years before having my son. I feel very confident in teaching him at
this stage in his life. I will say that my idea of homeschool and the styles that speak to me [for myself and in regards to my son] have already begun to change as I research and try new things with him. But more on that in a bit.
own curriculum. The teacher in me loves a good curriculum but I’m
also really drawn to Unschooling, which allows the child to play and explore their own interests. My homeschooling style, if I were to have one, definitely includes a little of both, and is known as “relaxed or eclectic“. I want learning to be fun and engaging for Benjamin. I view the next two years as school preparatory years. When sitting down to write our curriculum for the year, I started with a weekly theme, while keeping our goals for Benjamin in mind. That being said, our days are still very relaxed. He’s passionate about writing right now and it’s been the first thing on his mind all week. The first thing he asks to do when he wakes up is a worksheet. I’m not so naive as to think every day will be so easy but I love how fun this is for him now. I never push him to do an activity and he has a lot of say in how we spend our time. What I mainly do is provide him with good options. There is no shortage in opportunities for him to play and learn through play.
- Bible – We are using a biblical-based curriculum this year — the ABC Jesus Loves Me curriculum for 3-year-olds — as a general week-to-week Bible story guide. We’ll be reading through the [storybook] Bible in chronological order for the very first time! We’re using The Beginner’s Bible: Timeless Children’s Stories and I’ve just purchased the I Will Follow Jesus Bible Storybook. I’ve also checked out the God’s Love For You Bible Storybook from the library and if it ends up being a good fit, then we’ll use this one too. In addition to the Bible stories, we’ll have a simple memorization verse each week.
- Letter Recognition & Writing – We’ll be working to help Benjamin recognize and sound out the upper and lowercase alphabet. This year we’re going through the alphabet out of order. He’ll have a new letter to focus on each week. We love the Sound Box Books, which we check out from our library. The “It’s the Alphabet!” and “See it. Say it. Hear it.” series’ are great too! For writing, we’re using the Spectrum Learning Letters workbook, Usborne Wipe Clean “Pen Control” and “Get Ready for School abc and 123” books (Benjamin really loves these!!), and an old fashioned primer. I use a highlighter to draw lines on it for Benjamin to trace. These and other printed materials are what he refers to as worksheets. On the first three rows, I draw different lines/strokes for him to practice. The 4th row is the uppercase letter he’s working on and the 5th row is the lowercase letter. On the bottom row, I write out “Benjamin” twice so that he can practice spelling and writing his name.
- Math – Benjamin can count to 20 and above that with little to no help. He can recognize numbers 1-10. Thanks to the apps on his Kindle Fire he’s been introduced to the adding and subtracting concepts. We’ll be working on writing numbers and adding this year.
- Nature – Benjamin thrives outside and frankly, so do I. He loves going on “forbentures” (“adventures” but I prefer the nickname!). This year we’re adopting a “Nature Day”, where at least once a week we spend intentional days outside. These might be organized – a class at one of our local nature centers – or our own self-guided outings to the river, mountains, trails, park, etc.
- The Arts – This will be Benjamin’s third year with an art journal. Every year I pick up a cheap composition book and decorate the cover for him. This journal is available to him at all times. Any time he wants to do an art project, such as painting, drawing, cutting + gluing, stickers, etc. he does it in this book. Sometimes I give him a new technique, prompt, or medium to use, but mostly he does his own thing in it. We enjoy flipping through them and having them for a keepsake at the end of the year. (He loves to see what he did when he was “a little baby”. Haha). He’s also very much into music and dancing. We frequently have family dance parties in the living room. This year for Benjamin’s birthday we’ll be getting him a guitar (probably ukulele to start) and starting lessons. Really looking forward to that! Also each week, I’ll plan for a skill to work on. Right now we’re working on things like pencil grip and cutting with scissors.
- Podcasts – I don’t know about you but I love a good podcast! I’ve been meaning to write a blog post on my favorites, for a while now. Two that I really love for homeschool moms are At Home and The Homeschool Sisters. Both offer great discussions on topics that appeal to me as a mom and home educator.
- Blogs & Groups – Facebook has become an awesome resource for me. I’m in general homeschooling groups and local ones for meetups, etc. There are SO many blogs out there but a few of my favorites right now are Small Things, Happiness is Here, Mrs. Jones’ Creation Station, and of course 1+1+1=1.
- Instagram – There are also too many amazing feeds to share them all! Here are some of my faves to get you started: kristinrogers, sixacresaul, wendime, thepeacefulpreschool, jendydees, brebuskey, and thishumblehive.
I’d love to hear from you! Are you homeschooling your preschooler? What are some of your favorite resources?