When people ask about my plans to homeschool my son I can never give a straight answer. “He doesn’t really listen to me,” I usually say at one point. He doesn’t like to sit and draw, or follow my direction. My daughter LOVED to draw when she was four. She loved to cut and create art and she’d work on any project I’d give her. My son just is not that way. But you know what? He surprised me this week. I grabbed a new workbook I’d had on the shelf for months. It’s a guide to teach your kids to read allegedly in just 100 lessons.
I sat down on a bunch of pillows and asked him to come sit on my lap. I turned to the first lesson and began, half expecting him to run away before I finished the first question. But, he stayed and listened and participated. Halfway through he grabbed his stuffed shark to practice with us. And he asked me to talk in a “shark voice” while we finished. But he was all in. Focused, saying letter sounds and even grasping the concept of following multiple letters and saying their sounds. A skill my daughter didn’t have at that age.
I don’t like to compare them but I think to some degree it’s natural. My daughter is bright, inquisitive, creative and talkative. My son is detail-oriented, playful and extremely silly. One thing I’ve loved about homeschooling is finding out what excites my kids and gets them enthusiastic about learning then tailoring the way I teach to that.
My daughter has shown a big interest in mythology since we’ve been reading the Percy Jackson series. This month my daughter and I have been doing a lot of our lessons surrounding Greek mythology. We tie in spelling words, language arts, hand writing and even science and math. With my son I help teach him letter sounds and addition and subtraction using snacks and his little Cars characters.
On their LeapFrog Epic they both love using their their LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition tablet for entirely different reasons. On her profile my daughter loves to play all of the games that increase in difficulty and adapt to her level as she goes. We don’t have a video game system so all of these new apps are so fun for her. I don’t think she even realizes they are learning games, or if she does, it doesn’t keep her from wanting to play them.
My son though, using the exact same tablet, on his profile plays with it differently. He isn’t as into games yet, or at least hasn’t found one he wants to keep playing over and over. However, he loves the LeapFrog Factory videos. Especially the one with a shark that looses his teeth and they sing and count how many he needs. And another that goes through all of the letter sounds. He’s always enjoyed learning through music. I should make some time to snag it from my kids and play some of the games myself so I can find some I think he would like and set them to the top of the navigation menu on his profile.
Big T is 4 and Lil’ J is 7 and they learn and play in different ways, so it’s not always easy to find a gift both of them love. They both consider the LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition a winner and I’m pretty thrilled about that. Now I just have to decide if should add another to the Christmas list or if I continue to let them master the art of sharing.
I’m passionate about getting my children excited about learning. That’s why I’ve partnered with LeapFrog for 2017, to share our journey to making learning fun and inspiring my kids to be the best they can be. The LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition is a great gift for kids ages 3-9 that love to learn and have fun all at once. New customers also save 25% and get an extended free trial of LeapFrog AcademyTM when they register their LeapFrog EpicTM Academy Edition. Purchase a LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition tablet and signup for a 3-month free trial of LeapFrog Academy, $5.99 per month after the trial period ends. LeapFrog Academy guides kids on a variety of fun Learning Adventures that explore a blend of math, reading, science, creativity, problem solving and social-emotional skills, You can learn more about the program and sign up for a free trial here.