Parents have differing views concerning the appropriate age that formal education should begin. Especially amongst home schooling families, these debates can get rather heated. As parents, we mount our soap boxes and ready our well-versed arsenal of educational opinions sometimes unleashing a tirade of unschooling, Charlotte Mason, Classical, (name your bent) rhetoric on our unsuspecting friends. Some of us conform to a specific style of education and others make it up as they go. Sometimes we make a moral issue where there is not one. Each family needs to do what is appropriate for them and their children.
I am here to say that I am one of those that is making it up as I go, kind of. I have an idea of what the different styles are of home schooling, but I have not taken the time to actually research them or adhere to one or another. Before you go trying to convert to your way of schooling, let me explain. I have a preschooler and a kindergartner. I am more worried about what my child’s style of learning is at this point than what style of schooling I will choose to adhere to. Who knows, maybe one of my daughters will be unschooled and another will be taught classically. My daughter’s personalities are about as starkly different as those two styles of schooling. It would not surprise me if they learned best in completely different ways.
I began Pre-K with my daughter when she was three. Some might balk at this idea considering she was so young, but she asked to begin because her cousin who was two years older than she had started home schooling. I was truly stunned at how amazingly smart my daughter was, and how quickly she picked up on what she was taught. I can brag on her a little, can’t I? My daughter was reading short stories before she turned four years old. I was impressed.
I have learned quite a few things over the last year and a half of educating such a young child. There are many factors to consider before you impose a home school schedule on such a little one but it can be done in such a way that is beneficial to the child and prepares him or her with a solid base before formal education begins.
What Is Your Goal?
My goal for beginning my daughter’s education early was
- That she learn something (obviously)
- That she have fun
- That I set aside time to individually spend with my daughter
I am a little embarrassed to say but that last one was much needed. I was very poor at setting aside time with her. It helped me greatly to have a special time set aside a few days a week to spend just with my daughter. It made me spend time with her.
What is Your Schedule?
It is important to have an idea of a schedule when you are dealing with young ones. Children respond to schedules. They like to know what to expect in a day, but young children also need flexibility. If my daughter was having an off day we would take a day or even a week just to let her relax and play and when she was ready to get back to school we would do it.
Curriculum Overload: What to Teach?
There are a lot of great curriculums out there to choose from, but it can be overwhelming when it comes down to choosing one for your child. Some single “open and go” curriculums cover a multitude of basic subjects with pre-made lesson plans that weave one theme throughout each lesson. These are great for repetition but do tend to be a bit more involved on the parental end and expensive. It is important to remember if you do choose this type of curriculum to be open to cutting some material so that you do not begin to feel overwhelmed as if you “HAVE” to complete each item on the list. Only complete in a day what will both challenge and interest your child, but not bore or irritate her.
A Few Complete Curriculums:
Hodge Podge Home Schooling
For especially young ages it is a good idea to gauge where your child’s skill and intellectual level is at. I personally am not a mom who likes to check off lists that put my child into a particular category; that method of assessing my child’s development has always irked me a bit, but to each his own. I prefer to just make mental notes as to where I feel my child is excelling, where she may need a little encouragement, and I especially try to pay attention to what excites her.
I bought a complete curriculum when I first began doing Pre-K with my eldest. It has stayed on the bookshelf since the first month. It was totally beneath my daughter’s level of learning and it did not engage her in the slightest. This initial set back put me on me on the course to where I find myself now doing what I like to refer to as hodge podge home schooling.
I mix and match my curriculums. I always try to ensure that my daughter is loving learning so I choose very tactile and colorful curriculums. I choose curriculums that are age appropriate. I strive to buy curriculums that fulfill her interests at the time. My daughter just discovered a love for everything art. That month we went out and bought an art curriculum (okay, actually three) and loaded up on sketch books, graphite pencils, pastels, paint, modeling clay, and such. Some might think I went a little overboard. I admit I did, but I bought everything on sale and with coupons and pretty much anything is worth seeing that smile as she draws everything in her line of sight. She and I have had a lot of fun improving our artistic skills together.
My online searching for curriculum brought with it the discovery of a wealth of Free printables, resources, and tools online to aid me in my homeschooling. Some of my favorites:
Searching But Not Finding
I have also found that with all of the curriculum choices out there, I was not able to find everything that I wanted or needed. It was very difficult for me to find a Bible curriculum for our children that I felt met my standards. I wanted a Bible curriculum that included character training along with Bible doctrine and theology but on a small child’s level of understanding. I searched for about a year but could not find something that included all that I wanted. I found many character training studies that were great; expensive, but quality. However, finding a Bible curriculum that taught more than just simple Bible stories proved impossible.
When I could not find a curriculum that suited my needs, I set out to create my own. My husband and I met at Bible College, where my degree was in Christian Education. My desire and dream was to write Christian curriculum one day for children. At that time I never thought it would be for my own children. God presented me with the opportunity so I ran with it. The ABC’s For Godly Girls was where my efforts led me.
The ABC’s For Godly Girls is meant to aid in the Christian and Biblical education of young girls (ages four to ten). There are a variety of Biblical topics covered:
- Character Training
- Biblical Womanhood
There is one concept presented for each letter of the alphabet (i.e. “A” is for Attitude”). Each concept presented has a Bible memory verse to help the child understand what the Bible has to say concerning it. The accompanying handbook is thorough and gives further instructions, lesson plans, activities, and craft ideas as how to help your child grasp each concept.
The ABC’s for Godly Girls can be used as a stand-alone Bible Curriculum or as a supplement to your current Bible material. This curriculum is meant to promote interaction with your young daughter as you teach her what the Word of God has to say about who she is as a growing lady and who she is in Christ.
As parents, we are commanded to teach “diligently” God’s Word to our children as we sit in our house, when we walk by the way, and when we both lie down and rise up (Deuteronomy 6:7). We are pretty much commanded to talk about God all the time in our family and have Him be a part of everyday conversation and living. This only reinforces the first and greatest commandment, “love the Lord your God with all your heart mind and strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5). The ABC’s For Godly Girls will aid you in your journey to fulfill these words in Scripture. It is a tool to help guide you as you traverse the hard subjects in Scripture concerning the nature of the Gospel such as Justification by Faith and God’s Sovereignty but it will also help you as you instill a right understanding within your little girl of what God expects a woman to be. The ABC’s For Godly Girls will teach your daughters about the God that they serve and how to have a heart like His.
If you would like to learn more about The ABC’s For Godly Girls Curriculum please visit Road to 31 where you can download FREE educational printables and view sample lessons. If you would like your own copy for FREE enter the Give Away below!
Modern Alternative Mama has been so kind to host a GIVE AWAY! TWO ABC’s For Godly Girls Curriculum Sets will be given away one week from today! (Giveaway has ended) This set includes:
- The ABC’s For Godly Girls Flash Cards
- The ABC’s For Godly Girls Handbook
- Hiding God’s Word in My Heart Worksheets
- Godly Virtues BINGO Game