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Preschool Round Up


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What are you planning to use with your preschooler? How long do you plan to spend on preschool and what are your goals as far as where you'd like your preschooler to be by the end of the year?

 

We will use Wee Folk Art homeschool companion guides, HWT Get Ready for School and manipulatives, Early Bird Singapore Math Book A (possibly B if he is ready for it) Rod & Staff A-G series (or what we finish), and mfw preschool toys w/ index cards.

 

He'll join in for mfw 1st activities when appropriate (likely all but Lang & math). My 1st grader will do Wee Folk Art, too :).

 

Time frame wise, one on one preschool specific time, I would like to keep to around 30 minutes, so right now we are spending about 10 minutes on workbook pages, 5 minutes on mfw preschool toy activities, and about 15 on the BFIAR book we row and activity. Next year, I hope to spend about 15 minutes on Rod and Staff, 5 minutes on the mfw preschool toy, 5 on HWT and 5 on Early Bird Math. Does that sound doable?

 

We'll probably spend about a half hour on Wee Folk Art (both children), 15 minutes on Spanish, and 45 minutes on MFW 1st activities (such as science, art, social studies, etc.) that he'll join his sister on, so that would mean we'd be doing about 2 hours of school time total for him, with 30 minutes of that being one on one. I'll be doing about 1 hour one on one with my 1st grader. Sound like a workable plan?

 

My goals for him by the end of the year are to color, cut and paste well, recognize his number 1-10 and be able to write them, recognize each alphabet letter and sound and write them, be able to memorize a poem, and continue to develop his narration skils by rowing the Wee Folk Art books, as well as learn about the seasons, months, and nature. He'll be learning about the Bible and pre-history / ancient history when he joins my older daughter with MFW1st, but as he'll be doing that again for his 1st grade year, it's more important to me that he just gleams what he can and enjoys himself in doing activities with her. This year he's tagged along for most of MFWK (doesn't do the math or Lang., except for the games, songs, and multisensory activities, the simple activities).

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Funny, I've been so focused on my rising first grader's curric, I almost forgot about my poor four year old. He's really been knocking my socks off with what he's learned by osmosis just joining in when he wants to this last year, but he gets quite adamant about 'doing school' lately as well. I suspect he'd love some more formal school work with me - although he's such a chatty little wiggle worm I don't know how much we'd accomplish lol! I don't have big plans, just see where it leads us. I was soooooo excited to start with his older brother and I realize now how much easier it is just to wait :-)

 

He completed About Three workbook a few weeks ago, so we'll probably continue that series (so gentle and encouraging for him). He's got a good grasp of numbers so I'm thinking he'd enjoy MEP reception - lots of discussion lol. I'll also throw in HWOT's pre-K book cause he'll get a kick out of using a book so much like his big brother's and we already have the slates and wooden peices. Maybe I'll get some playdough stuff too?

 

Finally, I'm considering getting him AAR pre level 1. My current Ker has been using just the readers for AAR 1 and we're loving them. I might do pre1 with preK if the other stuff goes well.

 

So, in a nutshell:

 

Bigger Steps

MEP reception

HWOT PK

Maybe AAR pre-1

 

Plus listening in on read alouds, history, science and harmony fine arts with his brother!

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My preschooler is my oldest. We spend about 30-60 minutes a day doing lessons. We do Before Five In A Row and added a lapbook component which he is enjoying. We're doing letter sounds with games/activities I make up, math with MEP R and a few other resources for games/activities. We do some handwriting with a dry erase lapboard and sheets I find online. He's still in the trace larger letters stage.

 

He memorized a bunch of nursery rhymes on his own and we're just continuing on that. He picks one and we recite and play a few games around that.

 

DS turned 4 in February. My goals are for him to follow directions, engage in discussion about things we're working on at an age appropriate level, move out of the tracing stage/continue to make progress on fine motor work, know the letters(upper case and lower case) and their sounds, and complete and understand MEP R.

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He completed About Three workbook a few weeks ago, so we'll probably continue that series (so gentle and encouraging for him). He's got a good grasp of numbers so I'm thinking he'd enjoy MEP reception - lots of discussion lol. I'll also throw in HWOT's pre-K book cause he'll get a kick out of using a book so much like his big brother's and we already have the slates and wooden peices. Maybe I'll get some playdough stuff too?

 

 

My ds is just starting his final book in the About Three's. We only do a page or two a day so it should last unit another 3 weeks or so. I will probably order the ABC+G-H-I workbooks. We've really enjoyed the simplicity and how much this really lays the fondation for pre-writing skills. Plus, because my dd is doing MFWK, the Bible stories and the color book are a perfect fit to give him something to do when I work with her on her Bible reader and notebook.

 

We also started using HWOT's pre-k book this fall because I had bought it for my dd because we had orginally planned for her to do pre-k this past school year, stretching mfw k out over 2 years, but she surprised me and was able to move at the K pace, and so since MFW K was teaching upper and lower case letters, I ended up ordering her the HWOT k level workbook. We have the wooden letter and roll-o-dough and chalk board. Anyhow, since we had it, I let him join his big sister for the multisensory activities and at the end of each unit, we review our handwriting by using the HWOT work book (mfw k has a handwriting program, HWOT is just more practice) and he has his book that he gets to use, too. At 3, I didn't really expect him to retain the knowledge of recogninizing the letter name, sound and how to write it. Next year he can do the workbook again I'm thinking but this time with more of a expectation of remembering the letter.

 

I also am amazed with how much he's learned tagging along with my dd for mfw k. He recently has taken in interest in the alphabet more, so for the past couple months (maybe 2?) he'll stay and watch math and occasionally surprise me with an answer or understanding of what we are doing and I let him do the A-a Apple Song, ABC's song, multisenory type activities, and ABC Bingo, ABC Go Fish. He is beginning to remember the letter names and sound from the units he did the simple language activities with us. Plus he's learned alot about whatever it is we are studying for that unit. We just finished up wild animals.

 

He really likes and will actually insist that he get his "preschool" time. Since I am using MFW 1st and that's planned out for me I guess I am actually more focused on planning out the preschool plan since this is what I'm sort of piecing together. Although I highly recommend the mfw preschool toy package, I don't feel like it's a complete preschool program, but by adding a book to row and workbook I feel like we've had a productive year. We were doing about 15 minutes of preschool time from last April until after winter break and are since then up to about 30 minutes since he just seems to be ready for more advanced work.

