Leah P's Homeschool Plan

Posted by  | Thursday, May 5, 2011  at 9:46 PM  
I shared yesterday that we will be doing one year of homeschooling next year to try it out. I thought I would share with you today about what materials I plan on using and how I plan on spending our day. Samuel will be 5 in August and Joel will be 3.5. We plan on "doing school" Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Tuesdays will be our adventure days with Daddy - things like visiting the library, parks, zoos, etc. On Thursdays we will go to Bible Study Fellowship. If you don't know about this program, I would highly recommend it. It is a great Bible study for you and a great children's program for your kids. My boys have learned a lot over the past two years and they look forward to going to class.

For our "school days", we will be using a workbox system. Do you know about these? I stumbled upon the idea while researching homeschool ideas. I found this Squidoo article very helpful and informative. It has a lot of additional links in it for more ideas and help. Basically you put something in each box for your child to do and they work their way through the boxes each day. I like the idea because Sam & Joel will be able to see what they've done each day and what they have left to do. Plus it breaks the activities of the day into units that should only take 10 or 15 minutes each to complete. With Joel, since he's younger, I'm not going to stress out if he doesn't get all the way through his boxes each day. But at least they will be there and he can feel like he's doing school along with us. Here's an idea of what a typical days boxes might be filled with:

Samuel's Boxes:
1. The Bible (for family devotions).
2. A non-fiction book (to read together).
3. A puzzle.
4. Handwriting Without Tears workbook.
5. 3 storybooks (to read together).
6. Kumon cutting book worksheet.
7. The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading (to do a reading lesson).
8. Beans and an egg carton for a sorting and counting game (math skills).
9. Bingo cards to practice Spanish vocab.
10. A recipe to make a snack together.

Joel's Boxes:
1. Set of Little People (that correspond to our family devotion for the day).
2. A coloring page.
3. 3 storybooks (to read together).
4. A "go play trucks with daddy for 15 minutes" card.
5. Playdoh.
6. A non-fiction book (to read together).
7. A Kumon cutting book worksheet.
8. A sorting game (math skills).
9. Matching game to play with Samuel.
10. AWANA book to practice verse.

Each evening I would pack up the next day's boxes. I think this will be good for me because it will help me to visually see what I have planned for the next day and make sure that I have everything I need to do the activities I have planned. I'll plan out ahead of time what I hope to accomplish each week, so it's not like each night I have to come up with the whole plan.

I read two really great books to help me prepare for homeschooling. One is The Well Trained Mind and the other is 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum. I was able to check out both from our library system. They really helped me think about the bigger picture and what I hope to accomplish. Granted, we will be sending Samuel to public school next year, but I am going in to this year trying to fully embrace the homeschool philosophy. After reading The Well Trained Mind, even if we send Samuel to public school, there is probably a lot out of that book that I will do with him outside of school.

As far as books I'll follow this coming year, I plan on using:
The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading by Jessie Wise
Handwriting Without Tears - Get Set for School
Kumon Amazing Mazes, Cutting, Uppercase Alphabet, Lowercase Alphabet workbooks
What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know edited by E.D. Hirsch (I highly recommend this book for lots of really great ideas. I plan on working my way through this book for ALL of the subject areas).
What Your Preschooler Needs to Know edited by E.D. Hirsch (ditto above).

I also plan on working our way through the 1000 Good Books List. This is a list of real books that is used by many Classical Christian Home Educators.

Finally, I plan on teaching a lot of our science and history through reading books, both fiction and non-fiction. I plan on letting the boys lead a little more in these areas according to their interests.

My main goals with Samuel for the year are to get him reading and writing. For Joel, I hope to encourage him to draw, color, and cut and love to be read to. I am really excited for our year and I hope it is a success.

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