I can't believe it has been a month since I posted anything on this blog. I have been in super planning mode, not just for preschool but in preparation for baby, which we found out will be another girl!
I spent probably a week nesting-cleaning out, washing baby stuff, organizing, etc. Then I spent a week recovering from all that work! During that time we decided for sure that we will homeschool the girls. I just know that is what God wants for our family. We have already encountered some resistance but I am trying to not let it get me down. If I am following God's will, then I am doing what is right and it will be blessed by Him.
I prayed really hard about whether to start kindergarten, what curriculum to use, and just what homeschooling means for our family. Since we will be adding to our family in just a few months I decided that starting kindergarten would not be good for us. I decided to stick with preschool activities. This way we can get adjusted to our new baby sister and it gives me time to figure out what works for our family. I also have lots of life skills to work on with the girls before formal "kindergarten" begins. Abby is not good at cleaning up after herself and obeying immediately and Lyla needs to be potty trained and lose her pacifier. I just feel like kindergarten, life skills, and new baby would be too much for me!
I really had a hard time choosing curriculum, especially since I am looking ahead to kindergarten. I finally decided on three different ones that I have combined.
1. Raising Rock Stars Preschool Curriculum: I love everything about this! We have already done two weeks of this and I just loved it and so did the girls. I love the memory verses, worksheets, easy readers, power point slides, etc.
2. Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve: This was a last minute addition. I subscribe to this blog and just love it. She announced last week that she had just completed a new preschool curriculum and I just had to have it. It is $45 but I think it is going to be worth every penny. It is a letter of the week type of curriculum, similar to RRSP, but she includes activities, recipes, and service projects to go along with each letter. She has memory verses for each letter but I am sticking with RRSP for the memory verses. I think the two of them put together is an incredible preschool curriculum. We haven't used it yet but I can't wait to start it next week.
3. Sonlight P3/4: At first I was just going to stick to this as our only curriculum but there just wasn't enough there for a almost 5 year old. P4/5 was more than I wanted to do, so I went with P3/4 and added the other stuff I mentioned. I love the books and some of the suggested activities are really good. It has a wide variety of books so the girls will learn some geography, science, Bible, history, and poetry.
To round out our preschool experience, I have made several preschool activities in a bag (and toddler ones too for Lyla). Most of the activities came from Making Learning Fun and then some are homemade. Most focus on pre-reading and pre-math skills. I have a list of other things I would like to make as I gather the supplies. It is basically the same as what I was putting on the trays, but these are in gallon ziploc baggies with all necessary components included. I thought she could grab a tray and a baggie and work to her little hearts desire. I am still trying to figure out exactly how I want to use these. I thought about doing the workbox system, similar to Carisa's, but I don't really have the funds to buy anything else. I also thought about having a canvas bag with the activities for the week and she can choose what she wants to do, when she wants. I read somewhere about blanket training (for babies) but thought this might be good for her too. I thought of having her do activities on a blanket and when she was done, putting away her bag and blanket. I might do some trial and error in this area to see what works best.
My main goal is to have all of this up and running fairly smoothly before baby comes so it won't be so difficult trying to do this with a newborn. We'll see. If any of you have suggestions, please feel free to leave me a comment.