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Old 11-12-2009, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone want to join me in this thread? Anyone who is homeschooling children before the kindergarten level? I would like to have a designated spot for us to come and discuss what we are doing homeschooling wise, etc.

I'll go first: I'm a sahm to one 40 month old ds~planning on starting peak with books in a couple weeks. Right now we work on basic letters, numbers and a bit of writing.

My biggest problem is sticking to a schedule. My dh works a non-traditional schedule, so I plan to formally homeschool when dh is at work, Monday, Thursday and Friday, I hope the Peak with Books curriculum will fit well with this schedule. I tried doing activities on dh's off days but that didn't work out too well, now those are just designated family days and sometimes we do fun trips as a family.

I want my ds to have the opportunity to learn at his own pace, i don't push him and when he is tired of one thing we stop. Although he does enjoy workbooks etc. just not for very long time periods, so we are taking it one step at a time.

anyone else?

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Old 11-12-2009, 11:00 PM
 
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I have a preschooler He turned four in sept. I also have an older child do I still get to play?
He wants to do what ever big sissy is doing so he has, his own journal (he draws me pictures and I label and date them, very cute keepsake ), the first ETC primer, and HOP kindergarten edition. He asked me to learn to read which is the only reason he has the last two items. He uses them when the mood hits. I actually hid the HOP for now because he rushed to the second book and I don't think he is really ready to move on. He is very excited to learn to read so I want ot make sure he does not get frustrated. Generally once a week or so he will ask for the ETC then do like 5-6 pages. The HOP he asks for a little more because he really wants to learn to read.
I feel like he is doing to much bookish type stuff so I'm trying to plan better more age appropriate preschool activities that go along with what I am doing withh my DD1. She is only six so she still enjoys most of it too. This week, I got some feeder corn for our sensory bin, and the kids shelled it and have been playing harvest time at the farm and stock up food on the "mayflower" with it it all week. The shelling is a great fine motor activity . Next week we are going to grind some of it up and make corn meal Then we will paint with the corn cobs and sprout some of it too. We will try sprouting a cob and a couple corn kernels and see what happens. We are also making cranberry bread(goes with our five in arow book cranberry thanksgiving), marble painting with cranberries, and I think we are going to turn some of the cranberries in to paint too. We did it over the summer with blue berries and he really got a kick out of it.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:09 PM
 
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I'll pop in, although I'm quite a bit behind you. DD just turned 2.5 years old. We're planning on homeschooling down the line, but weren't planning on doing anything official for a while. But then DD started asking to go to school, and we had to try to convince her that some kids learn at home from their mommies and daddies (where she got the focus on going to school, I have no idea), and we finally agreed to do school with her at home. So she asks to "do school" pretty much every day.

Right now "doing school" means learning letters. We do one letter at a time at her easel, introducing the sound and drawing pictures of things that start with it. Then we do Starfall.com. We're nearly done -- just Q, V, X, Y, and Z to go! And she's been asking to do Q for the last 2 days, so I promised we'd get to it tomorrow.

We play the "begins with" game a lot, and she's started wanting to count everything since we introduced her to Sesame Street's Count von Count. It's amazing what a cute character will do for a toddler's motivation! We knew she was capable of counting, she just refused to do it. But one of us had the brilliant idea to introduce her to the Count via a Sesame Street book and a YouTube clip (we don't do TV), and now she's obsessed with counting everything and laughing.

I've taken a Montessori teaching course, so we use some of those ideas around the house. We're planning on setting up a more official Montessori area with materials, but can't afford the investment right now.

We do the occasional worksheet, weekly library storytimes, and LOTS of reading. DH focuses on the outdoors (hikes, observing wildlife, helping tortoises cross the street, etc).

I'd love to know what you think of Peak with Books. I've thought about getting that or Before Five in a Row, but DD is still SO young... I don't know if I want to go with even a semi-formal program. Plus, our schedule is also so weird -- DH works weekend nights, so we have all week free and do lots of things out and about. AND we have a baby due at the end of March. I'm not sure I'm up for something that requires consistency.

