Friday, July 3, 2015

Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2015/2016 PreK edition

A few days ago, I posted my 2nd grade curriculum choices for my oldest and as promised, this post is about curriculum for my youngest. But first, let me describe my child last year and some problems/challenges we had to overcome and still need to work upon.

My child will just be turning 4 in August, so her maturity rate is probably different than some her age. She learns QUICKLY!!! I have watched her as she watches someone do something and BAM - she practices it and knows it! When she was just two, she learned to snap her fingers! (Before her older seven year old sister! And mind you she was telling her "Sis, you just put your two fingers together like this and "snap"!") Sometime she frustrates her older sister because she does in fact KNOW how to do it!

Problems last year included: 1. Not being able to keep her busy enough! Hand her a busy bag - done in less than 2 minutes, Complete a puzzle - no problem, Play with Little People - done in 15 minutes! 2. Not having enough ideas on hand and not having time to research more! 3. We got disrupted with our lessons probably every 10 minutes or so because she was done. She moved on. Next!?!

So this year, I had to find some solutions to help keep her busy independently and keep my sanity by not having to plan every day out to include 20 or so things that I had to make or build for her. This is another reason I'm happy to use My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures with her older sister. We can use this program on a variety of levels for Pre-K.

Shared Learning examples:

Shared Circle Time! This year, both girls will be in our church's Word of Life program. So Bible in the mornings will each give them a devotional and activities to complete. We can also work on the Read alouds and memory verses for the Chapter of Matthew together.

Shared Read Alouds: This year we will all be sitting down on the couch for more interesting read alouds. They can both listen to the stories of the missionaries and listen along to literature favorites.

Shared Science Curriculum: We will also be conducting experiments, reviewing habitats and researching about animals together. This will be fun for both girls and we can work together as much as work apart on the same projects. While my pre-schooler may need more help, they can both complete the same types of projects or my youngest can work on a similar project that is geared towards a Pre-K learning level.

Shared Social Studies Curriculum: Both girls will also be working together (and apart) on learning activities dealing with each country. We will be completing simplified lapbooks for Pre-K, while my older one does more complex lapbooks.

Shared electives: We will be able to work together on Music, Art and even handicrafts. My father's world already planned many of them in their lesson plans and I have already prepared some other ideas to go along with each country. Because while they recommend art only once a week, I know my girls, so we will be doing art at least twice a week.

Independent Learning:

This year I will begin a formal "letter of the week" curriculum from a number of sources here on the world wide web. I previously used Confessions of a Homeschooler's Pre-K program for my oldest daughter. This worked rather well and I will be using quite a few of the essentials from the program such as the template for daily lesson plans, the suggested books and activities and many of the actual "letters" for some of the weeks. However, when combining with My Father's World curriculum, I thought it best to switch it up a bit and also use some of 1plus1plus1equals1 animal alphabet activities and some of 3Dinosaurs alphabet printables. All of these allow me to vary some of the same types of activities but to go along with our group learning by changing up to an animal theme or environment theme.

To save on printing costs, I will also be using some more colorful worksheets from different pre-K workbooks gathered at used homeschool sales and the local dollar tree.

Hands On Learning: As part of Pre-K, my daughter also needs to work on her gross motor skills and fine motor skills. We will be including a variety of activities like scissor practice, lacing cards and shoes, and sensory bins among other things. I have purchased a few Melissa & Doug learning toys to help with keeping her busy, but also learning. Here is a listing with links to a few specific toys. I have also placed a few of them on my pin board for My Fathers World. Here is a wooden pattern block toy. Here is another wooden pattern block. A See and Spell toy helps both my girls learn. A habitat mat to keep her busy with "stickers" and another one here to create crazy animals.

I hope this gives you an idea on what we have planned. I welcome any comments or suggestions. I will be posting later about our upcoming homeschool schedule and how I organize all this learning! It's been a great summer of planning and preparing. It will be fun to start the school year this year and see how all my planning works out in real life!! haha. Well, Gotta go. Always come back Sew Hungry For More.