The following guest post comes from one of Mom Meet Mom’s favorite moms, Natasha. With so many of our members curious about the homeschooling lifestyle and how homeschooling works, we asked Natasha to give us a look at what a day is like in the life of a Christian homeschooling mom and child.
To me, every child is extraordinary. The minds and hearts of young children are incredibly fresh and new — radiating a certain curiosity and wonder that is extremely beautiful. As parents, I think all of us want the best for our children, and we hope that we’re able to see them reach their full intellectual and spiritual potential. Much like each one of us who visit Mommeetmom.com, I have many aspirations for my child (a daughter). I would love for her to grow up a well-educated Christian with great leadership traits.
A young child’s heart and mind is indeed astonishing, but it is also very fragile. Consider this simile: A child’s mind is like a sponge that possesses an undefined capacity to absorb moisture.
Due to this state of both potential and fragility, I believe it is important to consider this: The life experiences of a toddler help to define the foundation for outstanding intellectual and spiritual qualities later in life.
It is paramount to choose the appropriate environmental factors for our children at an early age. That is why my family has implemented daily educational, social, and spiritual activities for our daughter since she was four months old.
Please note that I do not have an educational background; however, I do have the confidence and work ethic it requires to organize and implement such an undertaking. I believe that any dedicated parent can easily implement a similar “life experiences” curriculum for their toddler.
The “life experiences” curriculum that I have developed for my daughter didn’t necessarily fall into place. It has taken a great deal of research, trial, and error. As parents, we have differential goals for our children. In my case, I have had a desire for my daughter’s early education to be well balanced, organized, faith-based, and results orientated.
At four months old, I had an initial rudimentary schedule for my daughter that included a relatively limited amount of structured activities. With her increasing attention span, the growing need for a better schedule became glaringly obvious. I began to research the various ways that preschools, daycares, and homeschool families operated. I knew that I had to be open-minded and efficient. I looked at the activities that a typical preschool or daycare would conduct in a given day, and I have added new ideas for a more complete schedule. The resultant curriculum is generalized with time-allotted segments for specific activities.
This schedule might occasionally change or be conducted in different order due to varying circumstances, but I make sure we do these items each day:
7:30 Breakfast and Free Play (and see daddy off to work)
10:00 Coursework: Several minute Starfall.com Lesson, Several minute Brill-kids Lesson, Discussion Topics: the Weather, the Letter of the Week, the Color of the Week, and the Number of the Week.
10:15 Snack, Bible Lesson, Music, and Dance Time
11:30 TV time and Mommy gets ready
12:45 Rest/Quiet Time
2:00 Crafts and Science Projects
3:00 Snack, Story Time and, Sing-a-Longs
3:30 Coursework: Several minute Brill-kids Lesson (Repeat Session), Abcmouse.com, Phonics Awareness Activities
4:30 Free Play / Assorted Activities with Daddy after he returns from work.
Every day, we fill our hours with learning, fun, faith, and laughs. By having this schedule, I know our daily action items.
Between 4- 16 months old, my daughter completed two 3-minute coursework sessions (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) from her Brillkids Little Reader Program. At 17 months old, we started to focus on particular letters, numbers, and colors for each week.
Starfall.com has interactive short videos for the Letters, Colors, and Numbers. You can also use the other activities on the site such as explaining concepts, stories, phonics activities, etc.
I use Abcmouse.com for their printable sheets, books, and songs. I match these activities with our Letter, Color, and Number of the week.
I reinforce what she’s learning through educational activities with traditional activities throughout the day such as puzzles, books, arts and crafts.
Our faith and values flourish throughout the day too. When I adapted her schedule at 17 months, I also increased my efforts to teach my daughter about God and his love for us.
Nothing parallels the responsibility of raising our children. They look to us for guidance, and we can help give them the best outcomes with appropriate environmental factors. Whether it’s following my “life experiences” curriculum, or reinventing it as your own, it is possible that a detailed approach to teaching our children at an early age can make a great difference in the future.
Are you a homeschooling mom? We are looking to hear from other homeschooling moms who would like to share why they decided to homeschool. And if you have additional ideas for homeschool-related blog posts that you are interested in contributing, please send us your idea! To submit, please email firstname.lastname@example.org