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:42 PM
 
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I have a 4 year old but I am also hs his 12 year old brother.
He is an emergent reader at the moment. He loves to sit down and try to sound things out for himself and when he gets tired of that he just makes up stories by using the pictures. We take lots of walks and collect things then make art out of the things we find. I'm an herbalist, so I teach him all about the herbs we see on our walks.
We aren't using a curriculum with him although I did look into CM and Waldorf. My older boys are unschoolers (one has graduated already) but this one needs more guidance although I do follow his lead in what he wants to learn about and we are on his timetable.

Quote:
I tried doing activities on dh's off days but that didn't work out too well, now those are just designated family days and sometimes we do fun trips as a family.
We don't schedule anything on dh's day off either...we just hang out and I let them spend time doing things together which is usually video games.

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Old 11-13-2009, 12:04 AM
 
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DD's almost four. we're not using curriculum and i'm not "teaching" anything.

we read. and we read. and then we read some more. all initiated by DD, whatever books she chooses, which range from classic chapter books to Berenstain Bears to Magic School Bus to whatever else we found in the library. she has tons of art supplies and uses them however and whenever she likes. she writes books and then reads them to me - just squiggly lines right now. we bake a lot, explore the outdoors, go to the zoo and the children's museum.

i see her learning and growing every day and i don't plan to change this approach anytime soon, if ever.
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Old 11-13-2009, 12:21 AM
 
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This thread is an awesome idea.

I have a 35 month old DS. We lean towards unschooling, but I just set up a mini-workbox system for my own sake so that I have something to go to when he gets bored.

My husband was deployed for a long time and DS is an only child so a lot of our life centers around getting out of the house for the sake of my sanity. We do a playgroup 2 mornings a week, a music class, and a gym class weekly. He also goes to the YMCA childcare 4-5 nights/week so I can workout and take swim class. We try to do a nature hike, beach trip, or botanical garden tour once a week in addition to the occasional zoo, aquarium, and children's discovery center trip. My son is very high energy and has a hard time sitting still (except for reading and movies) so all of this busyness really helps.

So far he knows all of his letters and sounds and can sight read several words so I'm not pushing academic stuff at all. I am trying to emphasize numbers more because it would be easier for us to play games

Things we do in the workboxes or spontaneously:

Playdoh, moon sand, puzzles, cutting with scissors, Cariboo and other games, lacing beads, water and sand table, pattern matching, sorting activities, block building, making Thomas train layouts, videos like Mighty Machines and Popular Mechanics for Kids, practice gymnastics moves, read, read, read, etc.

We just went to a dinosaur exhibit so we bought a really cool book about them and enjoying looking together (I'm learning so much!)
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenfl View Post

I'd love to know what you think of Peak with Books. I've thought about getting that or Before Five in a Row, but DD is still SO young... I don't know if I want to go with even a semi-formal program. Plus, our schedule is also so weird -- DH works weekend nights, so we have all week free and do lots of things out and about. AND we have a baby due at the end of March. I'm not sure I'm up for something that requires consistency.
I actually just got the book in the mail today, i really haven't had a chance to read any of it yet, we were at the zoo all day, so i'm pretty pooped. I am hoping this will fit both of us well, ds loves reading so i thought it would be good for him.


I thought this thread would be good for us who have under-k learners. Glad to see so many posts already.

Ds is getting into playing board games. I bought him candyland and he loves it, he can only play 1 or 2 times in a row w/o getting frustrated, but i love how it helps reinforce colors and counting and taking turns. I plan to get him a few more games for xmas.

What do you all think of the magic castle readers series(author jane belk moncure)? Ds had one of those books and it has been his favorite for a long time, I just bought some more off ebay, the manners, language arts type ones. There is also a full set of alphabet and numbers but those get pretty high in ebay bidding, I am keeping my eyes peeled for a good deal i think he would really enjoy those sets.

