Homeschooling has been wonderful so far; it's an amazing experience and I'm so blessed to share these days with Matthew. Our biggest challenge to date is learning to read. Although Matthew is only four years-old, I felt very sure that he was ready to start reading several months ago. I believe we started working the fundamentals back in October, maybe late September.
He's done very well so far; he's been reading one-syllable, short vowel words for months now; I started introducing long vowels in December and it's moving along nicely. I honestly can't complain. When I started working with him on reading, I was using the methods in Barbara Curtis' book Mommy, Teach Me to Read.
It was a great value and really gave us a great foundation for reading. However, I felt like I hit a total roadblock with teaching this method. I found myself struggling to help him understand the hundreds of thousands of exceptions to the rules of English. He can honestly read lots and lots of words to date, but explaining when the rules apply and when they don't has been hard for me.
My next stop was the library. I remembered seeing Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Engelmann, Haddox, and Bruner when I found Curtis' book. I thought now would be a great time to give this one a test run and see if it could help us round out some of the missing pieces. I'm so glad I got a good look at this book! I really feel optimistic about using this. My personal copy is in the mail and I have yet to review the entire book, but even just using our borrowed library copy has been such a huge help.
I'll keep everyone posted on this one. We've already started at the beginning, using it with our normal schoolwork. Although Matthew is repeating and "relearning" things from a different method, I'm not too worried about any confusion because this book doesn't contradict Curtis' book. Anyway, between Mommy, Teach Me to Read, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and Starfall.com, Matthew is on his way to becoming a great reader. I'm so proud of my little man and am so thankful to share these experiences with him!