After feeling inadequate and generally a bit rubbish about all our "blah blah of the week" plans going out of the window I decided to simplify things. I just sat down with Charles and asked him what he wanted to do. He just said "I want to read a book by myself, like a big boy."
I am always child led, I always go at his pace, never faster but sometimes I wonder if I should hold him back, because sometimes he just wants to sit and down worksheets all day, and I think it is a little too much for him. I mean come on, he's 2 years old, he's nearly 3, but he is still such a little person really.
What do you do when your 2 year old wants to learn to read? He's been asking for months, and the more he gains in understanding and speaking ability (he talks really well, and a lot) the more he wants to do it.
I chatted to my friend Miri ( http://www.herewearetogether.com/ ) about it. She has this super power of listening, she is just amazing at letting me talk an issue out and come to my own answer. I've always prayed for a friend like her. Thanks God! :)
If Charles wants to do phonics, then we'll do phonics. He wants to learn to read a book by himself. I will facilitate that. It is my job, as his Mama, and as his teacher to do that for him.
I have invested in some Jolly Phonics material and made some flash cards. He is pretty good at some letters already and we even had a go at blending some words together. He was able to do some which was pretty surprising and really cool.
So the plan now? Jolly Phonics and our own mini curriculum set around that. Including some pretty cool baking and craft ideas. We are going to try and keep our themes, just ditching the theme table idea. Theme table and a 9 month old baby who can stand + cats...stupid idea.
I have another post in the making about adoption, and adding to our family.
Watch this space. x
Monday, 6 October 2014
We have obviously been planning to home educate for a while but this is the first week we have properly sat down and done things together that are educational as well as fun.
Charles spent the morning at Pre-School. He goes to a great place, it has a small number of children and they are very play orientated. They are a lovely bunch of people, and I happen to be on the committee also! I had to go and see my pony in that awful weather we had, and luckily I have a wonderful husband who picked up the poo for me and got very wet in the process! Thank you Phill!
After I picked Charles up from pre-school we headed home for some quiet afternoon activities.
I started by showing Charles our weekly themes, and telling him briefly about our monthly theme of autumn. Since it is really for me to plan things and he is only 2 (and three quarters!) I didn’t go into too much detail.
This week, our letter is a (the ah sound not the ay sound). We sang a phonics song about ants. It goes like this; “Ants are on my arm, Ants are on my arm, Ah Ah, Ants are on my arm.” We made up actions where the ants were crawling up our arms, and we shouted the “Ah!” as loud as we could! It was great fun. We looked at a big picture of the letter a and then found it on our alphabet poster. We traced it with our fingers and then we read a book about a little boy called “a”. He finds all sorts of things on his journey that begin with the “ah” sound. We put it on our theme table so we could remember the “ah” sound together. We then got out some tissue paper and glue sticks and stuck “autumn leaves” onto our big letter a. It was great fun and Charles really liked choosing the colours, and telling me where to place the tissue paper! He likes to be bossy! J
Once we had finished our “big a” we put in on the wall with some of our other artwork and moved on. We had talked about the number zero at breakfast time, and played a little game called “the zero game”. Maria Montessori talks about it in her handbook. I explained to Charles, that the number zero means nothing. If you have zero cakes, you have no cakes. Easy concept? NO!
The Zero Game is a great game for little people. I asked Charles to give me zero kisses. Of course, he runs up to me and kisses me. I say thank you, and remind him that I asked for ZERO kisses and zero means none. After another two turns, he got the hang of it and when I pretended to get upset because he wasn’t kissing me he said “But Mama, you asked for zero kisses! Zero kisses means no kisses!” We also did the same later with slices of cake from his play kitchen. He knew straight away that when I had taken all the slices away, that he had zero slices. It was great fun to see him catching on so quickly.
We practised writing zeros together a few times, which was easy and fun because Charles can draw a circle really well. He just elongated it to make it an oval!
We then looked at a picture book together about autumn. It is called “Autumn” and it is by Gerda Miller. It has beautiful illustrations and Charles even noticed that two little boys were making a leaf fire, without a grown up! What a sensible son I have! J We decided that making a kite would be on our list of things to do this month, and we would take it flying together, with Daddy and Ellizabeth of course. J
We then took some leaves and twigs we had collected last week, on our nature walk and placed them on our nature table along with some leftover tissue paper leaves and our leaf shape sponges (I bought them for painting later this week…watch this space!). I let Charles arrange them himself, and he took great delight in re-arranging them so they were in the right place for him.
Charles then looked at our workbooks. We have several great ones, but he chose one that had animals in. We talked about the “ah” sound again, and wrote over some of the a’s together. I then did my own on a piece of paper, and he copied. He loves writing letters, and I was super pleased with how well he did this “a”. He often wants me to help him hold the pen, so it was great that he is confident in writing this letter by himself. I think that his pre-school teachers may have something to do with his new found confidence. They really are a great bunch of people.
I have included some pictures of our little “home school corner” as Charles calls it. Enjoy!
Saturday, 4 October 2014
We are starting our first proper home educating year. Charles is 2 years 9 months and has been going to pre-school for about a month. He's settled in amazingly, and is starting to interact with the other children which is fabulous, of course.
However, it doesn't lessen our resolve to home educate. Pre-School is play based, and that is really all he needs right now. We are going to continue the play based education until he is ready to move on, and even then I really feel against any "sit down and learn this" type of education.
I am working on a term at a time, and as we've started in October, we have three months of fun to plan.
We are focusing on Charles' interests, as we are free to do with home education. He currently really loves counting, and learning letters. We likes to sing, and paint as well as craft. He is interested in shapes, animals and transport vehicles. We are going to encompass all these things into a curriculum for them. Our first week is almost planned!
We have a main theme per month, for example, October's main theme is Autumn. We then have 4-5 weekly themes under that, depending on how many weeks are in the month. Our October themes are Autumn, Hedgehogs, Squirrels and Hibernation. We have a letter of the week to learn about, an animal of the week to learn about, a number of the week and a shape of the week. We will also practise skills such as cooking, pencil control and cutting. We have several crafts and cooking activities to do each week and are planning a day trip that ties in with our theme, once a month. This month we are going to Brownsea Island, in Dorset to try and spot a Red Squirrel.
I have various curricula to work from including the one by Miri Flower, shown on her blog www.herewearetogether.com, www.allinonehomeschool.com, and several written curricula such as The Big Workbook - Pre-school and The Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills - Grade Pre-school. We also have an aray of workbooks from Collins Education, Leap Ahead and First Time Learning.
We are going to be creating a theme table display each month, that will slightly change each week. It will display Charles' artwork, books showing our weekly themes, things we have collected on our outings and anything he has achieved.
I look forward to sharing our journey with you, starting Monday!