So this year daycare is starting on some pre-preschool activities with the almost-four-year-olds and we’re starting some more structured activities at home to help supplement this. As I’ve written about before – I’m all for home education, but we don’t feel called to be our kids only teachers at the moment. However, we do believe we’re always called to the First Teachers – or if you prefer, the primary examples for our kids.
This year this includes getting a little more structure to our days and more directed approach to what we’re teaching and learning at home. So this is a glimpse of what it means to be “School-ish” in our home.
I share these ideas for those who also don’t feel called to be homeschoolers, but still feel like they want their homes to be centers of education in many forms.
- Twenty-Six Letters to Heaven: A Catholic Preschool Curriculum
- Teach Me to Do It Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child
- Wipe Clean Books
- “My First Coloring Book”
- Handwriting Without Tears – Get Set For School – My First School Book – Pre-K Activity Book (given to us from Daycare for the days we’re not there; my request)
- My First Book Of Tracing (Kumon Workbooks) – and other “My First Books” by Kumon if the mood strikes us
- My Book House, Volume 1
- Loyola Kids Book of Saints and Once upon a Time Saints – these are a bit long for us now, so they’ll be for when we can’t find a picture book
- The Children’s Book of Home and Family
- The Children’s Book of Faith
- The Children’s Book of Heroes
- Big Thoughts for Little People: ABC’s to Help You Grow
- My First BOB Books: Pre-Reading Skills
- Sandpaper Letters and Numbers or Montessori: Letter Work, Montessori: Number Work (haven’t decided how much to invest yet, to be honest) – for now we’re using these Flashcards.
- Letter Recognition
- Number Recognition 1-20 and Counting
- Pre-Writing work (gross motor control, tracing, etc.)
- Learning Virtues, Prayers, etc.
There is a more formal element to it – we want to keep up with what our daycare is doing. But the rest is just making a small system of organization to what we’re doing and get a little structure into our days. I think I’ve been nicely influenced by Wildflowers and Marbles post about preschool and nurturing wonder and I think it fits in well with my ideas about being The First Teacher.
The very loose plan of attack is
- Use “26 Letters to Heaven” and focus on one letter per week, three weeks in a row with a week break to catch up or relax.
- Use the corresponding letter in “Big Thoughts For Little People” to continuing learning about virtues/characters.
- Learn about a Saint corresponding to that letter each week.
- Follow along with the letters in our BOB books
- Use the letter of the week to inspire additional library and reading selections
- Do activities and crafts appropriate to each weeks letter when the mood strikes us.
- Do “workbooks” when the mood strikes us.
- Leave Montessori-inspired games, toys and activities available and follow the child.
- Continue to build on character and habits – a loosely based Charlotte Mason idea.