 

Hope you guys have a great year!

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My 4 year old (well, she turns at the end of the month) will be continuing Funnix and her McGuffey lessons. We will add in MEP reception and the K-level SRA math text we use. She does some very short copywork and writes notes to family, so we'll continue that. She will be sitting in on French, history, and science if she wants, with a few things just for her. We'll also be doing music and art and crafts for everyone. She has a once a week library class that will continue next year. We're also adding a dance class or two in the fall. We call the coming year K4, partially because everyone who hadn't gone to daycare was starting preschool by 4 where we used to live. We make a silly *really big deal* about turning 4 and getting to start "4 year old Kindergarten." It's lots of fun.

 

I'm not sure where to expect her to be at the end of a year. I can guess based on where she is compared to her sister at the same age, but she may be above or below that. Right now I'm planning on using the same materials with her that I used with her sister.

 

My 2.5 year old is doing nursery rhymes and fingerplays and activities from some of my toddler books. We're working specifically on a few large motor and small motor activities with him. He's also doing crafty stuff. He has a library class that will start next month, and he will join his older sister next year in the other library class.

 

He's a tough one, because he understands so much more than he can communicate. He's talking more and more, but it's tough to figure out what he's saying. We've been seeing some improvement, and I'm hoping that will continue. I have trouble remembering what activities are age-appropriate for him because of his speech, so I'm making a different kind of effort in our learning activities than I did with his sisters.

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Mine is using Flowering Baby level 4 (ages 3-4) and sometimes I put out MEP Reception, Montessori (NAMC) or Seasons of Joy activities. He's about to move up to FB level 5 (ages 4-5). Will add in either McRuffy K math or RightStart A, and we're working on phonics too using Teach Your Child to Read With Children's Books.

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My preschooler is my oldest; he is turning 4 next week.

 

We've been doing 30 - 45 minutes of learning time for the last year and that will continue over the summer and into the fall.

 

He is half way through Singapore Essentials A and has been playing around with cuisenaire rods using Education Unboxed, the cuisenaire alphabet book and the first half dozen pages in Miquon Orange (done repeatedly to increase comfort with the rods). He can count to 100 if he is looking at a hundreds chart, but can't quite do it by memory.

 

He is about a third of the way through AAR 1. We are taking this very slowly (1 or 2 lessons a week), so I'm not sure how long it will take, but he will continue into AAR 2 when he is ready. I will decide at that point whether to start him in AAS 1 or if that should wait until he is older.

 

We are doing a lot of fine motor practice: cutting, coloring, gluing, mazes, playdoh, etc. We use some Kumon books and lot of random printables found online. We have also recently started The Joy of Handwriting because he is doing a lot of writing on his own and he almost always starts letters at the bottom. I'm hoping to guide him to more correct formation before he develops bad habits.

 

We are FIAR dropouts because I just could not get into a lot of their activities, so instead I am "rowing" other books of my choosing. I incorporate science, geography, cooking, narration, and morality lessons into our theme books.

 

I don't really have any set goals for next year other than continuing at a pace that keeps him challenged, engaged and having fun. I expect that he will gain a lot of reading fluency and move beyond stilted sounding out. I think he will probably master counting to 100 (probably by 1's, 2's, 5's and 10's) and finish SM Essentials B and most of Miquon Orange. With practice I hope his narration skills continue to improve. At this point he has a hard time retelling even simple stories like The Carrot Seed and I have to ask a lot of leading questions to draw out any plot points. He will also be learning a lot about infant care since I will be having baby number 3 in August.

 

Wendy

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What's MEP? Tell me more. We used Singapore Early Bird Math B for my k'er this year but it was too short so we are now supplementing with her total math preschool book she had left over from last year with the more challenging sections (telling time, money, fractions). We also do math games, use manipulatives, do cuisenaire rods and read math concept books or math literature. I try to vary between worksheets, math books and games or hands on math.

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MEP is a free math program adapted from a Hungarian program for England. Google math enhancement Programme and it will pop up. Reception level is preK to K level stuff. I did it with my son for a while at four, but he wasn't really into the discussions and stuff around the posters. I think it will be right up my up and coming four year old's alley, though.

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My 4 year old (well, she turns at the end of the month) will be continuing Funnix and her McGuffey lessons. We will add in MEP reception and the K-level SRA math text we use. She does some very short copywork and writes notes to family, so we'll continue that. She will be sitting in on French, history, and science if she wants, with a few things just for her. We'll also be doing music and art and crafts for everyone. She has a once a week library class that will continue next year. We're also adding a dance class or two in the fall. We call the coming year K4, partially because everyone who hadn't gone to daycare was starting preschool by 4 where we used to live. We make a silly *really big deal* about turning 4 and getting to start "4 year old Kindergarten." It's lots of fun.

 

I'm not sure where to expect her to be at the end of a year. I can guess based on where she is compared to her sister at the same age, but she may be above or below that. Right now I'm planning on using the same materials with her that I used with her sister.

 

My 2.5 year old is doing nursery rhymes and fingerplays and activities from some of my toddler books. We're working specifically on a few large motor and small motor activities with him. He's also doing crafty stuff. He has a library class that will start next month, and he will join his older sister next year in the other library class.

 

He's a tough one, because he understands so much more than he can communicate. He's talking more and more, but it's tough to figure out what he's saying. We've been seeing some improvement, and I'm hoping that will continue. I have trouble remembering what activities are age-appropriate for him because of his speech, so I'm making a different kind of effort in our learning activities than I did with his sisters.

 

 

What are you using for French? I forgot to add that my preKer will also join his brother for French. We've been using Avant Gaston and will probably continue to Gaston 1 when that's done. We also supplement iwth bilingual songs and French for Chikdren as well as a bunch of games and activities. Compared to Spanish I find French for this age a bit limited.

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What are you using for French? I forgot to add that my preKer will also join his brother for French. We've been using Avant Gaston and will probably continue to Gaston 1 when that's done. We also supplement iwth bilingual songs and French for Chikdren as well as a bunch of games and activities. Compared to Spanish I find French for this age a bit limited.

