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Old 08-01-2010, 12:21 PM   #1
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Hi, I am new here and I have a few questions!

Hi everyone! I am hoping to be able to homeschool my children as I am not a big fan of the local school system and I would like my children to have a Christian learning environment (private isn't an option financially). DH is NOT interested at all, but then again, he was totally against CD'ing until he tried it and now he is on board with it! I am not too worried about convincing him, but I think I am going to be getting a lot of opposition from other people (friends & family members for example). I'm pretty confident that I could do a good job teaching them, although I do have my concerns about not being good enough at certain subjects, but I can't imagine I am the only one with fears like that.

Anyhow, I would like to start this year with my 3 (almost 4) year old son and I am interested in getting some ideas as far as a curriculum. I don't really know where to start and what all I should do to prepare. This year he would be going into a PreK3 program if he were in school so should I start with PreK3 or go right into PreK material? Also do most homeschooling moms start with the beginning of the school year or do they go year round?

Thanks!

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Old 08-01-2010, 01:01 PM   #2
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Re: Hi, I am new here and I have a few questions!

We go pretty much year round, but we take random weeks/long weekends off throughout the year to travel for my oldest son's fencing tournaments. Most of the other families in our homeschool group do loosely follow the school year, but it works better for us not to do so.
For a 3 year old, I wouldn't worry about an official "curriculum". There are tons of preschool activity websites out there (www.perpetualpreschool.com is a favorite of ours - it has a huge list of themes to explore with lots of activities to go along with each theme). We have a lot of fun doing themed units with our preschoolers and find ways to work letter recognition, letter sounds, numbers, colors, shapes, etc. into those themes, so we don't have to buy much in the way of formal curriculum.
Last year, for pre-k, we did work through the preschool Explode the Code books (Get Ready, Get Set, and Go for the Code), the preschool Handwriting without Tears book, and the kindergarten level of Saxon Math with my now 5 yo, but I don't think there was much in any of them that we wouldn't have covered just doing our theme units.
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:01 PM   #3
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Re: Hi, I am new here and I have a few questions!

sorry, double post!
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:06 PM   #4
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Re: Hi, I am new here and I have a few questions!

Thanks for the info mama! I noticed in your signature that you are a nurse. I am working on a second bachelors degree in nursing right now and was wondering how working part time as a nurse would go while homeschooling. I am glad to see that there is someone else in that situation!
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:07 PM   #5
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Re: Hi, I am new here and I have a few questions!

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Old 08-01-2010, 01:11 PM   #6
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Re: Hi, I am new here and I have a few questions!

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Originally Posted by NikkiGig View Post
Thanks for the info mama! I noticed in your signature that you are a nurse. I am working on a second bachelors degree in nursing right now and was wondering how working part time as a nurse would go while homeschooling. I am glad to see that there is someone else in that situation!
It's worked really well for us. I worked full time nights until our second was born and then went prn. Kindergarten for my oldest son was a little interesting, since I was still working full time, but with some creative scheduling of his "school time", we got it done. Now I usually just work about 1 night a week, typically a weekend night, and it's absolutely perfect for our family.
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:20 PM   #7
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Re: Hi, I am new here and I have a few questions!

As far as schedule is concerned, I think a lot of homeschoolers are flexible and a lot follow the school year--whatever works for their family. If you're JUST getting started, I would say read, read, read homeschooling books to get a feel for all of your options and how different families do things. When I was first interested in homeschool, I had NO idea all the different ways people did it and all the different things we could do. Reading homeschool books and blogs and following forums like this one really opened up my mind. I highly recommend "Homeschooling for Dummies" as a broad overview of the various homeschool approaches. I also like "101 Top Homeschool Curriculum Picks" by Cathy Duffy--she has a quiz for you to figure out the best approach for you and your kids.

As for pre-k curriculum, this is my response to a similar thread:

I just had a new baby in May and we're starting preschool this fall as well. I've been making lots of materials that dd can work with independently so I can keep a handle on my life. I'm planning on doing a sort of workbox system with these activities, interspersed with "mommy and me" activities so that we're still spending time together (I'm making cards to represent the "mommy and me" activities and I'll just place them in the boxes and dd can come get me when she gets to those). Most of these materials are organized like activity bags so that my preparation from day to day will be super easy.

