This week marked the official start of our adventures in schooling. We are still very much on the fence about what we will do when kindergarten rolls around — whether we’ll be doing homeschool or one of the two private schools — so for preschool we decided to do a combination of the two. Nora is going two mornings per week to an amazing preschool, where she will have the opportunity to learn and play alongside other children without Chris or me nearby. We haven’t had any tears at drop off and nothing more than utter and complete excitement about spending four hours with her teacher, which tells me that we made the right choice both in starting preschool and with the one we chose. We also signed Nora up for dance classes which start next Saturday and will give her a third day each week with a parent-free activity. The other mornings/days I’m planning to get my toes wet trying out a little homeschool preschool.
This week, Nora helped me get things set up. She went with me to buy supplies and painted a poster board,
which I turned into a date and weather chart.
I planned some activities that we will do every day as part of her morning routine; changing the date and weather is one of them. Above the poster, I hung a weekly calendar with pictures of the important parts of her week to hopefully help her understand when things will be happening. Other activities that we are going to do daily are journaling (which at her age means coloring one page in a spiral sketch pad and telling us what to write about the picture) and, for now, observing and documenting the daily changes in the monarch caterpillar that one of her friends gave her.
I was super excited to find this free printable observation book to help us keep track of the caterpillar’s changes
and I am in love with her versions of a yellow and black caterpillar on a green leaf.
In addition to daily activities, we’re going to continue our routine of going to music time at the Atheneum, followed by lots of reading and checking out new books; we’ll play once at the ECC and on Friday’s I’m going to plan official “homeschool” activities. For now my plan is to base the activities around a letter of the week, working our way through the alphabet. This week was “A,” so we learned about apples (which my dad was so generous to bring us from a farmstand in western Mass.). We checked out books about apples and apple foods from the library (a favorite this week was Apple Cider Making Days), watched part of a Mr. Rogers’ episode where he visits an applesauce factory (and incidentally also talks about breastfeeding!), talked about the parts and colors of apples, and made applesauce and apple cider. Last but not least, we sat down to try out writing for the very first time with a little capital “A” practice.
Nora’s letters were surprisingly good and she was super excited to have written her very first letter.
Today turned out even better than I expected. I’m already getting excited for next week; there’s so many awesome “B” words, but I think we’ll make buses the theme just so we can have an excuse to go for a ride on the Wave Bus, which Nora has wanted to do for months.
Are any of you out there homeschooling? If so, I would love to know what resources you find helpful or any tips/experiences you can share. This year my goals aren’t too lofty: I want to experiment with and expose Nora to new things, I want to make sure she can recognize (but not necessarily write) all her letters and numbers up to 10, and I want to have a lot of fun.