We started our official homeschool journey in the fall for A’s 4 year old PreK year.
Philosophically, I think 2-3 days a week is more than enough for a PreK program. Because A was always asking for school work, I planned 4 days of actual school and then we often ended up doing science experiments or art projects on the off days.
We were very lucky to find a homeschool co-op for A to join as well. It was once a week and the moms rotated who would teach that week. Unfortunately, it petered out halfway through the year and the co-op won’t exist next year. I think co-ops are a great way for homeschoolers to enrich their school year. For the students, it gives them the great opportunity to interact and learn from adults who aren’t mom or dad. A made some great friends in that class and while she struggled with the weeks that mom wasn’t in the classroom, she talked about co-op all week. The naysayers will be so glad to hear our homeschool kids DO actual socialize (woohoo!). A huge bonus for me was that mom got to talk to other adults during the day!!
Our days at home were broken into the following sections: Character, Letters/Literacy, Theme, Physical/Play, Math/Science, and Craft. It was about 2 hours per day and we did not do it straight. We did some in the morning, some when K was napping, and some before bed.
For our character curriculum, we used Little Lads & Ladies of Virtue by Kathie Morrissey. She focuses on one character trait per week and gives activities for each day. It is Christian/bible based but very easy to adapt if that isn’t your thing. I think she covers about 25 character traits.
I tried to relate the rest of our sections all back to that weeks theme. For the fall theme, we did the letter “L” for leaf, collected leafs (a challenge since we live in the desert!), talked about why they change colors, etc. I did very well with our weekly theme and planning our week ahead of time….for the first few months. Actually, it was probably a whole ‘semester’. After Christmas and the holidays, we kind of slowed down. I wasn’t really doing themes anymore nor were we doing as much school work. It was around January that we started talking about putting A in school in the fall so I think that was kind of a blow to me and caused my slowdown. We did still do several days of school work but it was more workbook type stuff or just whatever we thought of that day (instead of preplanned, prepared).
It is difficult for me to determine what A learned this year because she knew quite a bit before we started too (I have records but that would require me getting up and digging them out). She knows and can write all of her letters and knows their beginning sounds. She can write her name, her sisters name, mom, and dad. She knows numbers and can do single digit adding/subtracting. She isn’t reading yet but I think she is very close….I’m just waiting for a sign from her and then we will jump into that!
(I started this blog on another forum and am transitioning to wordpress. Post was originally published on June 16, 2015.)