Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Homeschool on the range

Homeschooling is a foreign concept to a lot of people out there. What does it look like? What do you do? So, I thought I'd give everyone just a little glimpse into what my children are learning this week. Just a reminder, we have Lilly who is 4 and while, I don't really go by grades, she would be doing schoolwork for a kindergartener/first grader. Then I have Luke who is 3 and he would be doing preschool work. I use a curriculum called Christ Centered Curriculum. I REALLY like it. It's a bit cheesy but, in my opinion, young children like the cheese. :) It truly is Christ centered. Jesus is incorporated into every area of their work. We do school 4 days a week. On the fifth day I try to do some sort of art, music, or outdoor activities for them. Our days will probably look a lot different as the children get older (and as the younger ones start). Right now, Lilly does about an hour and half of actual curriculum work a day and that is broken down into three parts: Character development, phonics, math and Luke does anywhere from 20-30 minutes a day with the same catagories.

Character: This week we are learning about flexibility. Which they describe as being able to adapt to the wishes of those around you. This part kind of stretches all through out the day. If I see different ways she is being flexible then I encourage and praise her. Example: This morning I was fixing her a pancake and she said "Mommy, I wanted this plate not that one." And I said, "Well, I'm sorry. I already put it on this one." and she said "Okay." To which I told her she was being very flexible and gave her a big hug. Pretty simple!

Phonics: Phonics starts out by doing some basic drills. We go through a list of blends (ka ke ki ka ku, etc.), sight words (with, and, this, I, was, etc.), and vowel blends (ae, oe, ea, etc.) We also have flashcards that we use that drill blends like ch, tch, ll, ck, etc. Then we do some listening practice. This week we are going over the letters P and D, so I'll say words (some that start with P and some that don't) and then she repeats the words after me that begin with P. After that we do some different activities depending on the day. One of her favorites is called Phonics Art. On the board I draw a picture (which starts with the letter P) and she tries to guess what the picture is. Again, pretty simple! After that we do some workbook pages which would be anything from tracing the letters to crossing off pictures that don't begin with the letter(s) of the week.

Math: We begin by practicing our counting 1-100 (which she has WELL mastered) and then we head into working on number families. We have pictures with little houses numbered 1-10 and she has to tell me which house 1+0 would go, or 3+4, etc. This week we are focusing on + or - 0 and the number 12. We do a number of activities (again, depending on the day) which use snap cubes, or a place value chart or some games. This week she is also being introduced to word problems. I was amazed at how well she understood! They are pretty basic. Yesterdays example was something like:

Johnny is old enough to earn money to give as an offering in his sunday school class. He has earned 3 pennies. His little sister is not old enough to earn money. She has 0 pennies. How many pennies altogether do the children have to give in Sunday school?

Without hesitation she said, "3!" But we are going over the "clues" we need to look for to solve the problem (they call it a "number puzzle". I guess it makes it sound more fun!) After that we do some workbook pages which would involve some sort of addtion and subtraction problems.

Luke's work is ALOT easier since he is still working on being able to identify numbers and letters. This week is a little different for us because after we have gone over all the vowels I do a week (in Luke's case 2 weeks) of review, which is where we are now. So I made 3 sets of fun little flash cards out of construction paper. One with capital vowels, one with lower case vowels and one with the numbers 1-5. We spread one set out at a time and I ask him to find me a certain vowel. He brings it to me and then has to tell me what the letter is, what sound it makes (right now we are working on short vowels), and what the key word is (Each letter has a key word.Ex. A for Adam, B for Bible, C for commands, etc). We go through each set of flash cards, usually more than once he likes it so much and I think later in the week I might mix all of them together.

Usually we do some character training too. But like I said, this week is a little different for us since it's a review week.

Well, that's a week into our homeschooling this week! Each week looks different but it keeps me on my toes. And I'm always searching websites like Family Fun or Education.com for new ideas.

Hope ya'll have enjoyed a peek into a homeschool family!

Running the race,

1 comment:

Marvin, Erica and Calvin said...

I'll have to check out that curriculum. I've been trying to think ahead about Calvin's preschool/kindergarten curriculum. I have my own that I have put together from things I liked in graduate school, but I feel like reading is where I'm lacking. How do you feel your program does in that area? I sort of have this distain for prepackaged stuff; sometimes I think it is a bit stuffy. I love adding creative touches to these but it has to be strong content wise, so let me know.