homeschooling....where to begin? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 04-25-2014, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello! I just joined this site, so im not sure if im posting in the right place.
My daughter turned 4 in march, and im currently trying to decide what to do as far as preschool goes.
I would really like to homeschool her, but honestly just don't know where to begin?
What's a good curriculum? What all does she need to know before kindergarden? What supplies do I need? what are some good activities?
any thing you could tell me about how to get started would be great.
thank you!

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#2 of 5 Old 04-25-2014, 05:11 PM
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You will find so many different answers to these questions--there are as many as their are homeschoolers!  Our family is in our third year of homeschooling and we are really loving it!  It fits our lifestyle just right, and although I can remembering feeling the same trepidation you are feeling, now I can't imagine our lives without it!


My advice would be to start doing some reading, figuring out where you are and where you want your kids to be.  For us, I was coming at homeschooling from a Waldorf perspective, so we weren't doing any formal seat work--just taking a lot of nature walks, singing, painting, cooking... and that is actually why I decided to keep our kids home--because I wanted to do more of that and less time at desks working on "skills."  However, I know a lot of others who chose to keep their children out of the public schools for other reasons entirely (and now some of their reasons have become my own!).


Find other homeschoolers in your area and make connections with them.  Local libraries are a great place to start.  This journey is a wild and wonderful one.  Have a good time!

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#3 of 5 Old 04-25-2014, 07:39 PM
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My opinion, so take what you like and ignore what you don't.


You don't need a curriculum. For a 4 year old, you should spend your days doing the things you do. 

If you want to "do" school:  counting to 20, one-to-one correspondence, simple math. Shapes, patterns. Coins. Play with art supplies, stories, puppets, blocks. Read lots, with time taken for letter names and sounds. 



If you want to spend money, purchase counting bears, pattern blocks, unifix cubes, letter stamps, sight word stamps, counting games, flannel board stories, art supplies, and a judy clock. 


I also like looking at Lakeshore learning (or similar supply house) and see what is available, so I know what to either make of my own or purchase if I really want. 

Twin boys (2/05) and little sister (10/07)
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#4 of 5 Old 04-26-2014, 07:38 AM
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Are you planning on sending her to school?  They expect certain skills earlier than a homeschooling child needs them.  Kids need to have a certain proficiency with using a pencil, recognize the alphabet, know their numbers up to 10 and write their names, for example.  They also need to be ready to sit quietly.  Reading and writing skills are heavily stressed because this is the medium through which most learning and assessments will be done.  If I chose to homeschool through the preschool years expecting to enroll my kids in school, I would choose alphabet stories (Chicka Chick Boom Boom, Dr. Seuss's ABC) and alphabet puzzles, have different pencils and crayons for writing, stories and games for number and pattern recognition (Quirkle, Hi Ho Cherry-O, Chutes and Ladders) and include some opportunities for them to practice sitting quietly together with kids focussing on an instructor.  I don't think it would need to be a lot of this, but I would want to make sure they had a chance to experience this type of setting.


I never planned on setting my kids to school, but I still had games and puzzles and art supplies around.  We maxxed out our library cards and read stories for a fair chunk of the day.  I bought puzzle books and wooden picture blocks.  I had measuring tools and magnifying glasses.  I gave them full access to their scissors at that age (sharp "kindergarten" scissors, not preschool "safety" scissors).  Since we didn't have to prepare for school, I didn't worry about what they did and when.  I had faith that if they were behind a bit in any area that they could catch up quite easily with less time.  I was able to focus on their strengths.  I trained myself to see the learning that was happening outside the box of school expectations.


Even if you are planning for your daughter enroll in kindergarten, your next year could still look very much the same as what you've already been doing.  I wouldn't worry about curriculum for  now, but now is a good time to start listening to other parents (and why you're here :)  if you plan on homeschooling for the future.  I would not do more than look and familiarize yourself with what's out there because every kid and every parent is so different, I would hate to invest in a full curriculum and have it turn out to not be a good fit for our family.  Get to know your state's or province's law regarding homeschoolers and find folks to help interpret them for you, because the laws can seem prickly and difficult when in practice they are not.


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#5 of 5 Old 04-26-2014, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Pajama View Post

My opinion, so take what you like and ignore what you don't.


You don't need a curriculum. For a 4 year old, you should spend your days doing the things you do. 

If you want to "do" school:  counting to 20, one-to-one correspondence, simple math. Shapes, patterns. Coins. Play with art supplies, stories, puppets, blocks. Read lots, with time taken for letter names and sounds. 


This is what I've started doing with mine, counting to 20 etc, simple math, shapes and patterns. I bought her a children's Spirograph which she loves doing drawings on. At 4, Juniper's also got an ear for music. Consequently I bought her this children's acoustic guitar

 which she can easily reach as she's a bit bigger for her age.


Another interest is, I'm showing her how to press flowers. We made her a meadow of wild flowers last summer. It's a good way of getting young children interested in all those lovely colours. Especially pansies. :)

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