Homeschooling Moms

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Hello Homeschooling Mamas! I need direction!
September 2, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Hi! I just started homeschooling my son early august. He just made 4 on mid August. I started with this Preschool workbook I saw at walmart. And my mother in law came in town for his birthday, and we went to our local teacher's supply store, and I got a calendar, a chart with 1 through 100, and a north american map. Also a mini-banner of the alphabet and 0-10. This is all hung up in his room. So far he really enjoys doing schoolwork. I got these manipulatives and he is working on his patterns so far. Also, I noticed he has poor areas like number (doesn't know 7-20) recognition, but better on letter recognition. I don't have a concrete lesson plan. I feel incredibly disorganized even though mentally I am taking notes on things. 

I don't just feel disorganized, I feel like I should be devoting more time to it. I inched his homeschooling into my daughter's nap. She is 15 months. But once she wakes up, the schooling is either resumed later with some nickjr. educational games, or some discontinued until 24 hours later. She rarely naps over 2 hours. 

I think all of this chaos in my head about it is because our "office" isn't organized in the house. And I just feel like I need guidance. So I am wondering, for prek level, how much time do you usually devote to homeschooling? Including bookwork, and online activities, and hands on crafts and such? We came to the conclusion that we were homeschooling in late july. and by that time, my son was already enrolled in school. We are homeschooling out of necessity, but I have always wanted to do it, so I just want to make sure I am giving him the best homeschool experience I can. I think because of my daughter acting her age and into everything, its very distracting homeschooling my son with her getting jealous and such. We also read every night, but I don't think that counts on the homeschooling wheel. 

I also wanted to know if there were any affordable secular curriculums out there. It would be so much easier if it was all spelled out for me. What did you all do your prek year homeschooling? Thanks for reading, and sorry for the length! 


  • cleigh717
    September 3, 2013 at 12:32 AM
    thanks for the advice. we have some manipulatives already but somewhere along the way we forgot the crafts and other hands on activities. and thanks for telling me how much time you spend on it. it puts things in perspective.

    Quoting Maridel:

    With my 4 year old I spend about 20 minutes with her on her phonics program (which is Catholic but there are a lot of seculars out there, like Hooked on Phonics, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, Explode the Code, etc..). This includes a craft so phonics/art in one! She gets a break while I work with my second grader, then we spend 10-15 minutes with the MathUSee Primer. And I try to make sure I giver her 30-45 minutes a day with fun hands on activities like puzzles, stringing beads, sandpaper letters, lacing cards, magnets, etc... I just let her choose which one she wants to use. Aside from that lots of outside time and making sure that any tv time she gets is somewhat educational, even if its just Dora. And I love LeapFrog videos

  • marrionsmommy
    September 3, 2013 at 1:36 AM
    My son loved worksheets at that age lol...funny I used to keep all the board games in the closet and totally disnt realize how many games we have that we can still use. I found that pulling em out on an open shelf in the schoolroom makes me notice and use them sooo much more. He also asks to use them so it brings em to mind.

    Quoting cleigh717:

    thanks for the suggestions! I really do need to get organized because its all in a large box. the paint, the workbooks, the manipulatives. he enjous doing the worksheets so much, I really ended up putting games on the shelf. thanks for reminding me what a valuable tool they can be.

    Quoting marrionsmommy:2 hrs is plenty enough time to do a full prek curriculum. My first grader does 2 hrs sit down and 30 mins to an hour independant work. I prep everything on sunday or at least the night before so that I have everything we need down to extra pencils and crayons. You might want to look into workboxes they definitly worked for me for prek for my son and made me get in all my concepts easily. Also it made me realize how much of a time waster little things like looking for worksherts or gathering materials was. With the workboxes I didnt worry about it any more so I was able to complete the same or more work that I was doing before in half the time.

    As far as number recognition and all that the best way to get these concepts is games games and more games. My sons favorite things at this age where stacker cups, and varied manipulatives. Mini erasers from the dollar store where the biggest hit. I lined up the stacker cups and had him write the numbers 10-20 on a post it and stick it to the cup. Then he would have to try to throw that many items in the cups. You could easily do that with regular cups too. We played hopscotch with those numbers, sang silly songs etc. At this age games are the best for learning.

    I would also make up learning games, and put them in zip lock bags, that way if yr daughters nap ends early or u have a phone call, its easy to grab one and he can continue to learn. Puzzles are also overlooked at this age but are important skills so use those in yr learning. Also erica over at has a 4 yr old and she posts her activities so u can get an idea of things to do. She also has a full prek curriculum that is hands on and printable for dirt cheap. I used it when my son was 4 and he loved it.

    Good luck and remember have fun

  • kirbymom
    September 3, 2013 at 8:21 AM
    Hi cleigh! :)

    Sounds like you have things well under control. Just remember he is only 4. So doing about 2 hours of schooling is probably enough time for him. You are doing great with him. Keep making it fun and exciting to learn. And your reading time Does count towards schooling. He is learning from you and picking up more than you realize. In fact, everything you do throughout your entire day is a learning experience. You've been home "schooling" since the day your children have been born. All the things you do are teaching them the "how to's" and "what not's" and are important as abc's and 123's. How to make decisions and how to learn to follow your directions. Just as important too. Just try and let your children show you what they want to learn and how they want to go about that learning. So, if your son wants workbooks and paperwork, let him. If he wants to do more interactive or hands on engaging work, that's okay too. Shoot, even him wanting to help "teach" his little sister is good too. For the both of them. Helps build strong bonds.
    If you feel dis organized, take some time and clean out your office. Maybe even let your son be your big helper. That alone will start teaching him how to get organized and stay organized. Just go with the flow. You're already off to a great start. Just relax and enjoy your children. :)
  • paganbaby
    September 3, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    My son and daughters are great examples of that.

    6yo dd NEEDS structure in her schooling. Even when she was young (3/4) I needed to have all of her work planned out and organized.  She's also a very independent learner too. I beleive that plays a big part in why she enjoys PS so much.

    Where as 8yo ds is more of a laid back and see where school takes me, kind of guy. He wilts under too much structure (PS was a nightmare) and needs constant feedback and redirection.

    13yo dd falls somewhere in the middle. 

    Quoting AutymsMommy:

    Some children thrive with structured formal lessons :)

    It sounds like the OP's son is one of them (she stated that he enjoys his lessons).

    Quoting Leissaintexas:

     I personally wouldn't be doing preschool, my educational philosophy is that it's unnecessary to do formal lessons till much later. But if I were going to do it, for his age, I wouldn't be doing school any longer than about 45 min to an hour. At htis age, school should be more play, less seat work. I'm sorry I'm not much help on secular programs, I've only ever used Christian.

  • HomeEduIsCool
    September 4, 2013 at 12:35 PM
    Hello friend.
    I'm so happy you've decided to homeschool. It's truly an awesome journey.

    My thoughts: I agree with organizing your office first. that will help put you in an organizing mind set.

    Then, I would research various methods and try them out aaccord ing to your child's needs. I am homeschooling 3 kids. 11, 6 and 2. The youngest is more a 'explore your world/ learn through play' type of child. The 6 and 11year olds need more structure. However, with my 11yr. old, I've employed the unschooling method, just revised. I teach him the basics in conjunction with what he's interested in.

    The unschooling method can work with younger kids, but it's at your discretion.

    Good luck hun, you'll do great!!!!
  • cleigh717
    September 5, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    Thank you so much for the great advice everyone! And thanks again for those who gave resources. This is definitely a journey we are all on. 

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