Thursday, December 13, 2012

Homeschooling Progress: starting out

I wrote the draft of this post way back in August, before we started our first year of homeschooling, and never got around to editing it! I guess it's about time to make note of where Basbusa started out, since it's almost time to write about how things have gone during the first semester.

So, here's a quick summary of what Basbusa was doing as of last August, when she had just turned four.

  • Favorite Interests: Reading, being read to, pretend play, and making up stories (for hours and hours).
  • Quran: memorized up to Surat Al Nasr al7amdulillah. She's not very solid on most of it when reciting alone, but reciting quite smoothly and confidently along with me.
  • Reading: Everything, independently. Typical chapter books she reads alone are House at Pooh Corner, and Milly Molly Mandy. She's completely at ease if she already knows the plot; a bit slower if it's new to her.
  • Writing: can write her name, "Mama" and "Grandma" without thinking about it; asks for spelling for everything else. Still writing in all capitals. She mostly uses writing to label her drawings to show who they are presents for; she writes some "letters" and notes to friends.
  • Art: draws all day long, with a pen. Not very interested in coloring in her pictures, nor in exploring other art media (even markers or color pencils or crayons), although she'll sometimes paint if it crosses her mind.
  • Arabic: Knows the alphabet, more or less. (Speaks fluent Egyptian Arabic with us - al7amdulillah, it has never even occurred to her that she could try talking to her sister in English - but her language is pretty much stuck at the very-good-non-native-speaker level that she hears from me. Oh well.)
  • Motor Skills: Finally enjoying jumping off things, more willing to test her own abilities, less hesitant in playgrounds.
  • Social Skills: Getting better all the time at the art of playing with one other person (whether a new or existing friend); more willing to start up a conversation in playgrounds with children she doesn't know. Still learning how to go about joining other children's games-in-progress. 
  • Science: Hmmm.... Interested in gardening, but I think hanging out with Grandma is more of a draw than the garden itself. Not really into collecting things from outdoors; not particularly excited about nature walks etc.
  • Math: In Arabic, counts to 10. In English, all the way up to 100 if you tell her what's after 19 :) Can do simple addition and subtraction (such as, "If Grandma had 5 candies and gave you 3, how many would she have left?"). No problem with patterns like ABAB, AABAAB, ABCABC.

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