Sunday, January 29, 2012

Our 2012 "Curriculum"

Now that Christmas is over, I'm excited to get back to having some more intentional "Tot School" time with Grace and I'm hoping to start doing a little bit of "Preschool" work with Jonathan. I still don't want to do anything terribly structured-- I do believe that children learn best through play. However, Jonathan is very curious and I do want to be presenting him with lots of books and building some of his preschool "skills".

I recently read Clay & Sally Clarkson's Educating the Wholehearted Child. If you are thinking about homeschooling, I heartily recommend the book. In the book, they present the analogy of a house.

  • Discipleship Studies-- this is the foundation of a Christian home-education. If we're not teaching our children the Word of God, nothing else matters.
  • Disciplined Studies-- the study of the mechanics of reading, writing, math and logic.
  • Discussion Studies and Discovery Studies-- include history, science, geography, etc.
  • Discretionary Studies-- are the glue that holds everything together, these things are tailored to particular interests and talents of your child.

As we consider homeschooling our children, my plan is to work from the ground up. This past year with Jonathan we've been building a foundation of Biblical studies as well as some basic alphabet studies. Now, I'm hoping to add some more of the disciplined studies to the mix. Next year as we get closer to kindergarten, I hope to include some geography, science, etc. This model helps me to focus on what is the most important and add things in slowly without being overwhelmed at trying to do it all!

So, without further ado, this is what we're hoping to do in 2012:

Jonathan is three years old (as of Jan). Grace will be 1-1/2 through 2-1/2 through 2012.

Discipleship Studies: Bible & Character

We are continuing our study of the New Testament through June of 2012. Our monthly units will be:
  • Jesus the Healer
  • Jesus the Miracle Worker
  • Jesus the Teacher
  • Jesus the Storyteller
  • Jesus the Savior
  • The Early Church
 After June, I will decide whether we will do another one-year cycle of biblical history or do something else.

We use: The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes for our Bible units along with supplemental books that go with each unit.   In the evenings, we try to go through The Big Picture Story Bible with daddy.

For character training, we are currently using Right Choices by Kenneth Taylor. I'm still researching what we'd like to use after we are finished with this book.

Memory Verses: My ABC Bible Verses by Susan Hunt (this goes along with Raising Rockstars Preschool)

Disciplined Studies: Reading, Writing, Math, Logic

Reading (for both Jonathan & Grace)

  • Sonlight P3/4-- I'm interested in using Sonlight as the children get older. I bought the instructor's guide for P3/4 and am going to get most of the books from the library. My goal is to spread this out until Grace is old enough to do Sonlight P4/5 with us. I'm going to supplement some of the books with fun activities as well as use:
  • Before Five in a Row-- a literature-based preschool "curriculum".

Phonics (for Jonathan)

Handwriting (Jonathan):
  • Raising Rockstars Preschool- a wonderful, free curriculum from Carisa over at 1+1+1=1. This will also be used for Grace's letter recognition. We'll probably alternate this with Literature or theme-based units.
Math (Jonathan):
  • Beginning Math Reasoning- this is an award-winning book for 3 and 4 year olds. I hope to start going through this with Jonathan- it covers lots of concepts from counting through beginning fractions. He's already beginning to add and subtract, so I think this will be helpful. I'm supplementing with:
  • MathStart books-- living books which help teach math concepts (courtesy of our library)
  • Manipulatives- Unifix cubes, counting bears, etc.

So that's our plan for this coming year! It'll probably be re-worked several times as I see how realistic it is. But flexibility is one benefit of learning at home!


Tracey M. said...

This is so awesome! It is wonderful what you have planned for your little ones. Just incredible. I have been without my computer for awhile so I have to catch up on my planning. Very inspiring to see your approach and love the resources too!! Oh how I wish you were in my community, as I'm looking to do a homeschool share-group where a few mothers teach together.

Shonda said...

Wow! You are great planner. I thought I would be so much better at planning lessons since I was a teacher, but I feel like it takes so much more time to do things at home! I have a few things I will be starting in the fall as do a more focused preschool. I want to read that book by Sally Clarkson too.

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