 

My older is working through some of CNED's CP level, although we do a lot of maternelle things also. We do a lot of our crafty things in French or based on things we've done in French. Sometimes it looks like we're doing Kindergarten in French, and our regular subjects are just electives. I have a few vocab lists and guidelines that I've found in various places for what children going into French schools as foreign speakers need to focus on, so we try to hit those things. We do most of our movies in French, and brainpop.fr and tiji.fr are what I let the kids do when I need them out from underfoot when I'm working with dangerous stuff in the kitchen. I read books and sing songs and putter around the kitchen in French. We don't do everything every single day, but those are some of the things that make up the French work I'm doing with my older child.

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DS (4 in October) will be doing Get Ready/Get Set/Go for the Code. Technically, he's not doing pre-K until next year, but he liked these books when older DS did them and wasn't satisfied with drawing in the completed ones.

 

He picks up enough math from listening in and playing with c-rods that I'm not going to try anything structured this year.

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:svengo: You mean my littles are hitting school age. :ohmy: I'm not ready. :sad:

 

Math play or living math books, TOG LG literature with activities, and plenty of coloring, and I might try ES preschool science and/or the Rod & Staff preschool workbooks.

Dd will start Phonics Pathways next year.

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I've been using Cutting/Pasting/Coloring books by Kumon and Big Skills for Little Hands. We've also been doing lots of puzzles, counting, learning letter sounds with leap frog DVD's, and playing with manipulatives. I've been doing a little work with him on the abacus I saved from our Right Start days. We probably spend about 30 mins a day total doing all of those things (but not at one time and not including reading time before nap and bedtime).

 

Next on the list to use

- Get Ready for the Code books/ABC book from Sing Spell Read and Write K. He has loved learning letter sounds and recognizing letters. I've used these books with all my kids and they've all loved the Get Ready for the Code books. They're fun and build letter sound awareness and fine motor skills.

-some more manipulatives that he can play with on his own (so I can do school with the olders!) - I"m thinking of the MFW preschool cards, lacing beads, and table top blocks.

-adding in some lap books/printables from homeschool share to go with the books we've been reading (Are You My Mother for ex.). We used FIAR in the past and loved it, but never hit it off with B4FIAR. I'm thinking of doing them with my youngest.

 

I can't believe I get one last go-round with a preschooler. I'm going to enjoy every moment!

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-some more manipulatives that he can play with on his own (so I can do school with the olders!) - I"m thinking of the MFW preschool cards, lacing beads, and table top blocks.

 

 

I actually threw in the preschool package with my mfw k order on a whim, and am really glad I did. It's been wonderful in developing his large and small motor skill, critical thinking, and pre-writing skills. It also reinforces the concepts we have been covering in his workbooks. You can use other preschool toys with the index cards, too. Like we do some of the activities with some Melissa and Doug blocks we got on clearence at Michael's, and some letter blocks that we've had since dd was an 8 month old (1st Christmas). And yes, often he plays with on his own while I do one on one work with big sister :)

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All when she wants it with no expectations or goals involved. I am really only doing formal school at all because she is begging. ;)

 

My preschool goals for my ds (I just read the article that was posted on what a 4 year old needs to know ;) ) are different than the goals I had for my dd, and entirely based on his interests and ability. My goals for instance with dd, 5, were to complete 1/2 of mfw k as a pre-k year and learn her letter names and sounds, but she surprised me and had been able to keep up with a regular pace and will complete k by the end of June. She learned all her letter names and sounds at 5 years 9 months, and his since moved on to reading in the past 2 months. But my ds, who'll be 4 June 1st, is already on his own, by choice asking me to teach him to read and voluntarily sitting in on math. He is starting to remember letter names, sounds and how to write them by doing very basic activities and listening in on my dd's k because he wants too. In fact, I could probably start him mfw k now, but want to wait until he is 5, so goals are more based on a projection of a mid range guess of where he'll be based on what he can and wants to do now. If he does not end up meeting the Lang and math goals, no biggie. He on the other hand might finish all those math and Lang. goals by Christmas break. Time'll tell....

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I actually threw in the preschool package with my mfw k order on a whim, and am really glad I did. It's been wonderful in developing his large and small motor skill, critical thinking, and pre-writing skills. It also reinforces the concepts we have been covering in his workbooks. You can use other preschool toys with the index cards, too. Like we do some of the activities with some Melissa and Doug blocks we got on clearence at Michael's, and some letter blocks that we've had since dd was an 8 month old (1st Christmas). And yes, often he plays with on his own while I do one on one work with big sister :)

 

 

Thanks for sharing that! It makes me feel better about buying those cards. I love it when purchases can be recycled with other items. :thumbup1:

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My DD3 will turn 4 in November and I plan to start her this fall with the R&S About Three workbook, Kumon workbooks, and Building Thinking Skills Beginning. She will also start joining in with DD5 during bible study and nature study.

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My dd will be 3 this summer, so I'm planning on some preschool-y things for the next year. Everything I have planned is pretty much based on play (art, songs, finger plays). I may pick up a couple of workbooks-we will see how that goes. I'm hoping she likes them as I'm a workbook person myself. :) I am very tempted by many of the preschool things over at Timberdoodle- we will see how much my husband will let me spend! I also really want to pick up Art Lab for Little Kids, once it's released. I really want to get her enrolled in a preschool art class that one of our local museums sponsors.

 

We will also be getting the pass to the zoo this year- our zoo has been closed for over a year due to flooding and is finally reopening this Spring! She asks me every day if we can go to the zoo yet.

 

My goals for the next year are to continue working on letter and number recognition, and to

continue to nurture her love of reading. Lots of library trips in our future.

 

And I almost forgot Little Pim Spanish.

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We will also be getting the pass to the zoo this year- our zoo has been closed for over a year due to flooding and is finally reopening this Spring! She asks me every day if we can go to the zoo.

 

That's awesome! I wish our zoo were closer. It's an hour away so I don't think we'd go often enough to make it worth are whole, but we went last month and the season passes were pretty affordable which was nice and they even offered preschool classes, very hands on stuff.

