Even though my son is just 4 years and 4 months, we are already doing some homeschool! Since it is all day just the two of us, we had been able to squeeze in quite a bit of preschool work while he was only three during convenient moments. In fact, this year I was planning to do a more formal preschool, but realized he was pretty much at kindergarten level. (Aside from his short but growing attention span!)
I’m not sure if it is having an only child, or just my personality, but I have found selecting curriculum to be very time consuming! There are so many approaches and choices for every subject – it can be difficult to make sure I am choosing the best for his learning style and for learning in general. However, after some researching this is what our homeschool looks like right now:
Weekly Schedule (listing only homeschool related activities)
Tuesday we go to Classical Conversations co-op where my son is in a class with 5 other boys, ages 5 and 6. I am still figuring out how I feel about the program and my son learning memory work out of context. However, I think I can see it paying off already (and he loves it for the social aspect) so we will continue for the near future. We do not do school at home this day.
Wednesday we usually go to the library and return books and get new ones. Sometimes we go to preschool story hour but he is starting to outgrow it.
Thursday we usually go to a Catholic homeschooling co-op. It is an all Catholic co-op, but they are gracious enough to let my son and I attend due to the lack of Orthodox homeschooling moms in the area and him being an only child. We usually just attend the park play time and then go to art class.
Friday he goes to Little Gym in the morning. Later in the day, we only do reading and math.
Due to my son needing to grow in his obedience and attention span, and being an only child, we think it is important to impose goals and a structure for each homeschool day. When we first started this, we could really see where we needed to work on his behavior! It was a rough couple of weeks, but we are getting there little by little. With that said, school took an hour this past Friday but it can also take two depending on his focus, or lack thereof, and behavior! I know they say children his age should be children and play all the time, but he is awake for 13 hours a day and very full of energy. If you consider we are only doing school for about 90 minutes a day right now, he is still playing most of the day!
8:00am – Wake up and eat breakfast (would like to do prayers first, but I try to keep our routine consistent which means breakfast then prayers, at least for now). We are usually done with breakfast by 9:00am. In the meantime, my son and I talk, look out the window together, say hi to birds, tell made up stories about gnomes, etc.
9:00 – Brush teeth and then Morning Prayers
Until 10:00am – We generally play together for as much or as little time is available until 10:00am when “school starts.”
10:00am – A short prayer “blessing” for our school day, since we have already done our morning prayers by this point
Next, we look at the Church calendar and my son usually writes the date on the white board in long and short formats. (i.e. Sunday, October 22, 2016 and 10/22/2016).
Then, I get the Prologue of Ohrid and we choose a Saint of the Day to read. I let my son help me find the right page in the book based on the date. I read a Saint of the Day story, changing any necessary words or leaving out details as needed to make it age appropriate. I allow my son to draw, etc. as long as I can tell he is listening and being respectful. Sometimes he sits with me and even asks questions about the story.
Then, we do some Bible memory work (which nearly always ends up in him asking questions and learning more about our faith!) I will post the memory work on a separate page in case its gives anyone ideas for their own homeschool.
Then, we do a short reading lesson from Alpha-Phonics. This can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes depending on the lesson.
Then, we do some phonics worksheets. I have just been throwing this together form unused workbooks I have found at the thrift store, but I have just ordered a real curriculum for this. (McRuffy Press).
Then, he takes a 15 minute break…I make tea, set the timer, and come back to play with him.
Then, we do at least two pages from Math-U-See Primer. (I like this enough for an introductory course, but we will not be continuing with Math-U-See after we finish.)
Then we have lunch and on most days have an outing somewhere!