Thursday, August 13, 2009

Homeschool Preschool

This cutey patooty has been acting less than cute lately, and I'm pretty sure I know why. I think he's bored. The end of my pregnancy made for a more boring end of the school year and summer. Instead of going on field trips, going to tons of community events for kids, and spending lots of time at the park, I opted to stay closer to home. I was tired and I had a gazillion things I felt I needed to get done before Madelynn could arrive. Now I'm in recovery mode, am working on figuring out life with three kids and a newborn, and have a gazillion things I need to get done before school starts on Monday. We've been home a lot and Josh hasn't been kept occupied enough. I've been feeling bad for ignoring him.

I started thinking about what would happen when school starts. I'll have two students and a newborn. Doesn't leave much time to play with Josh. Poor kid! Then, finally, it clicked. I now have a plan. Even if I find we're not following that plan as well as I might hope, he'll be more occupied and get more attention than he has been...and that's bound to make for a happier child.

What's my plan?


I think Josh would be thrilled to do school with the big kids. When I ask him if he wants to do school, he gets this great big smile and nods. Last year, he was always bugging us and trying to be involved in our projects. One of those projects was making a sugar cube pyramid. He just wouldn't keep out of the cubes or the way. I finally got wise and helped him make his own, albeit small, pyramid. He was THRILLED!

So, with some help, I managed to locate a free preschool curriculum online that I had previously seen and liked. I'm so glad to have found it again! I'll be using what they call their Preparatory Curriculum which is for kids ages 2-4. It has a theme of the week which is good for vocabulary. Each week covers a letter, a number, a shape or color, a nursery rhyme, and has activity suggestions to match. It only focuses on recognizing the letters (capital only at this point) and numbers. So, it's perfect for a 2 year old who is obviously ready for this information as he already knows probably half of it or more.

I just finished creating a "schedule" (no times just activities for the day) to go with the first week. I'll be working on completing schedules for each week of the school year as soon as I can and filing them like the big kids' work. In case you're interested, I uploaded our first week's schedule to google docs for you to see. I expect each thing except the DVD's to only take 5-10 minutes to do, at the most, but it will keep him happy and give me some time to teach the big kids. I also plan on having us all work together on some of it, like the play dough and cookie dough activities. Finally, I'll have each big kid do an activity with him; that will give them some special one-on-one time with him and give me time to work with a big kid one-on-one. Of course, I don't expect everything to go smoothly right away as I do still have to figure out how to do all this with a nursing newborn/infant.

One of the things I added to the schedule were activity bags. These are simple activities that fit into a gallon sized zipper bag. I hope to make a bunch of them but will start with ones that I can make with things around the house or grocery store as they will be the easiest and cheapest for me to make. I'll be making lacing cards for each letter and number to go with our weekly ones. Most instructions have them made out of craft foam. I'll be making them out of cardboard or file folders and yarn as I have tons of that available. He loves putting coins into a piggy bank we have (that is now broken) so I'll be making a mini one out of a single serving Pringles can. Then I'll be making a color matching bag that's at the activity bag link above and a pattern matching bag that I found here (#2 under math).

Finally, I will include Josh as much as I can in activities the big kids and I do for our history and science. I don't know what the history ones will be, as I only briefly looked at our activity guide with the intention of deciding a week ahead of time. For science, I'm sure he'll enjoy watching the ant farm I hope to get this fall and watching the caterpillars I hope to grow in the spring. He can also help us dig for worms and create a wormery. I'm sure there will be other things he can be involved in too.

Hopefully, I'll be able to work in some other things like a regular nap, some computer time (, going outside, and some field trips.

So, he'll have a busy year...and it should all be fun in his mind.

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Twisted Cinderella said...

That's sounds great! I will be watching with interest to see how your year goes. I am starting homeschooling this year and I am nervous about doing so with a toddler (1 year now) and a newborn (arriving in January)

Anonymous said...

That looks great! We are doing LOTW this year also.