Finding the right level for everyone.

Math!  Dearie has now finished the entire Miquion series, and up through Singapore 3B.  She has a very solid math background.  I am struggling with what book to but her in next, because I think that her math skills have progressed faster than the books.  I sat down with her yesterday and looked at both the Key To books (next in the Miquion series) and Singapore 4A.  We decided to go with Singapore, but to start at the first review exercise.  If she can do the reviews without any trouble, then we will skip everything up to the review and go to the next review.  I think that she will be able to go through about half of 4A this way. 

Skipping the parts that she already knows is called compacting.   It is often used with gifted kids to keep them from being bored.  Dearie can be a challenge when she is bored because she does not always realize that the problem is boredom.  She had some super easy assignments in Language Arts (LA) last week, and she complained so much that I was beginning to think that maybe I had chosen the wrong level for her (one that was too hard).  Then I looked at her book.  They were asking her to do stuff that she has known how to do for 3 years!  No wonder she was complaining.  Then I asked her to tell me why she didn’t like the book.  She didn’t know, it was just awful and she didn’t want to do it.  When I told her that it was too easy, I saw a look of relief and understanding on her face, but she really didn’t know what the problem was until I explained it.  I now wonder if the same thing is going on with Singapore Math.

Honey on the other hand is a total mystery to me.  She does not have the personallity to show off what she knows, so I don’t always know what she knows.  She has been doing a reading program called Click n Read.  It is working well, but she doesn’t really like it.  Click n Read has 3 years worth of lessons in it and Honey had gotten through about half of them.  Click n Read says to have the child repeat a lesson if they miss more than a few questions.  I have struggled with this.  When do I have her repeat a lesson?  Do I have her repeat it once or many times? She had gotten up to lesson 55, but was really struggling with it.  So I decided to let her do some “easy” lessons.  I put her back at the beginning and let her do lesson 10.  She was beaming, “Its easy Mom!”  So then I followed the instructions for finding a child’s challenge level and skipped her to lesson 15.  EASY!  Then to lesson 20, NOT so easy!  So I have found her challenge level, lesson 16.  I don’t mind backing her up, it is better to do a lesson that you enjoy than to do lessons that are so hard that you don’t get anything out of them. 

For Honey, I looked at Sonlight’s old LA1 last night (they have updated it since I bought it).  I think that I may use this for her in a couple of months.  They have dictation assignments, and then they have the child answer questions about the assignment that covers punctuation and grammar.  I think that I will have her finish the book that she is copying first, she is slowly getting better at copy-work, and then we will go on to dictation.

Kiddo is doing just great at everything.  She read the first story in Little Bear to me yesterday.  I was surprised at how well she did.  She is halfway through Explode the code 3 (books 1, 2, and 3 are for first grade) and doing great!  She is also halfway through the first Miquion book.  I am not doing much else with her right now.  Next year (or the year after), I will really focus on accademics, but for now I am only doing enough to keep her busy and happy.  (And it is more than enough!)

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