Monday, May 24, 2010

Introducing a more formal toddler homeschool

Due to our ongoing issues with early intervention, and Acorn surpassing all current goals (other than, you know, actually talking), it's becomming obvious he needs a little more challenge in his life. So, with the help of the nurses, we're going forward with plans for a more formal homeschooling effort. Off the record, I'm using the name Spiral Oak Family School on paperwork that comes up (like discount cards and such).

This summer we'll be working on opposites, alphabet, matching, sorting, and some sort of alphabet study. We'll be doing some unit study work, using a curriculum called Earth*School, a really nifty "nature themed" preschool curriculum (which includes the Wiccan Sabbats in some of their units as holidays, so we're actually really happy about that find). And of course we're continuing to work on sign language and adding in a lot of sensory activities. We're shooting for "language rich" and things that challenge him, because his problem solving skills are quite wonderful, and we want to encourage that.

I need to get pictures of stuff as we go forward, but first I have to find the camera. *sigh* It went missing recently, and I haven't managed to locate where it wandered off to. Anyone want to point me towards some good camera giveaways?

This week I bought Acorn's birthday gifts, most of which are educational toys - puzzles with opposites, sorting/patterning toys, and the game "Memory." We bought him a learning tower (with family chipping in). We got the playhouse kit and easel to go with it, which will be really nifty.

We are also creating a calendar/weather board for him - we purchased a big magnetic marker board, which will be hung in the play area (the hallway/landing outside his bedroom) this week. I created printables for months, days of the week, seasons, and weather, printed them, laminated them, and put magnets on the back (and lemme tell you, doing "cold lamination" by hand sucks after about the 10th piece; I did 45 pieces yesterday). We also got some weather printables from 1+1+1=1 - specifically the images of the various weather types (sunny, rainy, cloudy, etc). Is it worth not spending $50 on one?  I suppose it probably is, but boy has it taken a lot of work - frankly, the marker board alone is more $$, but it's also more customizeable, so it's more useful in the long run. Besides, I think I want to add moon phases and the wheel of the year holidays (on an actual spinner even), so I think ours will be best for us.

Because of our set-up, we're using a modified workbox technique - there's a box, with each activity in a folder; nurses are free to select anything out of the box (at least one a day, more if the therapy schedule allows) - things that are one-time events are then removed; things he can do over and over are put back in the box.

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  1. Have you done any research into the Waldorf methods? They have a focus on festivals that you might be interested in adding ot your curriculum.

  2. Have you done any research into the Waldorf methods? They have a focus on festivals that you might be interested in adding ot your curriculum.