Welcome

Welcome! This is where it all began. I no longer post on this website and some of the content reflects former convictions and understandings. Some of these posts are hard core on issues that I am softer on these days. I deleted many posts that I feared would lead people into legalism, so if you find a missing hyperlink that may be why. These days I write at Covered By His Hand.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Practical Homeschool Ideas

I am only a beginner when it comes to homeschooling. My oldest is in 2nd grade. But, this gives me the advantage of knowing what kinds of ideas may be helpful for other new homeschoolers. If you have been schooling for several years, I probably do not have anything to offer you... in fact, you can share some of your know-how with me! But, if you are a new homeschool parent, or hope to some day be a homeschool parent, I hope to help you out with these few practical ideas.

- Play board games with your little ones as soon as they are able to hold the little pieces without being tempted to chew on them. Candy Land, teaches simple life lessons like taking turns, and being a good winner or a good loser. Memory is another excellent game for kiddos!

-Play UNO with preschool aged kids. You can begin by matching colors or numbers only to make this game simpler. I was surprised at how well my kids learned their numbers and colors this way!

- Play dominos with little ones (who will not chew on/choke on the pieces). Matching numbers is good for little ones. And, as they grow older you can vary the rules to include addition and subtraction games.

- Cook with your little ones. Not only with this teach you great patience, but it will be basic math!

- In terms of actual school lessons (you know, the kind you do sitting at a table), do not feel like you have to do every subject every day! It is very important to be consistent with math and phonics/reading. BUT, most other subjects can be done every other day to lesson your load (Especially if you are like me with soon to be 5 little ones age 7 and under).

- Read, read, read! We were reading to my oldest when she was less than one. She developed an amazing vocabulary very early! As the kids age, I move away from Dr Seuss and such, to more advanced books. I prefer non-fiction books about reptiles, bugs, animals, oceans, body parts, etc. Just this week, we read a book about how the body heals from a skinned knee. The older kids really enjoy these kinds of books! I think that our reading with them from an early age, more than any other thing, is the reason for their desire to learn more. My kids want to learn new things. They want to read books (or have them read to them) to learn about new ideas or objects. Even when a homeschool mom is sick/disabled she can read to her kids! And, this is not to be under-rated!

- When they ask any question about something like "what is a star?", or show interest in a particular topic, I go to the library right away! We strike while the iron is hot!

- We set Friday apart as our arts and crafts day, because -frankly, I cannot deal with that kind of mess daily. So, we do Play Doh on Friday. One of my friends paints with her kids every Friday. Bigger kids can play with glue, glitter, and scissors. It is fun to have one special day to look forward to! Vinyl table cloths are great for paint days. And, you can likely find cheap mens' button-up shirts (at a thrift store) to put on kids backwards while they make messes.


I write these simple ideas to show that homeschooling can start early and easily. It does not have to start with a curriculum and a planner! You can start small and add things as you go along! It has taken me far to long to realize this!

What ideas can you share with me? I encourage you to write me a comment, or write your own post and add the link to my comments. I really mean for this post to be a great resource to new homeschool moms, or someday-hope-to-be homeschool moms! I look forward to hearing for you!

2 comments:

Kimberly said...

I guess I've never done a post about our homeschooling adventure. Our adventure began 13 years ago, half way through our oldest daughter's 3rd grade year. She had been going to a private Christian school since Kindergarten; when the boys were born in became a SAHM- Hubby's job didn't pay much and we really should have not even sent her to the school at the beginning of that year (20/20 hindsight), public school was not an option for us, her teacher suggested homeschooling! I really thought she was nuts! We started with a couple workbooks and a lot of heart! I was always on the search for curriculum - we didn't have internet back then, so the resources that are out there now, simply did not exist - it was all word of mouth. We did have a teacher's book store in the area, which was helpful. We kept things to workbooks for a long while - tried Saxon math (didn't like it, scrapped it pretty much right away) - a long about middle school, companies pretty much quit making workbooks; so I spent countless hours writing curriculum (and being completely overwhelmed by that task)- by this time the little girls had been born and the boys were about 1st grade age- we had lots going on at many learning levels. We decided that we really needed to find curriculum that we could use for all, that textbooks would probably be best as they could be handed down and we would gain the most value for our investment. We searched - it took a year or so, we had internet by now, which helped in the search. We stumbled on to Rod & Staff and decided that was a good fit for our family - and we've never looked back! The little girls have benefitted the most, both were reading at the age of 3, both began 1st grade at age 5; the curriculum is certainly Bible based, and very thorough. They have excellent materials for preschoolers. Unfortunately our oldest daughter missed the benefits of the curriculum, she was nearly graduated by the time we found it. She did enjoy teaching her baby sister through the preschool years though. She has attended some college, but enjoys working and volunteering at church. We school in a somewhat structured setting, with children at the table 4 days a week doing their lessons, it's what has worked best for us. One interesting fact is that we "discovered" R&S in the middle of the boys 3rd grade year - the same age we began our adventure for our oldest!

Good luck in your adventure!

Ruby said...

Great suggestions all, Bethany!
We read a LOT, too. As you know my boys have not taken to reading themselves and therefore I read a great deal to them. This is pretty much how they are learning all their subjects at present. No matter how they end up, I trust they will have a great general knowledge and still be familiar with many of the books their peers are reading because we read so much.