I shared our January Morning Basket yesterday which is a huge part of our school days together now. Once Lucy goes down for her nap (around 11:30am) we will begin our school time together, just Lilly Belle and I. Lucy usually naps for around an hour so we will do school just until around 1pm. Once it’s 1:00/1:30pm we will be done for the day and head out to a park to play, run errands if needed and get ready for Lilly Belle’s classes. Afternoons will also be a time to just PLAY. The girls have quite an awesome school/playroom now and we have really been enjoying spending time in there together. They also share a room now which they are in love with.
Our baby boy will be born sometime mid-end March and we will do school this way up until he is born, and then even slower once he is born. Lilly Belle has completed all of her Kindergarten curriculums (language arts/reading, math, and sight words) so we are now slowing things way down and learning in a different way than we usually do to just enjoy our time together more. She isn’t quite 5 1/2 yet, so we are way ahead. Time to slow it all down.
I am excited for this year and how we will be doing school now. I think it’s going to benefit all of us!
As our main curriculum, and the only real curriculum we are following, we will be using the Playful Pioneers curriculum. I purchased this when Lilly Belle had just turned 4 and have been wanting to use it forever. I’m so glad we have waited until now, because it is the perfect time and fits in so well with our new way of schooling together; gentle schooling. We will follow this curriculum the way it is written except instead of taking Friday’s off from it, we will be taking Wednesday’s off from it since that will be the afternoon we have a babysitter here each week and my work time. Lilly Belle is really interested in the Little House books recently, especially since I am from Wisconsin and our family is there. Playful Pioneers will be a beautiful addition to our days.
Math: Since Lilly Belle has finished the Kindergarten Math Made Fun Curriculum from the Moffatt Girls, I have been debating on whether or not we should jump right into the first grade curriculum or hold off a bit and wait until next August when she is 6. I’ve decided we will wait until August when she is 6 and for now we are just perfecting all the skills she has learned and building onto them slowly. This means that the First Grade curriculum may be completed pretty quickly once we begin since she’s so ahead, but then we’ll do what we are doing again and use the second half of the year for games and math with toys to perfect her skills. Math is her favorite subject!
We are using the Moffatt Girls Kindergarten No Prep Packs for math worksheets each day. She will do 2/day. Once she does those worksheets, we will either play a game or use a math learning toy. I forgot to add it to this photo because they are all hung so neat on our new board in our room, but each day she will also be working on a set of math facts from our brand new Let’s Play School Math Facts pack. This will be what she does first each day. There is also math included in the Let’s Play School Subscription that she does during our Morning Basket time.
Additional Math Toys:
Large Dice: The Dollar Tree
Wooden Numbers and Mushroom Counters: Little Light of Homeschool on Instagram
Watermelon Addition Game
Play Money: Homeschool Convention
Wooden Hundred Board and Numbers
Reading / Spelling / Phonics / Sight Words: We are not using a reading curriculum anymore at this time with her. I have found she is progressing naturally just by reading books aloud to us each day. When we come across phonics rules in her reading, we go over then and usually she remembers while reading again and coming across that rule in future books. As she is just 5 and a few months old, this is working so well with her right now and allowing her to progress at her own natural pace. She enjoys reading from The Good and The Beautiful Level 1 Reader and also has a cute set of new Fancy Nancy beginning readers by her bed that she loves. She will also be reading the Little Bear and Frog and Toad books with me. We will alternate stories all the way through each book and then switch who reads which pages reading them again. Then I will have her read them on her own. She will also work on the Usborne My First Reading Library. She is now on books 5-8 in the set now and we just alternate which story she reads with me. These books are read a bit by her and a bit by me so it’s nice shared reading time. Everyday she just has to read me two books. She reads me one in the morning, and one during our school time.
She works on phonics with Explode the Code and does 2 pages/day with that. She is a bit over half way through book 2. We will get book 3 for her when it’s complete and she will just continue through those. She started with Book A, and completed A, B, C and 1. These 2 pages usually take her about 5 minutes to finish.
