One thing that I really admire about the idea of home school is the luxury of catering an education to the child’s pace and family’s beliefs. I love the thought that I can be in control of what my child learns. At this point in time, Chris and I aren’t at a place financially where I would be able to stay at home with Addison. We also have some financial goals that require a second income (home remodel, debt, need a second vehicle, etc), so I can’t foresee homeschooling any time soon (also, she’s two so we still have about 3-4 years). That being said, even though Addison is not at school age, she is still constantly learning. She is learning even if I am not consciously teaching.
The other day after one of Addison’s doctor’s appointments, we took our first trip to the library to check out some books. There was a board of magnetic letters and Addison brought one to me. I casually asked her what the letter was, not thinking she would know. She excitedly said, “O!” I was shocked. It was an “O”. I’m not sure where she learned it (daycare? my mom’s? Super Why?) but she picked it up along the way. So it clicked. If she could recognize one letter, she can recognize them all. She knows what sounds animals make, why not letters too?
Where To Start
There is so much available and so many suggestions on what a child should know. Even for preschool, if you just take a glance at Pinterest, it can be overwhelming. I really like the Charlotte Mason style of teaching, so I’m going to be loosely following the preschool foundations: habits, outdoor play, read-alouds, and Bible. In addition to making a point to focus on those things, I want to set aside time for “school”. Addison already knows pretty much all of her animals and body parts, so those are things we will still discuss but not solely focus on. She is already starting to recognize letters and numbers, but still hasn’t mastered it. Here is what I think Addison is capable of learning by age 3:
-Recognition of letters of the alphabet and their sounds
-Recognition of numbers 1-10 and the ability to count up to ten
-Know basic shapes
-Know basic colors
How To Proceed
Now that I’ve decided what I want to work on for the upcoming year, it’s then time to plan how we are going to achieve those goals. They say that children are sponges and the best way to learn is through immersion. I’m going to focus on one number, letter, and color or shape each week. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Then after a month or so of learning, we will have a review week where everything we have learned will be reviewed together. Maybe we’ll make a sensory bin and play I-Spy. Maybe I’ll make a color page and ask her to point something. I might have her help me in the kitchen and count my ingredients for me. I also know I want to do an awards chart. Addison loves stickers and she is always ready to participate if she knows she can get something fun out of it.
When To Teach
Working full-time means I couldn’t do “school” at the time that I would generally like to which is around 9am. I’m not going to do it in the morning before work because I hate the morning and we already have an established morning routine. That leaves the only time of the day left: afternoon. From the time we get home until bed time is about 2 hours. During that time we have to eat, takes baths, get ready for bed, and now fit in 20 some minutes for school. Sounds like a lot, but I think it will be doable. She’s two so that means that sitting down for anything longer than fifteen minutes is laughable. Whatever I plan has to be interactive and fun.
That’s all I have set in stone so far. I will probably do an entire post on how I prepare to teach her and what actually works. I’ll keep you all updated!