Eclectic Homeschooling: Our May Curriculum breakdown (Pre-K - First Grade)
Updated: May 26, 2020
So the bonus thing about being a year round homeschooler is the fact that you can do as much or as little "teaching" as you want. You are not stuck doing any one thing or any one type of curriculum. For instance last month I asked what my son wanted to learn about and he chose the Octopus, so I found this packet and that's what our math, writing, reading, crafts, everything was about!
This month I'm mixing in a little more intense learning and harder to grasp concepts for him but I know he is ready. I decided that in May we would finish the season with the theme of spring and put a focus on butterflies.
So our first week has a lot going on, with Cinco de Mayo and Mother's Day so I made sure to have everything ready and prepared for our big crafts. Now I really try to do as much as I can in a three hour window. One because my son is just 6 and I don't feel its necessary to bog him down with hour and hours of school work plus, I gotta get errands done, take care of his sister, and work my own businesses! So I know we will have the largest span of attention and efficient learning being accomplished during that three hour window in the morning before lunch.
Also, I over plan my day in case we need to shift gears or are having a meltdown during one lesson so that I can easily switch to something simpler or take a brain break and get back to it later or even another day. Some days we get everything done and others we may only do two or three things. Also, I give myself a 10 minute timer for each new activity (excluding morning workout, crafts/experiments, and our language arts lessons.) once that timer is done, we move on; whether we have completed the lesson or not and save the rest for the next day. There are a few staples that we consistently work on every day/week and I try to switch the focus monthly on reading/writing and then math centric.
We already had some wooden tanagram blocks but I did find this great printable of tanagram shapes that fit perfectly and color match! I saw this wonderful Cinco de Mayo craft on making maracas and found a matching maracas coloring page. I love the Teachers Pay Teachers website and found this great butterfly packet. I broke down each activity to one per week and we can spend the rest of the days focusing or diving deeper into that weeks lesson. The easy reader is so great and is a familiar cadence (Brown Bear, Brown Bear) so it helps give my son the extra confidence to read on his own. Normally, I hate having to make my own cards and crafts with the kids for the holidays but I came across this adorable egg carton bouquet on canvas and I am so excited to start it this weekend!!
I have also introduced Growth mindset into our curriculum as my son is starting to say things like "I just can't" or "why, can't my stupid brain remember"; so for now we are doing some great exercises and activities with this printable pack from The Big Life Journal. They have an amazing journal for kids but I just don't think my son is ready for it yet, and they have an amazing podcast!!
We also do about 5 to 10 cards every other day from Preschool Smarty Pants from Melissa and Doug.
Then there is this great Act like an Insect activity cube to help get those bodies moving!! This week I have also decided to add number flash cards (1-50) as review. Again, doing some tanagram shapes, nature journal, growth mindset, and language arts work.
Week three we are gonna focus on our own handwriting by writing what we know about butterflies. I made my son a tracing notebook but for this activity we will work on writing one full sentence on large lined paper. I found a beautiful flower graph (but couldn't seem to find it again for this article) and we will be using some see through counting discs as our measuring manipulative. I came across these adorable empty face templates so I am excited to see the types of features my son will choose to decorate them. To be honest though I bought some magazines to cut as the only ones I have are Magnolia Journals and those are too pretty to cut up. I also saw this cute idea of a marble maze made from straws. So instead of a paper plate (I wanted a larger surface area) I bought an 11X14 in. cardboard cake base. Im super excited to see what kind of maze my son comes up with; will it be elaborate or super simple? I just don't know!!
Week four we will work on reading comprehension and following directions with some butterfly worksheets, I also found these apple color patterns. You can use dot markers, regular markers or crayons, if you have matching color marbles or something (whatever to get your child engaged). It's also the week we learn about Memorial Day. So I searched for fun activities and since we are still working on our scissor skills I chose these lanterns and of course some more color pages!! Pinterest never fails with adorable and memorable crafts and these fork fireworks will look so adorable on our artwork wall!!
We also do about 5-10 minutes of piano practice every day, as my sons music therapy is once a week. We are learning Twinkle, Twinkle. I found these adorable monster stickers for the piano to make it a bit more fun for him to learn his notes!
I also, use YouTube a lot and try and search for 5 minute or less introduction videos on topics; for instance this month it will be growth mindset, Cinco de Mayo, and Memorial Day. Then finding longer ones or read aloud, documentaries, movies, whatever as the week progresses.
Any way, I hope this helps you with your May. I cant wait to hear what your month looks like!!!
P.S. I am NOT some Mary Poppins type homeschooler; on our best day we are able to tackle everything. On our worst day I say fuck it and they get the tablet. Do what you can, when you can, pick your battles. "PRO TIP" if they are having an off day, that probably should be the day you forego any sort of assessment testing or reviews. #lessonlearned
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