My oldest turned 5 last month so by September she will be 5 1/2 (at that time I will also have a 3 year old, a 1 year old and be 36 weeks pregnant). My husband has only "agreed" to "allow" me to home school as long as she stays up to the "standards" that are set by the school and stays at the level she would be at in school. Until now Ive done a pretty much follow her interest learning. We study when she wants to, do experiments when shes interested etc. I tried doing something more structured when she was around 2 1/2 and found myself feeling silly that I was trying to teach her things when she could barely potty on the toilet so I stopped and started following her lead.. Currently we do about 20-30 minutes a day, usually a alphabet work sheet and a numbers work sheet then a bunch of read a louds.
Now shes older my husband wants to know what Ill be doing next year and what books Ill be using (not challenging me so to say, just wants to know what he needs to order). Well, I have to many ideas and not enough knowledge of how they will work.
Math- Math-U-See, some small/cheap workbooks if she wants to do some extra.
Reading- 100 easy lessons supplemented with a program I found called Happy Phonics. It teaches Phonics through games. Tons of read alouds. My oldest has asked for a copy of My First Little House books so I'm going to get a set of those and we have a TON of books. Also, out house is a 5 minute walk from the library. I'm also thought about getting a copy of Explore the Code in case its needed. My husband has thought about getting a set of BOB books as well since hes heard a lot of good things about them. Honestly the more books for my kids the better, books are never unwelcomed in my house. If one of them doesn't read them another will or they will use the pictures to make up stories.
Writing- handwriting without tears, I also got her a journal to write/draw in (with help of course) since she asked for once since I keep one.
Science- I have a few experiment books, we explore any questions they have, read a lot out of the encyclopedia. I'm thinking of getting God Made World, for a text book (mainly for the pictures and it seems like an easy reading book for read-a-loud time, they LOVE science books), We also read a lot of Magic School bus *we will have to replace a couple of the ones we have, they are a little thread bare) and occasionally watch the movies. There are trails that go through our neighborhood that we could do nature walks on as well if the children want to. They love to bird watch and I thought about putting a bird feeder up to attract the birds so they can see different types.
Religion- reading scriptures as a family and talking about them more in depth the next day. Reinforcing what they learn at Sunday school and during family home evening on Mondays.
Music- I'm planning on attending a home school group that meets once a week, about 30 minutes of the meeting is dedicated to music. I'm also learning the keyboard so she sits next to me when I practice (not really learning but she loves it).
Art- I found a book called Discovering Great Artists that teaches about an artist and then gives you a project to do to try out their art medium. I thought it would be a great way to try different things. I also have a few Draw Write Now books that my oldest loves to try to use to draw different things. She has asked for me to teach her to sew and knit so I might try to work on those with her depending on time and her desire to (just cause she asked doesn't mean she will want to in the end).
German- I am relearning German and the girls are both very interested in the language so I thought about incorporating some of the simple words (please, thank you, bathroom etc) into our conversations, Not really full immersion (I couldn't even do that) but simple things since they are so interested in it.
History- Story of the World book 1 and the workbook, my oldest loves me reading to her out of this book. I have probably read it at least 2 times.
PE- My oldest wants to play tee ball and learn to swim. We live 100 feet from a huge park, have all the gear to practice tee ball, are planning on getting her a bike etc. Also, if its nice you won't find us inside :) We love to be outside, even if its outside reading or studying something random. When its yucky outside I have an indoor ball pit and play area that we can put up that the kids LOVE.
We have a home school group that meets weekly, story time at the library on Tuesday, a young explorers group at a nearby museum that we can go to once a month.. so a lot of things we can do if we so desire. Also, my daughter would like to join girl scouts so Im looking into that to see what the requirements are to do that. We just moved to were we are now so there is a lot of exploring to do and lots of new things to see.
What I thought about doing is having required subjects (math, reading, writing) that we do everyday and then setting up work boxes where she/they can pick 1-2 subjects they want to do that day. I don't want to spend more than 1-1 1/2 hours on "school work", preferably broken up throughout the day. I still want things at her own pace but shes begging to do more because she isn't being challenged ("mommy I already know this!" I swear shes 5 going on 15).
Any help/ideas are really welcomed.. I don't want to do to much but I want her to have options and the ability to change if it doesn't work well for her. An added bonus is if she could do some of it with her sister. At least where we are setting up the school area will double for a play area so DS will be entertained Another bonus is any ideas that can be put down whenever it loses their interest and picked up the next day (or a couple of days later). I seriously wont' fight at this age when it comes to schooling. Shes 5 not 15, in kindergarten not high school, I don't see the reason to fight with her about it.
Would it be bad if I started the "school year" in like June? Its hot as anything that time of the year and then we could do some before the baby gets here. I feel like if I start at the traditional time (September) we will just be getting started and have to stop for the birth and that would make it harder to start again.