Curriculum Preparation

I’m excited to announce that next week I start part-time and will be beginning my homeschooling with the boys.  Both boys will continue to go to daycare one day a week, but I need to fill in the gaps, especially with my older son.

Some background: Daniel is four years old.  He’s my wild child-energetic and hard to settle down to focus.  He’s very smart, particularly socially.  He is pretty solid in his educational milestones, but he fights me every step of the way.  Particularly, he has only recently become a (reluctant) fan of drawing and writing.  I have found that once I get him playing games or doing hands-on activities, though, he gets excited about learning.  For Daniel, Mondays and Saturdays we will have literacy, writing, religion, and math lessons.  On Thursdays we will have literacy, writing, religion, and science lessons.  I plan to start out doing 2 or 3 activities a day in each subject, each lasting 15-30 minutes.  I will break them up throughout the day to keep him from getting bored.

Alex is 10 months old.  He’s the most laid back baby I have ever met, but he’s getting to the age of getting into things and wanting to be involved.  He gets frustrated that he can’t eat everything that big brother plays with.  His curriculum will involve being present for our Bible reading, doing song time with us, and having at least one activity each day that is focused on building skills and coordination.

I realize homeschooling will definitely involve preparation.  I have planned my first two weeks, printing and laminating everything I need, and I plan to stay ahead so I’m not caught off guard.

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I have several binders with lessons I have gotten from the internet.  I set aside a new binder with tabs for each subject where I’m printing and storing copies of worksheets, lessons, and ideas I’m interested in using.  This gives me a go-to when I’m planning or get caught off guard.  It also makes it easy to see who designed the lesson so I can give credit.

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Each day has a designated folder.  When I prepare the activities for that day, I put all of the materials I need in the folder so I’m ready to go.

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I really favor educational toys.  These are some of my favorites that we use.  Daniel just got a Leap Reader for Christmas with the word building and writing sets.  I recently purchased alphabet stamps and Bananagrams from Amazon to vary his writing lessons.  We purchased the pattern blocks, counting rods, counting bears, blocks, and fine motor skill tools from Amazon awhile ago.  We also use a Crayola Dry-Erase Activity Center bought on Amazon to practice writing and drawing.  Counting bears are essential for toddlers; we have used them to learn colors, develop fine motor skills, practice counting and basic addition and subtraction, making patterns, and sorting.  I also have a couple of practice books for letters and numbers and file folder activities that I have gotten from Barnes and Noble and Office Depot.  We don’t use these as much because he doesn’t like to sit down and write, but he was excited to have a Star Wars activity book.

It’s also a good idea to get a laminating machine.  I print doubles of every activity (one for the binder, one to use) and laminate anything that I feel could be used again.

I will post our lessons and results at the end of each week.  Wish me luck!