on a dialogue with your child, you are feeding their desire to learn and increasing their brain capacity.

Numbers and Counting.  Again, M does not like looking at letters or numbers, so identifying numbers has been a struggle.  I still can't tell if she doesn't know them or if she is just much more interested in hands on activities. She can count to about 20 without help, but when distracted by something else in the room, she will make 2-3 mistakes. I try to include counting in everything we do. "How many green beans should I put on your plate?" Then I ask her to count them as I place them on her plate.  She is good about pointing her finger at objects while counting. This skill helps preschoolers make the conceptual connection between the numbers and objects.

Drawing and Cutting.  This is M's favorite thing to do. I think I usually find a daily activity that involves something creative for her to do. Painting, coloring, drawing, and tracing all help develop that writing grasp that is needed for literature purposes.  Most preschoolers love scissors and cutting things...which can be a disaster if not monitored. (I had 1 inch bangs at 3 years old) Haha! M can cut along a pattern pretty well. When there is a project to do with glue and cutting she is very focused and will sit silently and cut and glue for at least a half hour. NOTE: It is so important to have a comfortable, kids-sized pair of scissors that easily open and shut.  There is no reason to make the activity difficult or frustrating for the child.

Sharing and Socialization.  M excels in the area! She adores everyone and is not shy.  She makes friends easily with kids of all ages. I just adore that kids this age can randomly meet peers and not even know their names but still.. "That's my friend, mommy!" We should really follow our kids' example when it comes to making friends.  
She is normally pretty good at sharing. Of course this usually depends on the appeal of the toy. ;) When kids are playing together, I think it is important for the parents to observe closely to see how they are interacting together. I like to let M play with friends with minimal mom intervention. However, I have found that when I do step in and take her aside and explain to her how better to handle her situation, she does listen to me and I feel she learned something very important. I like to focus on the Golden Rule. I want M to be able to see things from the perspectives of others. I mean, really, isn't this the best way to make a difference in the world? By raising our kids to respect and care for each other.