Every state requires a number of days within a year to finish a certain curriculum. Home school is a lifestyle and a commitment. You also need to know whether it is right for your child. There are also state laws that you need to consider with regards to home schooling since there are some states with added regulations that you need to follow such as submission of attendance records, quarterly progress reports, as well as the yearly/annual assessment. As the teacher to your child, you also need to assess whether you can be responsible for creating and maintaining proper records.
Generally, school days are from Monday-Friday and you may even include a few weekends like Saturdays depending on what you're doing, if it's school-related activities. One example is a trip to the museum since it's still part of learning. Other families even add their vacation toward school days especially when the kids had learned a lot from it.
Fun and learning is part of home schooling that is why some parents want to do it. As for me, my child would do more when she will be given 2 subjects in a day each for an hour like Math and History then the 2 remaining subjects for example Language Arts and Science the following day.
The wonderful thing about homeschooling is that, you can have the most flexible time by being the parent and teacher to your child/children as long as you have the interest and dedication to teach. Always remember that teaching brings amazing results when you're not stressed out.
Avoid to over think with all the things that you needed to do so that your student will be able to absorb the lessons that you are going to provide for him/her. Concentrate and try to avoid thinking about housework chores and among other things.
In my own opinion, any parent can home school his/her child or children. When my daughter was still 2 1/2 years old, I had started introducing her to Hooked on Phonics which greatly helped boost her reading skills. I already had plans on homeschooling her and I was glad that I was able to introduce this very helpful product to her that my sister had told me about.
Hooked on Phonics offers over 50 products for ages 3 months up until 10 year old children where they can learn valuable skills such as reading, language, math and science. You really don't have the need to buy expensive learning materials for your kids when you can just borrow them from friends and families who no longer needed these type of educational materials.
I started phonics and simple reading skills when my daughter was still small and now that she is 5 years old, she can now read the simple instructions that are found in her workbooks. When I decided to enroll her for K-1, she was tested through the Woodcock-McGrew-Werder Mini-Battery of Achievement and her "basic skills" that were combined from measure of reading, writing and mathematics resulted to the average student at grade 1. For that reason, I never regretted trying to use another set of the New Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read - Normally $239.95, only $159.95 Click here.
Since my daughter is a little bit advanced, I tried to buy these book guide curriculum for myself "Learn at Home: Grade 1 (Paperback) by American Education and "What Your 1st Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good First-Grade Education (The Core Knowledge Series) Hardcover by E. D. Hirsch Jr. You can borrow from friends/families or purchase both books through Amazon or Ebay very cheap if you're ok with used books.
Learn at Home: Grade 1 was designed by experts in elementary education, and this valuable resource covers a full school year in six curriculum areas, everything you need to teach your child/children at home. This can just be your guide since it has comprehensive resources which include 36 weeks of lesson plans, instruction in reading, language skills, spelling, math, science and social studies, additional activities supporting each week's lessons, explanations of concepts and teaching approaches, step-by-step instructions, and ready-to-use reproducible activity sheets.
The other additional guide is What Your First Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good First-Grade Education (Core Knowledge Series) by E. D. Hirsch Jr. that could also be helpful. I had this question in my mind of what will my child need to learn in the first grade and this book was able to answer my inquiry. This book answers and offers the specific shared knowledge that hundreds of parents and teachers across the nation have agreed upon for American first graders.
E. D. Hirsch Jr. was able to provide opportunities for reading aloud and fostering discussion and presents the sort of knowledge and skills that should be at the core of a challenging first-grade education. It also has kids' favorite poems, stories, familiar sayings and phrases, world and American history, geography, visual arts, music, math, and science.
Now that the weather is getting nicer, I will let my daughter read outside, take walks, biking and have picnics. She truly enjoys this kind of learning together with me. If you are currently home schooling a toddler and have a baby as well, you'll be happy to know that the little one will also learn just by observing and listening.
When he/she is also inside the room while you are teaching your older child/children he/she will be able to grasp the lessons too. They will just learn it naturally by being with you as you home school the older siblings.
You can easily place your little one in a high chair and give her crayons and paper to draw or provide toys while you work on the lessons with your other kid. As time goes on, you'll be able to adjust things to fit to all of your needs including the kids as well. You can use cookie cutters to make various shapes including play dough and even use those colorful cheerios including M&Ms for adding and subtracting numbers.
It would also be nice to talk with local home schoolers in your area so that you can also feel that you are not alone in this endeavor. Share or get some ideas on how they were able to handle their schedules well. Anticipate that there are days, that your child will have an attention span of only 10-15 minutes for some of the activities, while a bit longer on others.
The nice thing about home schooling is that you can also teach your child responsibility. Let them do some household chores that will fit their age. They can start cleaning their own room and put their things and toys in the proper places.
