Certificate of Achievement

Pre cert

The twins have completed the All About Reading Pre-Reading course! They are so proud of their achievement. With this certificate, the twins will be able to pick out one toy, less than $15 each, at the toy store. I have been teaching all of the kids that toys, and other items they ask for, like tea at the coffee hut, must be earned. They may also opt to take the cash and save up for an item of their choice. The older kids will earn a dollar value for completed unit studies and other major achievements.

 

aar-full-level1On Wednesday, the anxiously awaited All About Reading Level 1 began. Already, in the first lesson, the twins have started to blend cvc words. It is intriguing to watch their minds work out this process. The pacing of the Pre-Reading program was just perfect. As we were going through it, I was concerned that the pace was too slow and that they should have been blending sooner, but now that they have actually begun to blend, I am finding that they would have struggled even more if we had started any sooner. Studies show that the longer you wait, especially for boys, the easier it will be. This is true for potty training and reading. This reading program is so complete, I am confident that they will be reading efficiently in their own time.

Teaching Them to Get Along

This last week, the twins have been arguing a lot and acting generally fleshly. The main source of conflict has been over toys, but they also need to be encouraged and taught how to play with one another. For this purpose, I have had them complete puzzles together. Of course lots of whining occurs at the start of this activity, but with a little encouragement and persistence, they get the job done. Just this activity alone seems to dissolve their self centered tendencies and promote cooperation and generosity during other play activities throughout the rest of the day.

Puzzle

In another attempt to redirect disobedience, I took out the cuisenart rods and had the twins link them into groups of 10. Some wonderful learning experiences came out of this activity. Not only did they have the opportunity to practice obedience in the tedious act of connecting the pieces, but they also discovered addition facts and learned how to count by tens.

Math rods

Activities such as these have always been my go to disciplinary measure for the kids. If they are not playing well together, I take out an activity for them to complete in my presence. The activities promote obedience, and cooperation which extends into their free play time. Some days several of these activities are necessary for them to complete, while on other days they are able to play together well without any additional encouragement, or disciplinary measure.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

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Cursive Update

I started teaching the twins how to write their names in cursive about 4 months ago. These pictures show their progress.

Caleb Cursive

Joshua Cursive

We have now been practicing strokes within the lines. This has been challenging. I am praying that they do not have vision problems, but it is likely. Both twins have had surgery for strabismus and one of them has had to have it done twice. I am supposed to be patching an eye to correct a lazy eye issue, but have failed miserably at that. The other was diagnoses for glasses by one optometrist, but a second opinion was not in agreement. With the amount of time it is taking for both of them to write in the lines, I am concerned, but hope it is just because they are boys. I am not into drilling them to death, so we only spend a few minutes a day practicing. After they have mastered all of their strokes, keeping in the lines, I will begin to have them write their names on lined paper. In the meantime, I am going to start teaching them how to write their last name in cursive without lines, and then we will move on to the rest of the letters in the alphabet.

Cursive First

Cursive2

I am teaching my 4 year old twins cursive first, using the program with the same name. I used this program with my older 2, the ballerina and drummer boy, but I was too late in finding out the amazing benefits of teaching cursive before I had already taught them print. Now that they know how to write in cursive, my ballerina has turned it into an art form, and my  “intellectually disabled” drummer boy writes more willingly and with much more ease than he does with print.

There are many developmental benefits in teaching cursive first. For starters, it eliminates the dyslexic tendencies of letter reversals. In addition, it’s flowing, connected movements, are much more developmentally appropriate for little one’s fine motor skills.

Although the twins are only 4, they really want to learn how to write their names, so I am using mutlisensory techniques to get them ready. In the colored sand, I have them practice making circles and have even begun to teach them the first letters in their names. We use play dough to practice top, middle, and bottom and to create standard cursive shapes, especially those prevalent in their names. I also guide them in writing letters on the chalk board and they also practice those movements with a pencil on a blank piece of paper. Their fine motor skills are not developed yet, so their movements are large, but they sure have fun trying and always cheer each other on. It is so cute to watch.

My next goals are to teach them the numbers on the face clock and expose them to the house diagram. It may be another year before they are really ready to start this program in its entirety, but I don’t want to quench their desire to learn by telling them that they are not ready. I’ll be updating with their progress. I can’t wait to see their beaming smiles when they are finally able to write their name.