This past weekend served to solidify my opinion that we should not take breaks from "school." I set The Train Man's scheduler to assign him lessons on Saturdays and Sundays because a two-day lapse in the structured lessons is really hard to overcome on Mondays. If he were in a classroom setting, I don't believe this would be the case. I think getting ready to go, making the trip, and walking into the classroom would serve to re-set his thinker into "OK now it's school time."
It didn't help that Daddy was home all weekend. We like when Daddy's home, obviously, but we don't get much sit-down-and-do time. There's always a computer game to watch, or the TV is on, or there is some really interesting outside work to interfere with. We have to go about things a different way.I haven't figured out what that is yet, but forgoing all scheduled lessons is not it. I could tell that The Train Man was just not all here today. For example, the instructions said to draw three ice cream cones. He drew one upside down triangle for the cone and then started to just pound the crayon onto the paper. We took a little break.
We have a busy day on Wednesday with MOPS, followed by a field trip, and then a school picnic on Friday as well, so I'm trying to work extra lessons in here and there so we won't be trying to rush through on those days. We did get a little more math done but other than that, I think he's toast for today.
If we had done a little work on Saturday and Sunday, I think he would have been more in the groove and gotten more out of today. Another thing I noticed is that he lost two sight words after not going over them every day. So I put those words back up on the door and didn't give him as many new ones. He was not happy to have sight words he had already done put back up on the door, but maybe that will motivate him to keep it up.
All that is not to say we haven't been learning! Train Man and the Rock Star go to Awana every Sunday where they are hard at work learning their verses, pledges to the American flag and Awana flag, and songs. Not to mention all the classroom rules and schedules!
In addition, I have been allowing the Train Man to stay up a bit later than his brothers each night reading quietly. He's in the top bunk so I just attached a clip lamp to the rail so the light doesn't disturb the Rock Star. I had picked up some simple books that emphasize certain sight words (some of them are even on the list his school wants him to know) at a yard sale this summer, and he is able to read some of them. He sounds out some of the words, knows some from his school list, and spells others out to me so I can help him.
He is doing so well! The kid has known all the letters from 15 months, all the sounds from 18 months, but has not been inclined to put that information together into "reading" until just recently. I think the sight words helped kick start him into doing it. He used to look at a page and just see a bunch of work, and immediately say "I can't do this." Now I think he sees some of the words he knows already and is motivated to find out the rest of them. Realizing that all those words work together to make up an interesting story is icing on the cake.
I love seeing him so interested in reading even though he's not perfect yet. He's never been one for practicing anything. If he can't do it right away, it's too hard. It's stupid. It's boring. Like riding without training wheels. He didn't think he could do it so he wasn't willing to try. One day my husband had tightened the chain on Train Man's bike but hadn't put the training wheels back on, and he wanted to ride. I told him I didn't know how to put them back on but why not just try it without? He took off on two wheels and never looked back. He thinks everything should come easily to him, and when it doesn't, it's someone else's fault. We're working on that.