We decided long before we had kids that we would homeschool.
I was homeschooled from 3rd grade on and really saw the benefits of it.
Also, we think the public school system sucks, and they teach a worldview contrary to our Christian worldview.
We also didn't like the idea of our children spending so much of their lives being influenced by other people and other kids.
We want to be the main influence in their lives.
So theory met practice today when I started preschool with Alice.
The first thing I looked at when planning preschool was Montessori.
I liked a lot of the Montessori principles but it really isn't a good fit for homeschooling, at least not for us.
Then I started reading some Charlotte Mason stuff and LOVE it.
I wont try and explain it here, but her theory of education fits very well with our views and with homeschooling.
Now I can't say that Alice's preschool is very "Charlotte Mason" since I put most of it together before reading any Mason but oh well.
I made a list of preschool goals for Alice like knowing the sounds of all the letters and understanding concepts like rhyming and the calendar and planned her "curriculum" around those goals.
I plan on doing about 45 minutes a day of "school".
There are always lots of opportunities during real life for her to learn and I don't think its necessary to do lots of formal schooling at this age.
So I decided the best way to start a fun school routine would be a "circle time" board.
This is what ours looks like.
Then I am teaching her the Lord's Prayer.
Then we go over the things on the board.
What month, what day of the week, what day of the month etc.
Also we do what season and what the weather is.
Then I have a list of fun songs like "If you're happy and you know it" or "Where is thumbkin?" and we do 2 of them.
We have a weekly memory verse that we will work on.
I also have started printing and laminating famous works of art (you can get them free from the MET website) that I will display on the board as sort of "art appreciation" if you will.
Then we have the letter of the week.
I have this tool storage cabinet that I got from Amazon and following an idea I saw from another blog designated each drawer to a different letter and put things that start with that letter in it. Some of the drawers are much easier to fill then others obviously. Not a lot of things start with X. But I found a lot of little things around the house to put in most of them.
Here is my B drawer.
Alice has been very excited to get into these and we took out the A drawer today.
I let her take out each thing one-by-one and talked about how it starts with the A sound.
I laminated a tracing sheet for each of the letters so she can practice writing.
I printed out various worksheet/activities that cover letters, numbers, counting, sorting etc.
Thankfully there are tons of free print outs online.
Today I just picked out a couple things I thought she would find fun like a Dot-it find the letter "A", a color sorting game and some practice cutting.
Then we were done and went to the park.
All day I have heard her saying the 3 sounds that "A" makes.
So the first day was a success!
I expect it to evolve and change some as I find what works best for her but I am glad we have had a good start!