I finally think we are getting somewhere. I have read that the first year of homeschooling is difficult, and have experienced it, yet, I have also found that it can also be the most rewarding experience of educating your child. The latest buzzword is “a customizable education” following on international trends. My husband and I are trying to provide the best of “what there is out there” for our daughter. So, after spending endless hours trolling on various home-school sites gleaning valuable tips on how to customize Gaby’s home school, I am proud to announce that we have decided to try the following: Time4Learning for most of her subjects, a daily Bible Story, Penmanship and Reading. We have been testing out Time4Learning this past month and find it not only fun but academic. Time 4 Learning is an easy way to break into the world of homeschooling. It is entirely web based so there is no software to download or additional textbooks to purchase. It is enjoyable and provides Grade 1 Language Arts (for those of us in South Africa: Literacy or English), Math, Science and Social Studies according to State Curriculum guidelines in the USA. Subjects are organized into chapters composed of interactive lessons, printable worksheets, quizzes and tests. The student is guided through the activities at his/her own pace by an automated system. Students also get access to an online playground (controlled by parents) which motivates them to finish their lessons. Although I have to monitor Gaby and be close by to answer questions, this package has made my life much easier as a Home-school Mum. There is a separate Parent Login to access printable lesson plans, teaching tools and a detailed reporting of the marks scored by the Student. If you would like to take a look, here is the link: http://www.time4learning.com/#.UZdPGzLiPyA.email
Our daily Bible Story is one that we have always used in our family. We are happy to now be able to choose the mode of religious instruction for our child.
We have also included Penmanship in order to help Gaby write correctly. We use the “Happy Handwriter” program developed by Bunty McDougall, an occupational therapist who has worked in the field of learning difficulties for the last 25 years. She is also qualified in Sensory Integration (SI) and Neuro-developmental Therapy (NDT). She has been most helpful to us in a personal capacity and I would strongly recommend her program to preschoolers who have handwriting difficulties. We have only started this year with her program, but wish we had done so sooner. Her website is: http://thehappyhandwriter.co.za . We also use Copywork as a tool for handwriting practice. Gaby enjoys this as she can read the story afterwards.
Another fabulous program that we use is Progressive Phonics. This site provides free readers and teaches the phonetic language to children. Their website is: http://progressivephonics.com/
Updates to follow..