We are officially a homeschooling family as of this year!
I was homeschooled my whole life and loved it. And, while we will take a look at our schooling choices each year, for this year of 2021-2022, we have decided to start with a few things at home for our daughter, Aletheia.
She is only 3-years-old at this point, so we really don’t HAVE to do anything with her for school this year. But I wanted to get into some sort of routine so that when we do need to do more school work, she (and I!) will be ready to sit at the table together and work, if that’s what we choose to do.
So, to keep a record of sorts of what we do for this year, I wanted to get a blog post up with everything that I want to cover with her. I hope it give you inspiration for teaching your own children, even if you don’t homeschool them!
I will link to resources where I can, but a lot of the things we are doing I have created myself. I may put together a bundle of the papers I’ve created in the future for you to download, but I wasn’t ready for that this time around. A couple of the things we are working on will change month-to-month, so maybe I’ll have it together for you next month.
National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance
Because we are raising our daughter as an expat, I want her to know and love America even from far away. So, for this year, we are learning the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance. Every time we are ready to do school work, we stand with our hands over our hearts and sing/say both.
Now, she isn’t reading yet, so it’s mainly just me singing and saying the words. But I know she will catch on quickly and be able to join in.
Having a love for your country is important to me and I want her to grow up to feel the same way even if we don’t live in our home country right now.
We are following a shorter catechism called A Catechism for Boys and Girls that I found online by the Reformed Reader. It’s taken from the book, “Teaching Truth, Training Hearts” by Dr. Tom J. Nettles. You can read the whole catechism on the Reformed Reader website here.
I like this catechism because it is very simple and will be easy for my daughter to memorize the questions and answers. I have a feeling we will get through it quickly and be able to move on to a more advanced one soon. Of course, I’ll keep you posted on that!
I also like this catechism because it is set to music in the Questions and Answers albums by Dana Dirksen. She does a wonderful job of setting all the questions and answers to music and we listen to and sing these all the time in the house, so it should help with the memorizing of these truths.
For the first week, I’ve printed off the first 5 questions and we will recite them daily. I think we should be able to have the first 5 down within a week or so, but I will just print out the next 5 questions when we are ready to move on.
My daughter has already memorized Psalm 23 just by working with her throughout the day (she actually had it memorized when she was 2!). Littles ones can memorize verses very well, so I want to take advantage of that while she is young. (If you’d like help in teaching your toddlers Scripture, check out this post).
For now, we are going to memorize Psalm 93 together. If you followed along with my Psalms of the Summer challenges, then you’ll know that this was the Psalm to memorize for August. Well, I didn’t get it memorized in August, so we are going to work on it together. This is one reason I love working on Scripture with my daughter, I memorize it too!
We have sung a monthly hymn at dinner time for a while now. But I’ve decided to also sing the hymn as we close out our school time. I usually try to pick a hymn that we sing in church so that my daughter can know it and sing in church as well.
If you don’t own a hymnal, I highly recommend the Hymns of Grace Hymnal which you can purchase here. It has plenty of old, classic hymns that you know and love along with some newer, modern hymns. There’s a great mix and I can always find what I’m looking for.
Hymn lyrics are also readily available online if you need to copy and paste like me! I love the Hymnary website and use it often.
For the month of September we are learning “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken” by John Newton. It is about how the church of God is glorious and what a gift it is to be a part of it. Here’s a YouTube video if you’d like to listen to it.
We love reading books aloud in our house. We were already reading through The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe this summer so we are continuing that for our school read aloud as well. I have the version which has all of the Narnia series in one huge book, so I plan to just continue reading through the other books as well throughout the school year (this is the one I have.)
While I am reading aloud, Aletheia practices her scissor skills. I just give her a few big sheets of white paper and she snips away as I read. It works out well. I also think that she could play with play dough or moon sand while I read if needed.
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
And now we get to the actual “school” work! One goal for this school year is to get through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons together. We started working in this book a few months ago, but then when we moved and had to get settled, we went for a long time without a lesson. So, we are starting fresh for our school year at the beginning of this book.
Aletheia really seems to like doing the lessons with me so that is why we are doing this book together. I don’t feel any pressure to get her to read right away. I just think that if she likes it, then why not do it?
Each lesson only takes around 15 minutes and it teaches children to read phonetically. At the end of each lesson, they practice writing each sound (letter) they have learned.
I really like this book because there is a section at the front for you, the parent, to read before starting to teach your child. Then throughout the lessons, there is a script for you to read as you teach your child to read. What you say is in red and what the child should respond with is in black. This makes the book VERY easy and convenient to start out our schooling journey with. No need to prep ahead of time or prepare a lesson plan for this one.
Well, that’s all we are planning to do for now. I am, honestly, holding it all very loosely and if it doesn’t seem to be working with our schedule or things we need to do as a family, then we will change. I look forward to the time we can spend together as we work on schoolwork, this is something that I cherish from my childhood and I want her to as well.
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