We started the year including Little Princess in our LDSFamilySchool lessons, and she was happy to be a part of them. As the first weeks passed I became disenchanted with the program because I struggled to ramp the lessons up enough for the older girls while keeping them simple enough for 6-year-old Little Princess. I felt pulled in too many directions helping her take notes or printing out her coloring pages. She wanted to truly be part of the lessons instead of just a hanger-on.
And I felt sympathetic to that.
One of the blessings that took place with her as an active participant of our FamilySchool was how her reading skills skyrocketed. At the first of the year she could just barely follow along with the reading, and do a bit of the reading herself with some help. Well before Christmastime, she was reading fluently and even correcting mistakes that the rest of us made.
We used the year .5 Flower Fairies stories to create a language arts main lesson book for her because though she was reading, her letter formation was wobbly. We'd read the stories cuddled together and then we'd draw the pictures and letters at the table with Nature Angel (who couldn't help joining in for drawing time). Though she didn't need more phonics work, the act of drawing really helped improve her writing skills.
I purchased the first grade Math By Hand curriculum (just the teacher stuff--not the extras) for her and spent quite a bit of time on form drawings and creating a lovely math main lesson book, but then we kind of pooped out. I found Bedtime Math, and was happy to let the formal lessons slide in favor of a family math adventure around the dining room table.
Along the way I discovered The Good and The Beautiful curriculum, and I was quickly sold. I excused Little Princess from lessons with the older girls, instead choosing to hold her on my lap as we did a little bit of one-on-one work each day. She continued to participate in Morning Meeting and Evening Read Aloud, which rounded out her religion, math, science, and history exposure.
She's also Nature Angel's "right hand man." Whatever Nature Angel suggests, Little Princess is there, ready and willing to learn. Together they have kept nature notebooks, written stories, built animal habitats, learned to play the piano (rudimentary skills), run a preschool for their younger siblings, worked on their babysitting skills, learned to clean a bathroom, and cooked several meals.
They read voraciously.
Little Princess leans toward Rainbow Fairies and Pet Shop Mysteries (urgh!) right now, but she also spent a long time this school year devouring some American Girl books. She reads picture books aloud to the littler ones, and she knows how to log onto the library website and request her own book holds.
Little Princess is a joyful and confident 6-year-old.
It is a joy to learn at her side.