Sunday, January 25, 2015

Homeschool Music Time - Playlist #2

It was time to update our playlist a bit after having kept the same songs for most of our PreK schooling. I think I changed it a bit too much, but the kids loved the worship songs. We talked about the lyrics and the videos. I might have shed a few tears when explaining "Kings and Queens" to Grace. It was a very moving music time this morning.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Homeschool Rules

We are transitioning our oldest from public school to homeschool.  She is really excited, but I know from past experience there were inevitably be days when motivation wanes and negativity creeps in.  Just like there are rules at school away from home, there need to be clear rules in place at home. I started over at Confessions of a Homeschooler with the Day 3 Enrichment post.  Keeping in mind the most important commandment to "Love God, love others" (Matt. 22:36-38), my husband and I settled on the following:

1. Show respect. (Exodus 20:12)
2. Be kind. (Eph. 4:32)
3. Work hard. (Col. 3:23; Prov. 16:3)
4. Pray all the time. (1 Th. 5:17)
5. Help each other. (Eph. 4:2-3)
6. Be positive. (Phil. 2:14-15, Prov. 17:22, 1 Th. 5:18)
7. Give thanks. (Eph. 5:20, Ps. 107:1)

In many ways some of the rules - like "Be kind," and "Love other," overlap - but for our kids and their current ages we wanted to emphasize a few specifics in order to help with character development.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Preschool Goals

What does my toddler need to know/do?

I had better know what Boy Hoot needs to know before I start teaching, right?  I wanted to keep it simple, but measurable so that I could track progress.  Sure, "be nice" sounds like it should be a good thing to work toward but how do I measure an improvement in "nice"?  It's not impossible, but I needed to narrow that down more so that I know what social skills we need to improve - is it sharing that is the difficulty?  Or taking turns?  Or is he only unkind if sleepy or hungry?  

I can't tell you what your child needs to learn without knowing your child.  Maybe your kiddo is great at sharing and talking to others, but never ever picks up after himself.  These are the points that were important for us:

Spring 2015 Goals
  1. Recognize capital letters A-J.
  2. Count to 20.
  3. Number recognition to 20.
  4. Recognize written name - Uppercase with lowercase.
  5. Answer questions - “What’s your name?” and “How old are you?”
  6. Increase fine motor skills - scissors, pencil grip.
  7. Identify colors - ROYGBP + Black, White, Gray.
  8. Identify shapes - circle, triangle, square, rectangle.
  9. Draw lines - curved and straight.
  10. Participate in sit down arts and crafts.
  11. Brush teeth correctly.
  12. Clean up after meals and snacks.
  13. Pick up own toys.
  14. Memorize Bible verses - 1 per two week period.

I try to give myself both the goal and what I need to track and measure progress. I take into account what he already knows and what we need to work on. For us, social and practical skills are more important because academic skills come to him more naturally so they take less work and practice. These are also skills that develop best through play so that fact is reflected in our daily routines and activities.

What are your goals for your toddler/preschooler? Why?

Feeling stuck? Leave me a comment or send me a message. I'm happy to help.