Over the last month I have been gathering and readying all of the supplies we’ll need to begin our adventure this fall. I have the first 5 weeks ready to go in the file cabinet. The others are planned, but not printed and all that jazz. I didn’t know how I would go about this homeschooling preschool thing, so when I found an actual “curriculum” I have come to understand it will not be cheap to print and laminate all of these weekly activities. So we’re doing it as we go, or as the money is available. The nice part is that I know all of these things I can use with Thing 2 as well, when he is ready, so it is really a good investment. And I could even pass it all on to someone after Thing 2 is finished! And the cost is certainly less than private preschool + the gas to get there. Where we were sending Thing 1 was quite the drive, and the school has since disintegrated due to internal issues…so good choices all around! I am SO thankful we weren’t depending on this school for the fall – God works in mysterious ways!
Start Date: September 5, 2011 – We’re beginning on Memorial Day because Jon has the day off and he will get to participate in our first day! I think it will help to have an extra pair of hands around while I decide how everything will settle out. Plus, Jon wants to be involved as much as he can, since he works.
Curriculum: We’re going to be using a variety of materials, but the base for our preschool will be a combination of The Letter of the Week Preschool Curriculum and the K4 Pre Kindergarten Curriculum, both by Eric over at Confessions of a Homeschooler. These are both FREE but you can purchase them for $10 if you don’t have the time or patience to download every single file separately. Well worth the cost for busy moms.
Bible: We are going to have a Bible Time element to our school day – but it will be separate from our school day activities. We will do this portion in the evenings after dinner so that Jon can take the lead in this area. Basically we’re just going to read a Bible story each night, but for now that is really all the boys are ready for. We are also going to do some kind of Bible craft/activity during the week that will relate to our storie(s).
Thing 1: Since he was in traditional Preschool last year I have to figure out exactly where he stands. I have a fairly good ideas just from observing him in normal activities (not intentional “school” activities, but learning in every day play). He knows his ABCs (uppercase) very well. Lowercase, not so much – except for the “easy” ones that look like the UC. When the LC looks different from the UC he gets stuck. He can count to 15 without help, but after that misses a couple before getting to 20. With help he can count up to 30 and beyond. I thank my ami crochet projects for that, when I am working on something that needs counting I often have him count out loud with me, this frequently goes up to 30 and 40 stitches. Our biggest challenge will be that he gets frustrated very easily – so making sure he stays calm and is having fun will be key. While he is ready and wanting to learn new things, his impatience can get in the way – if he doesn’t get it the first try he tends to shut down and give up.
Thing 2: Is not quite 2 yet (he’ll be 22 months when we begin), but he tends to be more advanced, in some areas he is right with Thing 1, in others he passes him. Thing 2 can identify a dozen or more UC letters and can even put some correct sounds and words with them – without prompting! Funny that he is going along so well with letters but his numbers – not so much. I will be doing some “Tot School” activities with him, but mostly I think we’ll let him at some of the same activities as Thing 1 and see what happens! I have some specific stuff ready for him – some tot books, matching games, counting games, learning the letters in his name – things like that. I think Thing 2′s biggest challenge will be his want to be just like Big Brother – and sometimes he just can’t do the same things!