Our first year homeschooling was a dream. Our oldest read almost right away in kindergarten and has been a good, avid reader since. He reads several grade levels above him and rarely has trouble. So when we decided to homeschool our second child, I assumed our journey would be as smooth. If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know that was not the case.
Child #2, or Mister Mouse as we affectionately call him, struggled with learning his letters and sounds, let alone being able to sit still for an entire lesson. After a month of constant tears and struggling every day, we decided it was best to wait on the “formal” schooling.
Of course, we continued to teach organically and through every day situations, but sitting down and actually learning with flashcards and book work we put on hold.
After a year of waiting we tried again and still found a nice groove. We started a curriculum that I felt would work well with short lessons and that combined both reading and handwriting. For a little over a year it worked great. We kept up with lessons, he was understanding and comprehending everything.
Then…we hit a wall.
While he could identify all the letters and sounds after a year of work, we still were not any closer to actually reading. I felt lost and confused. I had followed the rules. The instructions. The format…to the T. And still he just didn’t quite grasp the concept of actually reading.
Then, one day it just clicked. It was literally a light bulb moment and he was reading like he knew how all along. I couldn’t believe my ears! I was so thrilled that we began moving faster through the lessons and I started to let things slide a little, because he was doing so well.
It wasn’t until this past summer, when we were introduced to The Good & the Beautiful, that I realized we had some holes in our learning. My husband worked tirelessly with Mister Mouse over the summer and in to the fall to assess his reading level, see where the holes were and start filling them in.
Last summer he was barely reading above a first grade level, despite going in to the third grade. He was still struggling with reading ahead and connecting words in sentences to flow better, rather than reading word by word. And he was not confident in his reading skills, so he rarely did so.
Over the past 6 months of using this curriculum, we have filled in the gaps, improved his reading level by nearly two full grades, which puts him around the 4th grade level. He is reading smoothly and more quickly. And it has increased his confidence more than I can possibly measure. He has even started reading his first big chapter book and loves it!
I highly recommend The Good & the Beautiful for their Language Arts for several reasons. First, the curriculum is laid out so well and it’s easy to follow. There is little, to no prep for the lessons, which I love as a busy homeschool mom. Second, it starts phonics from the beginning, which I find imperative for creating a successful reader. Third, it is an all-inclusive Language Arts curriculum that covers reading, writing, literature, spelling, grammar & punctuation, vocabulary, geography and art!
I want to encourage you mamas out there! If your child is getting a slow start, Don’t Panic!! Just because you get a slow start doesn’t mean your child is doomed to failure. In fact, I have almost decided a slower start helps them! The key is to be consistent in your approach.