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Pre-Homeschool Fall (North America) / Spring on going CHAT

post #1 of 190
Thread Starter 
Ok Ladies, i think most every state / district is in school by this time. Not that it matters, but it is a convenient "ruler" for keeping track ...

so here is the fall / spring chat ...

Here is the old thread --

So let's hear about all the changes for this fall / spring and the new starts --
post #2 of 190
Thanks Aimee!! I'm excited to be joining this thread! And thanks for your awesome suggestions on my Anatomy Book Recs for a Preschooler thread!

We printed out the skeleton today and named all the bones and then DD colored it. It's so fascinating to me the things she is interested in. We just happened to catch a blurb of a documentary about the oldest skeleton ever found, while we were at my mom's, and now she has a bazillion and one questions and wants to know more about bones! So cute.
post #3 of 190
Thanks for starting a new thread. Now I don't feel behind and like I have to read a ton to catch up.

We are starting Calvert Pre-K on 9/13. The way the holidays line up in the lessons, I backed into that date. I know, it probably doesn't matter so much. We are still doing our "play/learning", and will continue that, and just add in some curriculum when we officially get going.

I agree, it's awesome to see what types of things our kids are into, just on their own. That is one of my top reasons for wanting to homeschool -- letting their interests be the driving force behind what we do. Makes it much more exciting for everyone involved.

Speaking of exciting, I started a blog! I feel like an official homeschooler now:

Cactus Schoolhouse

Can't wait to chat more with all you other homeschooling moms!
post #4 of 190
I don't know if I ever joined in your threads in the past, but we are eclectically hsing dd, who is 4y2m.
We have a full schedule for this fall and I am glad as I get lonely here in this state of endless brutal winter. Dd has creative dance on Monday (same teacher as last session and she adores her), gymnastics on Tuesday (really looking forward to this), co-op group on Wednesday (we were trying to do a slightly more organized group with circle time, I Can Problem Solve exercises, and crafts but haven't found a place to meet so we are mainly doing field trips for now), and maybe a small gathering friends for Waldorfish inspired activities on Thurs or Friday.
We aren't doing much schooly wise ATM, as I pretty firmly believe in delaying academics. Also, dd has several food intolerances that I think really interfered with her social development since she was in pain all the time until we figured those all out. I want her to get more confident and less anxious before we move towards academic stuff. She always wants to be out doing stuff - playgroup, Children's Museum, story time, playground - but is very hesitant to join in play with other kids even though she desperately wants to. So I think social skills are more important right now.
I did just order the Seasons of Joy Autumn curriculum and I am almost 99% sure we will be using Enki in the new year. I am quite smitten with it but I am going to order the Foundation Guide first before I go whole hog.
post #5 of 190
I don't usually get far in this thread, I get lost in all the posts but since we're really doing pre-k this year I'll try.

Let see, we're in a homeschool co-op that meets once a week, sometimes twice if there is a carry-over activity (ex pick berries/ bake pie). Other than that we have no scheduled activities.

Ds is dying to learn what the numbers and letters are so we're starting a lot of stuff, even though I'd be happy for him to just play. We have a set of Cuisenard rods, and have printed some activities from online. We just picked up a copy of Before the Code, haven't started it yet, will wait until ds asks for school books. Other than that we have some letter magnets and a elephant number board that we play with a lot.

Mainly we live life, go for walks, go to the library, the museum, the river, the mountains. We do a lot of painting (water color mainly though some tempera). Collage.

He wants to do science experiments but I need to organize the materials so that we don't spend half our time looking for stuff. We did just buy five bins for science supplies. We've been reading a lot of books about volcanoes and the earth, our library has an amazing kids science section so we just sort of go over there and browse and take lots home.

Now that school is back in session we'll be spending more time at the pool and near by trails (they were too too crowded this summer).

