Monday, October 26, 2015

Home school update - for my 3 yr old

So when I started this home school thing, I had assumed a bunch of stuff about my three year old. 
Personally I don’t put a lot of pressure on learning formally when kids are young. So I had assumed she could mostly just skip school. And I also thought if she wanted to do some school with us she’d be easily able to keep up -- she’s very smart and always seems to have a can-do attitude.

What I didn’t take into account was her physical ability to use her hands to do what her mind wants to do. 

After a few weeks of doing school with Jasmine (my 5 yr old) Ruby (3 yrs old)’s can-do attitude, that she’s had her whole life, was starting to disintegrate. She was watching her sister use her hands to draw and write, and when she went to do that she couldn’t accomplish anything. Eventually we hit full breakdown mode with falling on the floor crying in despair, “I can only scribble!!” And this was going on during any (and many) times of day.

It was breaking my heart to see my can-do girl feel so defeated.  I remembered the name Kumon I had seen on some teaching-ish/homeschool blog (I forget which.) And looked it up. I found all these books on Amazon and gave them a whirl. And I’ve been thrilled with our results.

Source: 1) Sticker and Paste, 2) Color, 3) Fold, 4) Cut Paper

We started with these. They are super basic. They are for kids who haven’t learned to use a pencil yet. And each book starts out with something that’s basically just allowing them to do what comes natural but with a function assigned to that.
Like with the coloring page you start out “drawing spaghetti” -- aka scribble.
But that’s just the confidence booster Ruby needed.
Then it moves on to harder and harder things. 
And by the end of the book their skill set really is built up.
We started out with the sticker and paste book, because I knew that was something Ruby was actually already really good at. And I wanted her to gain back some confidence. 
She was ecstatic! She was asking to do school all the time. Loving every minute of it. And those emotional breakdowns are non-existent now.
We’ve gotten through 'the sticker and paste book' and 'the coloring book' now. And have just started on the folding book. (There is no recommended order, this is just what made sense for our skill set.)

I could tell even after just starting the sticker and paste book (which I didn’t think was all that big of a push towards improvement) that her hands were doing more and more of what she wanted them to do. It was really cool.

So now after completing the coloring book she is starting to be able to create pictures. 
I’m not saying they are mind blowing art, but I’m so happy for her to be able to do this and feel accomplished in doing it.
Here’s where we started, “I can only scribble.”

And just the other day she drew me this.
She likes to tell me she has a sister named Nena that lives in Africa. 
And this is her crying because she misses Ruby.
(Gotta be honest, that really pricks my heart, and gets me wondering about things.)

I also have these books lined up for when we finish the really easy ones. These are to use with pencils.
I was just so excited to show you these because they’ve been a big deal for us. And they are a really cool concept.


  1. I've helped kids with Kumon homework in the past and been very impressed, but I had never seen the ones for younger kids. What a great idea! And how wonderful that Ruby is gaining her confidence back! That is so, so valuable.

    1. yes, it’s so nice to have her feeling good again!

  2. I love the Kumon books! My 3 ( now 4 year old ) was in a similar situation watching her brother, 2 years older. We started with beginner mazes and the tracing books and loved them !

    1. Yeah, they are so great! Ruby wanted to start the tracing one this week -- she feels like big stuff with her pencil. :)

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