For sight words she will do one of the Let’s Play School Sight Word games each day. I have them in her daily drawers (I will share later) and she just plays the game that is in that drawer. She is just about finished with the First Grade set of words and I am currently printing and laminating the 2nd Grade set even though I just printed the First Grade set for the first time just a week ago…she already knew most of them without me knowing.
Each day she will play one spelling game. These are all apart of our Play and Learn Spelling Program in our Let’s Play School shop. She will do things like write the words in shaving cream, pass a ball back and forth with me while spelling, write on a Magnadoodle, etc. It will take about 5-7 minutes a day. I am just giving her 5 spelling words a week and choosing them from The Good and The Beautiful lists.
Read Aloud Choices: Each night when the girls take a bath, I read them one chapter from our chapter book choice. We are currently reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The girls are loving it and Lilly Belle got to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and earned her wand and her first Butterbeer (perks of living next-door to Universal and Disney). Her and Matt are now working on learning spells together and will be having Daddy-Daughter Dates to Universal and Islands of Adventure to do their spells together with her wand. Correction…he cannot use it because the magic won’t work for him since it’s her wand, but he will be there to help her.
Once we finish Harry Potter we are moving on to Mary Poppins. Lilly Belle saw Mary Poppins Returns twice in theaters because we couldn’t bring Lucy and each of us wanted to take her to see it. So we took turns and she saw it two days in a row. She now has the entire soundtrack memorized and listens to it on our Echo Dot in her room 24/7. That is actually what the girls are doing now as I write this. “Cleaning” their room and listening to Mary Poppins Returns. Which looks more like making their Sarah’s Silks Balance Board a stage and quickly jumping down to look as if they’re cleaning when I walk by… I kind of love it.
Lilly Belle loves the Who Was books so her and Matt read these together. They are starting by reading Walt Disney (again) and she has requested to learn about Amelia Earhart.
Handwriting: She has these handwriting materials all in her Daily Drawers. I have one for each day of the week and she just alternates which one she does. She does not like handwriting curriculum (in any way shape or form) so she just does one or two pages/day (depending on the curriculum) and I have her alternating to change it up. Her handwriting is already pretty good because she writes stories constantly and more recently…programs for her grand musicals that she performs for us nightly (that yes include programs and even refreshments she charges us for). She’s so my daughter…
Her favorite of these handwriting books are the My Picture Story Book and Handwriting Without Tears. I love the Draw Write Now series and think The Good and The Beautiful Handwriting Level 2 curriculum is good for her. She spends just about 10 minutes/day on handwriting unless its the Draw Write Now or My Picture Story Book.
Once our baby is born end of March we will take a few weeks off while family is here. While family is in town she will just be working on her math facts each day and reading to us. We will also continue with Morning Basket.
That does it! Our early 2019 curriculum picks. We will go back to all of this again in May/June/July. In August we will pick back up with The Good and The Beautiful Level 1, Moffatt Girls First Grade Grammar and Moffatt Girls First Grade Math Made Fun.
AshleyJanuary 3, 2019 at 2:11 am
Thanks so much for sharing! What is the My Picture Story Book? Where did you purchase it? Thanks!!
SarahFebruary 7, 2019 at 2:58 pm
Ok let me just say YOU ARE AMAZING!! Such an inspiring homeschool mama. Thank you so much for sharing such detail and fabulous ideas about your homeschool curriculum! My litttle girl is currently in preschool (4.5 years old) for two and a half hours a day and I have a two year old as well. I’ve been scouring the web for ideas of how and where to start with a morning homeschool routine for them. I just want them to have more each morning and want to give them a little more learning time with mama. The morning basket idea is just perfect! Thanks again for your blog and your insta inspiration! Just wanted you to know your hard work is so appreciated. ?
AshleeFebruary 11, 2019 at 10:20 pm
I have a question about curriculum you have used – is there a way to email you?