Okay that's our plan so far....I will try to keep up with this thread.
post #6 of 190
In the last thread someone asked about the Sonlight IGs. I haven't used them. We're unschoolers so I just get the Sonlight secular books and we read them as the kids desire. I belong to the yahoo group Secular Sonlight Users (or whatever it's name is.) I asked about the IGs to see if there were worthwhile activities. Everyone said in the first few years all it does is say which books to read on which days.
post #7 of 190
hey all... this year we have a waldorf preschool coop 1x a week and we are using sonlights p3/4 reading list (minus the bible bits) using some little acorn (i'm a bit burned out of LA since that what we used the last two years but it beefs up our 'school' a bit.
and we are doing oak meadows kindergarten program. ds can't do the fine motor control for writing letters/numbers or drawing specific pictures (a tree, a house) yet but with slight alterations to allow for that we are moving on into their K program. He seems to be digging it
post #8 of 190
I'll try to keep up with this thread this time.... I have a 3 yo with whom we're doing a combination Montessori/unit studies. We start up on Monday with a week on the human body, then the senses, human needs, and finally our local area (yard, neighborhood, village, town). That'll take us to early October, when we'll start a month-long plants unit (fall in Florida is planting time). I blog about it; click my username and go to my home page.
post #9 of 190
Okay I have a question for those of you who are planning to homeschool beyond pre-k, do you actually differentiate? It might be really specific to us as a family with an only and doing pretty much child led learning but we don't call it pre-school, just homeschooling. That being said this thread is interesting because it is kids of the same age. Umm I hope the question makes sense I'm half way out the door, but have been thinking about it all morning.
post #10 of 190
Last thread we were attempting more structure. Well, that doesn't fit us much as a family right now, so I'm done with that, haha. I am really glad I have compiled a bunch of cool activities and places to find more cool activities though.
We tried Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and my son was not into it. He especially disliked any kind of reviewing. I was surprised to learn that he does already know a lot of the letter sounds anyway. I guess we will just keep doing what we're doing.
I've also posted about struggling socially in the past. Not much has come of that. We are starting up storytime, but it's like every single mom is already there with another mom/a group of moms. I'm not sure how to wedge myself into a conversation, ha. It seems like everyone knows each other from their church. Sometimes I feel like we are the only family in the area that does not attend a church.
We joined a homeschooling group, but everything is for older kids which is understandable. I "applied" for a local playgroup and I think I got rejected, haha. Or they aren't active; who knows! I wrote an e-mail to another one asking to join. We'll see!
My son doesn't seem super bothered by not seeing the same kids over and over. He enjoys playing with different kids each time at the park. I do think he would love to have a friend or two though.
We were planning to go to the park today but I just read that the high is 94°F so I don't know. Which is worse: the heat or trying to explain to my 3 year old that, no, actually we are not going to the park today? Oh my.
We are heading to the beach next week! We'll be there for a week and we are all so excited.
post #11 of 190
Originally Posted by Stacey B View Post
Okay I have a question for those of you who are planning to homeschool beyond pre-k, do you actually differentiate? It might be really specific to us as a family with an only and doing pretty much child led learning but we don't call it pre-school, just homeschooling. That being said this thread is interesting because it is kids of the same age. Umm I hope the question makes sense I'm half way out the door, but have been thinking about it all morning.
I haven't thought about it too much, but I guess we don't. The only difference is we aren't having to file anything with the county. And I'm still successfully avoiding having to discuss our plans to homeschool with a lot of people.
post #12 of 190
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Stacey B View Post
Okay I have a question for those of you who are planning to homeschool beyond pre-k, do you actually differentiate? It might be really specific to us as a family with an only and doing pretty much child led learning but we don't call it pre-school, just homeschooling. That being said this thread is interesting because it is kids of the same age. Umm I hope the question makes sense I'm half way out the door, but have been thinking about it all morning.
we say we are doing pre-K 4/5 at home. we plan to homeschool till the boys are over 10.

but my son has an IEP at school and gets services -- so that is part of why i "keep it official"

Also all his peers save one are in school -- so it answers a lot of "pre school questions"
post #13 of 190
I posted looking for encouragement the other day regarding our plans for this fall.
We're planning to use the kids event schedule at a local living museum as our source for weekly themes. The example I used in my thread was their apple day. We'll attend the event and then spend some time over the week after that reading some books about apples, maybe work on a small lapbook, and then bake some apple pie or make applesauce.
We're also planning to start a workbox system of sorts to get dd used to using it for the future and it'll help keep things organized. Organization is an area where, I must admit, I suffer tremendously.

On another note, I don't know why it seems more official that dd is now hs'ing because nothing is really any different. The only reason we're looking for weekly themes is because dd is obviously getting bored and needs more to do. Other than that we play ALL DAY. Maybe it's her age? 4yo is when so many other kids go to pre k? idk I think I'll stop trying to figure it out.
post #14 of 190
Casha'sMommy -- Sounds great to me! Give it a try for a little while, see how it works!

We're also having problems finding socialization opportunities. The storytimes and such are empting because all the kids are going to preschool; the homeschool groups are aimed at older kids. On another thread, someone said that the 3/4 year range was the hardest for that sort of thing, so I don't feel terrible for the problems I'm having.
post #15 of 190
I can see how 3/4 is most difficult. DD is proving this to be very true She's making me nutty most days but she's just bored. I've noticed that she does best on errand days when we're most active and running around a bit.
In addition to the living museum we've got some free things to do as well but they don't come with themes attached nor are they organized activities with other children.
post #16 of 190
Hi ladies

I thought I'd join you ladies for the fall! I have a 2.5yr and I must say it is so frustrating because everyone it seems wants to know when I am sending him to preschool. (I have to say I still find it shocking that there is preschool for 2yrs!). Anyways, we aren't doing anything with an actually curriculm but I am a big believer in learning through play. Here is some of what we have going on this falll.

