Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Homeschooling Planning

Like I said in my last blog post......I am a planner by nature.  It's impossible for me to stop planning.

So of course even though I have my son's preschool curriculum ready to go I still am planning.

Very soon I plan to order Little Pim.  My son is half Mexican & where we live there are a lot of Spanish speakers.  I know a little Spanish myself (wish I knew more) & my husband is pretty much fluent.  If nothing else, it will be extremely beneficial in the job setting for him once he's an adult.  It certainly is helpful for both myself & my hubby. 

It is very important to me that he grows up knowing Spanish.  Right now we have 2 DVDs from the Your Baby Can Read company.  So he's been watching those & I have started reading to him in Spanish lately.  My Spanish is not good enough for me to really talk to him or have a conversation in Spanish, it's broken & fragmented, survival Spanish I call it, but I can certainly read in Spanish.  My pronunciation is very good & even when I don't know WHAT I'm reading I can still read it very well.  When he was a baby I got several Bible story books in Spanish & those are what I read to him from right now.

As for the future of his learning Spanish beyond the current DVDs & reading & the Little Pim, I have my eye on a CD-rom set from Alpha Omega.  There is one for grades 3-6 & one for grades 7-12 & two for grades 9-12.  I have heard first-hand from people who have used it that it is good so I hope that works out well.  I just didn't want to wait until he reached 3rd grade to begin the Spanish lessons, so I asked around & Little Pim was highly recommended.  I personally am wanting to avoid him using the computer, but at some point he has to learn & I suppose 3rd grade might be a good age, we shall see.  At the very least it could be the only thing he does on the computer.  I can see the advantage of it though, being able to hear proper pronunciation, better than my own I'm sure.  I just personally have issues with the younger generation being so dependent upon & addicted to technology such as the computer, TV, video games, etc.

When he was a baby I played the Spanish DVDs I already have & read to him in Spanish often, but as time passed I sort of stopped doing it.  But now that we are gearing up for preschool I have a renewed focus on Spanish it seems.  In addition to our daily Bible study & reading lesson I am reading him a Spanish Bible story also each day.  And like I said previously, he's been watching those DVDs that we already have.  Of the 2 DVDs there was one that he never liked when he was younger & right now he is loving it & begging to see it.  I love to hear him trying to pronounce the words, it's so cute!

My other plan is for this study on teaching character through literature.  I've heard really good things about it from people who have used it.  And I think Godly character is something that is soooo lacking in the young people of today.  Well, just one of the things that are seriously lacking, there are many, but it's a very important one in my humble opinion.  You can also purchase the reading packs to go with the lesson plan from the same company, Beautiful Feet.  There is a K-3 reading pack & a 4-6 reading pack.  I like that this study can be done at your own pace.  You can do it as fast or slow as you like.  It's just an extra thing that I want to add on. 

And for now that is all the planning I have done in regards to preschool.  Outside of schooling I am planning to keep him in swimming lessons.  He's been doing swimming lessons once each week since last August.  When he turns 5 I am planning to take him to buy a guitar & enroll him in guitar lessons (unless he changes his mind & wants to do a different instrument, but so far he is sold on the guitar).  Also at age 5 I plan to begin giving him an allowance & teaching him to tithe & to save & money management, etc.  And at some point we really want to enroll him in martial arts of some sort.  There are studios that we can take him to now, but once he's 8 we can take him to a local church for classes.  We really like the idea of doing it at a church, just wish they would take younger ages, but we know of a couple of studios that have Christian instructors.  So we are still debating on that. 

A friend of mine who homeschools her children has her kids enrolled in a physical education program.  I believe it's only $20 per month & you meet in a designated park once each week (they have many locations & times) & each month they rotate to a new sport.  That is something I'm considering....but between swimming & the possibility of martial arts (& our park visits, etc) I do feel physical education will be well covered. 

The only other planning I have done is for Kindergarten.  Now that the preschool stuff is squared away I must find more stuff to plan it seems.......  Anyways, the homeschool curriculum I am using is sold in age range brackets rather than for actual grade levels.  For example, the preschool curriculum is for ages 2-5 (he will enter it at 4 & finish at 5) & the next level, which I would be using for K, is for ages 5-7.  This puts him at the younger end of the bracket.  And that does concern me.  I was always the youngest in my class when I was a kid & I do feel it put me at a disadvantage & they say boys don't mature as quickly as girls which puts them at a disadvantage as well.  So I have decided, for now, that I am going to split the next curriculum bundle between K & 1st grade & then when he moves to the next level (2nd grade), for ages 6-8, he will be starting it at age 7 & finishing it at age 8.  I feel much more comfortable with that. 

Also, in the next level it is written to be used with a phonics program.  They give you an option of two that they recommend & the planner is written with or you can choose your own.  Since he's already doing phonics, starting at age 3 (& finishing up around age 5 I'm estimating) & he's doing really well with it, I don't want to bore him & do the process all over again.  So I'm going to order the pack of "emerging reader books" they offer with the following level of curriculum & use that instead.  That next level that I'm borrowing the emerging reader books from gives an option of a phonics program, the emerging readers, or the more advanced reading program they offer from there on out.  So at that point I can hopefully start him on their reading program.  Splitting the next level over 2 grades seems like a very good plan for several reasons, he'll be at the older age range of the curriculums beginning in 1st grade, it'll even out the reading lesson options, since he started phonics so much earlier, & it'll make the K level easier for him, because it looks like a big jump up from preschool to me & I am a little concerned he may not be ready for all of that.  So to split it in half & spread it over 2 years seems brilliant to me.  And for 1st grade I may need to beef it up a bit, but that shouldn't be a problem at all.  There's plenty of interesting stuff I can add on, like reading or even science stuff like caterpillars becoming butterflies, ant farms, etc.

One thing I've been really happy about at church is that he is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) kids in his class.  They have the 3 year olds (being promoted up to 4 year olds class this coming Sunday) split into 4 groups, there's just too many of them I guess.  His group is for kids born April 2009-July 2009, which makes him one of the older ones in the class.  Being that boys mature more slowly than girls, I prefer for him to be one of the older ones in his class & also with his curriculum I prefer for him to be at the older end of the age range.

That is all for now............

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