We have officially started the school year! The kids and I prefer to ease into a new year, so we are spending the week picking up where we left off in cursive writing, doing logic puzzles, and starting our first read-aloud novel, Around the World in 80 Days. It’s not the original version of this awesome novel, but a heavily illustrated version that appeals to my kids. A great deal of Jules Verne’s descriptive language is missing, but this is a great way to introduce a brilliant piece of classic literature to younger kids. By starting with just three subjects (copywork, math, and literature), they aren’t overwhelmed with all of it right from the beginning, keeping that curiosity for learning alive.
Joseph is not thrilled with starting cursive this year, so he is beginning with just highlighting the letters and as he gains confidence, writing them. He hates writing, so I’m not surprised by his reluctance. Motivation is key with Joseph, so taking it slow will help.
Alex struggles with fine motor skills, so his handwriting has been nearly unreadable since he began writing. I remember the struggles at the dining room table while teaching him to form his letters correctly. Now that he’s 13, the issues stem largely from him hurrying through his work and not holding the pencil correctly (a loose grip instead of a firm one). By introducing cursive, he re-learned how to form letters and it seems to have improved all of his writing.
I am very impressed with how far he’s come since last year! The Extreme Dot-to-Dots they started this year are more of a logic puzzle than “just for fun,” but they don’t know that! For Alex and Chloe especially, these puzzles are challenging because they require concentration and focus. These are skills they need to develop a bit more.
Chloe has beautiful cursive writing already, so this is more of a review for her. She and Alex are doing roughly the same level of writing. She is excited to do more Art this year and loves our read-aloud time. We started with 2 chapters a day and that is disappointing her so far.
We will pick up speed next week though! Even though we homeschool, Chloe insisted on “dressing up” for school, which is a great way to get her excited for the new school year. So, will you ease into the school year too or go all in?