Speech Therapy 2x a week
Tumbling Class 1x a week
A fun outing 1x a week- this is things like zoo, playdates, museums, etc.
Library 1x every 2 week

Some of the things we are doing at home daily are:

30 minutes of structured activity from our cabinet- things like arts/crafts, lacing beads, puzzles. Sometimes this is longer then 30 minutes but most times he is only good for about 30 minutes. I am using this time to help him learn to focus and slow down some. (He is a very active/intense and needs help learning how to slow down some)

Letting him help with cooking and cleaning as he desires.

Story time

Throughout, the month I also plan special crafts/activies based off of special days. For example Sept 9 is Teddy Bear day. So, on that day he'll have a teddy bear coloring sheet, I'll make cookies or something shaped like Teddy Bears, we'll read about bears, etc.
post #17 of 190
trghig-DD is SN and it seems it is so readily assumed that she will attend one of the developmental pre k's or the private pre k that specializes in her needs. I have absolutely no interest in sending her anywhere. She's doing amazingly well, better than most her age and certainly does not show a need for any of the SN options in our area. I do feel fortunate that dd does not need the options I mentioned above but I am a little sick of fielding those questions.

My blanket response for someone who said to me that homebirth is "so brave of you" was "I think the alternative is more brave" came in useful the other day when SIL told me she thinks I'm brave for hs'ing my kiddos. I said "My experiences with ps makes me think it would be more brave of me to send my dc to ps." I'm just kinda over the comments,y/k?
AF was just visiting so maybe that has something to do with my attitude
post #18 of 190
Hi all. We're hs-ing dd (who is 4.75). I got a little overwhelmed with the last thread and just couldn't keep up. We're Waldorf-inspired so we don't technically do any overt academic work. With that said, dd constantly amazes me how she intuits things like math from just our everyday living--she understands basic fractions, does mental math, is discovering multiplication and division, etc. We focus on the seasons so I just ordered like 25 library books, which I can't wait to dive into. We have Michaelmas coming up at the end of the month, and I'm thinking of making some puppets for that. I'm also taking up sewing so we can make more things ourselves. Soon we'll be putting our garden to bed and after this weekend we change out our wall decorations and play scenes. I also want to really focus on dd's gross motor skills this year, which, although they are very advanced (she's an accomplished climber!), I still think are good for her to work on. This summer we spent every day at our pool and she taught herself to swim, which I thought was awesome. Now, we're off to apple-picking and leaf collecting. I'm always amazed by how fast the year goes. When ordering our books at the library it felt like we had just read some of them yesterday (we read the same ones each year). I'm also thinking through what we want for our kindy year next year, and have already gotten my grade 1 materials from Live Ed and A Little Garden Flower that I'm slowly reading. I keep wondering if next year I want to just keep doing what we're doing already, do Little Acorn Learning, or splurge for Enki. It's keeping me up at nights because I can't decide ... how pathetic is that?

Sorry for the rambling. It's great hearing about everyone and meeting new folks. I'll try and do better about keeping up with this thread. *crosses fingers*
post #19 of 190
My goal is to actually implement some structure this year, just to organize my days better. I'd like to plan outings to museums and other learning trips as well as plan for doing arts and crafts. I feel like I do a ton of research and have found a ton of ideas, but never come close to doing them all!

Aside from organization, we're doing a Spanish Immersion co-op and have been successful at planning out a year's worth of monthly units! We'll be officially starting our Family unit on Sep. 14th. In addition to unit studies, we'll be incorporating some Montessori stations to our student directed time.
post #20 of 190
My husband is converting our den into a toy room/reading room/school room so I figure while hes making enough noise to wake the dead Ill come and post.. Ive been wanting to redo the den and get the toys out of their bedroom (since DD1 has started to refuse to sleep in the room if there are toys anywhere) so Im willing to sacrifice some sleep for it.

Stacy- Im not planning on really differentiating the grades other than having to report into the school about it. DD is 3 1/2 (Jan birthday) so technically she will miss the cut off for the schools here by like 3 months so she will be close to 6 when starting. The only thing Im worried about is remembering to report in and then getting in trouble for forgetting! I can be a bit of a ditz at times when it comes to things like that (I forget to make doctors appointments too, Ive been trying to remember to make my 20 week ultrasound for the last two weeks and only will remember when the hospital is closed).

DD1 can't wait to start "school" but I can! I have nothing really planned right now and I know my girl, she needs structure or she goes nuts. Right now her schedule got messed up (took a late nap) so she is being a little crazy for her poor dad. I know schedules are frowned upon a lot for little kids but my two do best if they know that we do things in a certain way and they can predict just about what we are doing next.

Ok, I heard a bang and laughing.. I think I should make sure DH wasn't knocked out by something falling (Im pretty sure he isn't, I hear him telling the girls it isn't funny).
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