Disclaimer: I am not posting this because I consider myself to be a homeschooling expert! I just tried to start with what I already know and what I already have and am rather hoping for critique, suggestions, and ideas to gush in from all sides. PLEASE. It takes a village to learn to homeschool, people, and you are my village.
When I really sat down with myself and began to plan a few weeks back, I started with a few simple goals: A fun, stress-free, hands-on, kid-friendly learning environment. I don’t want to push, pressure, stress, over-work, or bother my child. I want simple goals, fun activities, and a realistic schedule of short and *hopefully* interesting ideas, with lots of time open to play, explore, and create. (And, incidentally, learn).
The second thing that helped me begin was that I had in mind several categories or subjects for exploration. They are: Calendar, Language Arts (writing, etc.), Math Readiness, Social Studies and Sciences, Creative/Artistic and Domestic Exploration, Reading, and Bible. I designed a blank planning chart with these headings across the top and the days of the week down the side. It’s not as intense as it sounds. We change Norah’s calendar every morning as it is, Bible time is our family worship that we do nightly before bed. I have grouped social studies and science together, and creative and home projects together. That leaves just five areas of learning to think about on each school day, and often some of them will be blank or have just suggestions of things we can do together or Norah can do alone if she is interested. If we are going to the library, that can be a reading or social studies activity. If we are playing at the park, we can collect leaves for “science” on the way home.
I established a few goals in each category: for language arts, we are going to be practicing holding a pencil and writing letters and lines. For math, we are working on counting and matching and patterns this autumn. I’ve had probably the most fun planning read-aloud books and activities to go with them and planning Bible time lessons on attributes of God that match up with each letter of the alphabet. (Don’t you just love the alphabet?)
The only things I bought were a new “To Do Next” folder for Norah, a pretty flowery binder for her to keep her finished work, and some new (paperback) read-aloud books for the autumn. I say this with deepest gratitude to my precious sister-in-law Elena, who found and shipped to me a bunch of preschool basic skills workbooks, which are hugely helpful.
I’ll stop here so you have time to leave a comment and share your ideas and suggestions (hint, hint . . .).