Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Our 2016 Homeschool Curriculum: Part 2

    *Note: This post may contain an affiliate link to Amazon.com. I am a personal affiliate with Amazon.com, and as such receive a small compensation for each product purchased through the link provided. (Thank you!). 

     Our main objective for "homeschool curriculum" at only two years old is predominately teaching proper behavior and responsibility within the home. Although academics isn't our main focus just yet, there are several options that we will begin enjoying together by the end of the year.

* Create time in the day for an activity
* Sit still and follow instructions for short periods of time
* Utilize book-based activities and inspire love of reading
* Main goal- daily one-on-one time 


     I strongly believe that reading is foundational in education, and if a child can learn to read well and enjoy it, then there isn't anything he/she can't learn. Therefore, I prefer to introduce a book-based curriculum in which we read a book and then enjoy several activities based on that book. Fortunately, there are several options to accomplish that goal!

1. M is for Monster- Themed boxes include a book (optional) and four activities.
     Ideally, I'd create all activities myself as a vast majority are rather simple. However, I don't have a tremendous amount of time right now to plan activities and shop for each component. Caring for two very young children and our home requires quite a bit of my time and attention! So, David and I discussed purchasing pre-made activity sets instead. These are more expensive than creating everything myself, but we feel like areas like education, books, and one-on-one time are all worthy investments. Purchasing activity sets also relieves me of the stress and guilt over creating or not creating activities. Though pricey, this will be a great option for us initially.

2. Story S-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-r-s® for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos: Experiences, Activities, and Games for Popular Children's Books- A collection of books and activity suggestions (three activities per book).
      This is my favorite resource! The activities are easy and focused on simple play. I especially like the age range of "Infants, Toddlers, and Twos," which allows there to be activities for one-on-one time for each of my children or all of us together. I am eager to begin utilizing this manual much more! Once Annelise is a little more independent and I have a little more time to plan and prepare activities, we will move on to this resource.

3. (possibility) Before Five in a Row- A collection of books and activity suggestions (several per book)
      This resource is the same premise as Story Stretchers. There is a selected book and then several activities based on that book. The manual lists the age range to be 2-4 years old. During these young years, that is quite a range of skill and comprehension variation! This resource requires a little more planning to determine the most appropriate activity according to my child's abilities. We may use it once we finish with Story Stretchers, or we may use it as a companion.
4. "All Aboard the Animal Train" by My Father's World- Curriculum package for the youngest homeschooler
      My Father's World offers a curriculum specifically for 2-3 year olds. I like that it's book-based, all inclusive, and teaches academic and character lessons. It is quite expensive, as is any curriculum package. This will be the last element of "curriculum" we'll enjoy this year as I intend to begin it with Tennyson in the fall. We may continue to do some Story Stretchers or Before Five in a Row activities, but "All Aboard the Animal Train" will be our main focus.  

     Again, I don't intend to be very rigorous in schooling at just two years old. My main intention is to simply have a planned activity for us to do and get in some quality one-on-one time. Some days that may mean an activity from the above mentioned resources. Other days, it may be building with blocks or going out for a treat. The point is to make a point to create that time together with each of my children. I find that this is easier to maintain if I have a plan. :)

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