Friday, January 7, 2011

Work Boxes for Homeschooling

I have discovered Work boxes this week! Thanks to my homeschooling friends at a conference that I went to a few days ago. I was so impressed by the idea that I started using it today. If you do not know about this brilliant organising tip for homeschooling, please read the link, its the most informative web page I have found so far with a variety of ideas.

I tried it today with my two toddlers. It certainly made a huge difference to the structure of our morning. I thank the Lord for fantastic ideas and helps such as this! Let me know what you think.

Monday, November 29, 2010

#3 Tip - Collecting Magazines

Magazines are so useful for many things when teaching your children. So get organised and build up a good magazine collection.

*Find a big box which is quite sturdy to take the weight of a good number of magazines.
*Sort through your own magazines. Take out and file the articles and pics that you want to keep. Put the magazines that you want to keep back where they belong. Now you must mark the magazines some how so that you and your children can tell which magazine is used for cutting up and which is not. I cut the corner off the top of the front cover.
*Place your magazines for cutting in the clearly marked box.
*Keep your box in a easy to reach place.
*Keep a container of some sort to store all pictures and words in the box. You will find that when you are cutting up your magazines, you may be left with lots of loose pages with pics that you may want to keep. Put them all in the small container for the future.
*Limit your magazines to the size of your box.
*Get a variety of different types of magazines eg: food, pets, garden, home etc.
*The best way to obtain magazines is NOT to buy them off the self, new! Visit your mom, mother-in-law, friends with out children and beg for the magazines that they may throw away. You can also go to the library, they sometimes have sales on magazines. You can also go to a second hand shop. The best place to buy cheap magazines is a hospice shop. That is where I go. I ususally pic up virtually new magazines for around R1-R3 each! What a bargin!

Basic Art for Toddlers

Materials needed:
*Large scrap book
*6 x A4 plain paper
*Black pen
*Red, blue and yellow Acrylic paint
*Paint equipment, eg: aprons, brushes, water etc

Step 1:
Paint a large, solid portion of your page with one colour (do not dilute). Let your child paint his page with the same colour (you can dilute your childs paint). Your child can paint how he wants. As you are painting with him, talk about the colour that you are using, remember to mention that it is a primary colour.

When you are finished painting, play spot the colour. You can use books or just go for a walk around your house and garden, looking for objects which are the same colour that you have just painted with. Think of things that you can do that will keep child’s mind on the colour for the day or even for the week. Lets say you choose the colour red, you can play with red play dough, you can add some red colouring to the bath water, eat red apples, cut red flowers, Make a collage with pieces of red paper, finger paint with red, draw on the paving outside with red chalk etc.

Step 2: (You can do by yourself)
Leave your first page of your “Art Scrap Book” open for your contents page. Turn to the second page. Put a heading: “Colours” on top of the page. Underneath write the heading: “Primary colours” Cut a large “splash” shape out of your painted colour page. Make sure that there are no white spots on your splash. Underneath the heading, paste your coloured splash.

Step 3:
Repeat the process with the remaining two primary colours. Depending how well your child knows his colours, you could do all of this in one day or you could do one colour a day or even one colour a week. Up to you!

Please Note:
*Acrylic paint works well for your “splash”. Try and keep the paint as thick as possible and as textured as possible. As the paint dries, it will keep the texture. Its great to have textured splashes for your children to feel!
* Please keep your scrapbook. The basic art course will eventually fill up your book and you can use it again and again in the future, especially if there are more little babies on the way!
*You can display your childs art on the wall for a week. Its a good way to remind you to talk to your child about your lessons. When you take your childs art down, you can file it into a basic art folder. Its good to keep it, at least for the year. You can look back at it to see your childs progress when you are feeling discouraged! It is also fun for your children to look back occasionally at their work.

#2 Tip - Teaching Children Songs

Praise the Lord, I had a little break through this morning with Caleb! He doesn't seem to want to learn tunes or words to songs. I know its not a major issue but I was a bit concerned. He literally freaks out if I try and teach him a song.

This morning I discovered the power of the "repeat" button on my music player! We listened to one song during our activity session this morning, over and over and over again. By the end he had picked up the tune and was singing a word here and there. I am going to stick to one song a week and see how that goes.

I guess that is one little example of the power of repetition.

Work books to get myself started with Home Schooling

School officially starts tomorrow. I am very excited!

Here is a list of the curriculums/ workbooks that I have on my shelf and intend on using, Lord willing!

Bible studies:
*Word and Song bible for childrens bible devotion
*Bible colour and learn series (each page has a verse, story and colouring picture)
I am starting with book 2, The New Testament. This gives the book name, summary of each book and a picture to colour.
*Beginnig with the bible, a childs first lessons on knowing God by TNT ministries.
*Bible story books, I have a number of illustrated story books, even some in poetry format!

General:
*Slow and steady, get me ready by June R. Oberlander (activity for each week from birth to 5yrs.
*Reading lots and lots of books that cover all the other topics mentioned in the "Home centered learning model" post.

Thats it! In addition to this I want to focus on Caleb learning the Alphabet in preparation for reading. No pressure on the reading part!

My goal for this year is very basic:

To cultivate a desire to want to learn more about the Lord and to cultivate an intrest in books.

I pray for Grace from the Lord to instil this into Caleb and I am praying for lots and lots of patience for myself to teach and conduct myself in a Godly manner with Caleb!

#1 Tip - Getting into a Home School Routine

I have found the school term calendar in my diary. I am planning to do 1 - 2 hours of structured learning during the week days according to school terms. Obviously with a flexible approach. I am not going to be very strict with it but it will really help me get into a good pattern of schooling for when my little boys are ready to start serously.

I made a Term tracking sheet and I have stuck it up on the wall in the school room. I made 4 boxes, one for each term. I counted the days in each school term and wrote that down in each box. Now all I have to do is to make a mark in the correct term box at the end of each structured learing session. At the end of the term I add up the days and Lord willing I should be close on doing the same number of schooling days as the government schools in the area.

I am only doing this as a guide for myself and to get me into the discipline of home schooling.

Another important point is that school can not really be seperated from home life. I say this as parents are teaching all the time and children are learning all the time. That is why I am using the term "structured learning". I am using this term to describe the act of sitting down with my children using workbooks and curriculums.

Basic Planning Model for Christian Home Education

"Education a wholehearted child" by Clay and Sally Clarkson gives a "Home-centered Learning Model". It focuses on 5 study areas. They are:

"1. Discipleship studies - The solid foundation of the house.
The study of the Bible.
Doctrine, wisdom, Bible knowledge.
Purpose: To shape your children's heart to love God
and to study and know his Word.

2. Disciplined Studies - The first central study focus.
The study of the 'basics'
Learning skills (reading, writing, maths, thinking)
Purpose: To develop your children's foundational learning skills and
competencies in language arts, math and reasoning.

3. Discussion Studies - The second central study focus.
The study of humanities.
Literature, history, fine arts
Purpose: To feed your children's minds by giving them the best
in living books and fine arts.

4. Discovery Studies - The third central study focus.
The study of learning.
Nature, science, creative arts, all interests.
Purpose: To simulate in your children a love for learning
by creating opportunities for curiosity, creativity and discovery.

5. Discretionary Studies - The unique finishing of the house
The study of living
Home and community life, field trips, life skills
Purpose: To direct your children in developing a range of skills and
abilities for adult life according to their gifts and your
family's circumstances and resourses." Pg67

I am using this Model for planning my curriculum.