Well, we are four weeks into homeschool 2015, and so far so good. Our curriculum choices are working out well, and we are all getting into the school routine.
Here are some things that are working out well for us so far this year:
A Daily Schedule
I got crafty and made a daily schedule with pictures for Ivelina. It only took her about 2 days to be able to to “read” her daily schedule. The subjects mostly stay the same each day except for a couple of variable times. On Monday, we visit the library, on Wednesdays and Fridays we have speech therapy, on Thursday afternoons I go to work and Ivie stays with a friend, and of course some days we do errands or a field trip. We also throw science and geography into the mix a few days a week. She loves knowing what is happening each day, and the picture schedule is helping so much! She also likes to turn over the cards when we finish something. This helps her see how we have left to do until afternoon free time. That’s her favorite part of the day of course.
Our All About Reading curriculum is going great. It is providing a nice easy review of everything Ivelina learned last year in pre-k. We review one letter each day as well as practice some essential reading skills like rhyming, counting words, counting syllables, and listening. We are currently on Letter Q. After we do about 4 letters, I am having Ivie do a PlayDoh activity that she really likes. On scrap paper, I draw out the last four letters we have reviewed with bold black marker. I help her count the number of lines needed to form the letter. We talk about many long lines and how many short lines we need. Then we make the correct number of PlayDoh snakes and place them over the black lines. She can measure to see if the snake is too long or too short. Lastly, we put them on the table or floor and she has to line the letter cards up in alphabetical order. This is a challenge for her! Tomorrow we will do this activity with all of the previous letters up to Q, but she’ll only make PlayDoh snakes for the last four letters. We will just keep this up until we get to the end of our alphabet review.
Ivelina loves it when I have cooking lessons on our schedule for the day. I try to plan a recipe for her to help me with once a week. So far we have made banana breakfast bars, 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies, and peanut butter oat bars. This week: corn bread! Cooking together provides an opportunity for our little one to learn her way around the kitchen, learn the names of common kitchen tools, learn about nutrition, and practice some different fine motor skills. She is also being exposed to fractions, measurement, recipes, (and Pinterest… Because basically everything I cook comes from Pinterest). I’m trying to expose her to washing dishes too, but she would rather sit in front of the oven watching and waiting for her creations to be done.
What has not worked so far for us:
Reading The Little House in the Big Woods 😦 I finally got tired of my child complaining everyday about my read aloud selection. I want to build stamina for listening to a read aloud, but I also want it to be fun, not a chore. I love all things Liitle House, but since she’s not into it, we switched to The American Girl series about Felicity. It is still historical fiction, but It is holding her attention better. It still has a few color pictures, which are more interesting to her, and she had some AG paper dolls, so she can make connections between the story and her dolls. Win!