School-ish

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.

The “Curriculum”:

The “Workbooks”:
The Materials:
  • Letter Recognition
  • Number Recognition 1-20 and Counting
  • Pre-Writing work (gross motor control, tracing, etc.)
  • Learning Virtues, Prayers, etc.
One of the nice things this year is that we’ve already accomplished many of our goals – kiddo has been quick to pick up recognizing letters and numbers and I’m in no rush to hurry us into actual reading so we’ll keep building off of what we have.
How We “School-ish”
Those lists look rather impressive don’t they?  Really, it’s just a long list of books that occupy a basket on a shelf in our living room.  They are way to focus our energies – to slowly (very slowly) define our home as a place to learn about many things.

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.
The very formal looking “lesson plans” are in this planner, but once again it’s all just a guide.  This is just a central location for ideas and structure to help me and my husband be on the same page and it’s all based around the idea that even if I’m not the only teacher, I still have a responsibility to be the First Teacher.

 

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