Noah started preschool this week. He absolutely loves it. Having Noah attended preschool a few hours a morning frees up a little of my time to work with Jude. We are still trying to establish a daily routine that works best for Jude but ultimately we play each day by ear.
Jude works best when he has a plan, knows what is expected and given a time frame within to work but life happens so sometimes we just go where the day takes us. This is the beauty and chaos of homeschool.
At Jude’s previous school they utilized a “contract” (a fancy term for check list) which was individualized to each child, each day. I recreated a similar check list so Jude would have some continuity with his school work and a clear picture of what his responsibilities are for each day. The checklist contains works that he does on a daily basis like math, reading, phonics, spelling and handwriting. Other school work like history, science, Bible, grammar, etc.. are included in the Classical Conversations curriculum we use.
We typically try to get his “check list” work done during the morning hours when Noah is at preschool. Most days he will do all of his daily work within a 1-2 hour window, especially if there is something “fun” he rather do. I let him choose the order in which he completes his work so he has some control over how he spends his time working. He completes his work at the kitchen table while I do stuff around the house and tend to Simon. I’m always nearby if he has a question but ultimately I try to give him space (Unless of course I’m teaching him a new lesson).
On Monday mornings we attend a Classical Conversations group. It makes for a pretty busy morning so I don’t schedule any work to be done in the afternoon however we try to pick something fun and educational to do together. The rest of the week we work on Classical Conversations review throughout the day. I don’t have a set time frame or check list for this work we just bring up the week’s work in our conversations. I utilize a lot of the accompanying audio that is used in the Classical Conversations curriculum. We’ll listen to the songs and memory work in the car while we’re running errands. I also use educational iPad apps that reinforce the weekly lessons which are not only fun for Jude but keep him intellectually engaged in learning. We also utilize library books, Netflix documentaries, local events and places as an opportunity to introduce new information and potentially spark curiosity and conversations about new topics.
I really want to use this opportunity of homeschooling Jude to nurture his love of learning and give him the tools to become a self-motivated learner. At this age he’s a little sponge that just wants to soak up information so I try to give him as much opportunity to do so as possible. I also try to cater to his learning style, he is a very visual and hands-on-learner so I select curriculum and activities that are designed for a lot of interaction.