Adventures in Homeschooling- Day 1

At one point last fall, I introduced the idea of a structured school time to Little, but it didn’t work out just yet. His attention span was still too short and he was just too fidgety {imagine that}, so I just decided I’d wait on the structured sit-down “school time” and instead continue doing crafts and fun things with him but not really focusing on any set curriculum until he turned 3.

Since his 3rd birthday, I have been busy planning and preparing to hit the ground running with our home learnin’. I’m so excited! I purchased a curriculum by Horizons called Alpha Omega. There are tons of excellent curriculum sets to choose from, but I particularly love this one not only because of it’s Biblical focus but also because it can be so easily modified and incorporated with other sources. I love the take-it-or-leave-it aspect of the whole program.

I’m extremely intimidated and overwhelmed by the entire aspect of homeschooling, but I’m really glad that it’s something that appealed to me from a very early point in my parenting. Some parents decide to homeschool their kids later in life, and I would just freeze up completely. At least he’s little bitty right now and most of the learning is masked by messy fun, so if mommy has no idea what she’s doing {and really, I don’t} then it won’t do terrible damage at this point. I see that there’s a huge learning curve associated with homeschooling, just like in parenting. Regardless of my bumbling confusion and disorganization in these earliest days of our homeschooling journey, helovedtoday, and it makes me so grateful for the patience of children.

The Alpha Omega program comes with a very detailed teacher guidebook that literally walks you through every single subject you could possibly imagine, from language arts to physical education every single day. The lessons start off with a very simple memory verse and a simple illustration to introduce the main Scripture concept of the day. The lessons aren’t really divided into unit studies but do rely heavily on the repetition of lessons, subjects, and topics so little ones can remember the topics covered and easily latch on. I think the ease of this program {and no, I’m not remotely associated with them or paid to say any of this stuff} can appeal to any parent of a little one who might be going off to preschool or Kindergarten soon, as well as any parent who just needs something to do with a bored kiddo from time to time.

Today turned out to be a great day to start our “school” sessions, because it was raining and cold outside all day. We read the Bible passage and discussed the story in terms he might understand. At the most, he giggled and said, “Jesus loves me!” with enthusiasm, so it’s a start. The lesson introduced the number one, the letter A, the color red, and the triangle. Since it’s a go-at-your-own pace kind of program, I decided to just work on the letter A and the color red for today. He knows his shapes anyway, and I was worried that if I piled too much on in one day I might lose his attention. The entire activity and lesson took us about an hour. We started at 8 and ended at 9, and by 9:10 he was off playing happily in his room. Short and sweet, the way it should be for a barely three year old little boy.

I absolutely LOVE the internet and it’s myriad of resources. I found tons of free printables online from educational resource websites and other homeschooling parent blogs. It’s getting harder and harder to find free resources from the local public libraries these days, so I’m very glad there are tons of freebies available online.

Look how proud he is! We made this fingerprint and handprint apple tree painting after seeing the adorable idea at DLTK’s website. They have TONS of adorable ideas for kids crafts. You may remember my Halloween ghost footprint craft. That came from DLTK as well. Excellent resource, my friends.

I will do an entire post on the random items I hoard save in my supply closet to be re-purposed as craft supplies. The cup he’s using for his paint is actually the washed lid of a hair mousse canister. I have tons of these things and they’re perfect for little paint cups that are tall enough that they make it hard to spill {even when tipped over}. The little brush is from a watercolor set we used up long ago. Save those brushes!

We got a package of critter-growing capsules for his birthday, the kind that look like little pills and grow into sponges in water. I wasn’t sure if he’d have the patience to wait for them to expand, but I went ahead and pulled out the three red ones in the package to use for today’s lesson about the color red and thought it was worth a try. When he finished his crafts, he crawled up in my lap and watched them expand and unfurl, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him so focused or observant. He loved it. He had a wonderful time guessing what the shapes were before they were fully expanded, and excitedly squealed, “They’re growing!” as each one started popping out of its pod. It was an unexpected hit. It just reminds me more and more that it doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money to entertain and educate your kids right at home. It was such an encouraging morning.

We put on a silly song CD in the background and just jammed out for the hour while we read the little story that went along with the Bible lesson and then talked about the color red and the letter A. I was so proud of him tonight when he showed Travis how to make a sign language A with his little hand! It was a great first day.

The resources and printables I used today are all completely free and can be found at the following websites {I’ve listed a few others that I might use in the future as well}:

  • ABC Teach– has TONS of free printables on many different topics.
  • Education.com– free color-by-letter printables.
  • Education.com– free animal letter coloring pages printables.
  • Hubbard’s Cupboard– excellent resource for Christian homeschooling parents of little ones. I LOVE the ideas and free resources on this site. She’s awesome.

Day one, check. Success. So far so good. He seemed to have a blast and I know I did.

If you have any other great ideas or resources you’ve discovered online, please share! Thanks for following along on our little adventure!

Blessings,

Kat

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4 Comments

Filed under Creative Ideas and Crafts, Learning at Home

4 responses to “Adventures in Homeschooling- Day 1

  1. Sounds like he loves learning as much as his mother and Daddy! I think you will a wonderful teacher, at home or anywhere else.

  2. Nanny

    Hoo-Ray for Little Ones first day of school!!! Hoo-Ray for his teacher!!!! It is so much fun to watch them learn and today Mom learned, too.

  3. Pingback: Essential List of Crafting-With-Kids Supplies | Love Makes A Family

  4. Pingback: Fun with Shaving Cream | Love Makes A Family

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