First grader’s reading goals

I joke that we home school in our family, and then in August we send our kids to the neighborhood public school. Truth comes out in a joke- I am a teacher and general know-it-all, DH is a journalist and general know-it-all. Our kids are becoming know-it-alls. It is nice that we have separate but overlapping fields of knowledge. Actually, you could draw a Venn diagram

Plants, food, language, linguistics, literature, mythology, show tunes, food, plots of old movies, history of Tudor and Stuart dynasties

Weird pop culture references, 80’s sitcoms, the time travel paradox, Star Trek

Astronomy, geology, geography, physics, music, pop hits of the 80’s, obscure college bands of the 90’s, Star Wars, AP style, computers


This shows precisely how nerdy I am, that I would draw a Venn diagram about my nerdiness, but not know how to make the Venn diagram show up on the web.  It looked okay on Word.  I’ll have to figure out how to do it in an illustration….

            Our kids have interests and knowledge areas of their own, including Legos, art, dinosaurs, insects, zoology, the Littlest Pet Shop ‘verse, but I don’t know how to make a Venn diagram for the 4 of us, even in Word, much less make it show up on the web. 

            All summer we read, talk, go to museums. There is a lot of lying around, playing with Legos and riding bikes, too, but just by the nature of who we are, there is a lot of learning going on.

            The girl started reading before kindergarten, and hasn’t stopped. She reads, and re-reads, she complains about movies that get the book wrong. She cruised through the Harry Potter series in about 6 weeks, came up for air, then started at the beginning again.

            For a while, the boy seemed to think that reading meant sounding words out, and he hated it.  Last summer, he was recognizing words on packages or on signs, and I would compliment him. I would say, “Good job reading!” and he would say, “I wasn’t reading, I just saw the word and I knew it.” He sounded so disgusted with me, but it was just that he didn’t know that is the definition of reading- seeing the word, and knowing it.

            Going into first grade, he thought he was a bad reader, because his sister is so good, and the books that he is most interested in, like “The Dinosaur Encyclopedia” are too hard for him to read on his own (I have learned a ton about dinos, because I have read the stupid thing aloud to him so much, but it doesn’t really stay with me, so I didn’t put it in the diagram as an area of expertise)

On the first day of first grade, when they were testing him in reading, the tester had to go find more books to get one at a challenging enough level.  He is mostly bored by the books at his level- he wants me to read the dang dinosaur encyclopedia again. or lately books on Greek myths that I have brought home from my middle school.  He thinks he can’t read because he can’t read those, and he already knows everything in the first grade books.

9 weeks into the year, we have our first conferences this week. I wonder what we’ll learn. What are your thoughts about homeschool, public school, unschool?


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mel
    Oct 11, 2010 @ 02:13:35

    I think any child’s educational experience has to be a combination of knowledge from parents, knowledge from school, knowledge from peers, knowledge from environment/culture. But I’m studying to be a teacher … not sure my opinion counts. Not all parents think about their kids’ educations aside from teaching them the alphabet and sending them to school.


  2. katsmama
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 04:38:29

    Mel- of course your opinion counts! I think you are right about some parents thinking their responsibilities end at the schoolhouse door, unfortunately.


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