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My just-turned-4-year-old daughter started begging for Kindergarten after visiting with her cousins who are in K at public school. So I told her she is too young for Kindergarten, but if she really wanted we could do Pre-Kindergarten. She is very excited. We have just started this week, and a lot of it is the same things that we were already doing very casually when we felt like it for preschool, but done consistently and with a few extras added in. I made up a fancy chart to put stickers on after we do each activity/lesson, which makes her feel all important and official and helps me stay accountable. After our first lesson yesterday morning, my two-year-old demanded her turn at a phonics lesson, too--and not from the letter sound section, either. She insists on doing everything. I don't want to do school with a two-year-old, but she has other plans.

 

So here's what I'm using with my girls this year:

 

Language Arts:

-OPG and (for the older) BOB Books for reading

-Also, various phonics games, and I'm taping up a personalized story on their wall one wordstrip per day, so that it will wrap around their room and get more complicated as her reading ability improves.

-Directed handwriting practice of some kind once a week for the older (only because she writes on her own all the time, and is getting some bad habits)

-And lots and lots of read-alouds

 

Math:

-With the older, finishing up Mathematical Reasoning Beginning 2, and then I'm planning on starting Miquon Orange.

-With the younger, starting Mathematical Reasoning Beginning 1 if she wants to (once a borrower returns it)

-Also, playing C-rod games from the Nurtured by Love blog and free math manipulative play for both.

 

Other:

-Watching Salsa Spanish, reading picture books in Spanish, and recruiting Daddy to speak with us while trying to speak in Spanish as much as possible on Fridays

-Something to do with a science or nature topic each week, based on interest. Right now my older daughter is fascinated with bones, so this week it will be learning the bone song and coloring a skeleton in a coloring book, and next week we will make a paper skeleton on the wall with all the bones. I'm hoping to go on to something more normal after that, like sprouting seeds.

-At least one more involved art project (coloring doesn't count) or art appreciation activity each week

-Something with music each week. This will probably more often be things like just turning on the dance of the sugar plum fairy and dancing around together, but I've got a few other ideas, too.

-Calendar daily

 

My goals for this year with older:

Establish the attitude that we like school and we like homeschooling. Establish the habit that school time is just what we do on a normal day. Have fun. Progress beyond CVC words and gain confidence in reading. Learn higher numbers. Finish current book in math and asses if she is ready for an elementary curriculum. Reach the point where she can have a very simple conversation in Spanish.

 

For the younger:

Have fun. Solidify counting skills. Pick up a few more Spanish words. Potty train.

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This year we have used:

 

Five in a Row volume 1

Saxon K

Rod & Staff preschool workbooks

Ordinary parents guide to teaching reading/ and I see Sam little readers

 

We've have a great year with just the right amount of stuff to do. On occasion we'll do some science experiments and art. What ever fun things I've found on Pinterest.

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For PreK we do the following:

 

Math- Saxon K

Logic- Building Thinking Skills Beginning

Phonics- phonograms 1-26

Pre-Reading- Bob Books Pre-Reading and Alphabet sets

Writing- manuscript letters via WRTR and lined paper

Fine Arts- PreScripts (not the cursive, just the drawing and coloring)

Bible- 365 Great Bible Stories, Small Talks on Big Questions, manners, hymns, Character First related devotions

 

Memory Work and Enrichment- Classical Conversations Foundations program, Character First, First Catechism, IEW's Poetry Memorization, AWANA

 

We flesh out the memory work with read alouds, printables, movies, field trips, etc.

 

For the phonograms, they say the sounds on the flashcards and then I dictate the sounds and they write them. They also will make an alphabet book with key words from the phonograms......We don't work on blending yet but we do work on listening for the sounds in words, etc....

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This year we have used:

 

Five in a Row volume 1

Saxon K

Rod & Staff preschool workbooks

Ordinary parents guide to teaching reading/ and I see Sam little readers

 

We've have a great year with just the right amount of stuff to do. On occasion we'll do some science experiments and art. What ever fun things I've found on Pinterest.

 

How did you like FIAR? We are going to be finishing BFIAR this year and possibly doing FIAR for my ds k & 1st year, if we can manage it in.

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My youngest will be 4 this September. My last year of preschool! She is using 100ezl very slowly right now. After that she will move on to OPGTR. I also have some abeka K math and phonics workbooks that her sisters used for pre K. After those I usually start easy copy work and mm1. It kinda all depends on how fast she goes. She is going to be starting at a much younger age then her sisters because of her late birthday. She started reading a lot earlier though and is quite good at math. She also has that youngest child "I want to do homework too" thing

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Guest smurf29

Our 2 year preschool plan:

 

2013-2014 (taking everything very slowly)

AAR Pre-level 1

HWOT Get Set For School

BFIAR and PWB - pull stuff from each

Elemental Science Exploring Science

Preschool Art

C-Rods with Education Unboxed videos and printables

MEP Reception

Book & Nursery Rhyme a Week

 

 

2014-2015

Continue most things from last year

RightStart A

Miquon Orange (maybe? or just more informal C-rod play)

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DD just turned 3, she begs for school. I started giving her 5-10 min of appeasement school a day. At a young 3 DD knows more than her brothers did starting K at an old 5.

 

AAR Pre-1

MUS Primer

Tagging along with her brothers for Science, Art, History and Read Alouds

I will avoid handwriting as long as I can, when she begs for it we'll do Pentime cursive. She's a lefty and I hate, for lack of a stronger word, teaching handwriting.

 

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... this is wonderful to read over; what lovely ideas!

 

N. will be three in June. We'll be using MUS Primer (probably alternating with MEP Reception); Phonics Pathways; stories from Angelicum/Great Books Academy & Sonlight; poems from various sources -- we may hit Lobel's Mother Goose again, right now he & A. are enjoying Douglas Florian's Dinothesaurus poems & Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends; and Art for the Very Young. For music I'm hoping to kick us off with A Child's Celebration of Rock'n Roll, and I plan to use some of MontessoriRD's materials for geography & life sciences. And now I'm off to look at the About Three workbooks mentioned by PPs, and go over to Wee Folk Art. I've also heard very good things about Core Knowledge's Preschool workbook.

 

to the OP: I haven't planned out the time for this -- my older child is very intense and requires a good deal of teaching attention. My goal is for N., who learns quickly and doesn't have any motor problems, to be able to work at roughly a standard first-grade level by the time he's in Kindergarten; and for us to have a lot of fun together, time baking cookies esp. and making zoo trips! he is my last child, and the older one was just a most unusual preschooler so I am looking forward to doing normal preschool things ...