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Old 11-13-2009, 01:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveMyBabyBird View Post
What do you all think of the magic castle readers series(author jane belk moncure)? Ds had one of those books and it has been his favorite for a long time, I just bought some more off ebay, the manners, language arts type ones. There is also a full set of alphabet and numbers but those get pretty high in ebay bidding, I am keeping my eyes peeled for a good deal i think he would really enjoy those sets.
Are the alphabet books the ones like "My F Book"? If so, we've got one of these (found at a thrift store) and DD loves it. I should've been taking them out of the library as we did each of the sounds, but they have them at the further library, not the tiny one we frequent.

My concern for those type of books is making sure they get the letter sound correct at least most of the time. Like all the stories that try to use xylophone as the X word, when that usage of X is not the usual pronunciation.

Jen, former sys admin and current geek , wife to DH , SAHM and Montessori homeschool teacher to DD "Nugget" (05/07) and new arrival DS "Sprout" (03/31/10)
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:49 AM
 
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DD is 4.75. We started a very informal homeschooling a year ago. We have a picture choice board, and we'll do "formal" homeschooling whenever she asks, for as long as she asks. Right now her choices are:

Logic: Castle Logix, Mighty Mind, or BrainQuest cards

Math: Workbook, Uno cards with pennies (practicing counting and adding), or Boggle Jr. Numbers

Storytelling: using a special set of dolls reserved for this purpose, or using the Sequencing Cards

Arts: dancing to music, playing musical instruments, or painting

Each activity usually lasts about ten minutes and she can stop at anytime, but she can't skip to a preferred activity during "homeschool-" has to go in order. (she can certainly do similar activities anytime she wants we just don't call it homeschool. But we kept certain activities exclusive to homeschooling so that she wouldn't lose interest).

I don't have reading/writing on there because we read before bed, and also anytime she wants.
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:52 AM
 
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i have three sons - one will be 4 next month, one just turned 2, and one is just a few months old. i'm trying to do as much as i can with my oldest, but it isnt always easy because i'm so busy with his brothers. i try to do letteroftheweek.com (he already knows his letters, sounds, etc...we are doing the "blending" part of the website). we already did the first two sections of starfall.com. i got sonlight p3/4 for him, so we are reading those books and playing those games, along with plenty of library books. i try to do a weekly activity from slow and steady get me ready. we play around on pbs.org. we have just completed the comprehensive curriculum of basic skills workbook and a preschool math workbook that i got on amazon.com. we also do dot-to-dots and mazes. i also try to do crafts and activities when we can....lacing, bingo daubers, painting, etc. he WANTS to do all of this. most days, we spend less than an hour a day.....10 mins here and there.....doing these things. the rest of the time, he plays or watches pbs or colors or whatever.

i am researching my state laws, meeting local homeschoolers (online group), deciding on curriculum to use in the future, getting on the mailing list of companies like rainbow resources, reading tons of books on homeschooling, making a list of websites to utilize in the future, etc.
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Old 11-13-2009, 02:40 AM
 
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My youngest is almost 3.5 years old. His big sister will be 5 in a week and a half. She met the cut-off for kindergarten -- barely -- this year, but she would have been one of the youngest and smallest kiddos in her grade. Eek. So I have one preK and one K(ish) kiddo at home.

We're eclectic unschoolers, and for my son, we're definitely falling more on the unschooling side. He was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder and an articulation disorder this year, so this year's theme has been us scrambling to figure out how best to help him greet the world. I haven't been formally introducing anything with him outside of speech therapy and OT activities. I've been practicing stepping back and letting him lead the way. Swimming, outdoor time, building marble runs, reading stories, dropping most group activities for now, movies, computer games and video games, e-books, playdough, let's pretend, building blocks, lots of kinesthetic activities. He responds really well to screen time, which has definitely changed my "ideal" approach to learning. It's about him, not me, so I'm adapting.

