I really couldn’t make it through the moments/days/years without a few key things. Some people can fly by the seat of their pants and excel at that. I do not. I have to have a schedule and a plan of attack. I have to have boxes to check off and lists to cross through. I can’t run a household and teach my children without a mission and a plan. Well, I could, but I wouldn’t be doing it well. Big difference.
So, a few of my favorite things if you are diving into this world of teaching your children on your own, whether it be just preschool or the full schabang.
1. My Sonlight binder. Nothing gets me more twitterpated than pulling out my huge binder with all 36 weeks of school organized and planned in advanced. If I’m having a super lazy week, I can just pull out the week, do everything it tells me to do, and I’m covered. On a week where I’m really rocking it, I add more to it. I have a smaller binder that I work from, and I keep 2 weeks worth of school in the small binder as we are working through it. I’ve added and subtracted programs in the main curriculum (we don’t use Horizon Math and have added Language Lessons because I find Sonlight’s language arts material to be a bit…lacking) as we’ve gone along, and I think I can finally say that I’ve found the path that we will use for the long journey ahead.
2. First Language Lessons/Writing With Ease. Literally the best grammar/writing/ language arts instruction out there. I supplement Sonlight’s curriculum with this, and I’m really impressed with how it is improving Jackson’s writing and word usage.I also love The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. If you have a child who knows their letters and the sounds each letter makes, start this book! It is amazing!
3. Math U See. If there is anything that I lack in, its my confidence in teaching Math. Math U See is perfect for parents like me; you and the child watch a DVD of the instructor teaching the lesson, and then you spend the week practicing it, using the tips and tricks you’ve been instructed on how to do. Phenomenal. Stress free. Jackson has yet to not get an A on a math test.
4. Starbucks. I don’t think I need to explain this one.
5. The read-alouds included in our Sonlight package. Amazing books that have made our evenings together extra special. I’m reading Jackson books at night that I would have never thought to pick up, and it is actually fun! It takes a time that would normally just be “okay, lets read a story and go to bed” into a time filled with purpose and depth. Learning never stops, people. Never, ever.
6. The library. Oh, how I love the library. I love bringing my children in with their empty bags and burning 1,000 calories lugging the full bags out for them, as they skip to the car, begging for their new books. I love replacing them every 3 weeks for free. I love storytime for London and Brooklyn.
7. One of my most favorite things? The Women’s Ministries at my church. Every Wednesday I get to drop off my precious munchkins for 3 WHOLE HOURS while I take a bible study or just sit in the commons and have a coffee with friends. My children spend that time learning new things and playing with their friends while I take a much deserved break and breather. I couldn’t make it without that time, lol!
8. Confession of a Homeschooler’s Letter of the Week program. Amazing, thorough, and CHEAP! If you have a preschooler, check this out. You won’t regret it.
9. A laminator. For the reals. If you have any hopes of keeping your sanity (especially if crumpled calendar pieces make you want to crawl in a hole), you have to get one of these. They aren’t that expensive and keep your investment protected!
So, there you have it. Or, you have the ones I could think of right now. 🙂 My favorite things change all the time, depending on what we need! If you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll try and answer them!