Since we are homeschooling, it was an easy decision to start Josh in Kindergarten. His birthday is August 31, which is the cut-off date for children planning to attend public or private school. If we were sending him off to school, the decision would have been much more difficult for us. Since we were doing school at home, and Josh had many signs of readiness (he was beyond ready), it made sense to start school. When we sit down to do school each day, I usually start with Zeke. This gives Josh a good warm-up for his lesson. Some things that I ask Zeke, Josh is able to race Zeke to answer. This challenges them both--although sometimes Zeke gets a little flustered when his little brother can answer faster than he can. (This does NOT mean that Josh is smarter than Zeke. The questions that are easy enough for Josh to answer are a basic review for Zeke, meant to catch first graders who did not learn everything well in kindergarten. Zeke certainly does not fall into that category; I know he knows the answers. It DOES mean that Zeke doesn't perform as well under pressure.) What I love about Josh is his enthusiasm to learn and persist through new things. Sometimes it is challenging for me to find challenging material for him, though. He often will sit and write random letters (in print, because he hasn't learned all his cursive letters yet) on notebook paper, then try to sound them out. When it's really difficult, he will bring his paper to me and ask me what it says. If you can tell me what 'UUFUET' says (in all short-vowel sounds), you are doing better than I! Yesterday it dawned on me that it wouldn't hurt to skip him ahead a few lessons (58 or so) and give him his first reader book. While he reads slower than he may if we got there by working through all 58 lessons left to go, what surprised me the most was his persistence. The curriculum starts out slowly with this book and my other kindergartners always found it tiresome to struggle through their first words. He read the entire book before I caught him and took the following video as he read the last page!
Now, I'm not claiming that my smart little man is a child prodigy. But I do recognize his gift of love for learning! Thanks for letting me have a proud mommy moment. As I sit here waiting for this video to upload, he is reading the same book again completely by his own desire and will. He is already reading much faster. Way to go, Josh!