Originally Posted by Momma Aimee
what basic Phonics program did people like .. without hand writting ... i know Theo's fine motor is not ready to write anything, but by the the summer I'd like to start simple phonics with him -- but i am so confused by all teh programs ...
Deciding to homeschool is a very overwhelming decision to make, and it takes time to figure out what you are doing, so I think it is great that you are starting your plan early. Remember Charlotte Mason advises not to start formal lessons until the age of 6. Many of us break that 'rule'. I am guilty of it. I have an almost 4YO who is special needs. He is a late talker and has some fine motor issues. He is in speech & OT. I can't even fathom trying to teach him phonics next year. He is only a few months younger than your boy.
I know you are excited to start, and there is so much to teach our little ones. Finland is the #1 ranked country in the world for standardized tests. They rank about 50-60 points higher than their American counter parts. They don't start going to school until they are 7, when their brains are more developmentally ready.
I am not an unschooler, but I see some of their philosophy in watching my children learn. I see it more watching my younger two. They learn at their own pace, when they are ready to learn. My 2YO is about to surpass my 3YO in speech, but he is making great progress. I have read your comments about 'there is so much in his head he can't get out'. I totally know what you mean. I see that in my boy all the time. I'm just saying not to rush it and watch for cues from him so you are teaching him what he is developmentally ready to learn. Start teaching him phonics after you know he knows all the sounds - or do it very informally when reading books to him. Like read a book about fish where it goes through the alphabet. First page "this is an Angel Fish...what does A say? A says ahhh or A." Little things like that. I wouldn't start a program with him until you see he knows all his sounds (the sounds that each letter says). The Leapfrog fridge magnet toy is great for learning sounds.
My plan for my SN child is to start teaching him phonics when his sister is ready to learn it so I can teach them at the same time. She is 19 months younger than him. I don't think he will be ready until after 6, and girls are ready to read around age 5. Remember, it's a marathon, not a race. They will all learn what they need to learn when they are ready. It only takes 180 hours to teach your children all the basics.
Just read your boys cues and go from there. Since he is special needs, I would really listen to CM 6-year formal education rule. If my oldest had been the special needs child, I would probably try to rush things. Being that he is my 2nd child, I feel more laxed and comfortable with my decisions.
However, to tell you what I use....I used Saxon K phonics for my 6YO last year. I went to use Saxon 1 this year, and the lessons were twice as long, and I got the rolled eye look when I started it. So I found an Open Court Reading curriculum at a 2nd hand store. Wow, Open Court is much more fun than Saxon. I liked Saxon for K because it is spiral based. Open Court has fun poems and stories. Saxon tells you exactly what to say. For my special needs child, I will probably buy the Saxon K phonics and go in the order that goes in and find the fun stuff from Open Court Reading for each letter when we get to it. Our college has a curriculum section, and I was able to check out the Saxon K phonics from the library all year last year. If you have a college by you, check to see if they have a curriculum area so you can check out different curriculums. They won't have Abeka or other popular Christian based programs if you want to go that route, but it's fun to see what else is out there.
On another note, I took my 3YO to a neurological developmental pediatrician who told me I should never homeschool a special needs child. It was hard not to laugh at him when he said that...or do a pbbbbtttt...whatever...really, do you know how many people homeschool their special needs child because the schools aren't doing it right? However, his occupational therapist has suggested that homeschooling would be very beneficial to him.