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Preschool Homeschool: Our Simple Approach to The Letter of the Week Curriculum

By 2:16 AM , , , , , ,

Here I am again talking about our Homeschool Journey...

Homeschooling our preschooler was a conjugal choice. My husband and I had long discussions about our toddler's schooling, in the end we both decided to homeschool him until he was about 4 years old, just in time for Kindergarten.

As I mentioned in my previous post on the What, Why, How of Homeschool Preschool, the label "Homeschool" is mainly a term for how parents naturally teach their children about, well, LIFE in general. Whether you read to them, sing songs together, teach them how to talk and walk, let them know about the color of his favorite toy or the names of the things around them... all these are lessons per se.

We started by doing simple activities like I shared HERE, mostly looks like playing, but I do try to incorporate lessons like when we count his toys or sort them by color. 

But as my toddler grows up, we also "levelled up" on lessons. He just turned 3 years old, and we're not thinking of putting him in a brick and mortar school anytime soon. Maybe next year, when he's four and a half. 

By Philippine Law, children are required to attend school (Kindergarten) at 5 years old so they are given the means to slowly adjust to formal education. In Finland, they actually start formal education at age 7! But let us not dwell on that for now.

Homeschooling isn't for everybody; I must admit that I have questioned my capacity time and again if I can do it or not. But we've worked things out and followed a curriculum that was best for us.

I mentioned that we were following the Letter of the Week Curriculum (thanks to my husband for finding it for us, yay!). If you take a look at it, lessons are based on the letter of the alphabet per week (Example, Week 1 is Letter A, Week 2 is Letter B an so on). It has a list of suggestions for various subjects that is based on the Letter of the Week... such as Books and Rhymes, Music and Art, Math and Science among others.

I say these are a "list of suggestions" because we don't strictly follow them as is. We do improvise, especially with the books, theme words, and the art projects.

How do I do it? I have a notebook and I make a list of the lessons every Sunday or Monday morning. I copy some from the Curriculum, but I also add to it, like what theme words we'll be using, the books and rhymes, and music to learn... just as long as it follows the letter of the week :) I check the lessons we've done as we go about each day.

I prepare a list of Songs For the Week on my Itunes. Thanks to our Kindermusik classes, we have a lot of Songs. I also Download some new songs and nursery rhymes.

When we do it? We tried to stick to a schedule, but inevitably just went on about it whenever I wasn't busy or when my child would be interested, he'll say to me "Mommy, mag activity tayo" (Mommy, let do an activity).. "Activity" is his term for our homeschool time. But mostly we do activities in the morning around 10-11am and in the afternoon when he wakes up from his nap. Toddlers have short attention span, so 2-4 hours a day is enough.

We just go about our day as freely as possible. I don't want to pressure my child into lessons; that we should follow this and that, or he should learn this by the end of the week... by doing so, I am putting most of the pressure on myself! And I frankly have so much to do in one day already. I admit, juggling work and the kids require an extra amount of patience and multitasking abilities to keep my sanity in check. It's been quite the journey, but we're having fun as we go along.

What we learn about? I use my list as a guide for what to do for the day, mostly from the Curriculum still, but a little improvised...

Theme Words - I write a set of words on our board. They serve as sight words for familiarity and I draw alongside the words to help him with recognition, or we identify some of the words with the things we have around the house. We practice some Letter writing and tracing on paper or on the board for proper pen handling.

We've also been watching this Get Squiggling YouTube channel, he loves Suigglet the character and he likes to doddle too. And for Phonics, we watch a bit of ABCMouse.

Matching Activity for the Alphabet

Poetry/Rhymes - We say nursery Rhymes by reading books or watching on YouTube if we don't have the book on hand.

Books to Read Aloud - the Curriculum has a nice selection for Books, but when we don't have some on hand, I search for them Online or on youtube and we read along or we simply use what we have from our book collection.

