My 4-year-old has been out of preschool since the last day of November. Our homeschooling schedule has been pretty lax and to call it a “schedule” would probably be an overstatement. We allowed ourselves a 2-week break for Christmas and New Year’s, but it has been slow going in terms of getting a routine together that works for us.
I found us doing way too much seat work — worksheets, coloring, writing practice and such. Although my daughter seems to enjoy this, I don’t want to burn her out on paper work. I wanted to do more hands-on activities and encourage an interest in learning. However, planning and preparing creative and fun activities that are relevant to your subject matter is not an easy task. (Kudos to teachers who do this every day! You are totally underpaid!)
Thus, Hubby and I decided that perhaps we should take the leap and purchase a curriculum. My initial thought was to do things casually this school year and use a curriculum starting Fall 2013. Seeing her understanding of the alphabet and phonics, numbers, sequencing and simple math, I felt I would be doing her a disservice by not nurturing that interest. The beauty of homeschooling is that we can go at our child’s pace. If we find that the curriculum is too much, we can cover less and take a little longer with it. Although my daughter just turned 4 a few months ago and is still technically a preschooler, I ordered the kindergarten curriculum. When evaluating her current knowledge and skill level, the preschool program seemed too elementary and we already had many of the activities that they had packaged together for the program.
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The curriculum by My Father’s World arrived yesterday. I have been busily prepping the materials: cutting out cards and laminating sheets, etc. I am looking forward to starting with the 10-day introduction before the actual units begin. We start, quite appropriately, with Creation. We will be reviewing all of the letters from A-Z in the next 10 days, but will reinforce them throughout the school year. We will go through numbers 1-7 (for the days of Creation), create an illustrated Creation Book, learn to sing and sign (ASL) “This is My Father’s World,” play letter games, and participate in outdoor activities.
Now that I have something tangible in my hands, a guideline to follow as strictly or loosely as suits us, I feel more confident in our homeschooling endeavors.
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NOTE: The curriculum includes a butterfly garden and ant farm — however, because we live in Hawaii and our agriculture regulations disallow the shipment of live insects, we were not eligible to receive those components. If anyone has any ideas on how to obtain a butterfly garden or ant farm in Hawaii, I’d love to hear it!