Posts Tagged ‘Sonlight’

Home Pre-School Kicks Off Again

July 31, 2012

Possum is 6 years and 2 months
Bandicoot is 4 years old
Little Princess is 1 year and 7 months (19 months)

With all that has been going on in Possum’s life lately, I have been thinking about homeschooling more and more, as you no doubt have realised.  Amongst these thoughts, I have remembered some of the things we did a couple of years ago when Possum was roughly Bandicoot’s age.  I have also been feeling a bit bad for Bandicoot, because things have not been as much fun for him as I would like.

So I had a bit of a rummage and have started to do some homeschooling of the two littles, based on Sonlight curriculum.

On Mondays and Fridays Bandicoot goes to preschool, so on those days Little Princess and I are working through the P3/4 curriculum.  On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays we all work together on the P4/5 curriculum.  Or sort of.

I know someone has probably worked out the order of the readings for a reason, but it annoys me, jumping all over a book.  Bandicoot seems to have issue with this as well.  Therefore we are changing it a little bit.

I am working through the books in the same order as the curriculum suggests, however, I am reading the books from start to finish, not out of published order.  I am also not reading so many books at the same time.

Last week was our first week.  We started on Tuesday.  Our readings during the week included:
The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book – 2 stories
Eric Carle’s Animals Animals – up to page 19
The Berenstein Bears’ Big Book of Science and Nature – winter and snow
Things People Do – up to page 9


We have also been reading lots of books from The Premier’s Reading Challenge booklist.

I have been surprised.  My two little ones are language people.  In fact, when Bandicoot was born, with his first breath he talked, he didn’t cry like a normal newborn.  With the two of them at home together there is not a quiet moment.  Possum didn’t have a problem with language, but he has always been a quieter person.

Possum, however, has always found poetry in any form (except song) tedious.  Bandiccot and Little Princess love it.  When ever I start reading it, they beg for more, whether it be more pages in a book, or to read the same book over and over.  I have to admit that I am enjoying it (and probably improving in the way I read it!).  At school I always loved poetry.  I used to write masses of it, too.  In recent times I have also found it hard going.  I am particularly enjoying the rhythm of the language.

My plan is to try and read about 4 stories, 4 nursery rhymes, 4 poems, one science and one social science and one memory verse per week from P4/5 and 4 readings from P3/4 each week.  This will be tempered by many things, not excluding time restraints.  One of the main limiters, however, will be how many books the kids choose from other parts of our bookshelf.  I don’t mind if that happens – at the moment I really just want to (re)establish the discipline of reading books together every day.  (That is in addition to the 47 books they seem to get us to read to them every night!)

Little Princess and I managed to carve out reading time again today.  Some of our readings included A Boy, A Dog and A Frog, (which we loved); Freight Train (the perennial favourite in this house) and My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes.


Tomorrow is Possum’s school sports carnival, so we will be spending the morning at the park.  Hopefully we will have the energy to do some reading as well.

Going Easy On Myself…

February 13, 2011

14 February, 2011

Possum is 4 years and 9 months

Bandicoot is 2 years and 7 months

Little Princess is 6 weeks

As I write this I can hear the baby waking up again.  AGAIN.  She isn’t a great sleeper but yesterday outdid herself by crying for 26 hours, breaking only twice for two-hour sleeps.  She is much better today, but we are not.  We are exhausted.

The adjustment to include a new member in the family is a big one, not just for Mum and Dad, but for the other kids as well.  My husband and I have been running on the exhaustion levels you would expect for this time in our lives, and much of our waking time includes our new baby.  This has an impact on the boys – we can’t run and jump and play and attend to them as quickly and as energetically as we used.  As much as they love their sister, they aren’t happy about this.

Balance will resume, but not just yet.

I thought that I would try using a curriculum this year.  I have been looking at "Little Hands to Heaven" which is a progamme aimed at 2-5 year olds from Heart of Dakota.  I mostly like this curriculum package, but not everything about it.  That’s okay – it is easy to adjust various elements.  (I L-L-LOVE the fingerplays each week!)

However, even this I am finding a bit too structured.  The boys are thrilled for me to spend time with them, but unless it is an activity that really grabs them, they aren’t prepared to waste their Mummy-time.

And so I have reviewed Sonlight.   I am not sure if I would like to followSonlight Curriculum all the way through, but right now, I am looking for a fun and easy pre-school (and here)/kinder curriculum.  Sonlight had a promotion on their website that you can download the first three weeks of the Instructor’s Guide for any of the programmes that interest you.

And so I did.

As it turns out, we have many of the books used.  Largely the preschool curriculum involves reading lots of books (we have LOTS of books) and being a bit active about discussion or follow on activities (isn’t that how everyone reads books?)

Well this means I can homeschool easily, with or without the baby.  I can read while the boys snuggle on the lounge, sit in on a picnic rug in the yard or the park (should it stop raining), or while they are bouncing around, playing with cars, pounding playdough, or whatever my little active men need to do to free up their listening skills.

And as for Little Hands to Heaven?  Well I am going to do that, too.  But I am not doing it every day.  I will do the bits that appeal to us as we can fit them in.

And I think that will work for now.