Monday, September 2, 2013

Experiencing God's Graciousness in our Homeschool

Mateo read another word again! :)
Tonight, while reading one of our favorite bedtime books (The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton), he read the word MOON consistently from the different pages of the book. The wonderful thing about it is that the word MOON had different placements in the sentences used in the book. Yet he was still able to read the word MOON consistently until we finished reading it. :)

Must be because he can already read the word MOO in the book Go, Train, Go! :)
I can't help but be thankful to God for His graciousness and His timely affirmations to me as I homeschool my sons. There are days when I wonder if I should put more structure in our homeschool because we do the interest-led approach. I design their activities based on what I observe they are interested in. I expose them to what I think kids their age would be ready to learn. But if they are not ready for it, I don't force them. I try again when I see them more responsive and interested. So far, this approach has been effective especially as we see the results in my eldest son. We have not bought a curriculum until now even for our eldest who is almost 5 years old now.
But time and again, God would surprise me with these kinds of milestones. Just when I felt that I'm not able to invest a lot of time in our homeschool (except doing the basics like reading, arts, pretend play, music and values), my sons would accomplish something or hit a milestone unexpectedly. A lot of times, they even hit these milestones much earlier than expected!
At 21 months old, aside from reading a few words, Mateo now strings two words to form sentences. He's also bilingual. Although he is not as conversant as his older brother when Yanthy was his age (which I think is due to his being bilingual), he has very good receptive language skills. He can follow two-step commands. He is a keen observer with a very good memory, too. This must be why he remembers a lot of things like he can help sort the laundry and tell who owns the different pieces of clothing. He also remembers the way to our new house (I am amazed with this because I'm a geographically-challenged person!). He also remembers where things are kept or hidden. Most of all, I love that he is very sensitive and emotionally advanced. He shows very strong empathy for others.
I was not expecting that the basics that we do in our homeschool would have these kind of results on Mateo these past months that I'm busy writing my latest book. He even started reading at an earlier age compared to his older brother! (Yanthy started reading words at 2 years old. Though he was already memorizing entire books at that age, too.) What a wonderful surprise from God! We're so blessed to be soaking in His grace.
I thank God for helping me instill a love for learning and reading to my kids at an early age. I think this is key to their fast development. I can see this even with my youngest son who is only 21 months old. He loves to read just like his older brother. A day would not pass without us reading at least one book. He's so hungry for learning. Lately, he has been showing fascination for counting. He wants to learn how to count. He also shows interest in learning phonics and writing. Sometimes, I think I'm the one who is not ready to discover that my kids are this kind of learners. :) I guess a part of me as a mom wants to keep them as babies for a very long time.
I pray that God would continue to show His graciousness to me being my sons' main teacher. I pray that my husband and I could patiently and generously invest time teaching our kids most especially during their formative years. I believe that we would need much grace from God to do all these.
I highly recommend that you include The Going to Bed Book in your bedtime routine with your kids. You may read my review of this book here.

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