Last year I did preschool with Caleb using literature-based unit studies- Before Five in a Row (BFIAR). We read some of the best children's book of the 20th century. He learned so much and all in a very gentle approach (reading books, acting out stories, talking about the books, etc.).
We loved it so much that this year we are reading all those books again and I've added them into our topical studies (we have a theme for the week and all activities, books, crafts, etc. are related to it). Noah joins in everything we do.
Next year I am planning to do it...again...yes, it's that good....so that Noah can benefit from it even more. And we will start Five in A Row (the school age curriculum that follows BFIAR).
What's made a difference?
- Having realistic expectations: I don't expect my 2 preschoolers to do hours of academic work. We only do "school" 3 days a week for about 30 minutes. We do devotionals and phonic games everyday. The boys always look forward to our school time. I wrote more about this here.
- Being Informed: I've spend a lot of time reading about homeschooling, the good and the bad, the research, the different philosophies of education, visiting homeschooled families, attend homeschool convention.
- Encouragement: Having other homeschooled families to talk to and share with it's a great blessing to me and encourages me to press on.
- Activities: The boys go to gym class, mid-week program at church, Awana and story time at the library. I admit it's probably a lot of activities but since they are at home the rest of the time, it's great for them and for me to have these as part of our week. If I was driving them back and forth from school everyday we would not be able to do this. ;-)
- My Husband: Brad is very supportive and he's already practicing keeping the boys accountable by asking question like "what did you learn today?" when he comes home from school.
- Trusting God: Homeschooling is not for a "certain type of person". At least, I hope so because I recognize I often lack patience and organization at home. But I believe by faith the Lord will supply and help me grow in those areas.