After a few conversations with new homeschooling moms over the past few weeks, I thought it would be helpful to share my homeschool planning process, specifically what I do with the two little boys. We are working through the alphabet with our co-op curriculum and all three boys do history and bible study together. In December we will have three weeks of formal school and a week off at the end of the month.
All the goodies from my Christmas tub that will be used for various Montessori style learning trays this month.
I do planned activities with Magoo (PreK – 5 years old) and Doodad (3 years old) twice a week. I plan 3 activities a day for Doodad and 5 for Magoo. We don’t always get to all the planned activities, and that’s okay! About a year ago, I started making the preparation of lessons part of our school day. I’ve found it helps the boys get excited about activities when they are able to help prepare them. For that reason, I don’t have many pictures yet!
Alphabet Focus – L, M, and N
I am using most of the activities in the Raising Rock Stars Preschool series from 1plus1plus1 with both Magoo and Doodad. This is the bulk of the work they do. The Preschool level activities are perfect for Magoo but a little too advanced for Doodad. I have Doodad work with us anyway because he wants to be just like his big brother!
I also add activities as I am inspired by pinterest. I keep track of anything letter related on my alphabet adventures board. The boys will sometimes ask for an additional activity. If I have nothing prepared, we will pull ideas from my board.
Doodad has requested a tub of red and green rice for sensory play this month. He is going to help me dye the rice using the same technique as in my Rainbow Rice post. I also pulled out all the goodies from my Christmas tub and will add them to the sensory box as needed to keep his interest.
At this point, the sensory box serves the primary purpose of keeping Doodad out of trouble! I do sometimes sit and play with him, but usually this is an activity he does completely on his own. The two big boys will still play in the sensory tubs from time to time, but not daily as Doodad usually does.
The manipulatives tub is a new idea that I introduced to the boys a few months ago. It’s basically a tub of items that we use when doing math.
I selected unifix cubes this month because Magoo is ready to start working on the concept of bundling 10s and they stack together very nicely. Doodad is working on counting to 20 and number sense for 6, 7, and 8. I will use the manipulative tub with him as we count and to practice making patterns. I have found that changing the manipulative we use on a regular basis keeps our math activities fun for the boys.
We do history together based on the weekly topic from our co-op. For December, the topics are the Bolshevik Revolution, Gandhi and the Salt March, and the Treaty of Versailles. The boys have a sentence summarizing each event to memorize, so that is my primary focus with the little boys.
We are using Story of the World Volume four as our main history text supplemented with books from the library. This month we will cover chapters 21-23, pulling activities from the activity book. To plan ahead, I go through the list of recommended books in the activity guide with the library app open on our iPad. I try to request three to five books per week at a variety of reading levels to build a book basket for the boys to explore. Some weeks I have quite a few options and other weeks we only have a book or two.
We are continuing to work through the Birth of Jesus study from Grapevine Studies. You can read more about that in my review. We should finish up this study just before our Christmas break.
As I find things I think the boys will like, I either print them out or pin them to one of my seasonal boards on Pinterest. (You can find my Christmas & Advent board there). I have a Decmeber file that holds things I printed out in previous years. When we are done with this month anything reusable will go in the file until next year. Here are the links to the few I know we will be using:
Pattern Block Mats – I printed and then laminated for durability
Dot to Dot Coloring Sheets
Christmas Themed Writing Prompts – I will use this with all three boys. Bebop will write in his journal and the two little boys will draw pictures.