I hope [that I have the sanity and patience and general wherewithal] to homeschool the kiddos when the time comes, but apart from jotting down ideas and bookmarking websites I’ve kinda been dragging my feet. This is in part due to the fact that unschooling appeals the most to me more than any curriculum-based homeschool method, so I hope not to rely heavily upon a host of materials that may go to waste if we don’t end up using or benefiting from them. Many of the materials – especially for younger children – are relatively simple, but the idea of getting them all, putting them together comprehensively, gives me a headache.
Whenever I see an idea that appeals to me in a magazine – craft, recipe, gift idea, inspiration - I cut it out and put it in the appropriate folder or binder. I’ve since collected a host of such ideas, and every so often will go through these clippings and actually get around to using them. Many of them are arts and crafts or otherwise educational things to do with the kiddos, but oftentimes I can’t seem to get organized enough in this area to make them come to fruition.
I’ve found that whenever I come up with an ambitious project for Gwendolyn or get out one of the many workbooks Grandma (who homeschooled me for a few years) has given her, she doesn’t have much patience to finish it and I end up losing mine trying to make it fun and teach her something in the process. *sigh* Some days, the idea of sending her off to school just seems so nice and easy.
Tonight while making dinner, I sat the kiddos at the table and got out some forgotten puzzles and activities. They became adorably absorbed in their play, and after dinner they reassumed the activities. I decided to make it extra-educational and work on letters and numbers with Gwen. Long story short, I don’t have much patience for teaching concepts that should be so simple to comprehend! I mean, Gwen can count past ten, but when we’re counting “1-2-3-4-5-6….” and I ask what comes next and she queries two? it just frustrates me.
Well, the whole thing got me thinking about homeschooling again. After losing all of my internet bookmarks when our computer crashed, I’ve had to scour for some of my old favorites. I discovered some new places as well, and was delighted to find a Biblical-based preschool curriculum called ABC Jesus Loves Me.
Maybe if I introduced something a tad more formal, something with a bit of a theme and direction, she’ll take to it and progress in some of the areas where she could use some help (namely, remembering shapes and learning to write). And let’s face it, since I’m not consistent with devotions, it would be nice to work some Bible in there.
My plan is to start ABC Jesus Love Me’s 3-Year-Curriculum, starting the last week in August. There’s a lot of information on there to get prepared as a parent/teacher, though, so I’m hoping I can get it all down before then. I’m sure I can find many of the resources at the library, and much of the craft ideas are printables. I love this Tot School idea for implenting the weekly lesson on a poster board with clothespins to display the elements.
You know how the internet just sucks you in? Well, I’m proud to say I didn’t get off on any tangents, but I did end up compiling a list of things I’d like to accomplish to coincide with this preschool endeavor.
For a while now I’ve had this wooden perpetual calendar bookmarked as a project for Phil to help me with, I even got the chalkboard paint for it. Not only would this make a cute, practical decoration for the home, but it would help the kiddos learn about the calendar.
I also like the idea of a flannel/felt board for any number of displays – nature, letters, numbers, Bible stories, etc. I love handmade stuff, but I’m also thinking the ready-made boards would be sweet (albeit expensive).
At my first baby shower, Becky gave me a book by Barbara Curtis called The Mommy Survival Guide. Just skimming through it again, I’m blown away with how relevant it is to my situation as a mother, especially now that I have two kiddos. I ended up borrowing her Teach Me! books, also by Barbara Curtis, which give some excellent ideas for keeping kids busy and engaged. One of the ideas that has stayed with me is using Montessori trays to practice different skills, be creative with different materials, and above all – have fun! I really like this version of Tot Trays – the colorful trays themselves, the variety of activities, and the fact that they are just reserved for “school time.”
Maybe I can use one of the trays for another idea I’ve had saved up for a while – weather watching jars. I love the colorful pom-poms, and it would make a great weekly activity which wouldn’t take up too much time, and it could coincide with learning about the seasons. And one of these days I will get around to making homemade play dough! Honestly, I never thought of using it to create letters, and that would be way more fun than trying to write them! I have such a hard time helping Gwen hold a pencil; it doesn’t help that’s she’s a leftie!
I’ve got a bunch of ideas up my sleeve, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. Any advice or suggestions for a preschooling newbie?
While browsing around, here are some other links I found interesting:
Brightly Beaming Resources – Letter of the Week Preschool Program
Free and Frugal Homeschool Preschool Blog
Homeschool Curriculum for Life – Gentle Preschool Activities
Lapbooks – instructions & templates
Nature Detectives – love their seasonal downloads
Raising Arrows – Toddler Box