Happy New Year!
I hope everyone had a great holiday season! We had a great time and with 2 children involved this year it was double the fun! I love the New Year! It always allows that time of reflection and time for setting goals for the year ahead. Now that we have had a full semester under our belt, I wanted to finally take some time to post about our homeschooling experience.
One of the best things I love about homeschooling is that the curriculum can be completely tailored to the individual. I hope that by sharing our journey I can help encourage and inspire other parents. I fully recognize that there are a million different ways to educate and there is no perfect and only way to go about it.
Nigel was three when we started last year. He just turned four in December, so we are starting from the very beginning at preschool level. Our primary focus has been the following: Learning numbers, counting, phonics, and writing. We have also included a lot of science, problem solving and character building into our curriculum. Our tools of choices are: a dry erase board with lines for letter and number writing, our iPad, stickers, crayons, and lots of marshmallows 🙂
Math. Nigel has an app called Tally Tots he has used to help him learn counting. It has a cute song to learn the order of numbers and fun counting games. We also have look out for everyday teachable moments to practice counting throughout the past months. We have used many workbooks that helped with learning counting and numbers such as this one from Target. Now we have progressed to addition and subtraction (thus the marshmallows).
Phonics and Reading. A friend had told me before we started our homeschool journey that the US is one of the few countries that teach the letter name before the letter sound. She encouraged me to teach Nigel phonics first and that would help him transition to reading much easier and I am so glad for that advice! Our two favorite friends for learning these has been the PocketPhonics app and the book Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons. I can’t say enough good things about these two! Pocket Phonics teaches how to write letters and the sounds of each as well as word formation and using combo letters. We are in the beginning stages of the 100 Easy lessons book, but so far he has made great progress!
Extras. Now that Nigel is 4, we are wanting to help him better with articulating his words. I have found an amazing app called Articulation Station. We also have had a blast learning the states and their maps using puzzles. We have gone to the library and checked out lots of books on volcanos and even did home science experiments making homemade volcanoes. The biggest thing that we have been working on is learning all about the body. Nigel is so interested in the bones. He can name almost all of them now!!! We got him this book for his birthday and I really love it! One area of focus that has been inconsistent is that of character building. All the curriculum I have found so far has been to old for him. We have just been reading lots of books and discussing positive character attributes. Best of all is learning about God and Jesus.
I can’t describe how grateful I am for our iPad! It has saved me hundreds and hundreds by sparing me from buying much more expensive curriculum! Before I bought the Pocket Phonics app, I was about to fork of $300 for a homeschooling phonics program! I know that it will not always be my go to source, but it certainly helps add fun to learning and that is like a spoon full of sugar 🙂 I hope to periodically post about our journey and share the things we learned and experienced. Feel free to share your insights or ask questions!