Thursday, February 6, 2014

What Works for Peanut

I've decided to start doing these what's Sharing What Works posts a bit differently, at least for the month of February this year. I'm doing this because the children are so vastly different from each other, and so far apart in their grades, that not everything that's working works for each of them. So, with that in mind, this month I'll be doing one post each (on Thursdays) on what's working for one specific child/grade and then do a post at the end of the month about what's working in general for all of us.

This week I'm linking up with Our Busy Homeschool in Sharing What Works. And the focus this week is on Peanut who is almost completely finished with her preschool work and has already begun to work on her kindergarten work.

There are a lot of things with Peanut that have been working for a long time now...
Playing and Learning on her
LeapPad Ultra

School Zone Workbooks

Using soft cubes for counting and

Memory games

Games that include counting 

Laminated place mats she can
write and erase on

Using Play Dough to "build" letters


Small dry erase board (and marker)
to practice writing

Play Dough before book lessons
to strengthen her hands so
it doesn't hurt to write and color

Her very own small vacuum to help clean the house

Computer "lessons" and educational games

Taking the day off of lessons
if her head hurts or she's not feeling
up to working that day

Working on her morning binders
each day we have lessons

We've learned since September that these things work. Some we do every day, some once a week, and some only when she wants to. But, they all work. I had to let go of the idea that she needed to do x amount of official days of schooling and if she wanted a day off to simply let her take one. She still learns on those days, just in a more hands on fun type of way than using the computer and finishing her workbook pages assigned. I had to let go of the fact that although some weeks she's done in three days with five days worth of lesson plans some weeks she needs all five days. And the whole family has had to take a step back and just let her learn instead of forcing a recitation of the alphabet or having her count when she's just not in the mood to do it. Since someone is always reciting the alphabet (either in their heads or out loud) while brushing their teeth and we're always reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to her as part of her bedtime ritual, she's actually able to recognise most of her letters even the ones we haven't done formal lessons on and recites the alphabet often without mistake. 

She's a very head strong little girl who is sometimes your best friend and sometimes wants nothing to do with you. She learns best with repetition being done on one subject but in a lot of different ways and she straddles pretty much all of the learning styles you can read about in so many books. At this time teaching her may take the least amount of time each day but is the most involved. It doesn't matter what time of day or night it is if she's ready to learn something she'll learn it and sometimes will ask for a bunch of different things to be done that just weren't on the schedule for the day. 

With Peanut we roll with the punches. And for now being this relaxed with her works and I think it probably will work for a long time. I know that I'll have to work on getting her to do more lessons in the future as she rises through the grade levels, but with her it will never be all about the book work. There will have to be stories read to her and hands on projects done almost every step of the way to make the concept she's attempting to learn "stick". And that's OK. 

Using such an eclectic way to teach her actually shows it's face almost everywhere we go ... She was the first child to grasp the concept shown by a model at the doctor's office of which bronchial branch was the healthy one and which one was unhealthy ... All because the instant visual contrast and textural contrast clicked within seconds for her. As her vision continues to fail the visual aspect may eventually be something she can't use, but for now and until that time it we employ it in almost every aspect of her learning.

Find us on Facebook here or subscribe to the blog for tips on homeschooling, book reviews, how to get your children helping out in the kitchen, and to see many pictures of the cute kiddos, plus much more!


  1. I love that you're sharing by child this month! You're right, some things work well for one child and would be just okay or even totally wrong with another. I find it fascinating reading about all you do with visual difficulties in the mix. Praying her vision stays where it is as long as possible and that you find wonderful ways to work together throughout her years!

    1. Thanks Tristan! I've got some contingency plans in place as her vision fails her more, but we're not living like that. Some days her eyesight seems worse than others and I think those days she's more tired than normal. We encourage a lot of textural things with her to encourage her to touch things more often, sometimes with her eyes closed even as we know eventually she will not be able to identify by sight alone. Groundwork I guess. We're very thankful for your prayers and we pray each day that God will help us find what we need to help her learn through each stage she goes through.

      And actually I'm nervous for when it's ECJ's week because he's driving me BATTY! LOL. I don't know if anything is really "working" between him and us right now, but I'm sure I'll figure out if there is anything.