My curriculum free homeschool plan
I’m homeschooling again this year (I took 6 months off at the end of 2011- the spring 2012 semester when I was pregnant and had 2 foster kids!), and since my son is very advanced in several areas I decided to just “wing it” this year to see exactly where he’s at and learn how he learns. I’m also babysitting, so it helps to do things as a group.
My oldest is almost 7 and reads at a 4th grade level while also being very strong in math. My daughter is 5, the boy I babysit is 4 and I have a 4 month old.
I am basically doing unit studies based on different children’s books. There are so many good books that you can read together for literature, and then use them as a theme for spelling/handwriting, art, writing and even science. My son loves it because we also try to find a copy of the movie for that book from the library and we watch it after we’re done with the book. We then work together to write an essay discussing the book and movie with comparisons and differences.
Our day looks like this:
After breakfast, we set the baby up either on the floor or in the exersaucer so he can be involved and I get out our book that we’re reading. This first session is “The Wind in the Willows”. After reading the chapter to everyone, I then use this handwriting worksheet generator and print up words from the chapter. After that, the baby is usually ready for a nap…yay!
The younger 2 at this point are allowed to play together either in my daughter’s room or with play dough, rainbow rice, etc while I work more one on one with the oldest. We pick a science subject from the book (with this book having animal characters, we look up a different animal every day), read about that animal, watch online videos, google search, etc. Not only is he doing science, but he is also learning how to use the search function to find things that interest him (be involved and be sure you have a good filter). I then google images of that topic (usually with “coloring page” in the search) and print it and we diagram and add notes about what we learned. The younger 2 like to join in with this part and have their own copy of that page to color.
Starting in September (once I’m only babysitting T & Th and not every day) we’ll be adding 2 more subjects. Our day will then start with a Bible lesson on M, W, F. I’m unsure yet whether we’ll be working through one of our story Bibles, but I’m leaning towards actually reading straight from a regular Bible. We’ll either be starting with Psalms or Proverbs. I also have a social studies book I will be using this year. Next year I want to start learning about how our country started and the year after that working through the presidents. We have a great library and I plan on just using books to read through and not a textbook.
To add extra work for after lunch, I often let him watch science videos from the library, do extra reading on starfall.com or other learning sites, watch science videos from the “wild kratts” section of pbskids.org, and many other resources I’ve been given such as Dance Mat Typing, a puzzle generator, and eztales.com (this one costs money).
My more “laid back” days are T and Th. On Tuesday mornings I go to a Bible study, so we just do reading an math in the afternoon, and on Thursdays we have a co-op we go to all morning where we do art and PE. After lunch is when we go to the library and just play the rest of the day. Next year when we are required to log hours and meet certain criteria, I’ll use this time as a make-up day to get anything missed done.
It’s lots of fun for us both and the younger kids can be as involved as they want. Maybe in a year or two I’ll actually invest in some curriculum!