I'm feeling comfortable with his rate of learning. Without formal introduction, he can still count well past 20, knows his ABCs, has a bunch of songs and stories memorized, is telling knock-knock jokes (sooooo stinkin' cute!), can do some basic addition, groks cause and effect, can identify tons of animals and birds and plants and colors and shapes, has a pretty good idea of how community works.... As long as I don't force it and he doesn't have to do it in a group setting, he's good.
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Old 11-13-2009, 11:49 AM
 
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Have a 5 yr old son (just turned) and 2 yr daughter (will be 3 on Nov 21). They have siblings being homeschooled and they call themselves and their baby sister "Little Explorers" So...they are exploring God's world and studying God's Word.

Nothing really formal, but I allow them whatever activities they want to participate in. Mylee is loving writing letters and her name. She is so cute!

Angelo is taking a break from letters and been really into playing outside and sports.

We are reading Charlotte's Web altogether during the day. They are assisting in planning a Charlotte's Web party where we will do crafts and watch the cartoon and movie.

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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Old 11-13-2009, 01:23 PM
 
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I have a 4 year old ds and we are pretty casual about lessons with him. I also have a ds 9 and dd 15 at home. I have hooked on phonics, HWOT (that he is starting to like now), a few kindergarten primer workbooks, a lot of easy read books, some manipulatives and the computer. I don't push it with him though..a lot of his learning is play and crafts.

I have tons of ideas for lessons for him..but he doesn't always want to sit and do them. He loves drawing and painting
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:29 PM
 
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subbing

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:32 PM
 
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I'm a pre-homeschooler! DS is 4 1/2 but doing K work for the most part. I don't always feel like a "true" homeschooler though because he's not school age yet. But then everyone who doesn't HS expects him to be in preschool because he's 4. I feel like I can't win.

I was going to unschool him, but we both do better with a little more structure and direction from me, so we're like 50% unschool and 50% me actively teaching lessons I come up with (no curriculum here).

Right now we're working on:

Math-addition, subtraction, more advanced shapes (cone, pyramid, octagon, parallelogram, ect), and fractions. We're still working on counting too (he still skips some numbers).

Reading-we're on to chapter books for bedtime stories and he's sounding out short-vowel words.

Writing-he's mastered uppercase and now we're working on lowercase.

Social studies-mostly U.S. history and geography

Science-whatever we can come up with! Yesterday we dissected a pumpkin that caved in and started to rot.

We play lots of games and do lots of artsy stuff!
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:39 PM
 
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we just made play dough and banana bread. I love preschool!
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Old 11-13-2009, 02:25 PM
 
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I have a PreK student too!

We do a mix of activity based stuff and workbooks. We are learning about the different animal habitats with Moving Beyond the Page and so this am, we made a cactus and owl for the "desert". This is the science stuff.

Math is a workbook curriculum - Singapore Earlybird K currently working though Book B. She likes to do her more "thinking" stuff at night. (I think it's a combo of getting to stay up later and the energy burst she seems to get at night). After EB B, we are going to move to Horizons K so I can decide if that or Singapore is better for us when she begins 1st grade math.

We also have been doing stuff on Safety and phonics. She uses starfall.com and readingeggs.com.

She also loves doing the Critical Thinking Company books. Also Evan Moor books are a favorite too.

Then of course, all the other stuff....reading, playing, baking, crafts, toys, playground, etc, etc!!!

At first we were going at her pace - 5 days a week...I recently bumped it down to 3 days a week!! (I needed to catch my breath for a minute!! LOL!)

I'm not following any particular HS philosophy. We do what we do and what the state regs tell us to do as well!

