My kids are lucky...or at least they may think so for the next few years...in having a mother who is a certified teacher. My love for teaching and my need for structure during the summers has lead me for the past two summers to create some sort of curriculum for them. My oldest child was nearing school age, and I wanted him exposed to the alphabet, the world, and what he can offer before he ever got to school. I can truly say that my kids are stinkin' smart! J picked up on his letters incredibly well and did fabulously during this year's kindergarten. He has really proven himself. And Jed, as crazy and mindless he seems to be some times, has really picked up on his letters this year while I've been at home. He has even gone as far as doing some very, very simple reading! He starts kindergarten in the fall, which will leave me at home for the next 3 years with Abigail. So I have my work cut out for me!
For the past two summers I created my own curriculum for those weeks during the summer. We did what I called "Alphabet Days". In the summer of 2009, I took each day (Monday-Friday, starting the first week of July) and we did something that had to do with the letter. For example, "A" day we made "A"pple sauce, looked at "A"nts, and talked about the "A"quarium. I really tried to connect each day with some place in the community. I tried to not always go some place where it cost money, but made the most of what we had at our disposal.
The summer of 2010 was a little different. It was my first summer where I was not going back to work in August. This meant I did not have meetings in the summer, classes I had to take, and lesson plans and units to prepare (no matter what you think, teachers don't really get summers off). I also was taking care of two other children, which meant I had five in all, ages ranging 9 months to 5 years. I did not want to take out that group of kids around town 3 days a week, so I had to make adjustments at home. We still did the "Alphabet Days", but instead we did art, cooking, and activities at home. For example, for "P" day, we made pancakes with pineapples, made personal pizzas, and played with homemade play dough.
This summer, though, I decided to use a curriculum that I moved to once school started this year (Hubbard's Cupboard: http://www.hubbardscupboard.org/weeks_1-4.html). I have used the 2 and 3 year old curriculum, but since I have a rising 1st grader and a rising kindergartener, I wanted to used something that would be easy to adjust based off of skill level. What is really great about this summer's curriculum is that it also has a weekly character trait. If you follow me on facebook, you know the past three months I have done a "31 Days of Praying for Your ______" (husband, pastor, children). I am going to now 1) write a post at the end of each week explaining what we did and 2) use the character traits as a reminder of how we can pray for our children and families.
I look forward for the next few weeks to share with you what I do at home. Remember, as I have said before, I am not a home schooling mom, and most likely will never be, but it is the responsibility of the parents to supplement at home. When you continue to educate your children in daily activities, it only enhances the hard work the teachers do at school....and this is coming from a mama who used to teach. :)