Topic | Trying to get organized to begin CM

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • Author
  • rutkowski1118

    I will be homeschooling for the first time with my DD5 year old and DS3 year old. My DD has been in kindergarten this year but it is not going well. We are planning to switch to homeschooling with her during the summer and do year round schooling to see if she adjusts better to that. I have been lurking on the website and reading everything I can for the past few months but there is so much information, I am beyond lost. I don’t know how to get started without overwhelming her or what books/supplies to pick up so we can start off on the right foot. I have purchased the Early Years book and Laying Down the Rails to read through (waiting for them in the mail). 

    Would any of you be willing to send a detailed daily schedule that they used with this age group and a book list/supply list that made up your curriculum? She’ll technically be 6 come summer time, but I’d like to start a little behind and work her into this slowly without boring her (wow, there are a lot of factors to consider).

    I couldn’t find a specific preschool forum to post this on so I apologize if this topic is in the wrong area. 

    Thank you,



    Take her out now – don’t wait for summer.

    Lots of playtime. Go outdoors a lot. Go outdoors more. Read some good books to her. When you get the Rails book, start building good habits. Listen to good music. This is all that you really need to do at this point.

    If she is ready, you can do some basic reading instruction and/or math… but there really is no rush.


    Agreeing with Suzukimom!

    You’ll find a free curriculum guide here:

    If you print out the “Plans for My Year” at the above link, you’ll have a place to jot down ideas for those subjects you choose to cover. You don’t have to cover all of them, unless it’s mandated by your state.

    As for SCM free curriculum guide suggestions, I like the layout of this one better:

    My youngest is six right now. Her day consists of Bible (together with the family,) reading to me, a short math lesson, family read aloud time (history,) a simple language arts lesson (either Queen’s, or Serl’s Primary Language Lessons,) spelling, and a bit of handwriting (Queen’s,) and whatever fine arts study we have for the day.

    The list of resources I use with her is long, but they aren’t used every day of the week. You can find it here:

    Our schedule varies due to any outside activities that may be part of the day. Monday afternoons are for co-op. She enjoys Texas history activities during the first hour and classical ballet during the second hour. Thursday mornings include travel time to the city (45 minutes away) for tennis lessons. We did carpool at first with friends, which was a fun way to fit in socialization. Now, we are using that time to listen to composer study pieces, or audiobook.

    We have a chore chart that’s used during break times.



    P.S. I use the CMO to keep track of her learning. I’ve used a paper version of the CMO for a couple of years now. This year, we’re using the CMO. It’s working well for the way it is designed. I’m still a paper planner, so I think I will continue to make our binders anyway. CMO helps with accountability and DH likes the reports. It helps him connect with us as far as educational goals are concerned.


    The best advice I got was to start implementing the different areas or subjects slowly to form habits and see how they will work into your day. 

    As everyone has said, in the younger ages, plenty of time to explore, preferably outdoors, is key.  So, I first developed a routine that gives us lots of time outside.  Then, in the March before my oldest officially started ‘school’ we spent a month just focused on Nature Study.  We took a weekly walk in one of the nearby wooded areas.  We started a list of ‘signs of Spring’ posted on the wall, adding to it whenever we noticed something.  We sketched a few flowers as they started to appear. 

    In April, I started deliberately playing music for our Composer study.  We watched a DVD from the library of a ballet version of “Peter and the Wolf”, and learned about different instruments (sparking a desire in my daughter to play the violin, which she is still enjoying over 3 years later.)  I also chose an artist and we started looking at pictures once a week.  These things take almost no time at all.

    In May, I focused on making a list of living books and putting them into my ‘for later’ lists on the library website, so that I could easily pick out a few each week to bring home and read.  We were already reading every evening at bedtime, but now I was more intentional about the books I chose.

    And so on, adding in one thing at a time until by about November we had a full program going.

    I agree with Suzukimom that if you know you are going to pull her out of public school, I wouldn’t bother waiting until summer.  If you do leave her in, however, you can still start a slow introduction to all the wonderful CM ideas.  Get outside as much as possible and start intentionally noticing things and gently pointing them out.  Read living books at bedtime.  Play music music during breakfast and mention the composer and the name of the piece.  Find a good children’s poetry anthology and read a few poems together on a regular basis.

