A dear reader asked, “Hi Tricia! Which curriculum you are using this new school year for your little ones?” How did she know I was formulating a series leading up to our Hodgepodge Curricula 2012-2013? There are just too many great resources for our age range of children to put them all in one post.
Homeschool Organization for Little Ones
Little Desks. But before I get into curricula resources, I want to share with you part of the continuing homeschool makeover. A big part of homeschooling is finding your groove. We’ve found that learning centers are the very best for our ages and stages. I really love our bay window in our homeschool room. It’s the perfect spot for the two little desks Nana gave us when we started ‘officially’ homeschooling. (I’ve been asked several times: The desks came from Pottery Barn Kids in 2001. I’ve checked and they are no longer selling them. You might be able to find some on Ebay?)
Cubby bench. But our two littlest ones needed some easy storage close to their desks. They have been using plastic workboxes. Those were displaced when we got our IKEA baskets. Chief Organizational Officer, Hodgepodgedad, found this little cubby bench at Target. The three, red, fabric boxes were also purchased there.
The two youngest children and I each have a cubby! One for Lil’ Buddy – next to his desk on the left. One for me in the middle. And one on the right for first grader. Everything is right there where we need it. Rod and Staff workbooks, Saxon Math 1…all the basics for starting the school day. Plus, I have a soft spot to sit or to spread out math manipulatives.
Preschool and First Grade Curricula
So, each day I start with the little ones first. Since there are some of you that might be looking for resources for the littlest of littlest crowd, I’ll share with you a few resources, besides just classic books, we use up until age four:
- Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready – from birth until age four.
- Ages two to four Before Five in a Row.
- Babies to preschoolers enjoy Morning Room Time.
Five in a Row
With both our preschooler and first grader, we will again enjoy Five in a Row (FIAR) books. (And a few of those favorite Before Five in a Row books for good measure). We’ll read about one book every two weeks. These usually match up beautifully with our Tapestry of Grace and/or nature studies. I also especially like Daniele at Domestic Serenity’s plan of enjoying Five in a Row books seasonally.
FIAR we keep around the couch for easy reading. These are the same books we’ve enjoyed for years and years. So many wonderful memories with Five in a Row books. There are even free lapbooks at Homeschool Share we will enjoy. Plus so many Pinterest resources to supplement an already wonderful curriculum.
- Rod and Staff Bible Stories to Read (with accompanying coloring book)
- Rod and Staff Preschool Books for three and four year olds
- How do we teach a child to read? Oh, we have the privilege of teaching our youngest now. He’s the fifth one we’ve taught. The Gentle Ways of Reading.
- Lots of books from the library, joining in with the older children ‘catching learning’
- Answers Book for Kids Vols 1-4
- Saxon Math 1
- more practice with Alphaphonics
- Lighthome Publications Penmanship books
- Dabbling in Explode the Code and Spelling Workout A
The Rest of the Day
The 10 Parts of the Hodgepodge Schedule – (including how we fit in all the extras, afternoon quiet time and the household service opportunities).
We’re enjoying again this wonderful bedtime (or anytime) reading: Leading Little Ones to God
Apps and Technology
We make use of some fun learning apps to compliment the 3 Rs: Hodgepodgedad’s app and technology reviews
Multiple Ages: Our younger two will both be joining in Tapestry of Grace, Science studies, Harmony Fine Arts, nature, art with Nana, etc. in age-appropriate doses.
Extras: Plus there are all those things our youngest two children participate in throughout the week and month. Children’s choir, mission friends, park days and field trips with our homeschool group. Creation Club. It’s a full and rich life!
Those are the basics. I hope that helps you visualize how our littlest ones start the day at their little desks after their Before 8:45 checklist. Preschooler spends about 10-15 minutes and first grader stays a little longer. Then we enjoy FIAR books on the couch in the family room. Other learning – all together – outside or at the kitchen table.
- Homeschool – Younger Set Pinterest Board – this is such a happy board! So many fun ideas.
- Curriculum Choice’s Preschool/Kindergarten Pinterest board.
- Our Hodgepodge Curricula will be updated soon but many of the resources we are enjoying again.
- All of the favorite resources Hodgepodgedad and I have reviewed – all in an index.
- My 10 Days of Teaching Multiple Ages incorporates many ideas for little ones.
I hope you’ll be back! I invite you to subscribe to Hodgepodge so you won’t miss a post. Over the next several days I’ll be sharing the remainder of our plans for 5th, 8th and 9th grades plus those things we enjoy with multiple ages. Our Curricula 2012-2013.
- Preschool to First Grade
- 5th Grade Kinesthetic Learner
- Middle/High – 8th/9th
- Hodgepodge Curricula 2012-2013 – Multiple Ages
Are you homeschooling little ones this year?