Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Homeschool ~ 2017/2018 Curricumlum

Even though we are not doing a formal curriculum for our schooling this year, we are still working through the basics.  With a focus in play, adventures, and things my kiddos enjoy, we are incorporating school into our everyday. Questions, creativity, and play are encouraged.  We are learning by doing.

The idea of incorporating school in to our every day, is something I have done from early on with my kids.  Teaching opportunities are all around us, so are learning opportunities.  Though I will admit, sometimes I am the teacher and sometimes I am the learner, just as are my kids are both.  Their questions, their curiosity, their personalities is what drives our learning and where it leads.

The one curriculum idea I am building off of is letter of the week.  My oldest already knows his letters (uppercase and some lower case) and most of the sounds that go with them.  There is still room to grow and learn when it comes to letters, sounds, and writing the letter though.  So each week we focus on one letter and one number.  The same goes for numbers.  While he knows how to count, we still need to work on recognizing the written number and word version of the number (i.e. 2, two).

Here is how we work through each letter:
  • Lower Case and Upper Case Recognition
  • Letter Sound
  • Activity, Adventure, and Art with each letter
    • The activity is usually an I Spy version of the letter.  Like finding all of the letter we are focusing on wherever we go or finding words that start with the letter.
    • The adventure is trying to find a place to go that starts with the letter or creating an at home adventure using the letter.
    • The art project involves creating a picture using the letter in it.
  • The order we are working through letters looks like this (Click on the letter to see what we've done. Only letters in blue have a curriculum page):
    • S, A, T, I, P
    • N, C, K, E
    • H, R, M, D, G
    • O, L, F, B
    • Q, U, J, Z
    • W, V, Y, X
  • If we do one letter a week we will be done with letters by the end of March.  However, we plan to continue on with numbers until Summer by doing one or two, maybe three numbers daily.
Here is how we work through each number:
  • Finding different items to count and group 
  • Searching for the number while out on adventures
  • Recognizing the number, both written and the word
  • Practice writing the number
  • I am hoping to make it to 50 by Summer
 After having been a PreK teacher for years and working with kids since high school, not to mention working in various kid settings from day care to schools, I have learned that there are items missing from the every day.

While a place may tell you that the day is made up of child initiated activities and teacher directed activities.  I worked in a setting for years that made this claim.  However, every aspect was scheduled and laid out for the kids.  For example, even though we said the kids could pick out blocks to play with,  we were still supposed to tell them what to build with it.  There was no true child initiated activities.

I wanted to truly let my kids play.  By that I mean, just let them go with the toys that are available to them.  If they invite me to play with them, I play along with whatever they are playing.  If they run into road blocks while trying to do something while playing, I will help out by giving ideas, but I try to let them work it out before coming to me.

Kids learn the most through play.  Well, play and having books read to them.  My plan is to incorporate these two things into our every day, along with adding in art and other learning opportunities.  With this our path is set in a good direction and we can build on the foundation we have created as our school years progress.