This post has been sitting in my drafts for a while, but the last few weeks of term slipped away and now the Easter holidays are almost over already! At the end of each term I like to take some time to reflect on what we’ve been learning, which helps me to make decisions about the next term.
I had three main goals for the spring term. My first was to work on handwriting. Both children are now at a similar developmental level as Aaron struggles slightly with fine motor skills, so it made sense to work on it together. We used Scholastic Literacy Skills: Handwriting to review letter formation for all lower-case letters, and have started to learn some of the different types of joins. They have both worked really hard and actually covered more material this term than I had planned. There has been a huge improvement in their handwriting and they can now write quite neatly, although they still tend to revert to messy capitals when not reminded.
My second goal was to work on Tabitha’s reading. She really wants to read and feels sad that she can’t, but it is something she has struggled with. She has always found it difficult to remember the sounds each letter makes. For a while I wondered about trying a whole word approach rather than phonics, but she doesn’t easily recognise words either. I have wondered if she may be dyslexic as it certainly runs in Colin’s family. We’ve been using “The Reading Lesson: Teach Your Child to Read in 20 Easy Lessons” since last year which seems to suit her. She is now on chapter 6 and can slowly decode most CVC words and recognise a few sight words.
My third goal was for the children to learn some French before our holiday in September. We are mostly using the Twinkl PlanIt units, and more recently we got a cheap home-ed subscription to Dino Lingo which also has video lessons and games. We haven’t covered quite as much as I’d hoped, partly due to time off when the children had chickenpox, so we’ve got plenty to work on next term.
During the latter part of the term we have also been working on Aaron’s shark and Tabitha’s ray projects. We still have a couple of bits to finish off so I will post about that separately.
Just before the Easter holidays Tabitha took her primary ballet exam and Aaron took a pre-grade one piano exam, which he got distinction for. He’s been quite diligent about practising daily and has realised for himself what a huge difference it makes. He has expressed an interest in learning the guitar, so we may buy him one if he is still interested in a few months. Tabitha was given a recorder for her birthday with strict instructions to practise in her bedroom!
Perhaps the most exciting thing this term has been that Aaron and Tabitha have both learned to swim! They figured out how to doggy paddle by themselves and Tabitha overcame her fear of putting her head in the water. I’ve been meaning to get them into swimming lessons for a while and, after weighing up the costs and practicalities, I decided to go for private rather than group lessons. They have had two lessons so far and are already making brilliant progress. Aaron swam four lengths of the pool on his back after his very first lesson!
This has been our most structured term yet and it has worked well for all of us. However, I’m conscious that the summer term will probably be much busier with spontaneous outings to places like the allotment, beach and park, so we’ll need to balance structure with flexibility.