I cant believe it has been almost 6 months since we officially started homeschooling, time truly has been flying! These past months we have learned alot, tried, failed and succeded. It has been ups and downs and summing it all up, I would say; "A time of hard work and great rewards". For a new homeschool mom, where noone where we live right now has ever done this before, I will be honest when I say that it has been a process of continuely working to find the right arenas for learning and making learning fun for both my tot and my 1st. grader- at the same time! It has been challenging,yes, but I wouldt trade it for the world. The reason? I now see that what I thought was in it for my children, really is! They are happy, eager to learn and seem content with having a learning-based- routine throughout our day. I like this season of life and learning, and with a little bit of creative "mom"-thinking, being a teacher of 1st. grade and toddler-school is amazing.
This semester I had put together a curriculum based on several different curriculums. I have used the local schools curriculum, the local library, the internet and also some of my own designs to make one whole unit. This has mostly worked great for us, and when it has not, it has been fairly easy to replace those parts. There are so many great books, dvds, workbooks, kits etc. out there, but unfortunatley not that many are in norwegian. That is one of the reasons we have been focusing on the english language this year, and will be next year also. It would be neat to be able to use this materïal in teaching the kids in subjects such as world knowledge, math, science and nature studies. According to our year-plan, we are well ahead. Some things have been added and some things we will be bringing into 2nd. grade. No rush.
My daughters absolute favorite subject is art. She cuts, she glues, she draws, she paints! She loves to create and this has been a golden opportunity for me to bring math, language, home-ec and so on, into our art-projects. Examples are making animals or faces out of the food before we eat it, yes, they love "playing" with their food :) ( Math is also frequently intergrated into food- making by counting, adding,subtracting, measuring etc.). After making a snowman- why not measure the height of it and compare it to our own heights? Another fun way to intergrate learning in fun activities is to take the time- this has been a part of making time understandable for our oldest. Seconds, minutes and hours are just concepts to them and needs to be repeted. Its so fun when they are starting to get it. I would say that the most effective learning happens when we do activities. By that I mean learning by doing, not by reading or writing about it. It might be because they are still so young that they seem to learn best this way, but we enjoy it anyways. Then, as I planned before we started, I have supplied by using worksheets, workbooks, learning-videos and games. I will put a link to some of our favorites at the end.
During this time I have managed to come up with a homeschool- organizing plan to be used in the continuing. I have browsed the net, read, ordered stuff and I have so much exciting new things we are going to try. We will be using alot of the old stuff too, I dont want to change what is already working, but a few things will be done differently and some newbies will be added. I am excited! I will write more about our upcoming plans later, so stay tuned :)
Here are a few of our favorite "off"-curriculum-things to do;
- Superwhy Is a great guy that brings his friends into fun adventures and teach my children spelling, reading, the ABC's and great morals.
- Superstjerne og Gullstjerne Workbooks with colorful activities. Stickers to be used as rewards. A true favorite of my oldest daughter.
- weebeeworld.com a good website to learn English. It is ment for English-speaking children but since the targeted age group are toddlers, it fits for both of my norwegian speaking children as well.
- I also use some american homeschool-blogs, that stands out, in my planning. Some of these ladies offers printables for learning and we have been using several of those. I will list these blogs on my blog.
Thank you for following us this year and I hope you will join us in our jouney through 2013 as well.