Bandgeek- are you using a math curriculum?
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:57 PM
 
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Hello everyone!! I have a 3 year old dd who I plan on homeschooling as well. We are a military family, and while that played a part in the decision process, we are also planning in traveling extensively by boat from about 9-15 (her age), so I didn't really think that starting public school and then taking her out would be easy. Then after all my reading and learning, I now feel that homeschooling is the best possible choice for her and us even if we weren't going to travel or if we weren't a military family.

What we do:

She loves workbooks ( I don't push her to do it, she does what she can and what she can't we skip over), Starfall.com, reading books and being read to. We go to library storytime occasionally.

She goes to music class once a week (Kindermusik). She goes to a local homeschool resource center for "preK" once a week for 3 hours which includes ballet/dance.

I have Hooked on phonics/math/writing. (It was a package deal, Hooked on Kindergarten that I got a super duper super deal on and I couldn't pass it up). I started the HOP with her and she's not ready so we put it aside for a while.

I have the Peak with Books book and several of the readers. She is not old enough at this point to really go forward with this. Some of the questions will ask her how she feels about things, and other questions that she is not developmentally ready to answer yet, so we put that aside too. We continue to read the storybooks though (goodnight moon, angry caterpillar, brown brear brown bear, etc.)

She friggin loves arts and crafts, which is great, because so do I. She has tons of art supplies and likes to create. She loves music and dance so we incorporate a lot of that in our daily lives.

I do really like the unschooling philosophy but I'm not sure we would follow it completely.

Lately we've been reading the beginner Hooked on Math books from the library. I really like Montessori for math/physics and we do a lot of those activites (like pouring sand from one container to the next, sorting beads/shells, etc.)

She does like the Magic Castle series, we get them from the library too.

I just got Ruth Beechick's book about beginning reading/phonics from the library and hope to work with that this week.

I have no set schedule, besides the scheduled classes we go to, so we just do what she feels like doing, or what I feel like doing.

Most of her days (that we are at home) is spent thumbing thru books, being read to, doing arts/crafts, dancing/playing music, riding her bike, playing outside, chasing the dog, doing puzzles.
She spends the most time playing (kitchen play, dolls, puzzles, sticker books, running, playing with the neighbors, playdates, parks)
I encourage creative and open ended play.

Things upcoming:

I got her Candyland and Chutes n Ladders for xmas, hoping that will help with the math.
More nature time/outside play.

Well, she's cranky now so I've got to go....geez, I already wrote a novel anyways....

Living Simply and Enjoying Life
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:05 AM
 
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Thanks for this thread! I have a 3.5 year old boy and a 19 month old boy and another baby boy coming in Feb.

My DS1 would love it if I would do more homeschooling with him but right now I just don't know WHAT to do. We do a lot of crafts and coloring and he loves mazes so we do a lot of books of mazes but we're so out of ideas.

He told me the other day he wants to learn to read so he can read to his brother but then today we were looking at a book and he didn't know most of his lower case letters. But he knew them all like 6 months ago so I guess he forgot? I'm thinking of getting hooked on phonics but I dont know. I would love some ideas on indoor things to do now that it's freezing cold and we won't be going out much unless it's to play in the snow.

I also wanted to bring in their sand and water table to set up in the house but I can't think of anything to put in it to play with that won't attract bugs or be really expensive. Any ideas?
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Old 11-15-2009, 03:17 AM
 
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You can put rotini pasta in the sand and water table. I don't know how expensive it'd actually end up being, but I would picture filling the tables I've seen wouldn't take THAT much money - or you could buy a little at a time, and mix other pastas in too. I would suggest lentils too, but that could be messier.

I guess I'm more of a pre-homeschooling unschooler (although I think when the kids are school aged I like a classical/CM/montessori/unit study type idea). My DD is 3 3/4 and DS will be 2 in December. I am really leaning towards homeschooling, but my DH is not. My current "plan" is to start more official homeschooling next fall or so, since my DD will not be old enough for kindergarten here, but her brother will start school at about that age (because of the way their birthdays are). That way I will get one year done, and my DH will see how awesome it is, all before she would be in kindy anyway. Then he'll be happy to agree and want to keep the homeschooling lifestyle. That's my plan.

