I am so excited! We are going to start our first year of homeschooling with Amelia this coming up Monday! After much thought and prayer I have decided to start next week and do more of a year round schooling instead of the traditional school schedule because at this point in our lives our wintertime is going to consist of much travel and time off for Adam. So I anticipate it being very difficult to maintain a schooling schedule so we will just take the weeks off that Adam has off and have family time. That means I should start early to allow for all of that time off. (Isn’t this sounding so great to have this kind of flexibility with homeschooling)!
I am so excited to be doing an ABC Theme to start off! I needed some kind of specific direction so I knew how to narrow down the multitude of resources out there and I saw this blog and found myself excited about the thoughts of doing a different letter each week and planning around that letter. So our first week is obviously the letter A. I am planning to learn about 1 animal with that letter and to begin recognition of the United States by looking at a map and pointing out the states that begin with the letter for the week. I am utilizing my library to check out books on that animal and those states so we can read about them throughout the week. And I am planning to do one craft each week centered around the animal we are learning about. In addition to these things we are going to learn shapes, numbers, colors, cutting skills, writing and some basic skills (i.e. patterns, sorting, etc.). I also want to start some recognition of a calendar and the weather. So from all of that here is a sample of the schedule I am going to try out:
After breakfast and clean-up we will have Circle Time (an idea from this blog that I thought was wonderful). We will have this after breakfast either with Josh or without him if he is sleeping. In our circle time we will:
* Pray for the day
* Review the ABC Bible Verse for the week to correspond with the letter of the week
* Finish by looking at a map and praying for the states we are learning about that week
After circle time we will start our Learning Time if Josh is sleeping or we will play around until he takes his nap so I can ensure a little more focused time. In our learning time we will:
* Review our calendar and practice writing the number for the day
* Review the weather forecast
* Review what we are learning that week (the letter, the animal and the states)
* Each day we will work on letter recognition and letter tracing for the letter of the week which I photocopied and printed 2 pages for each day from this website and from a book I purchased a long time ago at Sam’s Club Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills – Preschool
* Monday – We will then have a small focus time on learning a number and practicing cutting which I photocopied from I Can Draw! book and I Can Cut! book (one was given to us and one I purchased last month when Amelia took a fascination for cutting)
Tuesday – Our focus time will be on learning a shape and practicing on a writing sheet both from the Comprehensive Curriculum book
Friday – Our focus time will be on learning a color and working on a basic skill sheet both from the Comprehensive Curriculum book
* We will conclude our learning time by reading through some of our library books. Usually Amelia loves to just sit and look at the books but if she is antsy she can play with the lacing cards I bought at the Dollar Tree or work on a ABC or number puzzle from the Dollar Tree or color on coloring sheets with the animal of the week on it.
|Lacing Cards and Puzzles from The Dollar Tree store|
Where did Wednesday and Thursday go? This was on purpose… Wednesday will be our craft day so we will start normally with Circle Time and our Learning Time will consist of the review of the calendar, weather and what we’re learning that week and then we will do a craft. Thursday is my planned laundry day and at this point we have to travel 30 miles to Meema and Beepa’s house to do laundry there so it is an all day affair and becomes a laundry and play day : ).
We will only do 1 letter each week but as far as the other learning activities (shapes, colors, numbers, etc.) I will just keep having her work on those during our focus times for as many weeks until she really starts understanding it and then we will move on.
I also want to add that as I try to fit in some time for myself to do an exercise video I have found it works best during Joshua’s morning nap and I put on an educational DVD for Amelia to watch to limit the questions (can you get me this, I want to play with that, can I have a snack, etc.). I fix her up with a snack and some toys and put on the movie and this usually accomplishes my goal. The DVD’s I have found that are AMAZING for teaching letters and numbers are any of the LeapFrog DVDs. I have also just discovered Netflix and for $7.99/mo. you can virtually watch any LeapFrog movie on your computer or TV if you have the capability. Here are my favorites: Letter Factory, Number Land, Phonics Farm.
I am so excited to start and she is too! After our trip to the Dollar Tree and to the library last week in preparation for this upcoming week I kept telling her this stuff was for learning time. Well she has been waking up asking if we could have learning time : ) almost every day and proudly showing daddy the things we came home with and that they are for learning time : ) So cute!
I also have to interject here for my sake and your sake and just remind us that while this schedule looks nice all written out, I have to remember that Amelia is a toddler and we do live a normal life so probably there will be times our schedule will flop and we will do what we can… and that’s okay… she’s barely even 3 years old and we need to have fun and flexibility during this transition time!
Here are some pictures of how I tried to organize for the week in my Home Management Binder which I’ve mentioned in this post here but still have not taken pictures of my life saving simple notebook : ) I compiled some page protectors and slipped in the photocopies I have collected for that week:
And I used my favorite resource for labeling any type of bin (address labels) and labelled what was in each page protector:
Then I have these file folder things for a binder that I have labelled for each day of the week and I picked out the photocopied sheets for the learning and focus time for that day so on Monday I don’t have to search and re-think what I wanted to do I can just go to the file and start working through the sheets:
Here is a Weather Chart I found at the Dollar Tree and a Calendar for 88 cents at Wal-Mart. Both of them are dry erase posters which is wonderful!
This will be our little Learning Time station in her room. The Alphabet and Numbers posters to the left I found at the Dollar Tree as well for $1 for both of them! I love the Dollar Tree!!!
I am still working on finding a US map for cheap but in the meantime I found a world map for $2 at a thrift store that I will also put up in her room and I found an atlas of the US book for Children at a library sale for $1 so we will reference both of those in the meantime.
Whew that was a lot of information!