Monday, May 2, 2011

What curriculum do you use?

What curriculum do you use? That seems to be the million dollar question there. It's a question that I used to ask other homeschooling moms before deciding what we would use or do. The truth is that Emilee is just shy of 3 yrs old and I do not do formal learning with her yet. We have "school" and are constantly learning. I say "we" are constantly learning, because I really believe that she is also teaching me along the way. And when I say formal learning, I mean work pages or a set set of curriculum.

We didn't start homeschooling Kimberly (our middle daughter) until the 5th grade, so the preschool experience is just as new to us as it is to everyone else. We are so excited to be starting Emmy's homeschool journey from the beginning, but I have to admit that it was stressful trying to decide which curriculum or method to use. We finally decided to start with the Montessori approach. I believe that at this age, we should guide them, but most of the learning should be child led.

Our learning is hands on learning. We do cover all the subjects, but we do so in a fun way. We play educational games, do experiments, artwork, watch educational videos, practice practical life skills, and in everything we learn, I try to reinforce a love for and knowledge of Jesus.

You've probably heard the saying "homeschoolers have class everywhere" and that is so true. I try to look for teaching opportunities everywhere we go. We learn just as much on field trips, in the backyard, and on the living room floor, as we do sitting at the kitchen table.

Part of being a homeschooling family is being a one income family and that can get very tight at time, especially with one heading off to college in a matter of months. I keep that in mind in all that we do with school. I make about, I'd say about 95% of our homeschool supplies myself-probably more than that. It's more time consuming, but I truly enjoy it, so no worries there. It's a way to shave the budget and keep things fun and interesting. Just like with crafting, I've come to have an eye for seeing something on clearance or at a thrift store and knowing I can re-purpose that for preschool. What can I say? When you're on a budget, you learn to do that, especially if continuing to homeschool means so much to you. I was also able to purchase a few nice things at the homeschool group's used curriculum sale a few years back.

I intend on making a post about a typical day in our preschool soon...I hope. We will really get into the swing of things once summer hits. Emilee will be 3yrs old then and she has always had a love for learning. "Mommy, do you have any work for me?" I've heard that too many times to count. I love that she is so excited about learning and at times, it's hard for me to keep up with her. She keeps me on my toes.

Rummikub Re-do

I think some of the best fun I've had with our homeschool preschool so far is making the supplies myself. I love finding things that I can repurpose into something fun, exciting, and educational. I'm excited to begin posting about our preschool in this blog that will also act as a diary of our homeschool journey. Here is the first post- the Rummikub Redo.

I decided to turn this into a spelling game. My plan is to make up cards with words spelled out on them and letting Emmy spell out the words with the Rummikub letters. Here's some before and after photos of the game. By the way, I was able to snag this game for $3. I bought it for this purpose and then the older girls decided to play the Rummikub game, so I had to buy another. There are 106 playing tiles and 4 game racks in each game

A before shot of the playing tiles and game racks.

And here is a shot of it done.

I also re-purposed some mini dominos that I got on clearance at Target. They were 50cents each and there was 28 dominos in each box. I snagged a bunch.

And just so you can see that the mini dominos fit into the playing racks also. I think this would also be great as a math game if you turned some of the dominos into plus, minus, and equal signs.