Some of the independent work I have planned:
- lots of file folder games
- sorting games: beans, pasta, cereal, etc)
- pattern games: I made some patterns and then dd has the same materials with which to copy them--some are pasta, others are beads on pipe cleaners, etc.
- counting mats: one example of these is a picture of a fish bowl on cardstock, plus various cards with numbers on them, plus goldfish crackers. DD places a number card on the mat and then counts that many crackers to put in the fish bowl. I also have one with a piggy bank and pennies.
- color sorting: I got a bunch of color swatches for free from Home Depot and cut them into individual colors. DD sorts them into groups by hue and then organizes by shade.
- lacing cards
- beads and string
- cutting
- gluing
- books on tape

Some of my mommy and me activities:
- music (we have a bunch of rhythm instruments plus the book, "101 Rhythm Instrument Activities for Young Children", which I LOVE)
- singing time
- felt board stories
- puppet stories
- games like Chutes & Ladders, Candyland, Memory, Letter Bingo, etc.
- drawing (dd likes to watch me draw for a long time and then she works for days to try to draw the same things)
- fingerplays
- reading

I also have a few preschool workbooks that will work their way into the mix, mostly for writing letters and numbers.

Some of my favorite websites for these activities:
- www.hubbardscupboard.org
- www.childcareland.org (TONS of free printables!)

It is a bit of work up front but I think it's going to pay off in the long run. I'm almost done with most of the independent activities.
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:06 PM   #8
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Re: Hi, I am new here and I have a few questions!

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It's worked really well for us. I worked full time nights until our second was born and then went prn. Kindergarten for my oldest son was a little interesting, since I was still working full time, but with some creative scheduling of his "school time", we got it done. Now I usually just work about 1 night a week, typically a weekend night, and it's absolutely perfect for our family.
Glad to hear that works out so well. I am hoping to work one weekend night as well for a little extra income. Thanks for letting me know that it's doable
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:10 PM   #9
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Re: Hi, I am new here and I have a few questions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorahsMom View Post
As far as schedule is concerned, I think a lot of homeschoolers are flexible and a lot follow the school year--whatever works for their family. If you're JUST getting started, I would say read, read, read homeschooling books to get a feel for all of your options and how different families do things. When I was first interested in homeschool, I had NO idea all the different ways people did it and all the different things we could do. Reading homeschool books and blogs and following forums like this one really opened up my mind. I highly recommend "Homeschooling for Dummies" as a broad overview of the various homeschool approaches. I also like "101 Top Homeschool Curriculum Picks" by Cathy Duffy--she has a quiz for you to figure out the best approach for you and your kids.

As for pre-k curriculum, this is my response to a similar thread:

I just had a new baby in May and we're starting preschool this fall as well. I've been making lots of materials that dd can work with independently so I can keep a handle on my life. I'm planning on doing a sort of workbox system with these activities, interspersed with "mommy and me" activities so that we're still spending time together (I'm making cards to represent the "mommy and me" activities and I'll just place them in the boxes and dd can come get me when she gets to those). Most of these materials are organized like activity bags so that my preparation from day to day will be super easy.

Some of the independent work I have planned:
- lots of file folder games
- sorting games: beans, pasta, cereal, etc)
- pattern games: I made some patterns and then dd has the same materials with which to copy them--some are pasta, others are beads on pipe cleaners, etc.
- counting mats: one example of these is a picture of a fish bowl on cardstock, plus various cards with numbers on them, plus goldfish crackers. DD places a number card on the mat and then counts that many crackers to put in the fish bowl. I also have one with a piggy bank and pennies.
- color sorting: I got a bunch of color swatches for free from Home Depot and cut them into individual colors. DD sorts them into groups by hue and then organizes by shade.
- lacing cards
- beads and string
- cutting
- gluing
- books on tape

Some of my mommy and me activities:
- music (we have a bunch of rhythm instruments plus the book, "101 Rhythm Instrument Activities for Young Children", which I LOVE)
- singing time
- felt board stories
- puppet stories
- games like Chutes & Ladders, Candyland, Memory, Letter Bingo, etc.
- drawing (dd likes to watch me draw for a long time and then she works for days to try to draw the same things)
- fingerplays
- reading

I also have a few preschool workbooks that will work their way into the mix, mostly for writing letters and numbers.

Some of my favorite websites for these activities:
- www.hubbardscupboard.org
- www.childcareland.org (TONS of free printables!)

It is a bit of work up front but I think it's going to pay off in the long run. I'm almost done with most of the independent activities.
Thank you for all of the resources! I will be getting those books to read for sure!
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:46 PM   #10
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Another book I heartily recommend is The Well-Trained Mind. It's a classical approach to schooling and the one we've chosen to loosely follow, but I know a lot of people who've chosen to go a different direction with their schooling and still are glad to have read it. It's full of information, curriculum suggestions, and ideas for babies through high-schoolers. I first got my hands on it when my oldest was in first grade and now re-read at least some chunks of it every year.
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