I do really want to get the before five in a row (or is peak with books better?) to check it out and see if it fits us well. I think it will.

As far as what we do - my DD is now in swimming lessons with a friend. I had her in a little ecological fun camp thing (1.5 hr/week) before the swimming, but it finished and she was so glad it was over that I am not re-enrolling her in anything like that again soon.

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Old 11-15-2009, 04:34 AM
 
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BFIAR is so mellow, and the books are lovely... Each one we've gotten has been a huge hit with DD.

Peak with Books is more intense (almost overwhelming to me at first), lots of ideas so you could really go all out with it if you wanted to... DD is younger, but loves to read, so I'm primarily mining it for the amazing book recommendations, some finger plays and songs, a few related craft ideas...

Babybug magazine has been a fun read introducing new poems, seasonal themes, etc. I saved them and will re-use them this year, and also add in Highlights High Five, which I've heard such great things about!

Right now with DD (2.5):
- I have some simple routines - each morning for chores (mine, tho DD can "help"), reading/singing and outside play - each week for storytime, a physical activity class (DD needs and enjoys the encouragement to work on these skills), homeschool support group and a fun "field trip" or visit with friends. I'm trying to include DD more and more in my daily work... DH is great about taking DD to parks and flying kites, etc., in the afternoons.
- Besides the normal toys, crayons, etc., out all the time, I have a "work basket" that I get out for DD, usually 1-2x/day, with toys & activities (often rather Montessori-ish) that have smaller pieces or that work better with some help from me. I try to rotate these every 2-3 weeks, based on what she's into at the moment.
- DD goes through phases where she's all about Starfall, so then we do that 1-2x/day, and then other stages where we seem to be doing puzzles all day.
- I'm trying to offer at least one special crafty activity together each afternoon, like playdough or painting.
- Library trips - I use the resources mentioned at top for ideas, not as "curriculum" per se. And of course DD often makes her own book requests now, too, old favorites or things she sees while we're at the library...

I'm most excited for her to get into playing games over the next year or so - can't wait to add that in to the day! And I'm curious to see how learning to read and write will unfold - no rush, just curious

*** DH (wed 5/03), DD (6/07), and DS (8/11)
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:03 AM
 
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subbing i have been 'homeschooling' ds for over a year now he'll be 3 in feb.

we mostly use littleacorn.com as a base for our stuff then mix in a little bit of montessori multiplicatives, kumon books, and other random educational stuff i come across. We don't do anything very formal I just try to make sure we do 1 or 2 'projects' everyday and then everything else is just life.

i've become quite the curriculum junkie but i've managed to limit myself to preschool and K books for the time being.

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Old 11-15-2009, 11:23 AM
 
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Peak with Books is more intense (almost overwhelming to me at first), lots of ideas so you could really go all out with it if you wanted to... DD is younger, but loves to read, so I'm primarily mining it for the amazing book recommendations, some finger plays and songs, a few related craft ideas...
Is Peak with Books the one from Moving Beyond the Page? We are working through the 5-7 Environment Concept and I think it is "ok" so far....I actually added my own activities to expand what they taught. Hope PWB works for you!!!
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:19 PM
 
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Peak with Books is the one that MBTP uses/recommends, but they didn't write it, so I would imagine it's quite different than the other things you can buy from MBTP... You can buy Peak on Amazon for cheaper It would drive me nuts if I took it as an "instruction manual" b/c it has SO much, but as an ideas resource, we're liking it a lot!

*** DH (wed 5/03), DD (6/07), and DS (8/11)
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:53 PM
 
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T
I also wanted to bring in their sand and water table to set up in the house but I can't think of anything to put in it to play with that won't attract bugs or be really expensive. Any ideas?
Some sensory table ideas. (we have never had bugs from any of these. We do swap them out (evry 2-4 weeks)and store in ziplocks or some other sealed container once we are done.)

