Monday, August 11, 2014

Homeschool: Take One

Lucy turned 4 in May, and could definitely go to preschool this year. However, I'm not totally ready to send her off yet, and I'd really like to start her at Christian school. It seems silly to pay Christian school prices for preschool, though, so I've decided to try my hand at homeschooling. How much can I screw her up at the preschool level, right? Ha. I'm going to be honest and tell you another one of the big reasons I'm not sending her to preschool is that I didn't go to preschool. My mom never sat down and did school with me, and she certainly didn't write up a ridiculous curriculum like I intend to. I started kindergarten at 4 years old, reading and writing and doing just fine. That's another reason I feel like I can't mess Lucy up too bad. ;-)

Anyway, I've been pinning homeschool ideas on pinterest for months and finally decided to buckle down and organize them. At first, I was really overwhelmed and second guessing my decision not to buy a curriculum. But I finally hit my stride and have really started to enjoy it. Why not buy a curriculum? 1. We're flat broke. 2. It just doesn't seem necessary. With resources like pinterest I feel like I can easily make my own. 3.If I can say this without coming across as totally conceited, I feel like God has gifted me a little bit in this area. Ideas just pop in my head and I love organizing them and tweaking them. I lay awake in bed at night planning alphabet activities and themed units. Haha. 4.My best friend is homeschooling her preschooler and did buy a curriculum, so I can mooch ideas off her when I get stumped. ;-)

All that's to say, here's my rough homeschool schedule. We're going to try it for a couple weeks and see what needs to be changed.

Wake-Up/Breakfast/Devotion
I'm going to let Lucy wake up on her own every day. We're not going to be rigid about starting by 8:00 every morning or anything ridiculous like that. Lucy's kind of a slow waker, so I'm going to let her watch one, 30 minute TV show, then we'll turn off the TV and eat breakfast together at the table, while reading a short devotion.

Circle Time
After breakfast, we'll start circle time. I still need to buy some kind of calendar/weather chart thingy, because I know myself and I'll get frustrated if I try to make my own. Haha. My goal is to go over the date, and maybe sing a song about the days of the week/months of the year to start learning those. We'll do the day's weather. Then we'll sing songs. Lena (19 months) will be included in this part, too, so we'll have a wide variety of fun songs. I've already decided that I'm going to write all our songs on popsicle sticks and let each girl draw one every morning. Otherwise there will be fighting and whining and lollygagging when choosing songs. We're also going to review our weekly verse, our letter of the week, number of the week, and weekly sight words (I'm going off this list and aiming for about 3 words a week).

Work Time
We'll have two "work times" each day, and I have it split up like this for the week:

Monday: alphabet/bible
Tuesday: math/literature
Thursday: alphabet/special
Friday: sight words/special

(We're taking Wednesday off for storytime in the morning and Awana in the evening.)

These are the "specials" I want to work on: senses, money, telling time, address/phone number, cutting, manners, special themes to lead into field trips: apples, farm, etc.


So for our first "work time" of the morning, we'll begin with a fun activity. I have pinterest boards full of alphabet and number activities, plus a brain full of other ideas. ;-) This will be something active, moving around, not sitting at the table. 

After the activity, we'll get to the "book work." Lucy loves doing workbooks and worksheets, so I think she'll thrive on this. I know not all kids her age do. It won't be anything intense, just writing letters and numbers, and doing pages out of the workbooks I buy at dollar stores. I also intend to have her write her weekly letter, number, and sight words every day. 

While Lucy does her book work, I'm hoping to have some busy bags prepared for Lena. I'm really worried about how Lena will do with so much of my attention focused on Lucy.

Break
I haven't decided how long break time will be or what we'll do then. I might let Lucy watch another TV show or might make her entertain herself for a while. I just know that she'll need a break from "school" at this point, and I'll need time to start a load of laundry or give Lena some one on one attention.

Work Time Part Two
This will be less formal than the alphabet/math stuff. We'll either do a Bible lesson, literature, or one of our specials. 

Bible: last year, we did the Old Testament in our Jesus Storybook Bible, so this year, we'll read a story each week and do a corresponding craft/activity. And our verse every week will go with the story.

Literature: read a book, do a craft about it. I haven't decided if the book will go along with our letter of the week or if we'll just do books Lucy's interested in or follow a certain theme or what.

Lunch

Rest Time/Nap Time
Lena will nap, Lucy will have "rest time." I think I'll probably make busy bags for her this year. I've found lots of ideas on pinterest, but I'm actually leaning away from the strictly "educational" ones, and thinking more about just stickers, puzzles, band-aids, fun office supplies, etc. I'll keep you informed. 

Educational TV/Website Time
Lucy only "rests" for an hour, but Lena sleeps at least two hours, so I like to find something quiet for Lucy to do after she gets up. (And let's not kid ourselves. I want those whole two hours of Lena's nap to myself. ;-) ) So I've decided that Lucy will be allowed an hour of TV/computer as long as she watches my pre-approved TV shows/movies. I'm going to set up a profile on Netflix that is full of Leapfrog shows, Veggie Tales, Super Why, etc. And I'll let her do ABC Mouse or the other educational websites I've found on Pinterest. 


That's all I've got planned other than lots of reading. What do you think? Too much? Not enough? Any other ideas for "specials" for me? Like I said, this is just a rough outline. We'll see how it actually goes!

P.S. Week One curriculum coming up soon!

4 comments:

  1. I really love it!! I'm all about schedules and checklists, so I'm loving your organization/formula! I think I'm going to do a little bit of school with both of my boys this year... Des needs to start learning letters and numbers! I'm just worried about how I'm going to do all this until Cece learns to nap in her bed and gets on a consistent schedule. I'm excited to see your lesson plans!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Loving this also! I tried doing something with Claire last year when we watched another boy her age, but have struggled on the full planning and follow through. Now that we are re-evaluating sending her to preschool and doing it at home, I am excited to see what you are doing! When are you planning to start?

    ReplyDelete
  3. You go girl!!!

    You can use my weather chart idea that I used each week in the library this summer -- it's #3 on this page: http://thelionisabookworm.blogspot.com/2014/06/storytime-weather.html . I printed the images then cut and glued them onto a big piece of posterboard. The arrows are scrapbook paper glued to clothespins. Easy peasy!

    Thanks for that sight word list. Abby has been jumping the gun on memorizing sight words, so I'll probably continue to encourage that unless she gets her own list from her school. Eek, did I just admit my girl is going to school in a few weeks?!?! No way these kids are old enough for all of this...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Another great daily board with free printables is www.kentheartstrings.com/2014/08/the-everyday-board-diy-back-to-school.html

    ReplyDelete

Pin It