Whoops! It has been longer than I intended between blog posts! As we are gearing up for an early start this year (so we can take a long break when baby joins our family), I thought I would share my plans for this school year. Usual disclaimers: 1) I do not have an early childhood degree, and what is working for our family may not be best for yours! 2) Hardly any of these ideas are my own. This is more a collection of ideas from all corners of the Internet that I feel will work best for our family. 3) If this is your first year of homeschooling, please don’t be overwhelmed! Start as simple as possible and slowly add in routines that will help meet your goals! (I have added a new part of our routine each semester as we have traveled along in our homeschool journey. If I had started with all of theses pieces, I would have been totally overwhelmed!)
- Tuesdays are community days for our local Classical Conversations community. We look forward to this each week!
- We go to the library every Thursday afternoon for their alternating science/art lessons, and usually make a quick trip on Mondays as well. (Movies checked out on Thursday are due Monday, and movies checked out on Monday are due Thursday, so it works out well!)
- We will also have weekly soccer practice for at least one kid, maybe two (he is a little uncertain about whether or not he wants to play).
I chose the word routine because we do much better when I go by my kids’ attitudes, rather than the clock. All times are -ish. 😉
- 8:30 – 9:00 : Breakfast and Morning Basket
- rest of morning : Chores and Play Time
- 11:30-12:30 : lunch
- 12:30 – 2:00 : Table & Tray Time
- 2:00 – 3:00 : Free Time
- 3:00 – 3:30 : Read Alouds
- rest of day : Free Time
This is probably my favorite portion of our day! Before we were doing much formal school, we could spend as much as 2 and a half hours doing Morning Basket! Now that my oldest is entering Kindergarten, and we have a bit more table work to do, I have trimmed back this part of our day. These are my goals for Morning Basket this year:
- Prayer and flag salute
- Bible verse and song (We do Bible Study at night with Daddy, so in the morning, we are going to focus on memorizing Bible verses. We will use music by Seeds, The Donut Man, and others scripture memory artists.)
- A selection from The Children’s Treasury of Virtues (following the schedule set forth by Half a Hundred Acre Wood Blog)
- Mother Goose Poetry
- Music Loop
-Books of the Bible song (put out by CC, twice a week)
-Presidents song (CC, once a week)
-Latin Scripture Memory Song (put out by Ross King of Sing and Learn to coordinate with CC’s Scripture selection, twice a week)
-Spanish song (from Song School Spanish, once a week)
- Art Loop
-Draw.Write.Now (once a week)
-Art Hub for Kids (once a week)
-Journaling (drawing a picture and writing a sentence, once a week)
- History/Math Read Alouds
-Picture books from Half a Hundred Acre Wood’s reading list
-Life of Fred
- ABC and number read alouds for my 3.5 year old
- Memory Work
-CC Memory Work
Table & Tray Time
Table time is our “main curriculum” for each child. While I am working with one boy, the other is doing his tray. Table time is new information, the lessons I teach; tray time is review activities, similar to what centers would be in public school.
Table Time – 5.5 year old (Kindergarten)
- Math (daily):
-Saxon Math, 1st grade, 2-3x/week
-Star Wars Math Notebook, Kindergarten level, on days we don’t do Saxon
-Book Units – Grouchy Ladybug, MathStart books, and more
- Reading (daily):
-Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading, we do one lesson two or three times before moving on. We have reached the end of Section 3, and after a review, will pick back up with Section 4.
-American Language Series Leveled Kindergarten Phonics Readers
-Other (vintage) readers I already had on hand: Sun Up, Little Bear, Little Bear’s Friend, and Farm & City.
- Daily Work Calendar & Skills Binder (daily, from Mrs. D’s Corner on TeachersPayTeachers)
- Handwriting (daily)
-Instruction from Handwriting Without Tears, kindergarten level
-additional practice from Universal Publishers and other fun copywork I find
- Religion (once a week)
-finish up our Catholic Reflections Book
-start some workbooks our parish was giving away
-maybe start Tell Me About the Catholic Faith
- Geography (daily)
We will loop through Draw the USA book, tracing the US map, coloring pages, map mazes, and these maps from CC.
- Other CC work (two or three times a week)
-an interactive notebook of history sentences that I put together
-presentation prep and practice
Table Time – 3.5 year old (Pre-School)
- Pre-Reading (daily)
-We are using This Reading Mama’s Learning The Alphabet Series
- Math (daily)
-Star Wars Numbers and Shapes Workbooks
-Pre-School Math at Home by Kate Snow?
For each of their trays, I try to put in one language, one math, and one fun activity. These are mostly fun, hands on manipulatives and game-like printables I find on the Internet. This is my Pinterest board for the kindergartner’s tray, and this is my Pinterest board for the pre-schooler’s tray.
Afternoon Read Aloud Session
We will be working our way through whatever chapter book we are reading. Right now, we are on the last book of the Growly Series. To coordinate with American History and Geography this year since that is the focus for CC this cycle, I am planning on reading Little House in the Big Woods, Farmer Boy, and perhaps Minn of the Mississippi.