This year will mark our "official" start of homeschooling our oldest. What makes it official is that she is now 5 and, by law, must be officially enrolled in school for the fall. We are of the belief that learning- and therefore "school" starts at birth, though. So we've always been education-minded and done our best to teach the lessons everyday life has to give.
Last year for prek I did a very layed back, minimally structured "school day" 2-3 days a week just to get our toes wet, so to speak, and gather a better understanding of our student-teacher dynamic in a more formal setting.
Now that things are "official" I've been doing things like looking at curriculum, drafting schedules, buy supplies, and reading like a madwoman. I've known as long as I've known that I wanted to homeschool that I want to make my own curriculum for at least the first few years of elementary school (and from there it will probably remain an eclectic hodgepodge of resources and materials). Getting down to actually making my curriculum though, has been daunting, to say the least. Although I am confident about where we float between unschooling and a more formal approach, the organization of it all gave me nightmares. Literally. A great portion of this has to do with my EFLD (which I have written about here before). My biggest fear was that although I know what needs to be covered, I would cover it in the wrong order and have to back track or re-plan everything at the last minute when I've realized the mistake. In the end, all it took was making simple outlines of our goals for the year, then month, then week.
While I was panicking there, I considered taking the Unit Study approach to it all. I could easily come up with plenty of Units on my own, and there are abundant free resources online for Unit Studies. So, I put together a Unit Study to see if it would work for me. In the end, I realized that this method of organization is not for me- mostly because if I put a theme over something, I want every little detail to fall under that theme and get extraordinarily frustrated when everything doesn't fit perfectly. I could see this becoming an issue and thought it wise to avoid the
obsessing annoyance all together. Anyway, the Unit I did come up with came out pretty well, so I thought I'd share it in the hopes that someone might get some use out of it. So, here it is (modifiable for grades prek-1, 2-4 weeks of lessons):
Unit Topic: COMMUNITY
- Role Play Stations: Police, Firefighter, Doctor, Garbage Collector, etc
- Paraphrasing and Summarizing: Duties/Jobs of above people
- Review Emergency contact info
- (phonics, sight words, read-a-loud time)
- Shapes: Traffic Signs
- Estimation: How many (stop signs, street lights, traffic lights, blue vans, etc) will we pass from (point A) to (point B); How many parking spots between us and the store; How many empty chairs at the community pool; etc
- Recognizing Numbers: speed limit signs, gas prices, highway numbers, etc
- Jobs In Community
- Meaning of Basic Traffic signs: (stop sign, stop light, crosswalk, etc)
- Diagram of somewhere in community you are familiar with (pool, park, shopping center, etc)
- Map of your neighborhood, street, etc
- Animals in your neighborhood: Domestic vs Wild
- Habitats within your community: pond, woodland, prairie, etc
***Field trip to pet store/animal shelter
***Field trip to nature preserve, pond, etc
- Being a good neighbor/contributing to society: Donate toy/clothes to local 2nd hand store; Thank You cards for garbage collectors, local pd/fd; donate/volunteer at community pantry; park clean up day; offer neighbor a rake leaves/shovel driveway/water plants/etc "coupon"
- Memory Verse: It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35
- Memory Verse: God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
- Bible Story: Matthew 25:31-46 w/ Memory Verse: That which you have done for the least of these, you have done for me. Matthew 25:40
- Any of the many places we see "love they neighbor as thyself."
So, there ya go. If anyone finds any use to this, I'd love to hear about it!