We took a break for the last month or so, continuing with some phonics and reading books when we felt like it, and focusing on all the spring social events. We went to weddings, birthday parties, and small group events, and I spent mother's day weekend at the CHAP homeschool convention.
The convention was amazing, way bigger than the NJ convention we've gone to in years past (and will go to this weekend). I talked to some parents who also had early readers, which just filled me with such a sense of relief. There was no trying to say negative things to balance out talking about Henry's reading, no apologies, no assurances that I'm not crazy or suggestions that I'm pushing my kid to do more than he is able to do.
I also found some great curriculum options, which I'll post about separately. Things got a lot easier when I decided to just go with my gut. My first inclination was to find work that was at Henry's level phonics-wise, in other words, second grade stuff. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my desire is for us to have a low-key, low-pressure, enjoyable school experience this year. I'm far more concerned about learning about the Bible, developing character, learning to get along with others, and spending quality time together than I am about academics at this point.
The truth is, Henry will be fine academically, but these preschool years will be over in no time and I want to make sure that he learns to love school. I want him to feel the satisfaction of knowing the right answers, of getting everything right. There will be plenty of time to struggle, to work hard, to be disciplined. I want him, in the midst of learning something truly difficult, to remember the feeling he had of getting every answer. I want him to know that he is smart, and capable, that he can get this.
This may seem obvious to everyone but me, but I really have struggled with the decision of which path to take. Encourage him to do the hardest work he is capable of doing, or let him revel in a job well done? Both are important I think. Anyway, we will be starting kindergarten curriculum soon, a very cool Bible-based kindergarten curriculum that is similar to what we've been doing. I will supplement the phonics and perhaps the math as needed, and we may continue doing our continent boxes just because they are fun! My plan is to finish up the kindergarten sometime around Christmas, and then start 1st grade in the new year.