 

also, I wouldn't be doing the Montessori things next year, but the older child didn't get all of them and I want him to have the information :)

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What are you planning to use with your preschooler?

 

I'll have a 4 year old next year. We'll continue with Phonics Pathways and also add in Singapore Essential Math K and Pentime grade 1 Book 1 (only because he begged me for it).

 

How long do you plan to spend on preschool and what are your goals as far as where you'd like your preschooler to be by the end of the year?

 

I don't spend much time on preschool - maybe 5-10 minutes/day. It's done on a "when they ask" basis, and it's completely optional. I don't really have any goals for my current preschooler, as he's already met or exceeded my minimum academic goals for preschool in general (know basic letter sounds, count, know colors/shapes, etc.).

 

Now what I do do with my preschooler is talk to him a lot, involve him in what I'm doing (housework, cooking, farm work), and answer his questions. That's where most of the learning takes place. The only reason he has "curriculum" is because he wants to do school like his big brothers. He has a stack of workbooks that he'll work on for an hour sometimes. It's a bit nuts. :tongue_smilie: Just the other day, I hadn't started school with the big kids, but DS3 said, "I did my school!" Sure enough, he had worked on workbooks for a while, copying words, coloring, drawing lines, etc.

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How did you like FIAR? We are going to be finishing BFIAR this year and possibly doing FIAR for my ds k & 1st year, if we can manage it in.

 

We loved fiar volume 1. There were enough activities that for my preachoolers to have fun with. We may use the manual again in a few years when my next daughter is older and cover more of what we didn't with my oldest daughter.

 

That's what's nice about the manual. There is so much you can use for lessons that you could row them twice several years apart and learn new stuff. We really enjoyed the book suggestions. They were all so different.

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We loved fiar volume 1. There were enough activities that for my preachoolers to have fun with. We may use the manual again in a few years when my next daughter is older and cover more of what we didn't with my oldest daughter.

 

That's what's nice about the manual. There is so much you can use for lessons that you could row them twice several years apart and learn new stuff. We really enjoyed the book suggestions. They were all so different.

 

We are getting to the point we are re-rowing books we did last spring / summer and even doing the same activities are different because he is older and can go more in depth with our activity or discussion with BFIAR.

 

Is the format very different or similar? I know BFIAR is supposed to be informal and not a curriculum per se. It's been a valuable part of what we did for pre-k3, and I am looking forward to using it again for my next little one :)

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I'm going to have a 3 year old pre-K'er next year and she has been ready for some serious attention for some time.

 

I have really liked the look of BFIAR/FIAR but instead of using their curriculum I just sort of cobble together my own. I use Peak With Books and that helps to "row" a book without really having to buy new curricula.

 

My plans for my dd are to do PWB activities at her level. To do the multi-sensory activities in HWOT K teacher guide, using the wooden letters, sandpaper letters and letter tiles. She has a lot of experience with these already. She knows the letters and sounds, but I don't feel that she is ready to write or read yet, so I'll do pre-literacy activities/projects with her.

 

Math --I'll do some of MEP Reception. Again anything that doesn't need her to write. Lots of play with attribute and pattern blocks and other hands-on math manipulatives. To work on her pencil skills I am going to use these sheets.

 

My two big focuses however will be science and Montessori inspired work. A friend gifted me some materials from here and I'm going to focus on sensory and practical life and science with her. I've always tried to give my littles some mont. inspired activities, but I'm going to dive in deeper. I've been able to find lots of Pinterest links to hand make some activities. she already does Mudpie activities, but there are others she can try. Usually i focus hard on just reading with a 3 year old---reading to them and free playing. This is really going to be the first time I focus hard on science and follow a plan at these ages. But her personality calls for it.

 

She'll do arts and crafts with her older brothers, and I'll do some crafty/nature study stuff as well.

 

My goals for the end of the year are just getting her into a routine and learning to love learning and follow her interests. To establish good habits and to feel good about herself. To continue to play with language (she loves rhymes and fingerplays of all sorts) and to love book sand recognize the potential in books. To see patterns in the world and to continue learning to count and classify and sort her world. To be curious and excited about her world--learning how it works, how her body works, how other life forms work, and to have a love and appreciation for living in the world and to see her place in it. To find beauty in the world and know that she can create beauty as well.

 

Really though those are my goals for all my children with more or less complexity.

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We are getting to the point we are re-rowing books we did last spring / summer and even doing the same activities are different because he is older and can go more in depth with our activity or discussion with BFIAR.

 

Is the format very different or similar? I know BFIAR is supposed to be informal and not a curriculum per se. It's been a valuable part of what we did for pre-k3, and I am looking forward to using it again for my next little one :)

 

 

I've never seen BFIAR, so I don't know how they differ. I can tell you however, that FIAR volume 1 is jam packed with lesson suggestions. At a preschool level, we've barely dug into what we can. The lessons provide a ton to work with. You just pick and choose what you want and what level your child is. I was impressed by how much and how far you could make the lessons go. I would dare say if you wanted you could make the lessons last for 2 weeks with how much is available for you in the manual. There is that much stuff. Plus on FIAR's forum their are more book suggestions to go along with each book. Making it go even farther if you really want to dig into a subject. It's a lot of fun.

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My little dude will be about four this fall. I've fooled around with Wee Folk Art, but ultimately I find myself using them as reading lists and not actually following through with any of my more-formal notions. My guy is kind of intense, and I've found that learning really happens through play and through conversation about things we're reading. So mostly I try to keep up, follow his interests and find high-quality books I think he'll enjoy.

 

Reading: This is semi-scandalous here at WTM, but I'm actually more concerned about math and science than I am about language arts at this point. I feel pretty comfortable letting his reading skills develop at their own pace. We play rhyming games and pick out letters he recognizes, and so on, but I don't plan to introduce formal reading instruction for quite a while. When we eventually do, I'm eyeing AAR, but that could change.

