Today is a day to celebrate! Pamela finished reading the final chapter of the final book, The First Four Years, from the Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series. When I first read aloud to her Little House in the Big Woods back in 1999 when we lived in Pennsylvania, we were also beginning our journey as Charlotte Mason homeschoolers. Pamela was ten years old and could sight-read nothing more than picture books with only a few sentences per page. Our recent attempt at phonics through the Spalding method (The Writing Road to Reading) had failed because, while Pamela could memorize the rules, she did not understand when to apply them. Oddly enough, David had no interest in memorizing any rules; he did not see the point of phonics since he could already read well beyond his grade level. Still odder, like the association method (what we do for speech therapy), the Spalding method is an accredited multisensory structured language program.
We moved almost as often as the Ingalls family while reading this series. While we lived in Colorado, I read Little House on the Prairie to the children. After Lynn Bushnell raved about a reading method that worked for her severely dyslexic daughter, we decided to give At Last! A Reading Method for Every Child a whirl. We struck gold because both of my diverse learners mastered phonics thanks to this book! During the next two years, which included a move to Alaska, Pamela made the leap to longer picture books and easy chapter books. During our stint in the Aleutians, the kids enjoyed hearing me read Farmer Boy.
Coincidentally, we moved to Minnesota at the same time we started On the Banks of Plum Creek. One highlight of our stay in Minnesota was a trip to Pepin, Wisconsin, to see a replica of the cabin in the Big Woods. When Laura headed off to South Dakota, we lingered in Minnesota to read By the Shores of Silver Lake and The Long Winter, a book with which we could truly empathize having suffered frigid winters ourselves. We headed to the Carolinas for Little Town on the Prairie, These Happy Golden Years, and The First Four Years. By this time, both kids had grown up as had Laura: David silently read all three of these books, while Pamela read aloud to me the first and read silently the latter two.
The title for this blog post comes from God's perfect timing. Pamela is memorizing the Lord's Prayer for recitation through the process of copywork and studied dictation. Although she has heard this prayer nearly every Sunday for the past umpteen weeks of her life, Pamela's recitation of the Lord's Prayer was still garbled in a few spots and missing a few phrases, but much better than I expected. We have not worked on memorizing this prayer in years because I thought recitations was beyond her reach until last fall. A few weeks ago, Pamela began the task. To my delight, Pamela mastered the line, "Give us this day our daily bread," yesterday, and today we learned of the fate of Laura's plate bearing those same words. What a beautiful way to finish this series!