We have decidely made a decision? that box curriculum does not fit Goose. Maybe this is true for any 5 year old, but certainly not ours. Result: more of 'Mommy and the Lesson Plans' saga each week. Oh, how I would love to be one of those moms who can set lesson plans in motion late July/early August for the ENTIRE YEAR! Yes, those moms rock. Not me. We are too hands on and eclectic for that! So, every Friday, when we are finishing up the week, I begin writing lessons. I usually finish a few hours later, OR (if I pass out at the desk) wrap it up early Saturday morning. I am constantly working on time management, but until then, it is a long planning process. WJ is not particularly accustomed to this process, but understands that I'm new at this and it takes time. He is very good, and has been especially useful the last few weeks, in spending quality time with the girls while I 'plan'. One day, I will stop finding new methods and things to do with the girls and stick to the basics... then again, maybe I won't (hence the eclectic side of my personality). But in my defense, there are SO many resources out there! I love looking at others' ideas on how they explain the water cycle, the how-to of teaching character traits to their little mirrors, or finding the answer to just one of the 20 questions at the dinner table, etc...etc.
Our 'foreign exchange students'
Anyway, about our UN-curriculum....
"My World" This is compiled of calendar time, Pledge of Allegiance, memory verse, and songs for learning our name, address/phone number, days of the week and anything else I can teach to a tune.
Math and Language Arts (aka CORE): Lifepac by Alpha Omega (www.aophomeschooling.com). These are the only workbooks we use. I accompany these lessons with K4 activities & Letter of the Week units from www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com and it works for us. We spend a good amount of "pencil practice" or Daddy Homework :) on handwriting.
Bible: This is a daily review of the story from the night before that WJ reads to the girls. I use color sheets, picture finds & crafts to enhance these lessons. I plan to do character traits after the first of the year... kindness, goodness, love, patience, all that stuff.
Geography: Road Trip USA download
(purchased from www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com)
We LOVE this! There are so many activities and extras to learn about. Going through the major US themes, animals and states by region is fun for Goose. Plus, I plan to revisit this in a couple of years because she will gain so much more from the study when she is older. Right now, we hit the highlights, play with the wall map and enjoy learning the general information.
Science: This has been a tricky one for me. I could not settle on a specific curriculum, so each week, I find new things from free resources. I search high and low for interesting subject matter. Any advice here would be appreciated...comment below! Her favorite so far is the '5 senses unit study' we did the first week. She loved using her senses to guess what was in the containers. It was a free download from www.mrswillskindergarten.com
Obviously, we will do many units on God's creatures!
She LOVES butterflies. As if you couldn't tell :)
Music: we do MOSHIP every morning. MOSHIP is simply worship in motion! Gleaned from my days as an employee at Waukaway Springs Christian Retreat Center in Mississippi! Lots of fun motions, fast paced songs and alot of living room run around time. We do this first thing in the morning to get the juices flowing!
Art: Goose has always had a love for drawing. She turns out at least 5 new ones a day. One of our favorite times together is what I've deemed "Listening to God" time. This also stems from my time working at camp... when I would teach children about the usefulness of art in learning the voice of God. We usually do this outside. I first say a few words, asking her to draw the first thing that comes to mind (i.e. 'fruit' and she draws grapes / 'animal' and she draws a turtle). Then I explain that, just as it was easy to hear my voice and draw upon her first thoughts, so it is with God. Next, I sing aloud to her and ask her to close her eyes and listen. When she gets a picture or thought in her mind, I encourage her to begin drawing. It is amazing what comes from this time. I am encouraged every day we do this exercise. We also do your basic stuff as well: painting, coloring, shading and sketching. But our fav by far is the God time.
That about covers our eclectic set of learning tools. It does take work to organize and compile weekly thoughts, lessons and supplies. But the beauty of it all is that we own it. It is in our grasp as parents to monitor the learning curve and work hard in the areas that need some one on one. I love being able to adjust to her needs.
Oh, the teeny tot curriculum! I almost forgot Ms. Prissy. Nah, not really, but her days are fairly uneventful. She is currently learning her shapes. I've used the K4 curriculum listed above from "confessions..." she loves the puzzles.
She hangs with us through the morning doing My World, Bible, Math (shapes & beginning numbers), and most importantly SNACK TIME. Prissy loves snacks. After food, she watches Letter Factory, which I contribute much of her success at letter recognition!
We love homeschool! Works for us. Hope something in my rambling sparks an idea or two with someone, somewhere. I will say that I am more driven and challenged in my motherhood than ever before. I truly believe that this has sharpened my own personal goals and disciplines...forcing a desire for betterment everyday! And that, plus the smiles and high fives I get after every "fun" lesson, makes it all worth it!