 

Math: I picked up a set of C-rods, but after agonizing over a thousand (approximately) "wood or plastic" discussions here, I bought the plastic ones - they bulge, and the kid instantly called me on my "See, six of these make one of these!" claim. So they went back and I'm looking at the wooden Mathematics Made Meaningful set now. But I want to read some Miquon materials (and definitely the Liping Ma book) first, just to be sure I get off on the right foot. I feel like I myself am a classic end result of Western math instruction (can perform algorithms, but poor understanding of what I'm actually doing) and I want better for the kidlet.

 

Science: in addition to whatever we're reading at the moment, I'm always (very slowly) working my own way through BFSU to (I hope) be able to help him follow his interests.

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My little dude will be about four this fall. I've fooled around with Wee Folk Art, but ultimately I find myself using them as reading lists and not actually following through with any of my more-formal notions. My guy is kind of intense, and I've found that learning really happens through play and through conversation about things we're reading. So mostly I try to keep up, follow his interests and find high-quality books I think he'll enjoy.

 

Reading: This is semi-scandalous here at WTM, but I'm actually more concerned about math and science than I am about language arts at this point. I feel pretty comfortable letting his reading skills develop at their own pace. We play rhyming games and pick out letters he recognizes, and so on, but I don't plan to introduce formal reading instruction for quite a while. When we eventually do, I'm eyeing AAR, but that could change.

 

Math: I picked up a set of C-rods, but after agonizing over a thousand (approximately) "wood or plastic" discussions here, I bought the plastic ones - they bulge, and the kid instantly called me on my "See, six of these make one of these!" claim. So they went back and I'm looking at the wooden Mathematics Made Meaningful set now. But I want to read some Miquon materials (and definitely the Liping Ma book) first, just to be sure I get off on the right foot. I feel like I myself am a classic end result of Western math instruction (can perform algorithms, but poor understanding of what I'm actually doing) and I want better for the kidlet.

 

Science: in addition to whatever we're reading at the moment, I'm always (very slowly) working my own way through BFSU to (I hope) be able to help him follow his interests.

 

You bring up a good point. When my oldest was preschool aged he was basically unschooled because I was trying to self-educate. I was reading as much about homeschooling and education as possible to teach myself about it all and to form my opinions about education.

 

I still do keep up with that reading and now that my oldest is inching toward the middle school years I've noticed my own self-education picking up steam again. You do have to stay a few steps ahead of them. :)

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You bring up a good point. When my oldest was preschool aged he was basically unschooled because I was trying to self-educate. I was reading as much about homeschooling and education as possible to teach myself about it all and to form my opinions about education.

 

YES! I'm glad that's A Thing for other people, too. I find this mildly overwhelming about pondering homeschooling at times, that instead of handing my child over to someone else's philosophical framework, I have to construct my own.

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YES! I'm glad that's A Thing for other people, too. I find this mildly overwhelming about pondering homeschooling at times, that instead of handing my child over to someone else's philosophical framework, I have to construct my own.

 

I didn't plan to homeschool, so for me homeschooling has been more of a crash course :). I pulled dd out of preschool, did some unit studies and lapbooks, and preschool workbooks i had from Costco / various stuff, then got a feel for mfw k while doing all that, attempting to develop an approach. This is probably why I went for a box curriculum. Reading For the Sake of the Children, The Well Trained Mind, and various message boards and homeschool blogs have been helpful. I like the safety of the box but I pieced together my preschoolers stuff because he wanted to do school of his own, so we started with the preschool toys and mfw index cards, added BFIAR and then finally added the workbooks and HWOT because he wanted to learn letters and do worksheets, because he wanted to learn letters and do worksheets too. I originally had no expectations to do preschool this past year with him as he is only three and with a summer birthday a young three. I just expected him to tag along if he wanted too with some of the fun activities for mfw k, but he really insisted on doing school too and I didn't!want him to be discouraged by doing k level work so wanted something for him.

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I didn't plan to homeschool, so for me homeschooling has been more of a crash course :). I pulled dd out of preschool, did some unit studies and lapbooks, and preschool workbooks i had from Costco / various stuff, then got a feel for mfw k while doing all that, attempting to develop an approach. This is probably why I went for a box curriculum. Reading For the Sake of the Children, The Well Trained Mind, and various message boards and homeschool blogs have been helpful. I like the safety of the box but I pieced together my preschoolers stuff because he wanted to do school of his own, so we started with the preschool toys and mfw index cards, added BFIAR and then finally added the workbooks and HWOT because he wanted to learn letters and do worksheets, because he wanted to learn letters and do worksheets too. I originally had no expectations to do preschool this past year with him as he is only three and with a summer birthday a young three. I just expected him to tag along if he wanted too with some of the fun activities for mfw k, but he really insisted on doing school too and I didn't!want him to be discouraged by doing k level work so wanted something for him.

This is really helpful. I have a soon to be three year old who is just like this. She wants to do school like her much older brother and sister. I have always been of the opinion that young kids just need to be kids, but my youngest REALLY wants school.

 

Since I haven't been homeschooling my two oldest from the beginning, I'm really lost as to what to use for the preschool and kindergarten years. Reading what everyone else has been doing is super helpful.

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This is really helpful. I have a soon to be three year old who is just like this. She wants to do school like her much older brother and sister. I have always been of the opinion that young kids just need to be kids, but my youngest REALLY wants school.

 

Since I haven't been homeschooling my two oldest from the beginning, I'm really lost as to what to use for the preschool and kindergarten years. Reading what everyone else has been doing is super helpful.

 

 

I didn't do much with my boys when they were 3 either, other than to read quality books and to play and talk with them and to keep educational toys and activities available for them.

 

My dd however wants to do something. She really seems "smart" for her age. So I have been planning for her. I think just letting her play and do her own thing is good, obviously. But she wants attention so I plan on giving her my undivided time and setting up activities she can do on her own as well.

 

I'm trying to keep it activity based as much as possible. I still feel 3 is a bit young for too much sit-down pencil work.

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My 3yo is going to be starting preschool with us and we've been working on her section of the classroom.

 

I teach preschool in a Montessori style and this year is going to be about bringing out her academic learning side through activities she enjoys and simply following her lead as she learns through play. Next year we will focus on preK work that we havent mastered yet, but I have no solid concrete goals for her this year - I'm just letting her lead.

