our homeschooling days

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Don’t push academics

Our homeschooling days are filled with reading and playing and dancing and enjoying one another.  I do not force academics for either my four and a half or two and a half year old.  My son, his whole life, has challenged me to think outside of sitting down at a table and coloring, or practicing letters.

He will be engaged in a Montessori task, sometimes, but other times not.  But I have time.  We have time to push academics, such as handwriting, or phonics reading.  And this is not it.  I will not push him until he is ready.  We will begin learning his sounds more intentionally in the fall, but in a way that is not too pressing on his spirit.  We will be guided by My Father’s World Kindergarten, which includes Biblical messages, science and nature learning, along with phonics.  Since he is a summer birthday, his official “Kindergarten” won’t begin until next Fall.  So there is oh so much time for him to enjoy childhood, to continue to play and discover and create on his own.  Project learning is something I am always presenting to him and supporting.

I created a Preschool Homeschooling Schedule to keep myself somewhat on track for what I want the goals of the week to be.  I want to work on the alphabet and letter sounds, I want to reinforce counting, I want the kids to have sensory play and practical life / fine motor practice.  I want to emphasize God’s creation, whether indoors or out — and the warmer weather has been a wonderful invitation for us to go outside, and first of all, breathe, and next, to melting snow mountains or collect sticks and branches.

We still have a letter of the week up on our board (you can see letter Aa to see what we use), and once or twice a week we go over this — this is to reinforce the lowercase letters and the sounds purposely.

We also, once a week, get out that letter’s large envelope of printables to do some stamping, do-a-dotting, cutting, gluing.  May will color and color and color.  John likes to use dry erase markers and write his letters with our Preschool Handwriting Pages too.

On having an incredibly challenging child

Our days are not without huge challenges.  I continue to seek what is best for my son, in terms of his aggression towards his sister and others.  He is a wild spirit, and I love his excitement for imaginative play — like becoming “Hulk” or sword-fighting “bad guys” or last week traveling in a tent like Abraham.  But when he turns his fists or objects on me or his sister, there must be consequences and re-direction and follow-through.  (I wrote more at how to help a hyperactive child.)

This is a constant and uphill battle that I am wearily trodding down.  It is not fun, it is mostly not rewarding.  I am tired.  But!  I know that I am what is best for my son.  I try daily to have individual time with him — reading and playing.  I show him I love him, and Jesus loves him, despite any poor choices he makes.  I love him during these times and seek to show him that he deserves this love.

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Here we are working on letter sounds with our Montessori Sound objects.  John can do this very well now — separating between two letter sounds.  We are now working on three letters at a time.  He knows all his sounds and letters and he loves this work — it’s hard to get a minute alone with May tagging along, so I give her her own little boxes and letters and she works too :)

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John has become quite the painter when we get the materials out.  I am currently working on my own abstract art (it is therapeutic and lovely to paint just for me!) and John wanted his own canvas too!!  His paintings always have a story to go along with them.  A sword, a boat, the colors attacking Hulk.  It is so creative and I sometimes don’t just listen.  I need to hear him more and appreciate those little creations that he has in his mind.  His words are so articulate and complex and his stories are more so.

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And here is an invitation to Q-tip paint with 1plus1plus1equals1’s beautiful free Frozen printables!

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May also enjoyed painting Anna and Elsa from the free Frozen printables over at Learn Create Love.


And an invitation to create a snowman or snow structure with foam balls and q-tips :)

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And some Valentine’s Day painting — we painted hearts (cut out by me) and put them in a frame for daddy.

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And made amazing sugar cookies.  John cut all of these out — all of them with our heart cookie cutters and I set out the a rolling pin and a pastry mat for each child.  The frosting was a bit more challenging, but they both had oh so much fun.  They were amazing and delicious, and yes, I confess I ate most of them.  We used this sugar cookie recipe (minus the almond plus salt) and this buttercream frosting recipe.


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One Comment

  1. I love all of these suggestions. We are still a year away from our home pre-school, but I am getting very excited. Like you, I am also a teacher, turned stay-at-home mom who plans to homeschool. Love your blog!

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