I am homeschooling my almost five year old and almost year old (my seven year old is in Christian school). What started out as something intimidating has turned into something I am loving!
Since I was clueless on where to start, here are some things we have done the first few weeks. It might spark some ideas for other moms.
We played a fun number recognition game that I found on The Mother Huddle. It is very simple. All you need is an egg carton, sharpie, several small snacky foods, and large numbers. For the numbers I use a Leap Frog puzzle we already have.
I wrote the numbers 1-9 in the egg carton spaces and then gave my son a tray of snacks. I had five marshmallows, three Cherrios etc. He had to count each snack and put it in the numerical space where it belongs. Then he got to eat the snacks afterwards.
For letter recognition we are working on an alphabet scrapbook. My son has to find items in the house or in the backyard that start with each letter. We have almost completed this project and can being working on the actual book. This is one of my favorite pictures…
I also formed a preschool co-op with a friend. Every Tuesday we have four kids ranging in ages from three to almost five. I teach for a month and then it will be my friend’s turn. We are doing a different letter each week. We just finished “B” week. The kids made boat pictures.
You can tell which was made by the almost five year old and which was made by the almost three year old. I love it!
The co-op days are pretty structured since we have a big age range and want to create a more “school” environment. The other two days I homeschool my son are more laid back. For instance yesterday we read library books for a half hour in the morning. Then we worked on a math workbook in the afternoon during my oldest’s swim lesson.
I get my ideas from anywhere and everywhere. For worksheets I have found Kid Zone to have some great resources. Especially if you want to take something along to a swim lesson or soccer game for your younger child to do. Bright Beaming Resources Letter of the Week Curriculum is providing me with good ideas for activities, books, and simple crafts. I found more craft ideas for our co-op at No Time For Flash Cards. It is fun to see my little ones learning and enjoying it!
Two weeks ago I was wishing the summer was longer and complaining about the sun going down earlier. Then last week my kids were bouncing off the walls and fighting. So I suppose I am ready for fall. But not ready for the wet Oregon late fall/winter & spring.
Anyway there are some new items on the agenda this fall. Last March I was at the end of the “stay at home mom” rope clutching on for dear life. I told my husband my son needed to be in preschool. I needed a break. We originally agreed to homeschool him for preschool like we did with our oldest. I did great with it last fall. We practiced numbers and counting, learned our days of the week, made Thanksgiving placemats etc. By January I was tired and overwhelmed with life in general. Unfortunately his preschool activities were one of the first things I dropped. I felt like I was drowning in guilt.
The first day of my younger kid’s “preschool at home.”
Needless to say I made a little game plan for him and I am very excited to try again. I am going to include the youngest as much as she is able to participate. Plus I am teaming up with a friend and we’re going to take turns teaching one day a week. It is wonderful to have that support. I am not a teacher by trade, but the older I get, the more I enjoy it.
My oldest began second grade. She has a brand new teacher straight out of college. For a small Christian school, her class is huge with eighteen kids. This is our third year in this school and we are beginning to form relationships and get to know other families.
My oldest on her first day of second grade
As for fall activities, my oldest tried soccer last year. She did not hate it, but she was not overly passionate about it either. Swimming is still her favorite activity. This child is always the first in the pool and the last one out since she was six months old. So we will continue with swim lessons. The middle child is going to try a tumbling class which I hope will be a good outlet for all that energy.
My oldest loves the water!
And as for me I have no marathons on my radar. At least not yet. I have greatly enjoyed biking, swimming, and shorter runs. I am trying to attend a power lifting class twice a week. I have actually made the 5:30 AM class a few times. Who in their right mind gets up at 5 AM? Lots of people! I showed up five minutes early last week and I almost did not get a spot. Starting next weekend I am taking an adult swim class. My goal is to do my first triathlon next spring but I need to be able to swim at least nine laps without huffing and puffing and/or using a kickboard.
It feels great to settle into a fall routine again.