Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Teaching Tuesday: Week 2

Our second week of homeschooling went well.  I am still learning how to juggle my 2 year old, while encouraging my 4 year old to focus on the lesson.  I think many times I am more distracted by the extra commotion then he is.  When I look at the 2nd week as a whole, I am excited by how much learning is happening.

I thought I would take this week and give a little background into the curriculum we have decided to use for those that might be interested.  As a first grade teacher I taught ABEKA phonics.  It was my first look at the program, and I was very impressed.  It was very different from the whole language approach that I had been taught with in elementary school.  The first graders were reading and writing so well.  So I knew that I wanted to use ABEKA phonics, and when looking at my options, felt it in my best interest to use the whole K4 ABEKA curriculum for Landon.  It is well rounded and easy to follow.  Knowing right after our school year got started we would be bringing home a new baby, I wanted something that was spelled out day to day.  I didn't want to be creating activities from scratch each week.  I do like to incorporate some of my own learning games and style, but ABEKA gives a thorough plan on its own, which is a real relief when things are hectic.  Which I am sure will be increasingly true when the new baby arrives. 

For Elaine I really just wanted a few things so she wouldn't feel left out.  I am not a huge fan of lots of structure for a 2 year old.  They really still need so much exploring and play time, but knowing her personality I knew she would want "work" of her own.  I decided to get the Learning Numbers for 2 year-olds workbook from ABEKA.  It is really just a coloring book that focuses on numbers.  The pages look similar to Landon's, enough that she feels like she has important work too.  I also picked up the Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills Preschool book too.  I got ours at Sams Club for $7.86, which I think is a steal for all it includes.  It it is divided into several sections that include: basic skills, reading readiness, writing readiness, and math readiness.  I know she will not use most of it this year, but she likes the pages about colors and shapes.  I let her play the games with us, altering the directions for her age.  For us this has worked better then just finding a completely different activity to occupy her.

Next Tuesday I plan to include some pictures of our school space, and hopefully before then a quick craft that made organizing Elaine and the new baby's closet a little more fun.

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