 

Likely, she'll achieve (through again, we don't really have goals persay) letter and number recognition as well as improved fine motor skills (writing/drawing). We may incorporate calendar/weather throughout the year if she seems interested. If not, we can next year. When I let the kids lead they usually jump over K materials entirely in a summer and end up being a year or half year ahead.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My 3.5yo, 4 in Aug, will be on her second round of pre-k. She loves doing "school" and asks for it everyday.

 

My goals for the pre-k years are for them to learn all the letters and their sounds, be able to count to 100 and recognize the numbers, have good fine motor control (cutting, drawing, tracing, etc.), and if possible know how to write all of their letters and numbers (before starting K). My kids have all picked up each of these skills at their own pace (some earlier than others). It has been nice to have these skills down by the time they get to K so we can focus more time and energy on things like learning to read and basic math facts. But each kid is different, and I have learned that every kid has a different learning style and they can't be forced to learn something before they are ready (I have made that mistake before ;) ).

 

Fine Motor Skills: she will keep working through Kumon books like cutting, pasting, tracing, coloring, etc.

 

Numbers/Math: We have been practicing counting with a 100's chart, I have her pount and say each number (surprisingly she loves this. I actually started doing this with my Dd5 who needed the extra practice and my Dd3 really wanted to do it too). I also plan on starting MEP reception lessons with her in the fall.

 

Letters/Phonics: She already knows all of her letters and sounds thanks to leapfrog, so we have just barely started reading using OPGTR (slowly but surely we will continue to work through it).

 

Writing: I don't think she is quite ready to start learning to write her letters and numbers. I will probably wait to have her start handwriting towards the end of this next school year.

 

Literature: I plan on using Sonlight P 3/4 with her and her 5yo sister

 

Other: When interested she can tag along with her older sisters in History, Science, Art, P.E., etc. I don't expect her to participate in these subjects, but if she chooses she can.

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My youngest will be 4 in October. We just started LHTH and spend about 30 minutes a day. We also have BFIAR/FIAR that I may add in (right now she listens in on my K'er's FIAR book). She joins in with some of the older DC's studies...especially art and nature study!

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My ds3 will be 4 at the end of October. His older brother will be K in the fall. Though we pretty much started most things in January. Ds3 is already ahead of any goals I would have set for this year. "Technically" he doesn't start K for 2 more years. He knows and identifies all the letters and their initial sounds, his shapes, colors, and counts to 20. The only "goal" I have is to work on soldifying his number recognition and building his fine motor skills. That said I keep them busy (not necessarily from academic worksheets, etc) with "school" from 10:30 to about 4:30. That includes outside/physical activity time, lunch, and quiet times. What we are doing:

 

Finishing AAR Pre-1 then? (I don't really want to start a phonics program yet) we are doing AAR Pre-1 b/c he asked for it.

Tot Boxes

Kumon cut & paste and maze books.

Free Art (painting, finger painting, water painting, play-doh, paper collages, etc)

Duplo, blocks, gear and peg building toys (we only do these during school time as my super hero boys would use them as projectiles during free time.

Puzzles and simple games

 

Tagging along with his brother:

FIAR

Preschool packs from Homeschool Creations and others.

Elemental Science - Intro to Science

Nature Walks

Trips to the zoo, children's museum and others.

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My boy turns 4 next week, so this September would be his official preschool year. I am trying to figure out how and how much to teach him without pushing too hard. There's also the fact that we don't really have any formal curriculum. In the last two months he has started counting to 30, adding very small numbers, e.g. 2+1 and sounding out and blending CVC words. He knows his shapes (except pent/hex/octagon, which I will work on) and his colors, and letters and their sounds.

 

For math, I have a lot of manipulatives: c-rods (new!), pattern blocks, tangoes jr., an abacus, and counting animals (used mainly for sorting, patterning). I have no curriculum but want to do education unboxed videos after he gets used to the rods, and plan to ook at miquon and mep reception. My goals are to count to 100, skip counting, really get his patterning down pat, and whateverer he picks up from the rods stuff. Oh and I am ordering a set of geometric solids so he can learn basic 3D shapes, which he hasn't seemed to pick up talking about 2D pictures.

 

For reading, most importantly I want to keep reading him good picture books. I am good about it most nights, but we do skip 1-2 days a week, probably, so I want to be more consistent. We have been using "Reading Bear" on the computer to start phonics for free (he doesn't really click with starfall.com so far), along with the Leap Frog Letter Factory, Word Factory, and Code Word Caper videos. I have BoB books, but he has been rejecting them so far. We are using iPad apps for sight words. I don't know what my goals are here... depends how he does.

 

For handwriting. This I don't know what to do. I have standard type worksheets (from PreK workbooks), but I'm not super keen on them. I have Letter School on the iPad which he likes but he is not doing enough repetitive letters to have learned the right order and direction to make the lines yet. I am thinking his fine motor isn't great yet - he is not remotely close to being able to color within lines, it's still scribbling there - so more play doh, more free art painting, drawing, and coloring, and more play with legos, blocks. Also needs cutting, pasting, folding practice... plan to pick up some Kumon for this, I think. Just hoping for some progress here.

 

For science...I want to do a lot of nature stuff this summer. We watch Sid the Science Kid semi-regularly and between that and his old interest of Dinosaur Train, he is getting the talk down... observation, investigate, hypothesis, etc. I am going to borrow some Magic School Bus videos from the library and read some more science books, too. If I can do some more sensory stuff and home experiment stuff, that would be ideal. My goals here are way too vague - more curiosity, better critical thinking skills - not sure how I measure this stuff.

 

I also want to work on his knowledge of the traditional nursery rhymes, kid songs, and fairy tales. My only other goals involve increasing the length of time he can sit still (currently under 5 minutes) and continuing to improve his listening/direction following. I haven't thought much about social studies at this point. And I want to balance this with park visits, pool trips, play dates, free play, and trips to the grandparents for fishing and hiking.

 

As far as the time we work, it's not every day, because outings tend to derail the educational materials. I am currently resorting to rewards, which I am not thrilled with, but he loves watching educational videos/tv and educational games on the computer/iPad and going outside to draw with chalk or blow bubbles, and is less keen on anything relating to phonics or writing. So I usually ask for one 10 minute block of concentration, followed by one show/video OR as much time outside as he wants until he comes in, and try to do that a couple times per day on days we're home. If he isn't interested, I tell him he can always go play with his toys (free play) or go outside (but without the bubbles), and not do "school," so nothing is really forced but then he gets less electronic games/tv and we go through less bubble liquid (he spills the little bottle every time).

