It’s the beginning of August, many children go back to school soon, if not already. I’ve purchased my step-son’s book bag and am waiting to receive his class supply list (it usually gets handed out during open house). He starts class after Labor Day. My son, on the older hand, is homeschooled/roadschooled/unschooled (I know, that’s a lot), so I’ve been busy creating his “curriculum” the past few weeks. His official first day is August 21st.
In the state of Michigan, if you homeschool your children, you don’t have to follow a set curriculum, and with him going into Kindergarten its pretty basic stuff, most of which he knows but it is always good to review; after all, kids learn from repetition.
So what does our curriculum look like? Glad you asked! I joined the website Teachers Pay Teachers last year, they have TONS of great resources, a good portion of which you can down load for FREE! For the items that are not free, trust me, they are worth the money. Most of the worksheets, packets, etc., came from real teachers. Another place I got some fantastic ideas is Pinterest. Some awesome fill in the blanks with clothes pins, paper plates, etc. We also use ABCmouse.com, and do not count it as regular “screen time.”
So, anyways. I have a Kindergarten welcome pack/evaluation sheet that goes over his basic information; name, colors, letters, numbers, tracing, etc. We’ve got daily worksheets for learning currency (just the USD, currently), time, and the more complex shapes. I’ve purchased page protected to stick the work sheets in; these act like a laminate and we can write on them with dry erase markers daily. We will also be working more on sight-words, his address, and phone number. Both of my kids were introduced to ASL when they were infants, so we will be continuing that as well. Not to mention awesome field trips to the Zoo, Imagination Station, museums, etc., and music classes (he plays the drums currently), and who could forget sports & arts. More than likely this curriculum will not be followed a majority of the days because we get out and do things, A LOT!
Right now, we are planning on doing two days on, two days off, for about 4 hours a day. This insures he won’t get burned out, I won’t get burned out, I will still have time for the other children in the house (my baby and step son), and all of the other random things we do on a regular basis.
What kind of supplies do I have to have?
- A really good printer, obviously we print a lot of worksheets and whatnot so a print that uses less ink per page is great. Currently I have an HP Officejet, its not the best but definitely not the worst.
- Desktop/Laptop to use researching science projects, worksheets, abcmouse, etc.
- Crayons, colored pencils, markers.
- Page protectors (see above)
- Dry erase board and markers
- Random arts and craft supplies
- Index cards
- Learning Area away from regular play.
- Lesson Plan/Record book, because even though Michigan doesn’t require reporting or anything like that, it’s always a good idea to keep track of what you’ve done, are doing, and days you “attended class” just in case something comes up.
- And having Amazon Prime helps a bunch.
What is in the welcome packet?
Inside his welcome packet, that I may or may not mail, is a Welcome letter (that I still need to print) outline the manners that is expected of him and how excited we are to make this journey. Inside, will also be a loose schedule for him to follow until we set up something more routine if possible for us, as well as the kindergarten assessment/about me pages. I’ve been debating on including a special lunch placemat; I’ll add a reward chart and stickers.
Do I think he will miss out on all the things a “brick and mortar” school has to offer?
No, not really. The local school districts allow homeschool children to participate in extracurricular activities and sports, plus there are a bunch of Co-Ops in our area where kids can get together for field trips, “school” photos, and other special activities. Our local county has sports teams as well that my son has been a part of for a while, and will now be on an “official” soccer team this fall. If you’ve read my about me page, you know we travel quite a bit, and if he was in a regular school, we wouldn’t be able to do as many.
So what else do I have let to do?
Well, I need to put his packet together, his daily binders, and worksheet folders. Obviously some things don’t need to be done right away as things will change from day to day, but I do have a ton of stuff printed already.
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