I'm sorry I've not posted much on the blog lately, but it was for good reason! Monday was our first official day of Homeschool Pre-K and I've been in planning mode for weeks now. But, we made it and survived! Once we finished our "day" (more like morning), I realized 4 things about our homeschool on the first day and wanted to share them with you.
It wasn't what I expected...
I come from a public school background. So does my husband, who is now a public school educator. Public school is what I know. So I printed oodles of abc and 123 worksheets. Coloring pages with our theme and color of the week.
I made a "morning board" as they're called in homeschool circles (my favorite is from The Relaxed Homeschool that you can see here). In my new handy dandy bullet journal, I created a schedule with lesson plans for each week.
But much of it is about to go out the window. My kid is not a worksheet kid. He'll do the wipe books from Usbourne for 30 minutes or more, but got bored after the 3rd coloring sheet. My beautiful morning board wasn't interesting to the 4 year old. The 20 month old just wanted to color on it.
He's very visual and likes to talk things out. Worksheets don't accommodate that by any means. So we might be using the lap white board more often and music (he can memorize things crazy easy!). We have a double sided white board similar to this one that I bought at Target.
I want to change our approach
We are signed up for Classical Conversations, so we'll see how we like it. He loves random facts and remembers them really well, so I think it'll be a good fit for him. I'll update on that after our first co-op day.
As far as teaching everything else, I think we might veer off into the eclectic world with classical mixed in. I will say for a 4 year old, my son likes to sit at the table and do activities, but I think 1-2 worksheets are his max.
Reading was loved by all. I'm pretty sure we spent about an hour of our morning reading and he even sounded out the word "red" on his own when we got to the letter R while reading Dr. Seuss's ABC book. We've had that book for years and and its a little tattered, but it's still a favorite.
But I noticed we did the best learning while reading aloud and sounding out letters while playing in the backyard. He would tell me a letter and I would tell him the sound while we threw a frisbee. He had a blast. And retained much more of it than our traditional sit at the table and work on things.
I think the only thing he enjoyed past the first 2 worksheets while sitting at the table was ABC mouse. He LOVES playing the "mouse game" and he is currently working through learning path 2. We've had ABC mouse for a while now, but I didn't really realize until the other day how much he was really retaining from it.
It was a blast
Despite the kinks and trying to find what worked, little man had a blast. He said it was the best school day ever and he wants to do it again tomorrow. Except with not as many "papers" and more reading books. Great, sounds amazing to me!
Don't tell my husband, but I'm not sure all those pages I printed out (luckily, I only did A-F) are going to get done, at least any time soon. I'll try not to let the ink go to waste, but maybe the 20 month old can use them as coloring pages?
It was also an exciting first day for the 4 year old because he is an absolute space fanatic and we happened to start on the same day as the solar eclipse. So we wrapped up our homeschool day with watching the live feed from NASA on my laptop. I'm pretty sure it was the highlight of his day.
After that, he watched the Storybots song episode about the solar system while eating lunch and then asked for the iPad when I put little brother down for a nap so he could do ABC mouse. I told him the school day was over, but he could do the mouse game if he wanted. He said "Um, mom. I'm going to play the mouse game. That's not school!" Lol, win for mommy!
What I ultimately learned
It was both exciting and little frightening for mommy to start our homeschool journey. The biggest and fourth thing I learned on that day? I've been "schooling" him all along. And he's learned a lot without all the fancy morning boards and worksheets and pretty printables. So now, mommy is rethinking the approach.