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Monday, February 14, 2011

Homeschooling two tots

We entered this year still pushed into something I was not quite prepared for. My older tot entered preschool. The story is that we registered him BEFORE we made the decision to homeschool him. We were not against school, but we did prefer homeschool. ;) For the most part, we believed that the closer a child is to the people he spent time with, a.k.a parents, the more keen he is to listen to them, especially so during his formative years.
KB would be four this year. We evaluated him and thought he was ready to enter school. We made the decision to let him try it out. He surprised us by being so keen. I thought he was just being excited during the preparation stage. But he surprised us all by NOT CRYING in school and telling us that he likes his school, his teachers and look forward going. It had been almost 2 months now.
The only thing I still did not take a liking to, is the time needed to be up. He would be up at 7am, contrasted with the usual 7.30am or so, and would usually look tired by the time school finishes at 11.45am. I decided that He didn't need to go to school everyday. Being in a classroom with mostly teacher-directed activities and similiar outdoor play was a tad too confined and non stimulating for a curious preschooler. So, KB goes to school 3X a week at most. :) Perfect for us.
While KB is in school, I potty train my younger tot. My younger tot has gotten so used to following Kor Kor wherever he went and does that I am beginning to suspect if he even obeys me. I guess he does a little, 60% perhaps but I like it 80%. :) And the bonding was just great for starters. The house gets a little quiet with only 1 boy, and I truly miss it at times, but I had learnt to appreciate it gradually. I also get to swim at least once a week in the morning without having to leave two tots to my helper who may find handling two tots difficult.
So while two boys are home, this is what I do. I keep a routine so I don't lose everything we had established. Of course, I don't do as much as I used to with my older tot (even as I wish to).
The days I take him out, we like to go outdoors and let the sunshine bathe them and spend time bonding and pruning his character. With kids, we are learning to take things one step at a time, if the Lord would like for him to stay in school, we would follow and if he were to be taken out, we want to be ready as well.
Homeschool scheduling with 2 tots (aged 2, aged nearly 4)
MORNING (7.30am - 11.30am)
Prayer – Bible reading for both kids. Dad reads to a tot, mum reads to another.
Breakfast (30mins) – Dad eats with kids, while mum does devotion in room.
Worship & Music (5-10mins)
Outdoors large motor (30mins-2hr) – playground, parks, zoo, sand play, gardens, void deck, nearby bicycle trails, ball games, running, swimming, cycling, play bubbles etc.
Independent play (15-30mins) – older tot chooses any toy he wants and goes into a room to play. I use a gate so I can still see him from time to time. while I work 1-to-1 with younger tot on puzzle, pretend play, puppet, games, BFIAR etc.
Reading – Both are read together, starting with baby board books and young tot is free to pick his own activity , while I continue reading for tot 2
Younger tot naps. So 1-to-1 with older tot. (1.30pm - 2.30pm)
1 hour – (either one per day: math, science, phonics, Language arts, crafts)
Monday: Language arts – Charlotte Mason, bits of BFAIR, FIAR, Phonics - Ruth Beechick 3 R’s
Tuesday: Art & craft – The way they see it , Artistic Pursuits curriculum & bits of Reggio Emilio approach
Wednesday: Chinese –we converse in mandarin from time to time, with WED being the speak mandarin day.
Thursday: Science – we use the hands-on approach & read science-related books
Friday: Math, Family Math for young children -Grace Davila Coastes, Jean Kerr Stenmark + some ideas from living Math forum, Montessori
*Parenting – we use Growing Families International curriculum & shepherding a child’s heart by Ps Tedd Tripp – focusing on the heart of a child, character and values.
*worship – weekends, resources from top 100 Sunday school sites + play-n-worship + focus on family resources
Play together & Free Play/ Creative play (any kind of play that is suitable for two tots; chalk drawing, craft etc) – learning to share, conflict management (under parent supervision)

reads to boys Family play


Dee said...

Good stuff! A lot of preparation work required to do all this. Much to work on at my side! :)

elaine said...

I was pleasantly surprised to come across your blog. I am currently "homeschooling" my boy (age 3) too and was extremely delighted to meet like minded mums. The reason why the word 'homeschooling' was in inverted commas' because at the age of 3, technically, he doesn't even need to be schooled, just lots of play and reading.

How has your experience been with 2 young kids? I hope to do more with my boy next year but his sister's really clingy to me and I wonder how things will pen out next year.