Homeschool beginnings

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  • RachelReady

    Hello! I am looking for input! I have a son who will be 6 in July,  a daughter who is 3.5, and a baby. Up to this point, I have done no formal education or pre-school. Lot’s of free play, reading aloud, audio books, and natural child activities but no “hey kids, time to sit down for…..,” besides devotions (which are not totally consistent). I have been really jumping in and researching to figure out what I want to do for school, come fall. I have been really happy with what SCM offers for curriculum after looking at that. My question is this, since my oldest has had no formal education yet, is jumping into the full curriculum in the fall going to be a bit much? Is it okay since he’ll be 6? Or should I “ease” into it? If I “eased” into it, what should be my top priority to start? My thought was reading and math, and doing a little “circle time” with poetry and scripture, etc. I think I am just so excited to start that I want to just do the full load. But yet don’t want to start off discouraged if it’s just too much. Between now and then I could try to do some more structured sit down times to do pre-reading stuff. Maybe with one of the SCM kits. Anyway, thoughts? Thanks in advance!


    You have already started!  You will just keep progressing now.  I wished I would have kept learning more natural for elementary school, at least in the early years through 2nd grade.  They really need a lot of outdoors time for play and studying nature.  Make Bible and habit training a priority since they lay a foundation for the rest of their lives.  Read lots of good stories from living books (Beatrix Potter, A.A. Milne, Robert McCloskey, Virginia Lee Burton, Mother Goose rhymes, etc.)  We have liked resources for Bible study and character training from Rick and Marilyn Boyer.  My kids listen to Uncle Rick Bible audios at bedtime.  They have learned a lot of Bible and character traits this way.

    Math should be natural, using common household items.  I highly recommend the book and DVD offered here, by Richele:

    Although I need some structure to get my job done of teaching, there is no reason you have to call each subject out or say “Let’s do school”.  Instead, refer to your schedule yourself quietly and play composer music CD at lunch while you all eat. Pull out the artist print after you’ve eaten your lunch and share the artwork, for example.  Let them study it and share their thoughts on it.  Take out your storybook and begin reading aloud while they finish up eating.  They don’t have to know it is “history” or “science”.  Go outside and play, or have your lunch outdoors and bring the art print and book with you.

    When my children were that young, we started with a letter of the week.  The next year, I used Sonlight before switching to SCM and CM methods.

    But I wished I had known then about Five in a Row literary unit studies for family learning.  You can adapt it as they get older to use Charlotte Mason methods like narration and copywork.  Check into it and see if it’s a good fit for your family. The 3.5 yo could easily join in with Five in a Row.  You will find that your little ones will pick up a lot just tagging along with the older one.  My 3 yo learned to read by just tagging along with my oldest at age 5 1/2.

    We love SCM History/Bible/Geography modules, but I do think they are geared more for older children.  I love their artist portfolios for any age though.

    I also recommend The Early Years guide from SCM for the ages of your young children.  There is a section at the back about teaching letters.  Basically, play around with physical letters in both the upper and lowercase.

    A is for Art and Delightful Reading would be good for starting out, too.  Has your oldest learned the letters and their sounds yet?  If not, they start there at level 1.

    Look at the samples and read reviews.  Pray about what is right for your family.  I think you do have good ideas to start with math and reading and Bible.  Allow plenty of playtime, both indoors and out of doors.

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