Kids. They’re cookie cutter. Perfect. All 3 of my kids are exactly alike.

HA! As if!!

I don’t know WHAT I was thinking when I started teaching my second child how to read and I thought that everything was going to work just exactly like it did for my first child. (I mean, the differences between the two were already evident, night and day!)

And yet there I was banging my head on the wall every time I pulled out the reader. Why. Wasn’t. She. Getting. It??

And then I realized, just as we had struggled over math with her older sister who appeared to be more right brained and took to reading like a duck in water.. this one was just the opposite. I wasn’t going to be able to do the same thing and expect the same results. Why would I?

I gave her a break, I switched tactics, and we finally found success. Since then I’ve learned to pay more attention to my children and their learning cues. I’ve had to switch tactics a few times. I’ve learned to see it not as a setback, or indecisiveness, but as a step forward — because if we switch it up and find success then we’re getting a lot farther a lot faster than we would if we were still trying to use the wrong approach.

There are times I send Princess to the internet to find pictures of what we’re studying so she can see them. We even switched math curriculum in the middle of the year to find a good fit. I have to remember (and remind family members) that she doesn’t do well when verbally quizzed on math problems. Hand her a pencil and paper instead. In the meantime we are trying to strengthen her verbal math skills but it’s a slow process.

There are times I send a frustrated Drama Queen out to the trampoline to make 25 jumps before she comes back to try again. I have to remember that for her, reciting math facts out loud is a much better approach than writing them down or using flash cards. In fact, I’ve started having her repeat a lot of things back to me – names, dates and places from history and science, too.

And with the Little Prince, I’ve backed off the reading and writing and allowed him time to soak up all kinds of information on anything he’s interested in. (And believe it or not, he’s actually absorbing letter sounds and phonics auditorily and letter shapes and words visually!) Imagine my surprise when he sounded out a simple phonic sentence this week! A non-traditional approach is definitely working for him. And that’s okay!!

All three of my children are working toward the same goal of math and reading proficiency, they’re just taking different paths to get there.

I am still, after all this time, amazed at how they can be so similar and so different at the same time. All of these options from two sets of DNA! As it stands right now, Princess wants to be an artist or a fashion designer, Drama Queen wants to be a musician or singer and Little Prince wants to be a veterinarian. Who knows? Maybe they will be. =)

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You can find the rest of my ABC posts here:

All Year

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Hey, y’all! I’m Amber and I wear many hats. I drink a ton of coffee and I’m constantly sweeping crumbs off the floor. After 18 years of homeschooling, I’m getting close to graduating my third child and now we are starting over at preschool with our fourth, Lil Miss Mouse. She keeps us young and she’s the main reason for my excessive coffee consumption. Drink up!