Eva Marina Homeschools

Monday, August 30, 2010

Goals For Our First Year

For the most part I’m going to let him set the pace of our first year. I want him to be excited about learning, especially about learning at home. I know at this age it will be a little difficult for him to understand why he is not going to “school” when all of his cousins and friends are. He asked me about it a lot this summer. Now when he meets people he tells them that he goes to school at home.

I’m going to focus on teaching him math, reading and writing. After all, this is the foundation of learning everything else in the future. I am also making it a point to teach him Spanish. I am fully bilingual, unfortunately he would always refuse to speak it and would act as though he didn’t understand me when I spoke in Spanish. I was asking him about it earlier this summer and he told me why that is. He explained that none of his cousins speak Spanish and he doesn’t want to be the only one that speaks does. I’ve been trying to keep our little Spanish lessons lighthearted. Whenever he speaks it on his own or catches on to a new word I make sure to show my excitement. After one month of trying this new approach, he is not fighting me on it anymore. As far as the other subjects go, I am going to follow more of an interest led approach. If he asks me a question about something I make sure to expand on it. We go to the library and check out books on the subject. I come up with art projects and sometimes he even chooses to use a new word for tracing/copying practice. I plan to continue with this approach.

I also want to use this year to set the rhythm of our home. I’m going to let us naturally fall into a routine and base our schedule (or lack of) on that. I’ve decided to have our school year run August through July, taking breaks as needed. I would also like to meet other local homeschoolers and join a co-op.

Our Journey Begins…

My husband and I decided we would homeschool around the time our son Ignacio turned a year old. I’ve had a lot of time to research and prepare as best as I could. I began to purchase material whenever I found a good deal and storing it. I’ll say my style is eclectic; I have quite a little collection of books. Although, I began “officially” homeschooling this year- I think its fair to say I’ve homeschooled Ignacio his whole life. I started building his library before he was born. I decided to use this summer as a transition into our homeschooling. I quickly realized that my collection of Preschool books was pretty much useless to us. They are so basic, at this point they really have very little to offer him. I’m saving them for future use with the baby. I’ve had to come up with a new plan. (Separate post for our curriculum.)

I should clarify that Ignacio will be turning four in November, according to our local school system he is not able to start K-4 until the 2011-2012 school year. Lucky for us, that’s not an issue. We’re ahead of the game!

At three years old Ignacio:

  • Can count to 20 in English and fourteen in Spanish.
  • Can count to 100 by 10’s
  • Can write his numbers from 0 to 10
  • Knows all of his colors (and is currently learning them in Spanish also)
  • Knows the following shapes: square, rectangle, circle, oval, triangle, diamond, octagon, hexagon, pentagon, crescent, trapezoid, star and heart.
  • Knows the alphabet and the sound of most letters.
  • Recognizes all uppercase letters and about two-thirds of lowercase letters.
  • Can write his first name.
  • Has already begun sounding his way through Brand New Reader books.
I decided to do a few assessment tests on Ignacio earlier this month... just to document our "official" starting point in homeschooling. I used the Pre-K Assessments forms available through Cindy Downes website. I just had to share his alphabet. I told him to write the alphabet- by memory. That's right, I didn't show him the alphabet or show him what the letters looked like. I told him he had to show me how he thought they were written. He skipped a few that he didn't know how to write, but he wrote almost the whole thing.  I have to admit, I was taken aback by how well he did on all of the tests. I know he is smart, but he knew a lot more than I was expecting him to. I'm so proud of him! Can you believe he is three years old?!