At this time homeschooling is so very intensive. Two children whom have very little to no independent reading skills and a toddler who is into everything, not to mention the baby who has suddenly 'woken' up and is no longer content to sit still for very long (even in the sling). Not to say it isn't one of the most joyful experiences I have had. But, I am exhausted at the end of the day.
Reading is the big kicker - they cannot work independently until the reading skills are there. I can give MB math and have a little time to work with K, and I can give K a coloring/cutting activity and work with MB. But, for the science and history activities that require reading I am right there. Reading the chapters, reading the questions and writing the answers. The spread between what MB 'gets' and her reading is just such a huge gulf. It is what makes finding little chapter books for her to practice reading with difficult.
Yesterday, we had one of the successes. Moments that I can see that it will get easier. We are reading a chapter in one of the science topic books and then answering a few questions that I had made up. When she couldn't recall the answer to one I tried to prod her memory with "it was the last sentence I read." Low and behold she didn't just respond with 'tell me', but instead took the book and flipped to the last page I read and sounded out the sentence to herself & got the answer. We high-fived and hugged. And she felt so very good about herself - she read to find the answer to something.
She so often is low because of her reading and I feel like I have failed with her reading. It is so great for her to take some success, no matter how minor. I could glimpse down the road a time when MB can have assigned work that she doesn't need me to sit right there and read to her. That she can eventually go off and do her assignment and bring it back to me.
Speaking of successes; K has given me every indication that she is ready to read - NOW! Daily we are on the computer playing with activities on Starfall. She loves to read Dr. Seuss with me so that she can fill in the sentences. Everytime I turn around she is writing little notes for me or copying words she sees on pieces of paper.
So, I have two very different children when it comes to reading. I made the decision and bought the 'store' version of Hooked on Phonics. We are working through it together, as a group activity. MB needs more reinforcement of basic skills, that for whatever reason she did not grasp in 100 Easy Lessons and K wants to be able to read right off. So, with the accompanying CD, they are enjoying doing the lessons together. I've told MB that she does need the review, but she is also helping K learn.
I kind of like being able to teach one lesson to two children. We have been having alot of fun with that this year.