I want to document my homeschooling experiences here on the blog … reflection is key to growth as a teacher (and person!), and I want to look back and see how things worked. What didn’t work. What we loved. Successes. Issues that arise.
Since life is busy, I’m not planning to make this a weekly post, but my goal is to post twice monthly to collect my thoughts, ideas, plans. I hope it will be encouraging to other homeschooling parents, and a resource for those who may follow!
Background: I’m homeschooling our three-and-three-quarter-year old son for preschool. The plan right now is to do three days of focused lessons, a day for projects and field trips, and a day off (or more field trips, activities).
Here are the core materials we’re using this year. Certainly, I grab ideas from anything and everything, but these items we use nearly daily. Today I’m just going to give you the short and sweet version, because I want to take future posts detail about how I use some of these learning tools!
Sonlight P3 Curriculum: This home preschool curriculum forms the core of our lessons. For the P3 level, it essentially boils down to a booklet of tips, encouraging and wise words, and then a book list. The book list is then further broken down into trimesters with a list of about 39 stories per trimester. Each story has a suggested (simple!) activity: act out the story, discussion question, draw, cook or eat a food, or take a trip to a location related to the story.
The Bible: As a Christian curriculum, Sonlight suggests reading a Bible story daily. Since we already have so many Bibles and Bible storybooks in the house, I didn’t get the book recommended by Sonlight. Instead, we rotate between:
- The Bible
- The Jesus Storybook Bible (read my review here and here)
- Egermeier’s Bible Story Book
- The Beginner’s Bible
- The Beginner’s Bible Super-Duper, Mighty, Jumbo Coloring Book
Usborne’s Flip Flap Body Book – We use this for science exposure. It’s simple and takes the child through the functions of the body in terms for their young age level.
Richard Scarry’s What Do People Do All Day? – A book about work and workers, and the busy-ness of Busytown! I love the way this book gives us a quirky introduction to the studies of social life.
Prayers and Poems for the Very Young – Every morning I read a poem out of this small and precious book. I read the same poem for the whole week. If the poem or prayer also happens to be a song, I sing it to teach them the music and words together!
Picture Books – Sonlight curriculum is heavily literature focused. Children read gobs of high quality, often-award-winning literature. It’s truly re-inspiring our already deep love of reading, because many of the stories on the list we didn’t even own before I gathered my materials this year! You can purchase the entire set of books directly from Sonlight for nearly $300. However, through book sales, thrift stores, and Amazon.com used books, I managed to get everything for under $100.
Art materials – Moving beyond the crayon! We love our Melissa & Doug colored pencils, paints, and chalks. We’re also using washable markers, scissors, and glue!
Writer’s Notebook – Of course. I have to have a writer’s notebook in our lessons somewhere. We use this primary level notebook to record drawings based on the day’s lesson. Sometimes I will transcribe what my son tells me about the picture.
Mighty Mind game – An activity puzzle to learn visual and spacial relationships! Keeps my little boy busy during transitions, down time, and whenever I have to take care of the baby.
As I mentioned, there are many materials I use here and there, and other items I plan to add in once we’re into the swing of things, but these materials are the basics of how we do home preschool!
For more ideas on home preschool, visit Crunchy Beach Mama as she’s sharing her homeschooling materials today too!
What materials do you use for your homeschool classroom?
*Links in this post are affiliate links!