Daily

Homeschooling with a Preschooler and an Update

First, I’d like to write a little update.

I’ve been wanting to post more things in this blog, but not everything was homeschool related.  And I felt like maybe it would be a little too off topic.  You see, I’ve had blogs for years.  I started my very first one right before we decided to have children.  Then, I redid the blog to allow for baby bump updates, birth stories, and the documentation of our early married years.  I loved that blog so much.  But I decided to make it private because I started it before I was truly aware of the dangers of social media.  There was just too much personal information on it, and I didn’t feel comfortable having all of that out in the open.

I look back on that blog occasionally and I am still so happy I documented those things.  I’d like to bring that back into this blog.  This blog will still be very much a homeschooling blog, because let’s face it, that is most of my life at the moment, ha! My husband and I have some really awesome dreams for our future, that will really build on our children’s homeschool journey.  In the meantime we have a lot of researching and studying to do. I’d like to document that as well.  There is so much more to our lives than just figuring out homeschooling.

And on that note,

Our schooling has started to morph into more productive days now that we are a couple months into it.  My focus is still more on Tanner’s school work as he is in Kindergarten, and my goal for Wesley’s preschool is to be play based.  But with a preschooler, who is very excited about school, it can be difficult to divide my attention sometimes.  I’ve implemented a few, somewhat independent, activities for him to do while I focus on the core subjects with Tanner.  I will quickly share a few of those in this post.

“ABC Find it”

I printed a few of these ABC Find it pages when Tanner was doing preschool work 2 or 3 years ago.  He didn’t really care for it too much, but I decided to keep them around for Wesley.  I’m glad I did.  It makes for great independent time for him!  I laminated everything to make it a bit more durable.  I stick the cut out squares in some sensory stuff like dry rice or beans, and he has to dig through to find them.  Then he puts the pieces on the matching answer sheet.  This gives Tanner and I at least 5-10 minutes to work together.

Learning with Manipulatives

Manipulatives are a favorite in this house.  Scrabble tiles, character erasers, geometric blocks, math counting manipulatives, and even candy are some of the manipulatives we use weekly.  The first two pictures are activities I created pretty quickly.  We were working on the letter A, so I made an A out of squares, and wrote numbers 1-3 on the squares.  Wesley used our unifix cubes to match the color to the number, and created an A out of the blocks.  I also wrote out a few words that begin with the letter A, and he used his scrabble soup game pieces to match the tile to the letter on the paper.

A part of Wesley’s curriculum, Reading the Alphabet (which is now offered for free!), has these little games with finding numbers from 1-10 and 11-20, and 1-6 for dice matching.  Sometimes we use candy as manipulatives, especially this time of year!  Makes for a delicious reward once the activity is over!

Free Play

Free play with somewhat educational games has got to be the best way to keep Wesley distracted so Tanner and I can work on school work. This past week was a week full of play with these Learning Resources Geometric blocks.  I love seeing his creativity and imagination bloom. We also use our Spielgaben set often, but I’ll write a different post on that.

Creative Work and Crafting

This is still fairly new to me because Tanner never enjoyed doing crafts until the past few months.  I, being extremely crafty to a fault, love that they both are starting to enjoy this!  And it frees up quite a bit of time for me to either lesson plan, clean up school supplies, or craft with them!

I hope this post can help you with some ideas to help homeschool an older child and a preschooler, at the same time!

Daily, Homeschool Basics

First month of school 2017-2018: Homeschool Kindergarten and Preschool

It has been terribly difficult to find a routine this month.  Between *still* adjusting to another deployment, trying to get my Etsy shop back up and running, starting Classical Conversations and gymnastics, and last minute hurricane evacuation, we are really just taking it a few days at a time.  I do have to admit it has been so wonderful being back in NC for a while.  I miss this beautiful fall weather.  Florida beaches and winters are nice, but it’s not home.  There is just something about a beautiful 65 degree day out at the park with two boys; collecting leaves, rocks, and bugs.

August and September 2017

The boys have done very well with the start of the school year.  I thought Tanner would really love the memory work and songs associated with CC.  He does, but not nearly as much as Wesley has taken to it.  It’s so neat to see a little 3 year old skip counting 3s and 4s, and singing about the Pilgrims.  I think his favorite is the Timeline song and sign language that goes along with it.

The boys start their school days with their daily notebook (I plan to make a download for anyone interested in that), and their memory work.  We sing the Timeline song a few times, and sing the history and math memory work.  We then go over the other CC subjects.  I have various activities that go along with those.  Some art activities, notebook pages, and puzzles are a few things we add in each day.