-Beans
-rice
-rolled oats
-different pastas (you can use tiny ones for dumping and larger ones you can throw some string in with for necklaces
-flour (very messy!!!)
-jello
-feeder corn
-bird seed
-dirt w/plastic bugs and garden tools
-straws and scissors (once they have cut the straws up you can add string ot this mixture too for lacing

Here is a neat site with tons of ideas too.
http://www.perpetualpreschool.com/sensoryideas.html
That site also has a ton of ideas based on themes. I think it usually gives ideas for, art, songs, games, stories, math/science actives, and even snacks to make.

this site has lots of ideas too http://www.preschoolexpress.com/


These two women both use a letter of the week type theme but both seem done in a very fun way.
http://www.walkingbytheway.com/blog/?cat=87

http://delightfullearning.blogspot.c...for-tiger.html (if you look on the side bar it has a link to every letter


Re five in a row I and using it with my 6 and 4 yr old and love it. I would not however bothered buying it for my 4 yr old. I also like to come up with my own things to add so this works perfect for us. We have also done activities around books and themes using books in the past, so it is right up our alley. FIAR is Touted has a "gentle" curriculum but the beauty of it is you can real go has deep into the topics/ books has you want. I am finding it really covers a lot more then it seems at first glance at the thin little manual. It is perfect IMO for younger kids because it touches on so many different topics.
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Old 11-15-2009, 06:07 PM
 
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My name is Allison and I have a soon-to-be 4 year-old dd named Cecily. We have been more mindfully homeschooling since she was 1.5, but especially so in the last year. We are very much Waldorf-inspired so we don't do any sort of television or computer.

Waldorf is very much a lifestyle so we have a good rhythm and have lots of play. Since September we have been using Seasons of Joy. This Christmas I plan on buying a couple of books from Christopherus to get a better grasp on things--the Waldorf curriculum overview, Joyful Movement, and a book about Waldorf science. There are a couple of blogs that I follow including Parenting Passageway, Frontier Dreams, and Filth Wizardry. I like getting ideas from other Waldorf-inspired mamas.

We believe in learning being integrated with living, so we don't do any sort of workbooks or computer learning. We do, however, bake and cook a lot so dd knows all about fractions and measurements. We read and tell lots of stories. We garden in spring and summer, make candles/jam/soap, make playdough, read lots, tell our own stories, act out stories. Dd has recently been experimenting with scissors as she cuts open our yeast packets for bread and such. She has known her letter since 18 months old so that's pretty old hat for her, although she is currently figuring out phonics ("Mommy, both honey and hat start with the "huh" sound. What letter is that?"). She can do some simple addition and subtraction in her head as well as some multiplication. I'm not really sure how she started doing that, but she is very observant so I imagine she figured it out from measuring out ingredients or playing blocks and such. She knows and understands all about seasons and months, and we read lots of seasonal books and do seasonal crafts/cooking. We are currently setting up an aquarium and that is her obession at the moment. She knows all about freshwater vs. saltwater and the different fish that live in both environments. She likes to make her own aquarium in our bathroom sink with Legos as fish. She uses food coloring as her water testing kit. Every Friday is painting day for us, and lately dd has been very interested in printing techniques, where she makes a design and then presses paper on top to print the design. About once a month or so we go to the local children's science museums and have a blast. In the spring and summer we go to the zoo and aquarium too. She recently demonstrated that she can count to 59. I'm not really sure how/when she figured that out either but I'll go with it. We also talk a lot about charity projects that we are involved in throughout the globe (we're Christian) so dd is very involved in both our giving and in learning about other cultures and countries. We play a lot outside when the weather is nice and we try and take a nature walk at least once a week. As always, we try to keep learning as 3-dimensional as possible and create a quilt of family experiences.

