When I left the classroom five years ago, I was expecting our first child, and I knew I never wanted to set foot in a public school classroom again. Knowing our family is taking the road less traveled warms my heart. The whole cookie-cutter, hustle everywhere lifestyle is not a suitable life for our growing family. We are focusing on learning through play, and it is a joy to watch my little ones learn so much through real-world practical applications. They are learning to navigate and thrive in this journey, and I couldn’t be happier
Curriculum for 2-4 Year Olds - Learning Through Play
For our toddlers, play is learning from 2-4 years of age, and we do not stress over a strict curriculum giving small snippets here and there to observe how they learn. In the state of Georgia, children do not have to complete kindergarten therefore we are free to allow our children to be just that - children and learn through play! We start out waking up naturally (no alarm clocks needed), eat breakfast, and while Mommy finishes her first cup of coffee, our children are playing together with magnets, tractors, puzzles, etc. We read together, talk about everything, play games and focus heavily on building their imaginative skills and creativity with arts and crafts. When we are outside the kids like to write with chalk on the driveway, ride their bikes, play in the dirt, and of course explore our backyard.
I use a flexible monthly "schedule" to guide us through the year in case we have a day that may need more of a structured approach. Our children are introduced to educational programs like StarFall (which is where I introduce Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool) or ABC Mouse at around three years of age, but we do not stress over not completing it every day. They initiate the "book" learning for the most part and as a former teacher it is fantastic to experience child-led learning! We also belong to a local homeschool co-op that allows mommy to put on her teacher hat for students and that always brings me so much joy.
Curriculum and Enrichment 5 Years Old and Up
We use Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool to start out at Preschool level because it allows us to teach the curriculum on different days and easy to keep organized. It is a mix of traditional and Charlotte Mason approaches utilizing narration and focusing on living books. It is a complete, free online Christian homeschool curriculum. It covers reading, writing, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, math, history/social studies/geography, science, Spanish, Bible, computer, music, art, PE/health, and logic.
We like Easy Peasy for many reasons. It aligns with our philosophy of what learning should look like; kids need hours of unstructured play each day to develop creativity and to pursue their passions/interests. When using Easy Peasy, we finish by lunchtime each day. The Easy Peasy curriculum provides a Christian-based world-view, and it focuses on reading. If a child can read well with comprehension, all learning will be easier! Easy Peasy might come off as being easy or lacking in content, but I believe it allows time for your child to dig deeper into what they find interesting.
Masterbooks is an easy all in one curriculum. Until our children reach the age of six, their focus is on reading/phonics, handwriting, crafts, and physical fitness. I like that Master Books is not a lot of busy work, and it covers precisely what we need. You have the freedom to use the placement test to find the proper level your child is on, in whatever manner you need, which is one of many perks of homeschooling. Master Books is a Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum and is not meant to take hours upon hours to complete. Many mistake the gentleness of the curriculum for being easy, but it is so rich in content. As a former high school teacher, if you are concerned whether or not the curriculum is "enough" the answer is yes.
My mother-in-law is raising monarch butterflies. Her caterpillars are feeding on milkweed leaves, soon they will form a chrysalis, also known as a cocoon. My children love butterflies, and raising them is a wonderful way to learn about their lifecycle. I decided to find a lesson plan to complement what they have been learning. Luckily I found a short, simple lesson plan online called the Life Cycle of a Monarch Butterfly created by Jolanthe at www.homeschoolcreations.net.
I'm a former high school teacher now homemaker and Principal of Soaring Pine Private Academy. I am so very thankful for each day that God blesses me with my sweet family. I hope you enjoy my blog where I'm happy to share our homeschool journey from our home nestled in the woods, recipes and more!