Monday, August 27, 2012

Homeschool Happenings - Week 1

As been my norm all summer, I have been posting our "Summer Fun" on Mondays.  I had some big plans for this past week but we ended up doing the big room switch this past week plus throw in a really low month at my husband's job and, well, we stuck close to home and just worked on getting stuff set up.  The boys and I went on a couple of walks, we emptied the pool (which is actually a lot of fun!) but for some reason did not get it re-filled, and played with some of our new school games.  The boys love sharing a room and they love the classroom - Nate loves it because he can now color without asking - there are always markets and paper on the table for him and Josh loves it because he can turn on the stereo all by himself and loves to listen to music.  Throw in games, "cutters", and tape - life is perfect HA!

With that said, I decided to switch to homeschool posts on Monday.  Yes, we are starting homeschool - just preschool, but it is a start.  This week I wanted to share what we are using for curriculum.

1. Bible - My First Hands on Bible and We Choose Virtues - The Bible book we are using is great.  It shares a Bible story, in order of a regular Bible, and then gives activities - simple activities.  In the first lesson, we are supposed to go outside and look at the clouds for one of our activities.  It is my heart to have my boys grow up not just knowing the Bible but loving the truths that are in it and for it to be part of their life so we are starting strong!.  I love the concept of the Virtues lessons.  I just picked up the sets of activity cards - we'll be focusing on one each week, doing the activities and talking about it a lot.  Once we've gone through them all, guess what?  We will start again!!  (Both Josh and Nate will be part of the Bible Lesson)

2. Reading - All About Reading - Pre-Reading level.  This is something that just Josh will be focusing on this year as I prepare him to read.  I'm very impressed with this curriculum and can't wait to dive into it with him.  I plan on also doing these fun alphabet creatures that were shared on Totally Tots

3. Rising Rock Stars Preschool (RRSP)  - This is a program that I found over at 1+1+1=1 and I really loved the set up.  It's a Christian based Preschool program that focuses on learning the basic letters and sight words.  The membership is minimal and is a one time fee which includes a fantastic power point.  I love the simplicity of it and the fact that there is a lot of repetition.  We get our memory verse, sight word, number and color of the week from this program.  It also presents some basic skills like cutting with scissors, tracing, and coloring. 

4. Piano - Piano for Preschoolers Yes, we are starting piano lessons.  Josh is very interested in music and the piano - he has already gotten his book out and has been sitting at the piano.  I did quite a bit of research and really liked this beginning book and think it will be a great starting point for him.  I know that in a matter of weeks, he'll be playing the songs. 

5. Nate - Yes, Nate gets his own category.  1+1+1=1 has a toddler section as well.  I've printed worksheets for Nate to work on that coordinate with the letter of the week that Josh is working on.  Nate's items are just put in a binder to use when he wants to join us - I don't plan on really teaching him this year.  Because of when our boys birthdays are, we have late starters so I don't want Nate to jump way ahead and then graduate at like . . .12 ;-) 

6. Life Skills - Life skills include multiple things.  First of all, we are going to start working on skills they need.  For example, one of the first life skills we are going to work on is cleaning up their toys when they are done.  We'll talk about it, practice it, and then they will get rewarded for it (with stickers and then coins for their piggy banks - they LOVE pennies!!). It will then become a chore then need to do daily.  Then we will progress on to the next item.  Life skills also includes other items. I plan on cooking with them once a week - whether it be baking something, making something to go with dinner, or making a fun snack, they need to know how to work in the kitchen.  We also will include "P.E." in life skills.  The goal is to do something specific two times a week - maybe just a walk or maybe working on tee ball skills.  We just want to move :-) 

On Fridays, we will be attending "Friday School" with our local Homeschool group.  This will give the boys a chance to be with other kids and have structure that is different that at home.  I'm also strongly considering attending a MOPS group with a friend of mine which would give the boys another chance to hang out with other kids 2 times a month. 

So what is my plan??  My goal is to get through our Bible Lesson and then either a reading lesson or a RRSP lesson each day.  Piano will only be once a week and Life Skills vary depending on the day.  No pressure :-)  I also have some theme units (Like Apples for September) that I would like to intermingle with our lessons but that will depend on time and desire!

We aren't actually starting "school" until after Labor Day (On Tuesday of that week) so next week I'll share our current classroom set up.