We are making our way through first grade. It is amazing how much he has learned over the last 2 months. He is growing daily in his reading. The further we get into this school year I can not help but think about learning in the public school format. I can not imagine DS missing a day of school and having to jump back into his lessons. 2 days in a row off and we are taking MAJOR missing pieces in their learning. I used to think, "How much could missing a day of school hurt? Probably it doesn't." I no longer feel this way. I have learned each and every lesson have value and purpose. Every lesson builds on the one before. If you miss or do not grasp the concepts taught, you are at a huge disadvantage for the upcoming concepts. This may not be as much the case for the second half of the year, where you do spend a great deal of time reviewing and perfecting skills but the first half....too important to miss.
I have had a few discussions with some of my friends who are teachers (public school) about curriculum. I have asked each of them if they get through all of their curriculum each year. All of them have laughed at me and then replied, "Um, NO!" So my next logical question for them was, "Do you just go as far as you can and call it good when the last day of school comes around?" Again the reply was No." Each looked at the lessons and cut out some of the review or lessons that repeat information. Then they get as far as they can. I have taken a close look at my schedule and my Language Arts curriculum is 165 lessons. Rightfully so, Language Arts is huge in first grade and it takes a couple hours each day to complete all the components. When looking at the calendar my realistic goal for completing it is the middle of June. So I ask myself, "Are you going to complete the curriculum?" My answer is yes. I really want to complete each and every lesson for I feel each one has value and purpose. If this means we do school when others are already out, so be it. My hubby reaffirmed this decision for me, as I have had doubts. He reminded me that not all subjects are 165 lessons, so as we complete a subject our school day will get shorter. When we get to the point of only having Language Arts we (together) will have the choice of doing an additional lesson on any given day. This seems doable. And if we need to take another look at the approach in the Spring and cut some of the lessons, as my teaching friends have urged me to do, then we will.
However the year looks like, I really am excited by his growth. It is fun to see him pick up a book, on his own and read it for enjoyment. And he is just really getting to this point. Every day I can see his confidence grow. I love it!