Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Here's a sneak peek (see below) at what Bennett and I will be doing this year for Pre-K. I've gotten in all our supplies except for the arts & crafts book (which I'm REALLY excited about!), and that should get here sometime this week. I've compiled our specific materials using the research I've done, reading a couple of different books on homeschooling (especially The Well Trained Mind, which I highly recommend if you're considering homeschooling at all), from one of my good friends, Kristen, who home schools her children and is rock star awesome at it, and from the homeschooling convention I attended back in May (with Kristen as my guide). I've also included some pictures of the workbooks and supplies we'll be using.

(**Note: I am not sure how long we will homeschool and do not know if this is a permanent thing or not. For now, it is what's best for our family, and what works for us. Michael is SUPER excited I'm doing it this year, and we're both going to wait and see how it goes and what the future holds before making more of a commitment to it. I figure Pre-K is a great place to start and get our feet wet :) )

Our Phonics, Math and Fine Motor books.

Spanish and a little handwriting (already had from this year).
I bought the trays (under the handwriting cards) because of
an AWESOME idea Bennett's teacher had from last year.
She placed separate centers on each tray, like play doh,
math manipulatives, cutting crafts, etc., and it kept things
less messy and in their proper place. BRILLIANT!!

I converted our coat closet to a school/activities closet last year,
so all of that is ready to go, thankfully, although I need to do
some straightening and a little reorganizing for the coming year.
The mesh magazine rack I purchased from Amazon
to hold all of our school books. Perfect! :)

Several things are not included above that I also want to mention:

1) Bible Curriculum - we'll do a weekly bible story. On Mondays, we'll read the story fresh and talk about it. Tuesday, we'll review it and also work on habits/character building from Charlotte Mason's book, "Laying Down the Rails" (A-MAAAAZING book!), on Wednesday I'm planning on taking the kids to BSF for bible study all morning, and on Thursdays we'll do a craft/activity tied into the bible story (i.e. when we do Jonah, we'll make a blue jello mold with gummy fish and stuff inside, and when we do Joseph, we'll make many-colored coats out of paper grocery sacks). We're hitting OT stories in the fall semester, and NT stories in the spring (I took this idea from Bennett's school last year). I'm still working on the curriculum and crafts list, as well as specifics on what we'll be memorizing each week from the Bible.

2) Two beefed up science units that I plan on doing with Bennett, one on Dinosaurs in the fall, and another on The Ocean in the spring. These two units will include lapbooks (which I'm alsoreeeally excited about, because they've got some pretty nifty stuff online you can use to make a unit study super fun for kids).

3) Field trips. We'll take one every couple of months, and I'd for sure like to hit the IMAX Dinosaurs movie, the Planetarium at our local children's museum, the Dallas Aquarium, and the butterfly exhibit at the Botanical Gardens. SOOOOO exciting - makes me wish I was a kid experiencing it all for the first time again!

4) Bennett is going to take music lessons with my mom every Friday (piano lessons, more specifically), which I'm pumped about and hoping he likes. If there's one thing I wish desperately I'd learned as a child, it's to play piano. He's still very young, so this year will just be an intro to music and having fun on the piano and maybe with other instruments.

5) The final thing missing here are our family plans that I've revised and have high hopes for this year. Michael's hours as an educator bless our family greatly, because he's here a lot and is so involved with our boys. I'm planning on having a Friday Movie Night each week, and a Saturday Game Night. On movie nights we'll break out the stereotypical popcorn, and on game nights, I'll make some kind of fun and different dessert. If all of this turns out to be too ambitious (which is HIIIIGHLY probable), we'll alternate weeks, doing movie night one week and game night the next (as I'm typing this, I'm thinking that's almost certainly what we'll end up doing :) ).

So there you go. Homeschooling and Family Plans in a nut shell for School Year 2011 (EEEK! I'm so excited!!). If you have any questions about any of the materials we're using, feel free to holler at me. I bought almost all of our materials on Amazon. They were cheapest there with free shipping in most cases.


Kristi said...

Sounds like a blast! I can't wait to hear about your adventures in homeschooling and how it goes! Here's a website you might want to check out:
I highly recommend their material. It's research based, so you can count on it being well done and effective. It might be a great addition to your intro to reading materials. Also, since you like trays to keep things organized--cookie sheets work great with magnetic letters and numbers! :) As does putting salt/sugar/sand onto cookie sheets to practice writing letters or numbers. It's great for tactile kids! You may know all this already, but I got excited about your post and thought I'd throw out some fun ideas! :) Happy Teaching!

Brad and Lauren Holmes said...

You are awesome Jennifer! We home-schooled Jillian and Faith last year for a semester and it was simply wonderful but we have decided for this year Jillian will go to public school! Its been a little (read... A LOT) emotional for me, but I do think she will benefit from going and it is making me even more of a prayer warrior for my baby! I can't wait to hear all about your adventures this year.