Homeschooling is a challenge and some days it is one that I do not feel like facing. Yet, we have ample reasons to be homeschooling Braden and Coen right now, and so we keep on keeping on. In all of the chaos that comes with homeschooling there are moments in which I think that I could continue to homeschooling the boys forever, and today I had one of those moments.
Coen learned his letter sounds quickly this fall--for the most part anyway. He has had trouble with a handful of letters that we have had to go over again and again, because for some reason he can't remember what the letter "I" looks like and that the letter "G" does not sound like "duh". In any case, we started out the day today with Coen telling me that he did not want to do lessons. This lack of motivation apparently stemmed from his belief that he is not smart and was not ever going to learn anything ever again. After a bit of a pep talk we got going. He breezed through his math and then we were onto reading.
Of course, nothing is ever easy with Mr. Coen and so he whined and moped a bit. He figured that because he can't read yet that it was a lost cause. And then as we were finishing up the reading lesson the coolest thing happened---he read a full sentence on his own, without having to sound the letters out. For posterity the sentence was:
The tin man hits the ball.
The light in Coen's eyes when he finished that sentence was so bright and he was beyond proud of himself. We high fived and texted daddy to let him in on the news. It was an exciting moment and I am beyond happy that I was there to witness it.
Of course, Braden is doing great too. He has struggled with reading and at the beginning of the fall he was only able to read basic sentences, like the one that Coen read earlier today. When Braden was going through his speech therapy from ages 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 his speech therapist warned us that kids with early speech issues often tend to read later than other kids, so his reading issues were not at all unexpected.
Braden and I talked about his reading skills in September, and we made it our goal to have Braden reading the Magic Treehouse books on his own by Christmas. He has been a big fan of the Magic Treehouse series for awhile, but we stopped reading them last year. I had decided that because Braden enjoys them so much that maybe the idea of being able to read them on his own would be motivation for him to really work hard at his reading. It took longer than I expected, but I ended up being right.
Last week Braden read the first chapter of the first Magic Treehouse book entirely on his own, save a little help from me on a word or two. It was yet another memorable homeschooling moment!