Learning

This year I want to be a little more focused in how I integrate opportunities for learning into our day. I was inspired by “Hands On Homeschooling” (reviewed here) to have a weekly plan for Hannah’s second year. I am not doing daily lesson plans, and I’m not doing “school” as a chunk of time. Rather, I’m just bearing in mind some ideas I want to teach her in a given week or month.

Every morning we are having a short exercise of looking at the calendar (you can see it taped up next to her desk in the picture above). We note that it is January 2008, look at the square for the day it is, mention the day of the week and the number, then mark a line through it. I ask Hannah what the weather is like and make a note of that. I figure this will show her how to be observant of the weather and to know the months and days of the week.

We are also going to focus on one letter of the alphabet per week. Hannah recognizes all the uppercase letters and most of the lowercase letters, but I think it will be good to really focus on one letter so she learns that the uppercase and lowercase A are both A, and also start to develop her phonemic awareness (I’ve been wanting to use the phrase “phonemic awareness” so badly!!!!) by talking about what that letter says. I know some philosophies state that kids should be taught the complete phoneme for each letter all at once, but I think that would be overkill at this point, so we just sing a little song “B says Buh, B says Bbb, every letter makes a sound, B says Bbb” for each letter. I also take the opportunity throughout the day to point out objects that start with that week’s letter and make a very simple short phonics explanation for it.

In addition to a letter, each week has a color and a shape to learn, a musical instrument to listen to (we have a big library of classical music in our iTunes to listen to while playing with toys etc), and a short Bible verse to learn. We’re continuing to count everything and hopefully Hannah will get better at recognizing the numerals that go with each number. I’m also trying to integrate a special craft and some interesting form of exercise into each week.

For each month we’ll have a Psalm and a hymn, and a new children’s catechism question.

This probably sounds like a lot, but it’s really just been a matter of doing what we normally do, but in a more focused way.

By the way, I’m doing a week in books feature on the kids’ blog this year too. The first entry is here. I’m hoping it will help remind me of books we’re really enjoying, so I can check them out again later!

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