Thursday, November 25, 2010

Homeschool

So one of the new responsibilities I have taken on since moving to Kenya is homeschool. I realize that my kids are still preschool age but we all know that Kindergarten is the new first grade which makes 4K the new Kindergarten! I came prepared to make sure that my little ones were getting the enrichment that they needed at this age the best way I can provide here in this setting. Since I peruse homeschool blogs and always find what other people are doing very interesting I thought I do a quick update on what exactly we are doing for "school" this year!

First, I think I've learned that it is easiest to fit "school" in as we go about our normal day. I just want for them to really get the idea that there is a big wonderful world that God made out there that is ready for us to explore. Claire is the only one doing any sit down school work so we just do little spurts throughout our day - 15 minutes of math after breakfast, 10 minutes of handwriting before we go on a walk, 30 minutes of read aloud time (our favorite) whenever!

Here is the basics of the curriculum that I am using this year. Claire is still 4. She turns 5 in December so she will be in Kindergarten next school year. I feel like she is ready to take on K level things so we are basically starting K now based more on her age than the fact that she was born 4 months after the K cut-off age. Since I am her teacher I can do what I want! I don't have to wait until September because of a school calendar so that is nice.

Core curriculum:
Sonlight K with readers 1

Reading:
Headsprout (we started this awhile ago - we are finishing up the first 40 episodes).
BOB books
Modern Curriculum Press Phonics Readers

Handwriting:
A Reason for Handwriting K

Phonics:
Explode the Code 1

Math:
Singapore Math Earlybird A & B

Art:
Artistic Persuits

I really enjoyed researching different options and coming up with what I think will work well for our family. Last year I did the Sonlight 4/5 curriculum with Claire and loved it. Moving into the K level seemed natural. I LOVE the emphasis on great literature and reading that Sonlight offers. Read aloud time is precious to us and I love bonding over good books with my kids. I feel like I am knitting them into their childhood and we all love it. Even for non-home school families I would recommend looking at the Sonlight read alouds for your child's age level and using it as a guide for reading material or library check outs. I am thankful for the guidance it has given me. I would have underestimated Claire's ability if not for Sonlight.

I can recommend all of the resources I am using this year. Headsprout reading is amazing. It is a computer based reading program recommended to me by a friend who is a reading specialist. It has worked great for Claire in teaching her how to read and also teaching her basic computer skills. Singapore Math and A Reason for Handwriting are new to us but we are enjoying both a lot so far.

It is a joy to be able to teach my children and experience all of their new discoveries first hand. It is also nice to have them be learning so much but still have a day to day life that for the most part involves making mud pies, playing dress up, play dough, doll house, barbies and getting filthy dirty every day.

1 comment:

Luke said...

Glad to hear everything is going as well as it is in your homeschool. Keep up the great work! And, yeah: I know I benefited from the extra time homeschooling gave me when I was doing it years ago...

~Luke