This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Homeschool Blogging Carnival hosted by Lisa at The Squishable Baby and Keisha at Unschooling Momma. This month our participants are talking about their favorite homeschool project or experience. There are a few affiliate links scattered throughout this article.
I decided to take a break this week from the home maintenance binder (don’t worry, I’ll post another section on it next week!) to join The Squishable Baby’s Homeschool Blog Carnival. The theme for this month’s carnival is my favorite homeschool project. However, since I haven’t actually STARTED homeschooling yet (planning on starting in September!) I am going to share a little about MY project of getting started with homeschooling.
My son is going to be two and a half in September. I know a lot of people think that’s too young to start any kind of schooling, but I disagree. I took a lot of teaching classes in college. We learned about a lot of different methods of teaching. One of them, the Montessori Method, puts an emphasis on the early years. That school of thought teaches that the early years are a time of great growth. In fact, if you enroll your child in a Montessori School, chances are they will take them as soon as they are potty trained.
I personally don’t like the idea of sending my barely two and a half year old son off to school for five hours a day. I believe that I have all the skills necessary to teach him every thing he needs to know right here at home. I also believe that preschooling him will be much different than what many people have in mind when they hear the word “school”.
So many people today put a huge emphasis on teaching their children numbers and letters and shapes and colors at a super early age. For what? Then you have a kid that has all these things memorized but can’t do anything with them. I’m not saying to not teach your children these things, or that I’m not going to teach my son these things, but they won’t be the emphasis.
My plan is to incorporate letters, shapes, colors and numbers into other activities. I am using the curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler to give me a basis of a lot of activities to do that are based around learning letters, but don’t directly teach them. I dont’ want to sit down with my child and say, “look, this is a letter A! What does A say?” Instead I want him to pick up letters, shapes, colors and numbers from every day activities that we do. I want him to learn colors when we are playing with blocks or cars or some other toy. I want him to learn numbers when we are cooking or sorting objects, etc.
I am only planning on doing about a half an hour a day on structured activity. I believe that children need unstructured time to play and explore on their own and with an adult. I don’t want to overwhelm him with sit-down-now-and-do-your-work kind of stuff. I want him to love learning.
I plan on utilizing the library. I hope to go there with him once a week to pick out new books.
I have invited another boy to join us in our preschool. I think one of the things that a public preschool gives to children is social time. I want my son to have the chance to be social. The boy that will be joining us is a little older than my son, and I believe that will be a benefit to my son as well. I am also getting paid to watch him, and plan on using that money for supplies.
Speaking of money, I don’t plan on spending a lot. There are a lot of free resources out there and I don’t believe that kids need a lot of stuff to learn. That being said, I did spend a little money on a Laminator because I want the pages I use to last. Any time I create something that I think will be used over and over again (tracing pages for example), I laminate and have my son use a dry erase marker, pencil or crayon.
I plan on having realistic expectations. I don’t expect my two year old to read. I don’t expect him to be cooking food by himself. I don’t really want him to be some kind of genius. I want him to learn and grow and explore. I want him to develop a love of learning. I want to use the homeschooling activities as a way to spend time with him while the baby is sleeping. I want to give him one on one attention. I want him to have something to do other than pushing cars around and stacking legos (although I think those things are good!)
I have found a few really good resources for homeschooling preschoolers. The one I mentioned earlier, Confessions of a Homeschooler, is great. She has a lot of free stuff, or you can buy it for easier downloading.
Another one I like is Confessions of a Slacker Mom. She has a curriculum that is LDS based (think A is for Adam). It’s completely free.
In Lieu of Preschool is another great blog. It has tons of crafts and activities to do that promote learning without actually lecturing your poor two year old.
There’s a few things to get you started. One thing to remember is that you are already homeschooling your child, whether you call it that or not. The home is where SO much learning takes place. If you take just a little time to make it more purposeful learning, your child will benefit SO much.
As a quick recap, here are the things I’m planning:
- incorporate learning letters, shapes, numbers, and colors into every day activities
- only doing about half an hour a day on structured activity
- utilize the library
- have another child join us
- not spend a lot of money
- have realistic expectations
Thanks for joining me for this long winded post! If any of you are currently homeschooling a preschooler, I would love your advice! Please leave me a comment and tell me what you do to homeschool your little one.
Visit The Squishable Baby to see how you can participate in the next Homeschool Blogging Carnival where we will be talking about online gaming and curriculum.
Please take the time to read the submissions by other Carnival participants:
- Keisha at Unschooling Momma will talk about a few of the writing projects she has done with her children, including a son who absolutely despises to write anything.
- Lisa at The Squishable Baby Will talk about homeschooling is more than math and science – it’s about learning how to be a better person.
- Tani at Normal Education shares how her Children learned about the election process – and got insight into its corrupt nature.
- Tati at AllMoms4Jesus shares how she takes her homeschool project well beyond pencil/paper and out into the community.
- Aida at Girlfriends With Goals will share how she brings her lessons alive with real life experiences.
- Markell Corpus will talk about the Dos and don’ts about homeschooling during the preschool years.
- Cecy Fencer will be discussing the homeschool projects that she enjoys the most.