Some parents do the academic work for four days a week and reserve Friday for educational field trips either to the library, museums, etc. There are also very informative videos that will enhance learning that you can discuss to your kids after showing it to them. You can also read an interesting book such as "Pocahontas" and then watch the cartoon video and talk with them about it. Afterwards, compare the story through the book and to the movie version itself.
Kindergarten is both fun for the parent who is the teacher and to the child who is continuously learning. You will be very proud when someone will ask who taught them to read and they will always say your name very proudly. That is the most wonderful feeling as a parent and being the teacher too.
Some parents use colorful things for math to add and subtract numbers for added fun while learning. You can also let them use their fingers and toes for math when counting numbers. When you are happy teaching your 5 or 6 year old child, the learning comes a lot easier and enjoyable for both of you.
Teaching lessons through home schooling is a lot shorter and possibly takes a fraction of the time compared to the public school since you are only teaching one or two individuals. Generally, in a typical public school, there are about 15-20 young kids in a classroom for about 4-5 hours of instruction and this averages out for every teacher giving about 15-20 minutes of individualized instruction to every child. So if it's in the private school, where the number of students is generally half compared to the public school, this could equate for 30-35 minutes of individualized instruction for each student.
When you are home schooling, you can simply spend an hour and and maybe and a half with your child and may more than double the individualized time spent if compared to private school and more than thrice the amount of time compared to that of the public school. Therefore, how much time do you think as a parent and teacher would you be willing to spend with your child? It's up to you but you need to remember that this will also depend on how much your child/children are willing to learn for that particular day.
Take into consideration that your child is also adjusting so possibly in the beginning of his home schooling experience, let your child tell you of how long he/she is willing to learn for that particular day. Sometimes there are days that the child wants to have another lesson but there will also be a time that he/she just wants to stop for awhile and play with you. Take note that once he/she gets into the habit of learning based on a schedule, then you can start adjusting it into a more regular daily routine.
I started out my daughter with lessons that were only 20-25 minutes a day and now that she got used to learning on a daily schedule, I generally now spend 2-2 1/2 hours with her five days straight per week since she always likes to extend her lessons or have a new lesson with me.
With the language arts curriculum, focus more on phonics, reading 1-3 syllablewords, and writing short sentences to complete a story that you want to introduce. By the end of the kindergarten school year, your home schooled student/students will be able to read a short story and answer some of the questions that you're going to ask including writing his/her own story.
For the math curriculum, I recommend that your child will be able to count and write numbers from 1 up to 50-100. You can start with the single-digit addition and subtraction through numbers and word problems then you can proceed to the double digits based on the child's progress.
At this age, it would be good for him/her to recognize coins and how much each coin is worth. Let your student identify patterns too. It would be good that he/she is able to learn how to read a clock by the hour then you can proceed later on about minutes. This is also the right time to introduce to your home schooled student about fractions such as halves, thirds, fourths, fifths and so on.
Spending time with your children is truly wonderful, because you will learn to know what interests them and they will be able to freely express it to you. Being with the most trusted person and whom they love so much is the best part of home schooling and so the rest of your children's curriculum will then be filled by whatever you want them to learn based on the interests that they had shown.
Offer a fun curriculum, for example, most little girls like flowers, plants, castles, tea party, dolls, dresses, princesses, drawing, dancing, singing, ballet, so try to add these things in order that she can have an enjoyable time too while learning. With little boys, they usually like their lessons integrated with airplanes, pirates, ninjas, toy cars, boxing, karate, spiders, snakes, fire engines, bugs, and so much more.
Kindergarten learning is a wonderful time for your little one to learn and you could limit the workbook type of teaching unless he/she is truly into it. Allow your kids to explore their own backyard and walk around their neighborhood. Just by walking around, you can ask them some questions in relation to the lesson that you are teaching.
Let them visit the local zoo, children's museum, lake, beach, park library, etc. Many libraries, book stores and even arts and crafts stores have a place for children where they can read so this is also nice activity for your child. As long as you are willing to offer your time and efforts to home schooling, then this is wonderful since it's one of the most fulfilling experiences a parent.
Do not limit your kids learning especially nowadays that educational games are available too through the use of tablets. I was able to look for some educational apps for k-1 and grade 1 through Amazon via the kindle that my kid sometimes use during her lesson breaks.
The first app that my daughter liked was the Kindergarten Kids Word Play - Match, Sight Words, Phonics and Spelling Games, the Monkey Word School Adventure First Grade Learning Games (Full Version), and the Interactive Telling Time - Learning to tell time is fun.
You can also use other reliable and educational websites such as Starfall.com, ABCmouse.com - Over 3,000 Educational Activities - First Month Free - Click here!, Learn to Read Kindergarten Complete, Click Here or Learn to Read First Grade Complete Click Here.