Monday, September 3, 2012

When am I Going to Start?

I have been asked by several people when I am going to start homeschooling Vada. The funny thing is that I have already begun. I started the moment I brought her home and quite possibly on the very day that she was born because that's what we do as parents, we teach. It's a funny question, when worded that way but it's also easy to understand what people are really asking from me. Preschool. When am I going to start teaching Vada the essentials of preschool. It seems that while I am preparing and planning Vada's preschool curriculum others are also getting wrapped up in the concept of homeschooling and if I am really going to do it and were all forgetting that Vada is only two and a half years old.

Typical youngsters usually start preschool when they are five, sometimes four years old but that's pretty early (imho) and actually, I may be completely wrong on the ages. Because Vada has Down syndrome the state has an early intervention program for her to get the extra help that she may need, so I have really begun working with her on the basic stuff, such as colors and numbers, animals and their sounds, sorting, counting, letters, reading, continued sign language and following directions.

I plan on officially starting a structured curriculum (Horizons Preschool) when Vada turns three years old, just like her peers who share having a bonus chromosome in common and if I can wait that long, im pretty excited. For now we do a lot of playing, singing, signing and reading. We are working on potty training because I feel that Vada should be fully trained by three years old because that is when she would be at a school, if I weren't homeschooling her and also because I want her to be fully trained before she goes into the preschool room at church.

Everything though, comes in stages. :)

Were still having a ton of fun with the online preschool and toddler site.

We start out by playing a few songs.

If I can, I incorporate signing into all of the songs with actions. Vada's favorite song is The Five Little Monkeys. She always pats her head when asking for it.., you know, because the monkey's fall off of the bed and bonk their heads. It's cute.

Today we focused on animals and their specific sounds.

Primary colors.

And then we checked out the color wheel, just to see what it was all about.

So, our house is small. Its two bedrooms to be exact! J and K share a room and V gets the smallest room to herself. We have a room in the basement which is also where I have made a "school room", as my children now call it.

Its an unfinished basement, not pretty but not overly (scary anymore) either! 

I'm getting the Brilkids little reader program for Vada this month and then I think its pretty safe to say that I am pretty well equipped for teaching Vada all she needs to know for Preschool and even Kindergarten, if my husband lets me go that far! (Which I am not so secretly hoping for!)

We are using the Your Baby Can Read program right now. Its great for Vada and tots with Down syndrome because our kids have an easier time learning to read through memorization of site words than earning phonics first. And this program teaches in just that fashion! Your Baby Can Read is a great place to start your child on reading but I believe that Brillkids is where the true learning is at, as far as reading programs go

This is our desk, our working area. 
Today we also worked with these fantastic flash cards that I found through Oriental Trading Company awhile back called Touch and Feel Picture Cards. They should just be called sensory cards because they incorporate visual touch, smell, sign language and braille! I went back to find the link through Oriental Trading and they no longer carry them so here is another place to find the cards, if your interested.

Vada liked the cards a lot and I realized that the touch factor of the cards brought out her pointer! This is something we have been working on with her OT, now we need to get her to put all of those other fingers into a fist! 

We did some color sorting today, along with everything else. I bought the muffin pan from a local Dollar Tree Store. I could have gone to my kitchen and used the pan I had but I like to keep things together so I paid a dollar to have that luxury. We used the large buttons that I also bought through Oriental Trading Company, oh ow I {heart} that store!

The Horizons Preschool Curriculum is Christ centered, which means in all of the lessons Jesus comes first. We bought the full curriculum verses needing to buy the DVDs and CDs later on. One of the videos happens to be on obedience, while I think obedience is good for everyone to know, I only picked this DVD because it was the first in the series and the only reason I picked watching a video just to see if Vada's attention could be held being where she was at. She did well.

Finally, I ordered this book below, Slow and Steady Get Me Ready. It was suggested by a friend of ours who home schooled her four children, she said that this was her curriculum for all of her children. The book should be here soon and I am really excited to read through it!

1 comment:

We Can Do All Things said...

WOW you are sooo orgainized, way to go. I am drooling over your basement. We use to live in Chicago but now here in Florida I miss a basement terribly. Please write up a review on the Slow and Steady I have always wondered about that book.