Once the dual school work is done Tanner will usually start his math while I start Wesley’s reading (fun) curriculum.  I’m not pushing anything on Wesley, especially the sight words that are used in this curriculum.  I don’t really like the idea of teaching sight words.  I just used this mostly as something fun for him to do, and practice counting, writing letters, and learning about books.  It’s the same thing I used with Tanner two years ago.

While Wesley is doing something that’s slightly more independent, or if he’s done with his work, I’ll go over Tanner’s math and/or help him with his math, and then we go over his Logic of English lesson.  He will do some of his science and poetry notebook pages during this time as well. Once a week he writes a “thankful for” page. It’s mostly for handwriting practice.  He will pick three things he is thankful for that day or week.  I’ll write them down on the board and he copies them down on his paper.

The next few months I hope to start adding in a bit more life skills for both boys.  Things like laundry, baking, helping with lunch or dinner prep, gardening, and chores.  I also hope to really dig deeper into our devotionals during breakfast time and I want to add more read aloud time in, as well.

Having two kids doing school work at the same time is definitely a struggle more times than not.  But we are just getting started.  I know I’ve still got a lot to learn, and I think the longer we stick with it, we’ll find what works for our family.

Homeschool Basics

First Day of School – Kindergarten and Preschool

It has been 2.5 months since I’ve blogged.  I didn’t mean to take such a long break, but with it being summer, I didn’t really have a whole lot to talk about dealing with school.  I have considered writing more about our life and school, but haven’t decided yet.

It’s been a difficult and a bit overwhelming few weeks, but I was able to gather, plan, and clean to prepare for the first day of homeschool. It went well, but there is going to be a major learning curve, on my part, when it comes to teaching two kids different material, at the same time.  Especially when I have one who want my full attention.

We started out with the pledge and our morning binders that I created.  They both have the same pages so we were able to work on that together. We then moved on to Tanner’s math worksheets and Wesley’s preschool Reading the Alphabet curriculum.  Tanner needs a little more time to learn how to do work more independently (since he’s always had my undivided attention with school), but it was really great to see him work diligently on his math while I worked with Wesley.  When he completed math, I gave him some cutting practice worksheets that he loved.  It kept him occupied while I finished with Wesley’s work.  Once that was done I had Wesley go play while I focused on Tanner’s Language Arts/reading.

School Day Poem

All in all, it was a good start to the school year.  I have a lot to learn, still.  Especially once CC starts up next week!

 

 

Printables

{Free Printable} Beginning Sounds Matching Game

Beginning Sounds Matching Title Page

Learning letter sounds is a popular activity in our house these days.  I’m in no rush for Wesley to read, but he is wanting to learn more.  He points to various words he sees throughout the day and pretends to read them.  So I’ve been slowly teaching him his letter sounds, because once again, I’m in no rush.

Beginning Sounds Matching picture to letter

We’ve started playing more board games in the past few months and the boys seem to like the matching games quite a bit.  I decided to make some image cards with matching letters so we could play the matching game while learning.  It’s a bit much for Wesley right now, so we break up the game into smaller batches at a time.

Beginning Sounds Matching pictures to letters

They don’t even have to play the matching game.  They can just place the letter on top of the matching image, like we did in all of these pictures.

Beginning Sounds Matching Pictures

Beginning Sounds Matching

In this download, I have the letter tiles, image tiles, and image tiles with corresponding capital letters, in case you have a learner working on matching lower case and upper case.  I imagine we will be working on letter sounds for a while to come, so be on the look out for more printables!

Click Here to Download Printable

Printables

{Free Printable} Dino Dice Math Cards

Dino Dice Math Cards Title Picture

A couple years ago, when Tanner was just starting to learn about addition, I downloaded free dice cards.  They had a little picture of a pumpkin and dice on them.  We loved those cards.  And it was hard to pack them away once the Autumn season was over.  So once I began creating my own printables, I knew this was something I had to make for Wesley!  He likes dinosaurs, and I think alliteration is cute, so I named them ‘Dino Dice’.

Dino Dice Math Cards with Playdoh

They’re pretty straight forward.  You can use clothespins to mark the answer, or in our case, playdoh balls.  Any manipulative will work!

Dino Dice Math Cards

Wesley loves these.  He will go look for them all by himself and sit at his desk and complete all of them.  I hope you love them as well!

Dino Dice Math Clip Cards

Click Here to Download Printable

 

Printables

{Free Printable} Beginning Sounds Clip Cards

Beginning Sounds Clip Cards Title Page

Beginning Sounds Clip Cards Finding image that matches letter

I am still having trouble believing Wesley is old enough to start learning his letter sounds.  He has been wanting to do more and more school lately.  I don’t blame him, he has grown up watching his brother learn, and now it’s his turn!

