What works for Celeste...

In this third part of my "what works" series, I will be sharing what works and what doesn't for my youngest, Celeste. She is six years old.

We cover Language Arts and Math together while Adrienne and Andre do their independent work in the morning. This seems to work for us so far. Celeste "hangs around" in the afternoon while we do the rest of our subjects, History, Science, Geography, etc... She is picking up things but I don't require her to do any of the work.

What works for us is basically what we are doing.

I am using Explode the Code for phonics, spelling and handwriting. She enjoys working through these workbooks and I can see that she is learning as we go along.

To practice reading, we are using the Elson Readers Primer. We are past the halfway point in this and I can honestly say that we are both enjoying it. I use the teacher's guide to introduce the story to her and the new words, which I write down for her in the notebook. The stories in the teacher's guide match the ones in her reader, but are usually longer and give more details so she is familiar with the main idea when it's her turn to read aloud. We rarely use the worksheets.

For Math, we are using Miquon Math. Celeste really likes doing Math with these workbooks. She uses the manipulatives when she needs them. I haven't brought out flashcards, choosing the discovery approach instead of drilling. I personally don't like the teacher's guide that goes along these workbooks. I don't need it at this point but we will need to switch to a different math curriculum when she gets to higher levels, probably Teaching Textbooks.

I sometimes feel like I am not doing enough with Celeste, but at the same time I can see the benefits of not pushing her. She is enthousiastic about learning new things and gives herself copywork or other school-ish stuff to do, all on her own. 

Even though this isn't curriculum, it works so I wanted to share! She has a basket where she keeps a lot of the books and things that she can go to if we're busy. In this basket, she has sticker books, her game boy and games, some of her favourite books and easy readers, pens and paper, an erasable board...

She also likes to pull out games that she can play by herself. I took a picture of some of her favourites. Rush Hour is a family favourite and she really likes working through this puzzle. FunThinkers is a fun and educational game (with the number tiles on the photo). The other is something to practice math facts with. It's called Sum Time by Jumbo. We also have a spelling one. We were given these, so I am not sure if they are still available.

The next post in this series will cover the subjects we do together.


  1. You know that I've been finding the same outcome of not pushing and just letting kids learn how they wish to. Great review of what you have her do. I will be getting the readers next year but need to figure out the best place to buy them from. I am wondering if those games are available on the iPad. I'll be checking later.


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