Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Our 2016 Homeschool Curriculum: Part 1

     Our present approach is anything but academic. I once was in favor of a more academic approach, but have since changed my persuasion. Instead, I merely have a few objectives in mind for education at a two year old level. 

     My primary mode of "education" is highly oriented to lessons in practical life and proper behavior. Although I do believe my two year old is capable of academic skills, my greater concern at this moment is elsewhere. Academic lessons can be introduced at a later time, whereas properly navigating the big world with big emotions is a matter that is best addressed in the present. We will introduce the more academic side of curriculum later in the year.

Objectives:
* following instructions/ first time obedience
* clean up after oneself
     - pick up toys after play
     - remove dishes from table when finished eating
* verbal manners
     - ask for items politely ("May I ...)
     - wait until everyone is finished (or nearly finished) eating and then ask "May I please be excused"
     - say "please" when wanting something & "thank you" when given something
* complete morning routine
     - get dressed, fix hair, straighten bed sheets, carry dirty clothes to laundry room, help unload 
       dishwasher
* contribute to household tasks
     - help unload the dishwasher
     - rinse handwashed dishes
     - load laundry from washer to dryer
* proper behavior in public
     - walk holding a hand or the cart
     - stay beside Mama or Daddy at all times
     - speak quietly
     - don't ask or grab for things
     - prepare to leave/leave when instructed
* communicate effectively (ie, without tantrum)
     - use words or signs
     - understand & accept "no" and boundaries
* establish understanding of "focused playtime" & expectations 

      These objectives might seem too high of expectation. However, Tennyson regularly demonstrates all of these on a daily basis at only 25 months old. He knows what is expected of him. However, even then we do still quite a few moments in which he's not listening and following instructions or having a tantrum on the floor. I do not expect a two year old to behave perfectly. I do, however, expect us to use every situation as an opportunity to teach and practice. I believe one part of my job as a mama is to first teach and then guide my children to learn that which will lead to them to be successful individuals. 

Methodology: 

1. Utilize every situation as an opportunity to teach and then practice. 
   
2. Repetition, repetition, repetition
    (Example: I have him repeat one word at a time "May I please be excused" after a meal instead of fussing to get down from the table.)

3. Remind before correction is needed
     (I can frequently be heard saying "we're going to look but not touch" throughout a store!)
     
4. Practice & reward
   (We will soon begin giving Tennyson a job chart of household tasks he can do. After so many he receives a new book, and after so many more he receives a new toy.)

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