 

It was helpful for me to list this stuff out, and also to read everyone else's ideas, so thanks for the thread.

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I feel like I've been doing continuous preschool for years lol. I can't believe this is my last go round already.

 

That being said...I have no formal plans. The advantage of having kids close in age means he can easily tag along with the olders. He just joins in wherever he wants to and I do whatever he asks for.

 

We use homeschool share and it's really easy to include Activities that are appropriate for him. Yesterday we did colour mixing with paint and he was thrilled to do it and to see the paint change colours.

 

I already read tons to him....seriously he is always shoving a book in my face.

 

He already knows his letters and sounds from listening in to the older two have reading and spelling lessons.

 

Lately he has been sitting in on their math lessons and will pick up a concept or two that he understands so he will join in and shout some answers. When we do HWOT he loves using the chalkboard and magnetic slate to build letters.

 

So basically my plan for him is just let him follow along and include him in what I'm already doing with the other two.

 

I'm not planning on teaching him to read yet....I tried a simple lesson on blending with him today but he was totally uninterested so I won't push it.

 

My only goal for him is to work on his fine motor skills...he can't even hold a crayon properly yet.

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I am doing preschool this year after having a long break from it. Wow! There are LOTS of fabulous choices for preschool now. What a blessing (or curse...if you can't make up your mind)!

 

So right now, dd and I are working through AAR Pre (almost finished) and some of the HWT preschool materials. And I am reading this board for new ideas. DH and I plan to keep this daughter out of "registered" school for an extra year because she has a very late summer birthday, and she is quite small. So we get to spend extra time on fun preschool/kindergarten stuff. I look forward to it!

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We have one preschooler and one pre-ker.

 

Eve will be doing:

 

Curriculums: Core Knowledge Preschool (loosely, mostly reading the stories, and letting her walk around flipping through the pages) & both Activity Books. Live Education/Waldorf Homelife Pre-K/K (loosely). Little Acorn Learning Guides (loosely) (5 day & enrichments). Sonlight 3/4 (loosely, pick and choose bits and pieces).

 

Maths: Singapore Essentials (I was just going to skip it, but she found it in the back room and wants to do it). Her Choice.

- Mixture of Math (MEP, CSMP, Shiller, Miquon, and probably another other digital math for PK we have). Obviously NOT doing the actual curriculums (LOL, now that would be completely insane). I just tend to pick and choose sheets/activities depending on what needs review or what she wants to do, if she just wants to play with the Math Manipulatives tubs in the cupboard, thats fine too. Not particularly bothered with what she wants as I know shes bright, and follows on. She can just play with a wooden spoon and saucepan if thats what she wants (lol, although I might need earmuffs). I tend to somehow collect digital stuff and she eats up workbooks/activity sheets.

 

Science/Social Studies/Language: Nada. Real life stuff (gardening, cooking, field trips, walks, nature walks etc). I suppose part of health we do for Atlas can be counted as Social Studies, and we base our days round the seasons, plus Atlas is doing OM1 so she overhears that. So I'm going to count SS/Sci as done, lol. as for Language Arts, none. She overhears everything from OM1.

 

Plus Kumon books, painting, modelling, maryann kohls stuff, vintage texts etc. Sounds like a lot rofl, but its pretty much flying by the seat of my pants. She does group lessons (waldorf homeschooling, so she is included in circle time, middle lesson and afternoon lesson (hearts & hands), and just wants worksheets to do when I am doing main lessons (if shes had enough drawing in her "main lesson book") so I just have a selection of pre-printed stuff, as well as that weeks CK Prek pages. Other than that, she just gets her one-on-one reading & play time with Sonlight which takes only a few minutes a day and gives her that bit of special attention. Our school is mostly one-room schoolhouse type thing, everyones combined.

 

Her curriculum is really all her choice, so if she didn't want to do any of it or started to get frustrated, I'm happy to drop it. Everything she's doing is stuff I already had, so I'm not really purchasing anything "new" for her.

 

Chaos will be doing:

 

Chaos has been held back a year to concentrate on his special needs, so he'll be doing another more intensive pre-k year and do K next year.

 

Curriculum: Sonlight P4/5 (for listening skills and one-on-one time). Doing it loosely, in our own way. Super Star Speech Expanded & Language programs (so everything from those people lol) obviously for his speech (really this is his "main" curriculum).

 

Math: I'm thinking Miquon and maybe Math U See Primer. I'm still working this out, I will probably sit down with the video & student text tommorrow to see if it would be suitable for him.

 

Science/Social Studies/Language: Nada, again. Well his super star speech & language would cover language, but SS/Sci is covered by everyday life for the moment.

 

He'll also be doing Kumon Books for his fine motor delays, I'll be purchasing another set of Developing the Early Leaner for him.

 

Literally everything (apart from Super Star Speech & Developing the Early Learner) was stuff I have/collected, so was already in my storage. If I had to purchase stuff (i.e. I had nothing) apart from the Speech & DEL stuff, and was on a tight budget, I wouldn't purchase anything or really do anything with them, apart from including them in our day. I wouldn't even be doing 1/4 of the things listed above if it wasn't for my kids (Eve wants worksheets, activities, and just wants more and more and more lol. She loves painting, and "proper" preschool activities, but shes one of those girls that is a teachers pet :p ) (And Chaos needs a little extra hand this year in order to begin OMK next year, so I'm hopefully just helping him along with that).

 

So in other words, take what I am doing with a big grain of salt. I would of been quite ecstatic to give them a pail of mud, and a paintbrush and let them paint the sidewalk, LOL. They've already turned my verandah into sandville. Apparently sand is more fun on the floor than in the sandtub :hat: I can honestly say it is, too. I was sitting there the other day crossed legged on the floor and drawing a "Story" into the sand, whilst yabbering on, I had great fun :laugh: Kids had fun too. I get a story from one of them every time I sit on the verandah now, so I left the sand there. :closedeyes: To me thats much more fun than worksheets, but not to Eve. She'll drop everything to run inside to do one little worksheet :huh: kids. :lol:

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