I read on the Well Trained Mind forum here that a good time to start First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind (FLL) is once you've completed lesson 140 in The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading (OPGTR) (if you haven't heard me rave yet, this book is worth its weight in gold!) Red finished that lesson recently so we started in with the first lesson in FLL. The lesson was easy--- learning the simple definition of a noun. While it was not exactly inspiring, I'm confident that working our way through this book will give her a good foundation in grammar and writing. I have the older edition that covers grades 1 and 2 in the same book so we'll take our time and work through it SLOWLY.
Red has also taken a sudden interest in finishing OPGTR. I think it may have something to do with the improvement of her reading skills*. It's almost as if overnight something clicked and she can read well. She went from doing maybe one lesson a couple of times a week with me asking her to her asking me to do four or five lessons per day. We're at around lesson 160 out of 231 and gaining fast. In fact, yesterday morning before school she casually mentioned that she might want to bring a chapter book to school for stamina (this is a period during class in which everyone silent reads). When I asked her if she wanted to bring one with her today, she said, "I don't need to. I told my teacher yesterday that I know how to read chapter books, and I asked if she could get me one to read during stamina. She told me she would have one for me today." I was so proud of her!
On a separate note, one of my friends asked me recently why I'm going through all this work on her education when I'm sending her to school and not sure if we'll be homeschooling again in the future. The answer to that question is I want to know what she knows. I never want to be at a point when I don't where she's at grade level. That way if at any point during her academic career we decide to home school again (even if it's this year), I will know right where to pick up. I've spent a lot of time this year working on reading with her. As her skills improve, I want to spend more time on writing and math. We're getting close to being done with the kindergarten read alouds I planned so I'm going to begin working on the grade 1 plans soon. I also want to get a firmer hold what I'm doing with Tom Thumb. It's not like I have any major plans here (come on---the kid is 3!), but I do want to have some read alouds, art projects, etc. planned for him as well. I'll post how the planning is going soon!
*It may also have something to do with the fact that a long time ago (and I mean MONTHS ago)I mentioned that when we finished the book we could go to Chuck E. Cheese. We have the same deal with when she learns how to swim by herself without a noodle. I may be seeing a lot of Chuck in the near future.