As I mentioned in a previous post, A.J. and I made the decision to start Laura’s Home Schooling this year!
Laura turned 3 at the beginning of September, so truthfully we could have waited a year before starting school with her but I was eager to begin. The reason for starting early was really more about me than it was her, I was in desperate need of some real structure to the days when I am at home with her. I also really wanted to find something that would help Laura focus – it is an area in which she struggles but we’re working on it 🙂
I started this journey in the same way that any mom starts a journey these days … I took to the Pinterest boards. I perused hundreds of posts about preschool, homeschooling and toddler preschool. I found many useful tips for homeschooling pre-school but I struggled to find a post that really had what I was looking for – a fulfilling preschool curriculum that didn’t exceed 1 hour of actual instruction! The Pinterest boards made it exceedingly clear that most homeschooling families don’t start until age 4.
It was then that I stumbled across a fantastic post (which I wish I had pinned…ugh…kinda the point of pinterest) that talked about the concept of using the letters of the alphabet to structure weeks in the preschool curriculum. The curriculum on that post wasn’t quite what I was looking for but the overall concept made a lot of sense to me!
At this point I began to search the crevices of my mind where I had hidden all that information from teaching Kindergarten and Grade 1 in my first year of teaching.
After some time, I realized the easiest and most efficient way to write the curriculum was to just start it!
*NOTE: You can ABSOLUTELY buy a curriculum in a store, on teacherspayteachers or even find free ones to use on Pinterest! Whatever works for you is perfect but for me and my homeschooling plan, it was more about tailoring everything to Laura and finding ways to get what I (as her parent AND teacher) wanted to get accomplished … plus, I just couldn’t find a curriculum that seemed tailored to a kid with some real attention issues *
The First step was determining what skills and activities I wanted to reinforce EVERY DAY. Pulling from my previous experiences in primary classes, I chose to base these activities off of the calendar. Here is what I came up with for our Daily Routine (even days where we don’t do preschool – we do preschool twice a week – Tuesdays, and Thursdays).
We do the following:
- The season is: ___________
- The weather is ________ (temperature) and ______________ (adjectives – windy, rainy, sunny, etc)
- Sing “Days of the Week” song.
(To the tune of the Adams Family Theme)
Days of the week *clap clap*
There’s Sunday and there’s Monday
There’s Tuesday and there’s Wednesday
There’s Thursday and there’s Friday
and then there’s Saturday
Day’s of the Week *clap Clap* x5
4. Figure out what day it is using the song to guide us (this has worked AMAZINGLY well! Laura now knows what day it is based off of what day it was yesterday).
5. Say the Month and then count all the days of the month until we discover what the date is (Laura can now count to 30 with some guidance here and there – before we began school she could only count to 10 — on a good day).
After we do the calendar, Laura traces her name every day and says the letters as she does so. She has improved SO much with her fine motor skills and her ability to trace since we started doing this! She also knows her name starts with an L and that there are two baby a’s in her name.
The Second Step was to begin writing out the daily curriculum. I began with the concept of the Letter of the Week and went from there. I wrote out the letter as well as the week (the dates) where each letter would fall. Then I began thinking about crafts that would tie in with that letter, snacks that would tie in, songs to sing, etc.
Here is a sample of what I came up with:
Tuesday, September 24th
|What to do||Materials Required|
|Calendar||September 3rd, weather, season, day, days of the week song, Trace Name||Name sheet|
|Songs||Alligator Alarm||Picture of an alligator|
|Books||Ant and Bee||The book|
|Worksheet||A page from tracing book|
|Snack Break||Apples and Almonds|
|Bible Verse||Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find. Matthew 7:7||Bible to look it up|
|Journal||A page – capital letter A is for …||Journal, markers|
|Craft||Apple Painting||Dried, halved apples
|Math||Number 1 and 2 – Tracing and cheerio counting||Cheerios, number tracing sheets|
Laura’s journal has been my favourite thing so far – it is adorable and I’ve been blown away by her ability to draw the letters as well as learn to draw SO MANY new things 🙂 Laura never drew anything (other than scribbles and spirals) until we started school and now she draws people and animals all the time!