Books we read during Letter B week

Just some of our favorite books. The one in the middle is a Look It's About Me book which we got for Christmas. We also love books by Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss, and of course, our Kindermusik books!
Music and Songs - We listen to the Songs of the Week I've prepared on my Itunes as we do our Art project or do action dances (yes, inspired by Kindermusik still).

This is our song list for Letter B week

Bible Stories/Values - We read our Bible story book, or read/watch about values/characters in the Bible

Math - We simply do counting and patterns for Math. Nothing serious. Learning about shapes is part of Math too, as well as learning about what is "more" or "less" by using manipulatives such as popsicle sticks or marbles among others.

Aside from counting, making patterns is part of Math too. On the left, we have a pattern of leaves, green, red, green and so on. On the right, he is trying to make a pattern out of clothes pins - bonus: it also helps with fine motor skills, yay!

Science  - Mostly learning about the body/body parts, animals and habitats, plants and the environment, dinosaurs, and the galaxy/universe (Earth, Moon, Sun, Stars etc). We also watch YouTube for the things that I cannot explain (Why not make use of technology right?).

My best effort to teach about the parts of the flower and the life cycle of a frog for Letter F week. We also went outside to see real flowers and it's parts, hehe.

Watching how an actual caterpillar turns into a butterfly. We also read The Very Hungry Caterpillar :)
H if for Habitat: Learning about where animals live - Jungle, Forest, Farm

Social Studies - We learn about occupations, countries/cities/places. We also love to do pretend play... like when we're learning about being a baker, we played PlayDough and made cakes and cupcakes.

Art - Probably our most favorite of all lessons, we look forward to this every week and we place our Letter Art in a Wall Gallery! We practice cutting and pasting, and painting and coloring. We also do other crafts and other projects like doing a Philippine Flag or Paper Boat and Fan, and making Christmas and Valentine's Cards for Daddy and the Grandparents.

Sport/Activity - We do Action Dances/Movement along with our Songs/Music or try to do a sport like Playing Catch for Gross Motor Skills. 

We also do simple activities for Fine Motor Skills like playing with clay, picking up Marbles or pompom balls, placing toothpicks or Qtips in a cup. My one-year old joins in too.

And that's our simple approach to The Letter of the Week Curriculum. But really, we just HAVE FUN as we go along, and that's mainly IT! :)

Hope you learned some things from our Homeschool Journey!

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  1. You're doing great, Lique! Keep on. God bless you and your little ones.

  2. very informative Lique! I'll share this info with my sister! Thank you!

  3. And the best part of homeshooling your child is you get to spend worthwhile bonding time with your precious jewel!

  4. Wow! Thank you for sharing your homeschool preschool journey and your resources :) Will use them for my son, too :)

  5. Good job and very systematic! I home-schooled my kids also as early as they were still babies LOL. It helped to teach them early because I got to make tipid for a year, they did not enter nursery anymore.

  6. Thank you for inspiring us - I'm planning to homeschool my daughter, too. She's already two now but have been able to recite and read her ABCs and 1 to 10s when she was still 18 months old. It's truly amazing what and how children learn when left to their own devices. I really support natural learning.

  7. Nice! You have completed all the subjects ha! Very organized! :)

  8. You are doing an amazing job! Best part is you get to bond with your baby every time you teach him. Sayang, I only get to do this things during weekends because of work.

  9. Yay this post is really super helpful as we may begin homeschooling next year when Yuri turns 4. I saw this curriculum na, but at this point, I'm still not sure if a curriculum will work with my son. But I will bookmark this!

  10. Good job mommy! I wanted to homeschool too but I just don't know how to do it or if I have enough patience to teach. I tried with Letter of the Day too but not as elaborate as what you do. Thanks for sharing this :)

  11. I love your blackboard, Lique! Where did you get it? This post is super helpful and inspiring too. Thanks!

  12. Learning while having fun is the way to do it! We do that with our homeschooled 4-year old too.

  13. The school where our little princess requires children to start Nursery at 3 years old... My son, our youngest, is now at 2 so he's going to school by next year. I've been really interested in homeschool-ing.. Thank you for sharing your activities! Will continue to read your posts on this. =)