We are starting our sixth year of homeschool this fall. It will be the fourth year of planning activities for AJ, the youngest of my three. He started demanding his own “school” at 3 (to be like the big kids, of course) so I complied with a preschool program for him. Here we are, 4 years later, starting 1st grade. He is the only one who has never been in a traditional classroom. He thinks it would be too challenging, but I think he would be in for a surprise. AJ is very bright and is also diagnosed with Dyslexia. Dyslexia is a different way of thinking that often means reading and other language skills are a struggle. The beauty of homeschool is we can customize his plans and adapt to meet these challenges.
We will be doing many of our subjects together as a family. We use a Literature based style for learning for our content subjects: History, Literature, Geography Art and Science. This means we read aloud together and everyone adds to our discussion as they are able. AJ has coloring sheets to do during our history readings this year. He will also have notebooking pages for Science and Geography. Read more about these family learning plans for this year HERE
Reading- Last year AJ used All About Reading Level 1 and saw great progress. This summer he has really enjoyed reading books on his own. I also know that he is Dyslexic so we will be letting him lead and mixing two different programs this year for his reading. We will be continuing to use All About Reading Level 2 this year. I am interested to see how this goes since his independent reading jumped so much (and appears to have surpassed this level), but I want him to have a firm foundation for the future.
If he is bored with the program we will also use the Sonlight Readers for 1st and 2nd Grade. His siblings have both used these and we love them to build fluency with great stories that interest the new reader and keep their attention. He has read some of the 1st grade ones this summer for practice and is doing well.
Spelling- He is most excited about starting spelling this year. He asked to do it middle of last year and I told him we had to finish his reading level first. He will be following his siblings and using All About Spelling Level 1
Writing- Along with Dyslexia he has been diagnosed with Dysgraphia, a writing Learning Disability. We will continue to use Handwriting without Tears for 1st grade. And gently push him to practice and write more. We will focus our additional writing practice this year on our notebooking work for Science and Geography. I will not be adding a writing specific program to our schedule. The flexibility to “double dip” on skills is one thing I love about homeschooling.
AJ is my little engineer and has been since he was little, its one of the strengths of Dyslexia. Math has comes easy to him so far and the beauty of homschooling is we can let him fly through the material. He will be picking up where he left of before summer break and using Math U See Beta and the Gamma. The uncluttered pages and mastery approach work well for his writing level. I do sometimes scribe for him acting as his writer, and let him talk through the problems instead of writing anything down.
Electives and Co-ops
At our weekly parent-taught Co-op he will be taking PE, Hot Wheels Speedometry, and Whirlwind History this fall. I enjoy the opportunity for him to be taught by someone else, build friendships, and have new experiences. This year I will not be in any of his classes as a helper or as a teacher. I will be teaching the Kindergarten class, instead (with none of my kids in attendance, it will be a new experience 🙂 ).
AJ will also be doing Cub Scouts for the first time. He has already participated in some of the summer Pack activities including a Water Bottle Rocket launch day. He is very eager to continue to explore scouting with his friends. We also have plans for him to join a Lego League Jr team in the spring. He watched his sister compete in FIRST Lego League this year and is eager to be on his own team.