I made a big "homeschool" purchase and bought a ton of Easy Readers from Usborne (now I'm a consultant, but mostly just for my own discount). I love these books! There are also non-fiction readers, so you can learn about animals, social studies, space, etc. while the child is learning to read. I also bought several advanced easy readers--Rychen won't be ready to read them for a while, but they are great stories for parents to read to the children, simplified stories of classic literature, and more non-fiction books.
Elisabeth is finally sitting still for reading time, so now we can all cuddle up in bed and read for 30 minutes every day. This is the foundation of Rychen's "first grade" education, meeting both his emotional and academic needs.
So we are keeping it pretty simple. Besides the 30 minutes reading time, he needs to read a book to me every day, and practice piano, then he gets 30 minutes of Wii or computer games. The point store idea didn't last long, he didn't care that much, and I had too many check marks on the list. So now we are just making a point to do these three things every day, and then whatever else comes up through questions and discussion, and looking at other non-fiction books.
Rychen is suddenly very interested in geography and space. He has a little globe ball and every day he says "Let's learn about this for school!" Another book I got from Usborne is a colorful children's world atlas, where we can study maps, flags, learn trivia, and learn about most countries. For example, Rychen is amazed that the Arctic Ocean is FOUR MILLION square feet big! (haha, it's so funny to hear him say it). We've read a few different books on space, including a story version of the Apollo 11 first landing on the moon. I just have to say, it is so incredible to read these books to my child and be a part of the learning process. Most adults don't know this stuff! Rychen P. lost interest half-way through this book, but I just kept reading it. I was so AMAZED! I never realized before how many things could have gone wrong, how risky it was to send astronauts to the moon. It really is such a miracle, and God helped us achieve that.
I am so happy to have Rychen home with us, being a good, involved big brother too. The kids play together so well now! Of course, it's usually all on his terms, but Elisabeth is easy-going and happy to oblige! They are best friends, and I am so excited to raise a family of closely connected children. It is A LOT OF WORK and sometimes headache, but I know we will have such invaluable blessings from homeschooling.