    Everyone’s schedule will be different.  Ours seems to change about every few months.  If you start developing your own good habits now, it won’t feel so overwhelming when you eventually start more formal lessons. 



    Welcome to the SCM forum and to CM home educating. I am agreeing about taking her home now. And I wanted to add about your little one. Mine were about those ages and my youngest always tagged along. So sometimes I gave her the same paper as her big brother for her to scribble on. I had other activities for her to do only at school time like puzzles or a Leap pad jr. We read books from the library that was on the prek and k lists in the Sonlight catalog. The SCM list for ages 4 and 5 is great too. Both kids enjoyed the stories together. I read from a children’s Bible at bedtime. We found a local home schol group and went on fun field trips with them. I taught a letter of the week in k with letter sounds and sign language, and they both soaked it up like a sponge, ready to start reading the next year. We did a little math with manipulatives like cars and dinosaurs. I also like the math bears. But really, most of the time at this age learning should be less about acedemics and more about character development and good habits. They should learn by discovery and play. This was a very special time for us and I would hate for you to miss out. Please pray if it would be the right thing to have her home or at a school now. The sooner you lay down the rails of good habits, the better. It is harder to train in good habits and make any corrections when you are not there with her while she is at school, and worse, she could come back home with bad habits that are harder to correct later.


    This is a link to a similar thread:

    I have a 5 dd and a 2.75 dd so I am in exactly the same place you are. I cannot “ditto” enough everyone’s encouragement to focus on habits. They are making a huge difference in our home. I reccommend that you read Laying Down the Rails, and buy and implement Laying Down the Rails for Children. Also, search Habits in the forum for other threads. 

    I reccommend reading The Early Years from cover to cover and follow it closely. You will notice that the emphasis will NOT be on lessons of how to read, mathmatics, or copywork in The Early Years. Truly, the most important things right now are playing outdoors for hours, habits, and bible study. I love The Early Years publication but you have to be open to it’s suggestions. They aren’t what you are expecting most likely….they are even better. :)))

    Our “art” is usually painting or drawing. I do not do art prints, yet. I am saving that for starting in the first grade.

    We do poetry, memorize bible verses, read bible stores, read tons of great books mostly rented from the library, play classical music all the time, listen to audio bible, learn sewing and other handicrafts. We work on life skills like making up the bed, sorting/folding laundry, routines/chores like feeding the dog. These things are going to go a very long way to establish the foundation/routine we will need for days of more formal education.

    I just really focus on enrichment activities and just “being present” with my kids. Try to stay unplugged from the phone, the TV, the internet. Just PLAY WITH THEM! It’s ok. You are not in a race with any other family. Do what is best for your child, not what mainstream says is the normal. You are their new normal and it is sooooooo much fun to be with children all day. Just relax and pray about it all and it will fall into place. Do not do too much too soon. If you are having a bad experience with Kindergarten, pull her out now and just play with her. Start fresh and slow in January after the holidays. Use the remaining months to just celebrate the holidays. You will not regret it. I promise. In the long run, you will not notice the missed days of school but you will have awesome holiday memories. Take lots of pictures. 🙂

    Now, my daughter just happens to love to do math so we are working our way through RightStart Math, Level A Second Edition and we love it!!!  

    Today, instead of school, we had a complete tea party with an elderly neighbor of mine. She arrived all dressed up in a hat and everything. My daughters were all dressed up today with hats, as well. We learned how to set the table, decorate the table, arrange flowers in a vase, bake banana bread, brew tea, manners and bible verses to go with them, a chance to practice saying the blessing, socializing with an adult, hospitality, food groups, etc…..See how much you can learn just from one activity? The girls had a blast. My neighbor even brought an antique wash board with her for the girls to do their dolls’ laundry. We had classical music playing in the background and a nice fire going. A beautifully pleasant day with plenty of laughter and creativity.

    Just try this type of day balanced with more structured days. I think you will like it. I “do school” with my daughters about 3-4 times a week, usually 3. We have church twice a week and gymnastics once. it is plenty, I promise. Tomorrow is zoo day. Just relax and let kids be kids. I try to think of games to play that might incorporate a lesson I have in mind. For example, we are working on lowercase b and d reversals in letter recognition. I printed out a bunch of b’s and d’s and put in a paper bag. She will pull one out, say the sound, then find an object in the house that starts/or ends with that letter. We do All About Reading Level 1 very very slowly. We do Cursive First for copywork, one letter at a time after learning her name. 

