Up until now, we have just done the random learning projects/acivites with the girls and it has worked very well for us. However, Andrew and I have been tossing around the idea of homeschooling on a full-time basis once the kids are of official school age. In order to make sure that I am capable of keeping up with the demands of schooling, taking care of my family and the house, I have decided to make this year a trial year of homeschooling. At first, I was going to do all kindergarten activities with Arin, because she is more than capable of this type of work, but after more thought, I decided to do a mixture of preschool and kindergarten. This way it'll be easier to involve Ella in many of the activities. We started doing structured activities with Arin on a regular basis when she was about the age that Ella is now.
We have been telling Arin (for about two months) that we'd be starting homeschool when she turned four. She was extremely excited about this! We also told her there'd be a few other changes when she turned four, things that she wasn't as excited about. The morning of her birthday, the first words out of her mouth were "I'm still three and I'm not going to be four yet". This was due to the anxiety of the other changes (which she has done fabulous with, by the way!). She went on most of the day saying that she was three. After lunch, we pulled out her first day of school work and she happily worked on it. She thanked me for school and I said to her, "Aren't you glad you are four, so you can do school now?" She replied that she was still three and a half. I told her that we should put her schoolwork away because it was special activities for a four year old. She quickly decided that she could be four and has continued to say she's four ever since. So yes, Arin loves to learn and she loves her schoolwork time!
This is the curriculum that I have chosen to do with her this year (it is subject to change if we find it just isn't working for us).
- Phonics/Reading: Hooked on Phonics the K-1st grade level, Explode the Code 1, Bob Books
- Math: MEP math, Skill Sharpeners Math Grade K
- Critical Thinking: Lollipop Logic
- Science: Lesson Pathways Kindergarten Science
- Piano: Kinderbach (we are going to work through the two-week free trial and if she likes it, we'll continue, otherwise we'll find a different program)
- Art: mostly free creative time while going over the basic of color mixing, lines, etc. We may also do some structured activities from Dick Blick's website.
- Letter of the Week: This is a curriculum that I made using ideas that I had as well as many wonderful resources/ideas found on the internet. This will include letter writing practice as well as themes that begin with each letter. The themes will include books, acitvies, videos, etc. Letter of the week will also incorporate physical fitness and homemaking skills as well as the theme that I always try to teach my children, "It is more blessed to give than to receive". This is also where we will fit in Ella's learning activities. We started school this past week and this portion of our curriculum has been a huge hit. I'll post more about it next week.
- Bible: We will be reading through the bible stories both in the bible and in the girls' bible story books. We'll do a story a week. Sometimes we'll have hands on projects to go with the lesson and sometimes we'll simply have a page for the girls to color as I read (a tip that came from my good friend, Joli).
- Read Alouds: This list is LONG! We love reading, so we will not have a shortage of books. I have compiled a list of picture books, easy readers and chapter books in both fiction and non-fiction. Some of these books will go with the Letter of the Week curriculum, some will be just for fun and some will provide other learning opportunities.
- Miscellaneous: In addition to the above mentioned curriculum, we will have plenty of hands on activities, lapbooks, file folder games, board games, puzzles, field trips and some computer time.
We are very excited about this upcoming school year and I will be sharing glimpses of our school days starting next week.