Monday, September 23, 2013

Homeschooling the Younger Years

Homeschooling the younger years doesn't have to be complicated. Find yourself a solid math program, an easy to use reading program without a lot of bells and whistles and you can rest assured that life will teach them the rest for now. However, if you want to add in some enrichment, you can't go wrong with Memoria Press. They sell whole kits but you don't really need all that. What I do is purchase the Teacher's Guides and rewrite the lesson plans to only include the Enrichment portion of the guide. This gives me a rich addition to my son's homeschool day. 

Using wonderful picture books as our springboard we learn about beautiful music, art, rich literature, social studies and science. I often will find the musical selection on youtube where we can watch the actual music being played. How awesome is our life that we can have our own symphony orchestra right in our homeschool room? I teach him all about the different sections and types of instruments. We talk about the feeling of the pieces and through this he is developing good taste in classical music. 

For the art piece, I have created my own art prints for him using Google Images. I downloaded them, and had them printed at my local Walgreens as photographs. He has his own photo album that he keeps them in. Each week, I give him a new print to which he studies. I play little games with him, taking the print away and asking him what he remembers about it. Sometimes we talk about the colors, the textures, the subject matter, etc... I also tell him the title of the painting and who painted it. He keeps that information in the photo album with his print. Each week, he recites from memory the paintings and artists. It is wonderful memory work and makes for an exciting time on our trips to the museum when we see works by artists he is familiar with. 

For the rest of the subjects, we use youtube to look at things he may be unfamiliar with. For instance, today we learned about water powered sawmills. We were able to go on a virtual field trip to see one. Sometimes, for the science, I'll get additional books and videos from the library to expand the topics. 

So for very little money ($30 for the Teacher's Guide), I have a rich addition to our 1st grade homeschool. Here is a screen shot of the 1st four weeks of school this year. I retyped the guide into a more user friendly format. 

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