Allison:  a little bit Waldorf, a little bit Medievalish, and always"MOMMMMYYYY!" to sweet Cecily since 12.22.05
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He told me the other day he wants to learn to read so he can read to his brother but then today we were looking at a book and he didn't know most of his lower case letters. But he knew them all like 6 months ago so I guess he forgot? I'm thinking of getting hooked on phonics but I dont know. I would love some ideas on indoor things to do now that it's freezing cold and we won't be going out much unless it's to play in the snow.
i was thinking about getting hop eventually too, from the reviews it seems pretty positive. Definitely board games for cold days. Of course when there is snow, you can always build a snowman! Ds was asking when were going to do that again. Also I'm trying to start excersizing again, so when i'm on the treadmill down in the basement, ds rides his scooter down there too...


i skimmed over peak with books, i am thinking of starting it after thanksgiving and see where it goes with us. I don't have many of the books needed, so i am trying to figure out how to balance our schedule with getting the right books from the library, i may also scout a few thrift stores in the mean time and look for some there.

ds is currently not in any outside activities and that is one thing we need to work on too. Dh was talking about how ds should be public schooled when the time came for social interaction. Dh has been the one pushing hsing and now he is saying these things which is a bit annoying, i don't think he realizes how much time i am spending researching hsing ect, just to end up sticking him is ps. He just said don't stress we'll decide when the time comes. ergh. like i can just decide one day i am going to homeschool or not. I am thinking i need to find some type of resource for dh to look at to help him decide for himself whether homeschooling is best for ds.

I am also wondering about homeschooling support groups the ones nearby me are either christian, which i would prefer not to go to, there is one that is secular, but it has fees,etc. and we are still determining on whether we want to continue hsing. I guess i should ask my neighbors, I am in one of the best districts in the state, yet every family with a school age child homeschools in our culdecsac~including me it's 7, but i think they are mainly christian homeschoolers...

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Old 11-16-2009, 02:47 PM
 
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my almost 4 yr old is starting to really like playing games....slap jack with cards, candy land, mix n match, etc. we also play "store" with real money so that he can learn dimes, nickles, and quarters.

for social interaction, we go to MOPS, AWANA, and sunday school....but those are all christian things. read the well adjusted child...you'll feel better about the social aspect of things!

for when he's more ready to read, i already bought hooked on phonics, bob books, and ordinary parents guide to reading. however, i'm not even remotely concerned about reading until a few yrs from now....i just like to be prepared.
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:18 PM
 
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Hello! I actually just convinced DH recently to homeschool past preschool-age. My DD is 2.5, and we are very unschooly right now, and plan to stay that way unless she asks to do something more formal.

We try to do a lot of trips. We go to the zoo a few times a month, weekly story times, play at the park, etc. We max out our library card every week, and I try to grab at least few books that center around something she's shown interest in lately. This week it will be snakes - we went to the state park yesterday and their nature center has snakes, so that's all she's been talking about. We point out letters, numbers, colors, and shapes a lot. She knows a handful of letters, and can sight-read a few words, all names of family and pets. This morning we walked up and down our street for over an hour; she picked up a leaf, an acorn, a snail shell, and a piece of weedeater string; pointed out the colors red, yellow, blue, orange and white; counted to 4 using one-to-one-correspondence; talked about opposites (big, small, closed, open, wet, dry, and a couple others); found a handful of letters she knew, mostly Ms; ran, walked, and rode her bike; and probably a 100 other "educational" things I didn't notice. I've been amazed at how much she learns just by being in the world since I started paying more attention.

This thread is great, by the way - after nap time we're going to be cleaning up the sand and water table and bringing it inside to fill with beans! Lots of great ideas, thanks everyone!

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Old 11-16-2009, 06:29 PM
 
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Meetoo! Thank you so much for those sites, you have no idea how helpful they were too me. Thank you!!
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