Saturday, June 27, 2009

Homeschool Update Summer/ Fall

I'm officially out of the first trimester this week Wednesday and have been having more good days than bad the last few weeks, so I'm hopeful that the nausea is leaving me. I have been on low maintenance around here for the last few months - barely keeping the dishes done, napping whenever Julia naps, and trying to use my free time to play with the girls and not stress about housework too much. Somehow we've survived!

I've been preparing Lucy's preschool curriculum for the fall and finishing up a few things I had on my list to do with her yet this year. I wrote a post here about what we used this year for homeschooling. We read lots of books - Lucy looks at books on her own, "reads" them to Julia, and Daddy always read a few with the girls before bed. Lucy has a few workbooks she enjoys doing and colors or works on some sort of art project quite frequently. We've enjoyed the My Father's World preschool package and have had fun with the toys and ideas they include. I have two shelves on a bookcase in my room that are filled with "preschool toys" that we pull out and play with together at times. Our learning is rather spontaneous and depends on the girls' interests that day.

Before Five In A Row seemed to be too simple for us, and while we enjoyed making a few lapbooks from Homeschool Share, I found it to be a lot of prep work on my part. We haven't used Handwriting Without Tears yet, as Lucy was enjoying some other workbooks she had and I didn't want to introduce another workbook yet.

Lucy actually just turned 4 this week. Although I agree with not pushing a child to start schooling, and some of the "better late than early" philosophy, I also believe that homeschooling gives you the freedom to follow your child's lead. Lucy is very interested in learning, is very bright, and is at a level where we think she will do well with starting My Father's World Kindergarten this fall. We're not calling it K, we're just calling it preschool and will take it slowly if we need to. I read through the teacher's manual and feel like she's ready for this. My Father's World is a very gentle K program and I anticipate it being a lot of fun! I've been working on ordering the books and supplies I'll need, cutting and laminating pieces, and trying to get organized. I cleaned out a hall cupboard so we would have room for our school supplies and I'll post a picture and explain my setup once I figure out how its all going to work best. I'm not finished yet...

This summer we are working on a few more lapbooks that I had printed out things for and hadn't gotten to. We're on Goodnight Moon this week and are enjoying it. I want to do a few more of these throughout the summer; Lucy has fun with it and I think its a good transition into the fall where we'll be doing schoolwork every day.

Handwriting Without Tears - I ended up purchasing the wooden pieces, capital letter cards, chalk boards, and song cd used from friends. I laminated all of the capital letter cards and we're going to play around with them a bit and start the pre-K workbook soon. MFW includes handwriting, but I just love the wooden pieces and multi-sensory approach of HWOT. We're going to start the workbook this summer and then we may use this along side MFW as we get to the various letters and are learning to write them throughout the year.

I am also revisiting the MFW preschool activity idea booklet and using that this summer. We pull out a preschool toy every now and then and check their idea booklet for a different way to use the toy. I love all of their ideas and want to be sure we get through them before heading on to K.

Some of my other goals for the summer are:
-to listen to the cds of David Hazell (founder of MFW) speaking, have DH listen to them and then talk about them together
-read For The Children's Sake again. I read it once last year but now own a copy and need to read through it again as MFW recommends it.
-organize and prepare for starting K as much as possible

I'll post more about specific resources we'll be using along with My Father's World and how I'm organizing things, as well as fun ideas as we go! I'm excited about continuing our homeschool journey this coming year and starting "for real". We may take a few breaks, especially with the baby coming in January, but I think Lucy is ready for this and will enjoy the learning time with mom! Julia is going to be a handful, she wants to do everything Lucy does and will definitely need to be kept busy during school time. Anyone else starting K or preschool this fall?


  1. I got to your blog by the MFW Yahoo group. I'm sure you'll love MFW-K. I started my oldest when she was four and now she's heading into Adventures. How time flies! We also did lapbooks for our K year because she too was keen and loved to learn. Enjoy the journey!

  2. Hey! Your journey sounds a lot like mine! I have 3 boys, ages 4,2, and 1. We have been doing bFIAR this past year...some lapbooks, the MFW preschool package...and a little prep work for starting Spell to Write and Read. We are also starting MFW this fall as our preschool curriculum...but I am not doing as much with the reading part of MFW (I will use some of it)...I am going to be using Spell to Write and Read. I am using the workbox system to organize is great. But anyways...I have been staying up late to get stuff organized!
    Have fun...Congrats on the baby!

  3. Have a great time. Home schooling has been such a blessing for us. I'm not doing anything formal with Matthias this coming year, I really don't think he's quite ready, but next year we'll start a 1st grade curriculum and take it slowly. Basically the approach you're taking, just a year later. I did that w/ Parker and he did better than I anticipated. I can't wait to hear how your year is going.

  4. We started our oldest with MFW K at age 4 as well, then spread K and 1st over a 3-year spread. It worked beautifully. We did the same with our daughter, but didn't move quite as quickly (she was busy joining in with all her big brother's science and read-alouds afterall, so we didn't have quite as much time for one on one attention with her K program) and she just finished K after a 2 year stretch. She's 6 now and I ordered her first grade yesterday and anticipate we will get it all done in one year now. End result, they both started K at 4 and finished (or will finish) 1st at age 7. My 3-year-old has been enjoying K along with his big sister especially these past months, so I may let him do some of the K stuff this year very much from a preschool standpoing, and start it again with him from the beginning in another year or two.

  5. Thanks for the comments! its exciting to have others along on this journey as well. :)