Beginning Sounds Clip Cards

He was going through a clothespin/clip card phase so I created these cards to be used that way.  But you can use any type of manipulative as a marker.  Just clip (or mark) the picture that matches the letter on the card.  They are simple and straight to the point, and Wesley loves them. I hope you enjoy them, too!

Beginning Sounds Clip Cards Smile

 

Click Here to Download Printable

Printables

{Free Printable} Egg Letter Matching

Egg Letter Matching Free Printable

I promise I have other posts planned that involve more than a printable.  I’ve just been so ‘on-the-go’ lately that making printables have been sort of, relaxing?  I’m also making them for my boys, and I figure I might as well share them with you.  I will be writing a post about Classical Conversations, soon.

In the meantime, I want to share the Egg Letter Matching cards I created for Wesley.  They’re not perfect, because I literally made them in a spur of the moment.  He’s working on learning all of his lowercase letters right now, and with Easter coming up soon, I wanted to create something that was themed a little bit.

He likes these a lot.  I was worried he would just look at the colors to determine the matching egg, but he is actually focusing on the letter at the moment.  I may have to create another set with just one or two colors down the road.

Egg Letter Matching

Printables

{Free Printable}- Preschool Measurement Clip Cards

Free Measurement Clip Cards- The Boundless Homeschool

Measurement Clip Cards Pre-K

More Printables!

Yes, I really do enjoy making these!  There are two more preschool aged printables coming, and a pre-k/kinder aged printable on it’s way.  I love creating these for my boys, and it makes my heart so happy to see others using them, too!

Free Measurement Clip Cards

I wanted to make some more clip cards for Wesley. He’s starting to become interested in math (he tries to join in while Tanner works on his Math-U-See curriculum), so I created these measurement cards.  He looks at the image, and measures how long it is by counting the blocks.

Measurement Clip Card

If you’ve read my Tot-School post, you know I like having trays and bins set up so the activities are easily accessible.  The clip cards are small, and Wes will play with them often throughout the day, if I make them available to him.  He was a bit tired of using the actual clothespins the past couple of days, so we decided to make little balls of playdoh to squish onto the correct answer.  Even though this was much too easy for Tanner, he wanted to join in as well.

Measurement Card activity

Click below for the free download.  And stay tuned, there will be more preschool math cards coming soon.

Measurement Clip Cards (Preschool)

 

Printables

{Free Printable} Animal Counting Clip Cards

Free Printable- Animal Counting Clip Cards

I have always loved using clip cards in our homeschool preschool.  It is a great way to implement a little fine motor practice into an activity.  And these animals!  They’re so cute!

Free Animal Counting Clip Cards

Don’t worry if you don’t have any/enough clothespins.  You can always use little balls of playdoh to push onto the correct answer, or use a manipulative to cover up the number.  Or, just let your child use their finger to point.

Animal Counting Clip Cards

I’ve created two sets of the animal counting clip cards.  One is in color, and one is black and white, to help save on printer ink.  I hope your children loves these as much as mine do!

Happy preschooler

Animal Counting Clip Cards (Color)

Animal Counting Clip Cards (Black and White)

Printables

{FREE Printable} Capital Letter Mazes

Free Capital Letter Mazes

I’ve used letter mazes for a couple years.  It was something Tanner enjoyed doing in his homeschool preschool lessons, but it wasn’t something he loved.  I didn’t start using them until our second year of preschool when Tanner was 4.

Capital Letter B Maze

Lately the boys have requested to watch the ‘Minion’ movies (Despicable Me 1 and 2, and Minions).  Everyday during free time.  So I found a printable unit activity from 1+1+1=1 that was all minion themed.  Wesley loved the entire unit.  But the page he continued to go back to, over and over, was the letter maze.  He did it close to 10 times back to back.  Forward and backward.  I immediately knew I needed to create my own letter mazes for him, A through Z. This is such a great activity for fine motor skills, and pencil grip and control.  Wesley still has a way to go with working on his grip, but he’s trying.  Watching his brother “do school” for all his life has really motivated him to join in! He’s so happy to be old enough now.

Capital Letter B Maze - The Boundless Homeschool

When I showed the pages to him this morning, he was so excited!  He wanted to do every single one.  After trying to contain the pages on the desk for him to redo, I decided to throw them all into a 3-ring binder.  He is currently carrying it around with him, and doing a page here and there in between playing with his brother.

Free Letter Mazes - The Boundless Homeschool

I will be creating lowercase letter mazes and number mazes to add to these capital letter mazes soon! I’m really enjoying creating printables, so if there is anything you’d like to see, let me know!  I have plans for quite a few new things!

I hope you enjoy! Please, if you print these out, take pictures! I would LOVE to see them in action!

Download here: Capital Letter Mazes