This year, we have some big changes taking place in our homeschool. First, I do want to say that Y is going to be starting public school here in the Netherlands. He is turning 4 in September, and will be attending school 4 days a week. Public school here is very, very different than public school in the United States, where I attended school and university.
The first few years are all about play, manners, and social skills. Academics is literally not even discussed, but I will write a separate detailed post about public schools here and specifically the one in our village. Today, I want to discuss our preschool at home plans.
Now, even though Y will be attending school, we will still continue to provide Montessori inspired and well, at times non-Montessori inspired, activities at home. There are several reasons for our choices, but our at home learning activities will continue because first and foremost, Y loves them!
This pregnancy has been a huge distraction for me and caused me to get very behind with our learning activities. Y has been asking me so often for new learning activities, for new works, and new materials.
More than just wanting to do something new, Y has been very inquisitive lately. He’s so interested in learning and I can really see his love for learning developing. He wants to learn all about rain and clouds, and how firemen extinguish fires, and how the human body works!
We had a conversation the other day when he asked me why it’s raining. I gave a quick overview of how water evaporates, clouds fill with water, it rains, etc, but he kept asking more detailed questions, and finally just said, ‘I want works about rain and thunder.’ Yep, Mama is getting work!
Another time, he asked me why I can’t walk. I explained that I broke my back and my spinal cord was injured. He said we needed to go to the doctor, which then sparked a detailed conversation about spinal cords, the brain, and how that all relates to being able to move our legs.
Even though I can barely keep up with all of these questions, and his desire to learn more all the time, I know that even with public school, there’s no way, he will be getting enough learning done. Now, I don’t want to underestimate how tired he will be, but I also know that there will be no homework. The school days will not be long so we will still have plenty of time for learning activities at home, leaving our homeschool basically unchanged in terms of quantity of works and rotation.
Goals for 2016-2017
- English vocabulary (we usually do learning activities in Russian) and work on his pronounciation
- Russian writing and reading, starting with CVC words
- Daily writing interactive notebook
- Daily (or weekly) interactive math binder with specific goals such as skip counting, addition, and subtraction
- Counting in English
- Introduction to latin based alphabet (ie- letter sounds in English)
- Monthly geography and continent studies
- Monthly art, artist, or author exploration. You can read about this in our 2016-2017 Art Exploration Plans for Preschool!
Please note, these goals are based zero percent on where children are typically at this age. I base our goals 100 percent on Y specifically, his interests, things he asks me to learn, and what I see him being drawn to. He has asked me to teach him to write multiple times and therefore, we will be focusing a lot on writing, at least in the beginning of the year.
Y is only four years old and I cannot emphasize enough that our biggest goal this year is still to encourage a love and passion for learning, and NOT to force him into academics or to learn anything specific. I will likely re-evaluate our goals by New Year, depending on how we are adjusting to baby, and what Y wants to learn then.
We will be using unit themes again this year, as well as additional works and themes covered as they arise. I aim to have a new unit up each week or week and a half.
Because I know that we will be covering small activities in between each unit, that some will take longer, I am not planning a unit into each week of each month. Some themes, such as ‘baking activities’ are specifically intended to allow for a few small works or projects rather than actually setting up an entire unit. Other themes, such as South America unit study, will be up the entire month with rotating works. Additionally, there are themes that relate to each other and are extensions of the previous week, allowing for more wiggle room with timing, as well.
Here are the topics that I hope to cover. We use this as a guide that helps me to plan and keeps me organized.
2016-2017 Preschool Themes
- Fish unit (this unit was something I actually designed as a bit of a ‘test’ for my son, to see where he is at, at the moment. They are nothing more than our normal shelf work with different degrees of challenge).
- Weather/water cycle
- Fire Truck/emergency vehicles
- Community helpers
- Asia study
- Big brother unit and human babies unit study
- Animals and their babies
- Human body
- Insects, arachnids, etc
- North America study, focusing on Native Americans
- Russia study
- Winter unit
- Christmas and holiday themed units
- Polar regions unit
- Baking activities
- Christmas break (my parents are visiting so we will have a lot of time off)
- Healthy eating, food, nutrition
- South America Unit
- China unit
- Africa Unit (revisited) and Black history month study
- Grace and courtesy focus
- Seeds and plants unit (we will be starting seedlings for our garden around this time)
- Europe Unit
- Hibernation exploration
- Ocean Unit
- Recycling and pollution Unit
- Land forms, the Earth – Earth day theme and celebration
- Volcanoes unit
- Desert unit
- Extreme weather study
- Rain forest study
- Extinct and endangered animals
- Catch up
- United States study
- Summer theme
- Safari unit
- Camping unit
- Plan for next year
You may like
2016-2017 Art Exploration Preschool Plans
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Today, I am linking up at: A little bird told me, Preschool and kindergarten community, Tot school Gathering Place, The Thoughtful Spot, Love to Learn Linky, The Mommy Club Resources and Solutions, Link and Learn, TGIF, Hip Homeschool Moms, Practical Mondays