Our Family Unit

February17th

8 Comments

Valentine, Cookies, Love, Family, Preschool, Homeschool

For our Homeschool Preschool this year, I’ve divided our learning topics into two week blocks.  Being that Valentine’s Day was this week, our current block has been focused on learning about Love & Family (more on that soon).  But first I wanted to share a little about what I’ve been learning as I become a homeschooler (for the second time in my life).

By nature, I’m a planner.  I need a clear goal, a well thought-out path to achieve it, and preferably a checklist to cross things off of along the way.  Unfortunately, life doesn’t usually operate like that…and neither does preschool.  For this year, to give me a launching pad into this idea of teaching Kade at home, I put together a “plan”.  A Scope & Sequence.  In reality it’s an Excel spreadsheet, but I like calling it ‘Scope & Sequence’ because it makes me feel more teacher-ish (sometimes wearing a cardigan also helps with this).  :)

As I mentioned, I divided the year into two week blocks and then after every four blocks, I incorporated what Kyle calls “a hardening week”.  It’s a built in time where we don’t “do school”.  I take a step back, analyze what we’ve just done to figure out what worked, what needs improved, and what needs tossed.  And it gives me a focused time to do some more serious planning, research and prepping for the next four blocks.  I like this setup for a lot of reasons but the two most important are:

    • I can cater it to Kade (figure out what methods and styles clicked with him, what he needs to review or practice, etc)
    • I can cater it to Kade (as his interests change, so can the activities.  Because sitting down on January 1st to plan what kind of art activity Kade will be into in August is difficult, to put it mildly)

Each block concentrates on a specific character trait and and a general learning topic.  For example, the block before this was on Dinosaurs and our character trait was “Respectfulness”.  I realize that dinosaurs aren’t usually known for their respectful nature, but I do want my son to be known for his.  So we needed to learn about it.  Each character trait has a corresponding verse that we learn, a Bible story and activities.  Maybe there’s a library book or VeggieTale that helps drive the point home, so we use those too.

Then with the general topic, I try to incorporate lots of “subjects” and activities under that umbrella.  Math of some sort, art, social studies, outdoor learning, etc.  For phonics/reading, we primarily use the A Beka curriculum, but supplement that with online games (like Starfall) and other readers.  Each day looks a little bit different.  Sometimes a LOT of time is dedicated to “preschool”, sometimes its just one game or book or activity.  I’m learning that the key is to be successful while making it work for us and a big part of that is determining what success is.  At this stage of the game, my biggest concern is his heart, his attitude and his childhood.  If he only learns one thing in each block, I want it to be the character trait.  If we can only accomplish one thing, I want it to be FUN.  Learning shouldn’t be a chore, at least not in Preschool.  And if I remember only one thing, I hope that it’s the fact that he’s just a kid.  Childhood is only once, and it’s so short.  I don’t want to steal it from him.

scope and sequence, preschool, homeschool

PS. He’s being a snail.

 

8 Comments

  • Comment by Lucretia — February 17, 2012 @ 11:31 PM

    Thanks dear. You might want to change your password…

  • Comment by Marmie — February 18, 2012 @ 6:18 PM

    I think this is awesome. Please tell me where on the chart (spreadsheet) that you would list a plastic bucket for the head gear and booster seat for a shell? :) VERY creative.

  • Comment by Lucretia — February 18, 2012 @ 9:39 PM

    HA! I wish I could take credit. He just crawled into my kitchen this way and announced that he was a snail.

  • Comment by Abbie — February 19, 2012 @ 7:20 PM

    so great! he is adorable!! and i love the terms scope and sequence….never thought i could use it so soon after i quit teaching. next year- its all gonna be about the scope and sequence…and ill be using lots of ideas i have stolen from you!

  • Comment by Lucretia — February 19, 2012 @ 10:53 PM

    so glad to hear Abbie! Really, we need to live closer. :) What are your favorite preschool sites?

  • Pingback by Get Organized Already! - Our Family Unit — March 7, 2012 @ 11:56 AM

    [...] the long view.  Instead, the week is half over and I haven’t even opened up my teacher-y Scope & Sequence.  It is Wednesday, right?  How sad is this?  I’ve been too busy trying to get the rest of [...]

  • Comment by S.Pipes — March 9, 2014 @ 7:50 PM

    Oh my mustache! I just found this post via Pinterest. Thank you, thank you! Everything you state here is exactly how I am feeling led to begin our home preschool in the fall of 2014. I have several questions, do you have a pic/file to share of your scope & sequence, I don’t see it. For a non-teacher who is afraid, at the moment, of homeschooling I’d very much appreciate it. Character & habit training are my expected focus yet I believe I need a way of presenting it to my little man which won’t consistently be directions rather invitations of play & learning. I like your stated plan, but need help!!! Please, like I have no idea what a block is. It doesn’t sound like I have a Masters in Education does it (student services) ;)

  • Comment by Lucretia — March 11, 2014 @ 9:13 PM

    So glad you stopped by and even better that you found the post helpful. ;) An excellent site for ideas on how to teach character is Kids of Intergrity. Lots of stories, tips, crafts and all kinds of things to get the point across, no matter what your kids’ age. A book we love is “God’s Wisdom for Little Boys” (there’s a little girls one, too). Very easy for preschoolers and a good conversation starter.

    To answer your question, a “block” is just a block of time, I decided that would be 2 weeks. So for 2 weeks, we studied dinosaurs, etc. If you really want a copy of my Scope & Sequence, I’d be happy to send it, but in truth…it ended up not being a good fit for us. (I realized this after 7-8 months) At that point, I was still trying too hard to replicate school at home rather than teaching him while at the same time relishing childhood. I couldn’t keep up with my own good intentions, and it was stressing me out and turning me into Mom-zilla. (Not my goal) What we do now is study character, read lots of books, do various math/logic workbooks for fun, and Hooked on Phonics. I fill in with science, social studies, art, etc as the week has time for. Topics come up as we have interest, but I’m not pushing an agenda this time around. It’s preschool, right? I want learning to be fun! And it’s not fun when the teacher is grumpy, stressed and freaking out about a list with no checkmarks! :)

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