2014/2015 End of Year Homeschool Overview {Pre-K and Preschool}

curriculum choice 2014/2015 Sonlight

{6/21/2015-we are now done with Sonlight P4/5- yay! I am still unsure of when we will begin 2015/2016 school year}

In the past few weeks we have been finishing up our 2014/2015 school year.  We really have a few days left of reading from Sonlight P4/5, but we are traveling at the moment, and I chose not to bring the books.  So we will finish when we get back home.

But, here is what we have been doing in the last few weeks.

Lexie (4.5yo) Pre-K year:

Lexie has been finishing Sonlight’s P4/5 core (Bible, history, geography/other cultures); we have loved the bible in this core, and may sub it in next year, through Core A.  (or use it for little brother).

In math she has been working through the last of our Singapore Early Bird books.  Honestly, this has taken what seems like FOREVER because I haven’t stuck with it as much.  She can do everything in the books, but doing the assignments is good practice.  In between working through the pages, we have done hands on math using manipulatives like: blocks, counting bears, unifix cubes, and

She has been working on recreating and expanding patterns on paper and using manipulatives, skip counting (which she LOVES to do), and counting backwards.   She is now seeing patterns in everything we do, and everywhere we go, which is fun!

In science we have learned about and discussed the types of animals and what attributes make them mammals, amphibians, reptiles, bird, insects, etc.  Lexie lap booked the frog lifecycle and really enjoyed that.  We have also learned about the seasons and a bit about outer space and the planets.  Obviously none of this was very in-depth (she is 4.5, after all).  But it was all interest led by her and Max.  We used our online science program, Digital Science Online and books to read about and better understand these topics.

In reading, language arts, and handwriting Lexie has been breezing through All About Reading Level 1 and HWOT pre-writing.  We are still working through AAR; some lessons are longer and while Lexie’s ability to read is fairly advanced, her ability to sit through an incredibly long lesson isn’t there. As in most children, her abilities and development in other areas don’t all match up perfectly (hence HOMESCHOOLING bliss!).  So we still have about 10 lessons in AAR to get through.  We are going slowly to keep her confidence up and she loves it!  I hope to finish AAR Level 1 over summer, before we actually begin Core A for the next school year.

HWOT has been great!  I think we are pretty much done with needing the pre-reading level. She is ready to move on; we will use the K level for this coming school year.  Honestly, I am not sure how long we will stick with HWOT.  It has been great for her because her confidence while holding a pencil or crayon was terrible, and now she LOVES writing and drawing of all kinds.  But I am not sure how the methods will work for creating pretty, neat, legible handwriting.  (I hate my handwriting, and wish someone had made me write neater growing up.  So I hope to help encourage her neat handwriting.)  There are a few other programs out there, and after we do the K book, she should developmentally be ready for something a bit more thorough and strict.  We will use HWOT for Mister when he is ready to learn writing; I do believe it is a GREAT beginning program for little ones that need a bit of direction and encouragement.  But again, not sure how I will feel as they get older and need better handwriting.

Max (2.5yo) Preschool:

Mister has been learning to identify his letters.  He knows them now, but his first reaction when asked about a letter? … “I don’t know!” But he does in fact know …  So, again development and personality play a huge part in that.  =)  We are working on identifying his lower case letters, and he does pretty well with that also.  We will be using our book, S is for Smiling Sunrise, to help with that task (read more about that HERE) through next year.

He is still working on identifying his numbers (he knows a few), has grasped and enjoys counting with 1:1 correspondence, counting past 20, counting backwards, and sorting.  He loves to sort by size, color, etc. especially when we play with the counting/sorting bears

For science he has just tagged along with us through the year, focusing mainly on weather, seasons and animals for him.  He likes just about anything that involves him getting attention or touching things!  Typical 2 year old male.  😉

I went ahead and got Mister the AAR Pre Reading Level for next year.  I hope to do a quick lesson with him first thing each day, while Lexie does independent work, so maybe he won’t “need” me as much during her big girl school.  It will be fun for both of us, and encourage his love of learning and reading.

Recently I started back to our circle time routine.  I had taken a break from it after Ila was born, simply because I didn’t have time with nursing & pumping every two hours and I was worn out.  Max also wasn’t very interested in it before now.  Since we have started back he *loves* circle time, singing the songs, and absorbs everything we are doing.  It also helps get some of his wiggles out before we start reading our core books and learning time, which means he is less of a detraction and more cooperative!  *score*

We are also working through his Before Five in A Row, and will continue that through next year.  When that is complete he will just do literature based unit studies that go with whatever topics we are discussing in Core A, until I can decide who will team up with whom for school.

Developmentally and maturity wise, Mister is not where Lexie was at almost 3 years old.  And that is okay!  Some days it is hard, because he is all up in the terrible two’s and Lexie’s were never like this, but he is fun, active, and has a HUGE imagination.  I in no way want to discourage that or put that out by pushing him into academics too soon.  He loves to just run around, dancing and singing or playing with his trucks and tractors.

We will technically homeschool year-round with several breaks throughout; this will allow us to take off when we have illnesses, spring fever, or mama just needs a break.  We will take a few weeks off in the summer from full blown school hours; but we will continue some activities many days of the week just so we have some focus in our home during the day.  Being at home with no routine just in the last few weeks has driven ALL OF US crazy; the kids are begging for school every day, and J.Tom and I are definitely feeling the difference in their attention and behavior with no real structure. 

I will do another post on our hours/weeks of school and breaks.  Since we are in the process of moving to KS (again, love homeschooling because we can start/finish/continue/break when we need to!), I have not yet figured up our number of required hours per day and all that. 

2015/2016 will be my trial year for record keeping, so I will update you on all that soon!

Through all this year, I have reminded myself that BOTH of the older kids are still little.  They are young, and while they love school and learning, play & reading books are still the most important things!  We will end this year on a great note, play and learn all summer long, and pick back up right where we left off in the fall!

How has your homeschool year gone?  Are you ready for a break?

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