    Hope all this helps. 🙂 

    In Christ, Mollie


    Thank you all for the advice and suggestions. I’m trying to get my husband past the “lack of socialization” aspect she’ll miss from not being at school. I’m on board, I just need to wait until he is lol.


    Perhaps you can share with your dh that homeschool will prepare her for real life by giving her the opportunity to interact with many different types of people.   Intelligent, responsible adults are much better role models than children her own age!  Laughing


    I pulled my son out of Kindy in January, many years ago. I have never regretted it. I intended to home school, but a “wiser” friend with both homeschooling and PS experience said that my son was too social to enjoy being home with me and his little bro and sis. Wow, was she ever wrong! I could go on all day. There isn’t much time for socializing during a school day. Those who are social are usually in trouble for talking at the wrong time, like my son. He had a difficult time finishing his work on time, which led to him missing part of recess…you can see where this is going. Turns out he enjoyed being home with his sibs, and had plenty of social opportunities, church, hs support group, Church friends, neighborhood friends, t-ball, Grandparent outings, etc.

    Fast forward to today. He graduated last May and is choosing to live at home in part to be with his siblings. The Lord has provided abundantly for his social needs, and he and I are very close. My biased advice, the sooner the better.

    Perhaps you can Google some articles for your husband on the myth of socialization among the homeschooled. There are so many opportunities for homeschoolers today, that I couldn’t begin to list them all.

    I will pray that your husband will give his OK soon. Homeschooling is different, and most of us start out with misconceptions.

    There are difficult days, but that can be said with all things this side of eternity.




    Socialization was a big concern for my husband when we first considered hs. I did as retrofam suggested and after we discussed it more, he was on board and has been a great supporter ever since. We had weekly events planned like library story hour, church, field trips, etc. Is there a local hs group you can join?

    Noemi C.

    A very encouraging experience that I made: I was worried about getting organised and using my home-school time with my dd wisely but then i kind of let it go because I realised that children know best themselves when they are ready to learn (specific tings). It was presumptous of me to think that I had to decide when what to learn and it also showed me how little trust i had in my daughter. She now decides when she is ready to learn whatever she wants or needs to learn. Especially if there is the need to be able to do something she WANTS to learn it without my motivation. Recently she started to become very much interested in maths (before recently she didn’t show any interest at all) on her own accord and now (at the age of 4yrs10mths) does quite tricky equasions easily, etc. I am amazed how easy it comes ever since I let go of thinking I need to teach her and feeling guilty when I didn’t…



    I agree the older version of the curriculum giude is a nice, at-a-glance format.
    Doe you, or anyone else, know if that is printable?



    I don’t think this page was shared, but it has a ton of ideas or prek through 1st grade:

    It’s been awhile since we just had little ones, but we used to spend mornings playing games (some educational), reading picture books, letting them play with their toys, etc.  In the afternoons, we’d go outside, cook together, or do some messy art projects.  

    When they are ready, I start teaching them letter sounds and a bit of simple math.  They’ve been ready to start learning to read anytime between 4 and 6 years of age.  With a couple of my DC, I started reading instruction and it didn’t come easily to them, so we put it off for a few months and tried again.  

    If your DH is concerned about “socialization”, are there some activites you could look into?  At those ages, we’ve done gymnastics, soccer, baseball/softball, co-op, homeschool park days, library storytime, Sunday school, etc. (not all at the same time of course!).  My oldest child is very social and thrives on these types of activities.  Even my less-social DC enjoy them.    

    Doug Smith

    I’m trying to get my husband past the “lack of socialization” aspect she’ll miss from not being at school.

    You could always introduce more disrespect, bullying, bad language, and pop-culture into your homeschool to make up for it. Wink


    Funny Doug!  We could schedule in the latest movie to accomplish that!

    Kelly, I like the old guide too, and I have printed it.  I think I highlighted just the grid and printed “selection only”.


Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • The topic ‘Trying to get organized to begin CM’ is closed to new replies.

Free basic shipping on USA orders over $75!