Planning to homeschool for the first time can be a lot like Dorothy looking for the Wizard, in the Wizard of Oz. Which way do you go to complete your goals, and how do you get there? And, what would those goals be? That’s not easy either.
Here’s a site that I like to refer to to set goals. http://www.ixl.com/math/
I was recently asked what I would teach, (DO with), a preschooler. The main goal is to work on activities that connect the left and right hemispheres of their brain.
Cut, cut, cut. Buy safety scissors and have them cut every day, even for a few minutes. It will be more like ripping for a while, but they will get better. Cut construction paper into pieces and separate by color. Cut up old calendars and place the pictures in an inexpensive $1.00 photo 4×6 book. We filled up dozens of them, and handed them out to residents we were visiting at a local nursing home.
Determine their dominate hand, and gIve them colored pencils, or crayons to draw. Buy an inexpensive ‘sketchie’ kind of pad and encourage them to draw family members, pets, and their surroundings. Send the finished masterpieces to grandma, or post them on a ‘Refrigerator of Fame.’
Use a small dry erase board, (I love my 8 x 11 board), or just a piece of paper, to make a 3 or 4 dot to dot game. Dot to Dot games are great for very young children.
Do puzzles. Start with 4-12 piece puzzles and advance to 24 pieces. Read to them.
Every day, set aside 15-30 minutes to read picture books together. Talk about what was read.
Use free, downloadable pages to trace numbers and letters. There are numerous free printable pages on Pinterest.
Teach letter sounds. Try one letter a week.
Use the cute worksheets for basic math skills like these http://www.ixl.com/math/pre-k
Play matching games. We use cards with animal pictures and start with just 3 pair. I lay the 6 cards face down and the toddler and I take turns picking up one card and then another, If they match, I win them. If not, I turn them over and it’s my child’s turn. My 2 year old granddaughter LOVES to play and we are up to 5 pair of cards.
Learn the basic colors.
Learn the value and denomination of coins
Use colorful Pre-K workbooks for learning some fun facts about time, animals, geography, safety, etc. My favorites came from Walmart and Kmart.
By kindergarten, it’s a huge help for the child to know the name and sound of each letter, numbers through 10, colors, and BASIC math facts.
Have fun! Laugh every day. Memorize Bible verses. Sing together. Visit the elderly. Play games for 15 minutes a day, or however long you can handle it. Remember, when I play Chutes and Ladders, even chutes go UP! DO what you have to to remain sane.
I’d love to read your ideas!
A little overstated, but true.
Even for a ‘veteran’ homeschooling mom, it’s a juggling act to teach everything to every child every day.
What is most important, and in what order it should be taught, takes thought, prayer, and planning. It’s important to plan to provide a complete education for each child, while taking into account learning styles, teaching styles, household duties, and extra curricular activities.
Planning and then implementing it, is one of the hardest parts for me.
Teaching one child requires time and a plan, but teaching multiple children requires a more extensive and elaborate plan.
Several moms asked me to write about a typical homeschooling day in our home, teaching multiple children.
Our day starts at 6:30 AM, because that’s what works for me.
My goal is to start every day with short devotions. If the rest of the day falls apart, I’m thankful that we’ve talked about what is most important. Commas, predicates, states and capitals, names of bones and muscles, and math facts can wait for the next day. I am homeschooling for excellence, and days don’t fall apart often, but it does happen.
The devotionals that we use deal with Jesus’s character and the importance of incorporating godly character traits in our daily lives. That way, if we’re talking about being diligent and I see a child demonstrating that trait, I can comment and affirm it throughout the day.
I wrote many of the daily devotions that we used when my first 4 children, (all boys), were young. They were SO active with such short attention spans, I needed devotions that were quick but dynamic, exciting, and easy to explain, all rolled up into one lesson. I compiled 52 of the devotions and included them in a book entitled, Timely Truths for Toddlers to Tweens. It’s available for sale here on Amazon.
I wanted to teach my children that Christianity is not our religion that we celebrate on Sundays, but a lifestyle that cannot be separated from our daily walk. After devotions, the older children, second grade and up, learn independently, while I work with the 5 – 7 ish year olds. The younger children learn math, phonics, reading skills, spelling, and handwriting every day.
I hold the baby, and the toddlers play with special baskets of toys that are only available while we homeschool.
We homeschool in the kitchen sitting around our long dining table. I use the ‘folder method’ with my children in grades 2- 5 for their independent learning. They work on math, reading, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, handwriting, writing exercises, and map skills worksheets found in their daily folders. I purchase consumable workbooks for every subject for the 2nd – 5th graders, and tear pages out of the books to include them in a folder for each day of the week. The children grab the appropriate folder and get started right after devotions.
After sitting at the table for 30ish minutes, we take a 10 minute ish break. Then we continue our school work. The younger children work with me for another hour-ish and then are free to play. I help the older children with their math and English.
Around 9:00 AM, I stop what I’m doing and play games with the youngest children for around 15 minutes. Then, it’s back to school work, while the baby and toddler take morning naps. We stop the school work for the morning around 10:30, clean up toys and other messes, make lunch, and eat lunch around 11:00
After lunch I play with the youngest for 15 ish minutes and read out loud to all the children.
We then all work on science and/or health or history before quiet/rest time.
Two to three o’clock is mandatory quiet time for everyone, regardless of age. The youngest nap, and the older children can play quietly in their room or outside. (We had the first 4 boys in one small bedroom, and it still worked) I use that hour for whatever I want to do.
Around 3:00, I play with the youngest children for 15-20 ish minutes, and then I help the older children with remaining schoolwork.
Our afternoons end with computer work, gong to our local public library, watching educational DVDs, art projects, participating in field trips, music lessons and practice, and supper preparation.
Before supper the children do chores, clean up messes throughout the house, and we try to eat at 5:00PM. After supper we relax, read, or participate in sports or church activities.
Baths are 7:30ish. Bedtime is 8:30 ish. I’m in bed by 10:00!
How about you? I’d love to read about your homeschooling day!
I’m excited for my next post. It will include my favorite resources and homeschool planner.
Photo of a major field trip!
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