Friday, April 30, 2010


Every day this week (except Sunday, of course) I have opened my mailbox and seen a package or two sitting inside (or once, perched, balancing, atop the mailbox because my Dad, who usually delivers our mail and always brings the too-big packages directly to my door, was adventuring (and ministering) in the rainforests of Brazil). It's a highlight to any day to open the mailbox and see a package squatting inside. It always makes my heart leap a little, wondering what it is, even when it's something I myself have ordered just a few days ago.
In this case, the packages contained books, the very best thing a package could hold. Books piling up in a stack on my bedroom floor.
That stack of books is the gate to the world of First Grade.
Part of me wants to haul Christopher Robin into my lap today and begin reading the first chapter of The Story of the World and give him his All About Spelling beginning assessment. But we thrive on a little structure, and I want to start well, so I will collect all the books, and form a plan for our days, and then, at the right time, we will start. I want the excitement of new books and new subjects to help provide the momentum to establish a routine for our days that will keep us going strong all year.
I bought some books for Peanut Butter, too. His very own handwriting book, because he likes to trace letters, and I figure if he likes to, I'll let him learn. And I think I'll order him a meeting book for Saxon K math. That begins in September, and the program is so simple, really far beneath Christopher Robin's ability (though we'll stick it out and finish it through June because he has learned things from it) that I feel like it'll be about right for Peanut Butter at the age of 4.
For Christopher Robin I have A Beka math, Zaner-Bloser handwriting, English for the Thoughtful Child, All About Spelling, Story of the World: Ancient Times, and for science The Usborne Illustrated Encycopedia of the Natural World, The Human Body, and other books I plan to gather as needed from the library. I also need a decent globe, a world map, and a map of the United States. I'm not sure where to put them, though. Do I really need to dedicate a wall of my house to a map / maps? On the other hand, I love maps, and love how handy wall maps are, because you can see the big picture but also stand close to see small details. I'll be mulling over this for a while...
Peanut Butter has been learning his letters and what sounds they make this year. Just last week he read his first book. Since then, he's been reading a page at a time, not usually enthusiastically, but capably. It's a lot like Christopher Robin started...excitedly finishing a whole book the first time, but then not excited to tackle new ones. I remember for Christopher Robin, reading was exhausting mental effort when he was three. I didn't push it, but brought the books out from time to time to help him practice. He was four when he read through all the Bob books we had, and I ordered more sets for him, and more sets until we had finished them all. By that time, reading was easy for him, and he started reading everything. Remembering that, I've been doing one page at a time with Peanut Butter. One or two words. Eventually it will click and feel easy, and then he'll be unstoppable.


Autumn said...

Sounds thrilling! There's just nothing like getting a package in the mail, is there? I hadn't heard of the Bob books before, but they look cute. Maybe I'll have to try them out in a year or two. How'd you decide on which books to use for Christopher Robin?

Marie said...

The Well-Trained Mind was my guide for all the books except All About Spelling. Ann Voskamp of Holy Experience raved about the spelling program, and when I checked it out, it looked really good to me.
Mom used the first set of Bob Books with Thane years ago. Once again, I knew about them from The Well-Trained Mind book by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer.

Laura said...

Not sure how much this will help, but your comment about maps reminded me of this blogpost. Interesting decorating do have a lot more wall space now that you don't have an entertainment center upstairs!
Have a great Saturday.

tonia said...

fun! the very best kind of fun. i absolutely adore new books and papers and pencils and all the potentials!

enjoy it!

(love the thoughts on scripture below. great correlation.)