When I started on my homeschooling adventure I was teaching my eager 4 year old to read. He had played with the Fridge Phonics game endlessly, and after he learned all 26 Uppercase letters, their sounds and the alphabet song basically on his own, I purchased him the set of lowercase letters which came with a comparison chart to put on the fridge. He literally learned them all in a week. I knew then that it was time to teach him to read. I'm not one to pass up an opportunity like that. At 18 or 20 months this same child was potty trained. Not because I pushed him to be, but because I was willing to go along with it when he tinkled on the potty on his own. After that he ran around naked for 3 days and the deed was done. I'm not saying every child is like that. Heaven knows my others have not been! I'm trying to give you perspective on my oldest son.
So, anyway, with an oldest child like that I was very driven and had high goals for my homeschool. I still do, but my perspective is changing just a bit. To this point I have been all about books. I'm still all about books, but I'm excited about adding in some new stuff, particularly for the benefit of my younger "students" who don't read....yet.
When I look at preschool and early elementary curriculums I'm usually a little discouraged. I feel like they are so general that it's almost not worth it for my kids. I want to delve in deep! Let them catch what they can, and what they don't will be caught next time around when we cover the material again in another venue, as I'm sure we will. So far this has worked for me. But Apologia Science was a little bit much for us this year. So was The Story of the Thirteen Colonies, our history book for this year (at least). This is because we mostly just read aloud, there were few "experiments" and we found ourselves getting bogged down.
At Christmas I wanted to do a Christmas Unit. I went to the Library each week and got countless books about Christmas around the world and the origins of Santa Claus but I had no way to document what we did other than a book list. The kids got confused and bored with all the facts and timelines. We didn't really do any projects so the whole thing really felt like a flop.
Several weeks ago I met for coffee with a homeschooling friend. We've sort of been working through Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day together but separately. We were trying to come up with a plan as we leave birds and delve into flying insects. In the process she introduced me to lapbooks. She's a much more hands on homeschooler. She has a special needs child and really does a fantastic job; she's so creative. Here is her blog in case you're interested.
I sure do wish I'd known about Lapbooks at Christmas time. Anyway, for two weeks in March we did some projects and learned about Ireland, St. Patrick's Day and Rainbows. It wasn't exhaustive, and I felt entirely disorganized in the process, but it was a good start and I'm pretty excited about how it turned out.
|This is the front cover of the Lapbook. My 3 yr old decided to color on it while I was getting the camera.|
|Inside the right flap is our Bible verse about Rainbows.|
|Lastly we talked about Geography. This is the back of the |
lapbook, and a picture of Silas building the Europe GeoPuzzle
to the left.