Friday, August 16, 2013

How We Plan to Homeschool Our Preschooler

This school year is our first official year of homeschooling. Since pulling our son out of his public charter school in March, I have heavily researched homeschooling  and how we plan to proceed with BOTH children. This post will focus on how we plan to homeschool our daughter, who is currently 2.5. We plan to start her off at an upper preschool level and hope to end the school year at a Pre-K level, perhaps an early Kindergarten level. She is developmentally ready. One of the joys of homeschoolnig is being able to meet each child individually at their level.

We have decided to do a more interest based form of learning. We have what we refer to as her "school basket" which is full of lots of learning materials. Daily, we allow her to choose from the basket what she wants to do that day. Some days, she doesn't want to do anything from the basket and that's okay too! Some days, she would rather play her educational software (JumpStart Preschool or Reader Rabbit Preschool, etc.) or her Fisher Price Cool School program.  And that's fine, as well, since they are all educationally appropriate. Some days she dabbles in a little bit of everything.

These are the items that I have chosen to use for at least the first "semester" of this school year for Daniella.

And here they are in more detail:

Large books about the alphabet, shapes, and numbers.

Large story books and nursery rhymes.

Color books. We LOVE these. I plan to do one per month in conjunction with our color of the month. Check out my Color Identification board that I have on Pinterest to see the videos that go along with the books!

Daniella can already spell BLUE - the color of the month for August!

See my previous review about the Red Letter Alphabet Book!

Brain Quest cards, both Preschool level and Kindergarten level.

The Frog has a card for each letter and a card for each number from 0-10, plus one for each color. The Enviro-Gear Enviro-Guide talks about bugs for Science!

Spelling book for learning how to blend letters together to make words. There are flip cards inside to make 3 letter words by lining up the pictures.

Flashcards. We use these to focus on prepositions. What letter is next to the heart? What animal is above the letter W? We also use them to play "Slap It!". I call out a color, shape or letter (or any combination thereof such as brown heart) and Daniella uses a clean, used for nothing but this game, fly swatter to slap whichever card I am looking for! Sometimes I will even call out something like slap two things that are yellow!

Flashcards used with the Children Learning Reading Program (click to see my review of this program!)

These are some cards that I found at Goodwill that apparently go along with an Abeka curriculum. There are various cards inside used to teach blending sounds.

A dry erase board with handwriting lines on it. Whoever invented this was a genius. Perfect to use to practice writing the letter D for Daniella!

This is a dry erase flip book that focuses on a lot of things such as letters, numbers, and basic addition and subtraction. We have been practicing hand over hand with Daniella on this one.

And then there is Daniella's Homeschooling Book made by yours truly. This is a binder full of page protectors that have worksheets inside of them. For now we are working on matching and tracing with Daniella. But I love that we can wipe it clean and reuse the worksheets over and over! Some worksheets I printed off the Internet, others I pulled out of workbooks we had.

And this is the basket that we keep it all in!

It has an extendable handle on it and wheels so it is portable and can go with us if we do school at the playground, park or on the road!

Notice that I entitled this "How WE Plan to Homeschool OUR Preschooler"? I say it that way because to us, it is a family effort. Daniella has brought things from her basket to everyone in our family and asked them to sit with her and "play'' or read. Daddy loves to read with Daniella. Daniella loves to do her Brain Quest cards with Brandon (he has several versions as well so I thin she likes to copy him!). To us, homeschooling has brought our family closer and more involved with one another.

What sorts of activities do you do when homeschooling your young child?