Sunday, July 24, 2011

Homeschool - Getting Started

I've had many comments on the homeschool posts from readers who are encouraged to start homeschooling or plan on starting in the future so in this post I thought I'd share a few things that have been helpful to me and Noelle.

When I got serious about starting a curriculum with Noelle I was quickly overwhelmed with the amount of information there is out there. I remember my heart pounding and telling Mr. G that I felt inadequite. There were so many sites to filter though and nothing stood out to me. Then I found Confessions of a Homeschooler and immediately I knew I found the perfect place to start. I purchased the Letter of the Week curriculum for $10 and starting printing the first weeks lesson plan. We will be moving on to the K4 curriculum next.
So do some research and find a curriculum that fits for your homeschooler and give it a try! Homeschooling has been one of the best decisions that I have made. I've heard from many moms that they've never heard someone say they wish they didn't homeschool - only that they wished they started sooner. After the first day I was hooked. It is a blast teaching Noelle.

My experience as a substitute teacher was helpful from the start. I've worked in almost all grades from Kinder to High School as a sub. My time in the Kindergarten classes helped me get Noelle's "classroom" set up. If you have a friend who teaches maybe you can ask for a tour of the classroom.

Keeping to a schedule is key. If we don't get into the "classroom" first thing in the morning, I'll get busy with chores and projects and shopping - and school gets pushed back or forgotten for the day.

Prepare, prepare, prepare. On Sunday night I prepare all of the material for the week. It makes everything easier to have it done in advance, especially with a young one. Noelle is not going to sit around waiting for me to print, cut and organize the lesson plan for the day, so I have it all laid out ready to go in the morning.

Find your child's learning strengths and style. Noelle learns fast with songs and repetition. She will learn a Bible verse in one hour if I repeat it 10 or so times when she's tracing, lacing, coloring, etc. About the 5th time she'll start to say it with me. She's very much an auditory and kinesthetic learner.
Noelle and I made this song up to remember vowels. It's a silly little jingle, but ask her what the vowels are and she'll tell you!
"a.e.i.o.u. Oh Ya. a.e.i.o.u. Brake It Down Now"

Pray. I pray daily for wisdom, patience and contagious excitement about learning.

A short Vlog about our "classroom"

We finished up the vowels with letter O and then spent a week reviewing each letter and all 5 Bible verses. I think I'll do a review week every 5 weeks or so. It was fun to go back and see what she's learned and accomplished.
This past week Noelle learned letter B - for butterfly. Here are a few pictures of her favorite activities:

Tracing all of the letters in the alphabet - she did this several times.

 Matching big B with big B and little b with little b.

Tracing B and b

Matching (and gluing)


  1. Thank you for posting! :) These will be really helpful once I start with my little one.

  2. Great tips. We have an integrated program in our district where they give us the entire curriculum and assignments and the kids go to school 3 days and are home schooled for 2. I often think about switching to the full time home school program (where we are also given the materials) and we go at our own pace.

  3. I am homeschooling, too! Well, not yet... she's a little too young but I will be!! Yay!!

  4. Such great ideas. So helpful to learn from other homeschooling families. You're right, I've never heard anyone say they regret doing it.

  5. I just have to compliment you on your amazing dedication to your daughter's education. I love the idea of homeschooling and starting at a young age. Do you have any suggestions for moms that want to homeschool but plan on working full-time? I would like to plan for our future children and since school doesn't start in our area till age 5, I would love to have a plan. Thanks again for sharing your great ideas. -Jennifer

  6. Mrs. T - Noelle was only 2 when I started which I thought was a great age. She is so eager to learn.
    Gratefulmama - That sounds like a great program! I wish we had something like that around here. Well, maybe we do. I'll have to research it.
    Jennifer - Great question. I'll look around for some information about working/homeschooling moms and get back to you.

  7. Visiting over from

    Your blog is super cute! Looks like you got the header centered! Let me know if you still needed help :)

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  9. I reallu like Confessions of a Homeschooler too, she has awesome ideas! I have been doing preschool with my daughter at home and really enjoy it :)

    I am a new follower too!

  10. I'm visiting from TAT, and your newest follower through GFC. My daughter is only 4 months, but homeschooling has already crossed my mind. I really appreciated the tips in your post and look forward to hearing more on your experience. :-)