This year I am officially homeschooling both boys. Lang is a kindergartner and Max is a preschooler. Technically, Max doesn’t count as homeschooled according to my county and state laws and regulations as he is only 2.5 years old. However, he is a homeschooler in my eyes. I believe homeschooling starts at birth (reading to your child in the womb, speaking another language to them as an infant, playtime, etc). I often get asked many questions about homeschooling but the number one question is “How do you do it if they are at different levels?” Well, the simple answer is, “I just do it!”. The detailed answer is below.
The boys are still young so first and foremost I believe in making learning fun and engaging. I have a schedule to help us all stay on track. This is mostly to teach self guided learning while I get work done ie. conference calls and presentations for upcoming trainings or conferences. Half of the activities that Max does are totally independent and half are “formal” lessons that he does at the same time as Lang.
Our Typical Schedule
9:00 Morning Meeting: Affirmations/Cultural Awareness/Exercise & Meditation
9:15 Free play (Mommy works: checking and returning emails and/or calls)
10:00 Phonics/Sight Words (We practice letters and sounds together. Then Max does an independent hands-on activity or play Starfall/ABC mouse on the tablet while I work with Lang on Vocabulary/Grammar.)
10:30 Letter Formation/Writing (Max does this independently. I set up the activity) while Lang does Journal/Topic Writing (usually related to the story we read)
11:00 Free play (Mommy works: conference calls or presentations)
12:00 Math (Len learns alongside Lang or does one of his store bought or homemade activities I set out)
12:30-3:00 Lunch then Fieldtrip or Drop off activity (Art, Music, PE, etc)
We alternate field trips and drop off activities so that I can work. We go to art museums, science centers, symphonies, rock-climbing, and more.
For Lang, I use three workbooks:
1. Brainquest 1st grade workbook (includes Reading, Math, Science and Social Studies)
2. Kujichagulia Press Handwriting workbook
For Max, I use:
1. Brainquest PreK workbook
2. Last year I used Mothergoose curriculum. It’s a subscription box with everything laid out to teach a preschooler if you don’t feel like making your own. I’m pretty resourceful so I cancelled my subscription after 2 months.
For Math, Science and Social Studies, everything is hands-on. My children learn best this way and at this age I am a firm believer in the child-directed, play-based, waldorf/montessori approach to learning. I use alot of manipulatives, puzzles and games. We build, we touch, we collect, we travel, we talk, we play, we explore etc.
For a full updated list of our curriculum, check out our Curriculum: What We Use and Why post.
All in all, you must find what works best for your and your family. Trial and error is okay. It is how we learn what our needs are and how to be successful.