Intentional learning -supplies
I use a Lesson Planner. I know, this is when I wear readings glasses and I pull my hair up.
The thing is that you really really need one of these.
I start off filling in the calendar all our normal recurring activities like: Play dates, Homeschool Park Day, German class, pre-scheduled field trips, co-op classes, holidays, parties (I noticed there is a lot of partying in homeschool rooster), etc. Then I plan our intentional learning around those activities.
On the days that we have something going on and it’s not realistic that we are going to do anything else at home, I write down “Reading” in addition to that day’s activity. Why? Because we only require our daughter one must do everyday: Reading.
Monday – German, and Reading
Tuesday – Park day, and Reading
Wednesday – Recap fractions, recap Earth spinning on it’s axis and How long does it take for the Earth to spin once. Practice reading the clock. Writing challenge: circle, square, triangle, rectangle. Reading.
Thursday – play date -all day. Reading
Friday – German, play date, and Reading.
If she’s working on a special project that has many different parts I wait until the end of the day to write down what she has learned or practiced from that project. In many cases that learning surpassed what I wrote down for the week.
The planner I use is carefully vetted because it has:
A monthly section – A section to write down what you think your child might be able to learn each month, so you can plan ahead. I use pencil because these ara all tentative.
I figure a few months in advance and make it very tentative.
For example I may jot down talking about irregular verbs in four months, and two months before we get to that turns out I haven’t even started to talk about regular verbs. So, I modify based on how she is going and what we are able to cover, not the other way around.
A universal monthly calendar -You fill in the calendar dates. I like to have my daughter do this part because this way she becomes familiar with how the calendar works, etc.
A section for planning Monday through Friday. (It’s supposed to be for teachers so they leave out Saturday and Sunday, which makes things a little aclarad but that’s okay.)
I use this a lot because I keep track of what we’ve actually done. It is more accurate than the monthly because I plan by the week a few weeks in advance.
And it has a lot of other sections that are useless to me but some are kind of cool just to have -makes me feel important. Until I let my hair down again.
These are just wonderful planners however I get the teacher version even though there are a lot of features that get lost on homeschool, like grading, taking attendance, etc. The personal 12 month planner would work great, but it is twice the price. Here
Alternatively you could use this smaller less expensive one that is meant for kids, but really it would be put to better use by you.
So, to recap. Here is where you think of fun, interesting, and essential things you think your child can be introduced to, or learning that can be done more intentionally through activities, books, paper and pencil, etc.
Here is a link to Age Appropriate Skills Kids Can Learn. You can use this to help you plan. If you see your kid does not seem interested or doesn’t get it, it may be because he’s not on board with the approach or it’s too early to expect him to learn that. Go on to something else. Tack accordingly.
For example, you can have a 6 year old memorize a multiplication table, but he has no idea what it’s for. You would want to show him practical examples of the concept of multiplication when he’s old enough to get it. Maybe when he’s 8. It will come up dozens of times in their day to day, especially if you practice a project-based intentional learning style.
For kids organization
Kids categorize learning in very different ways than adults. At some point you are going to see your kids gather a number of important skills and knowledge. They don’t make a big deal out of what they are learning, specially the stuff that is not relevant in their lives, but you may want them to at least keep track of what they are learning or what they have accomplished.
I like to encourage kids to create their own scrap book of learning.
The Erin Condrem coiled notebooks come in fun durable covers (trim the corners because they can do some damage). I like them because they have grid instead of lines, which is more conducive to using for all Indus of content, whether it is math, drawings, writing, doodles…They also have very large coils so there is one wiggle room for sticking pictures, ticket stubs, little zip lock bags with mementos like soil from an interesting walk, etc.
Kids can start these notebooks and keep them through the years to go back and revisit things they’ve drawn, written, kept.
For Science and Geography
A globe. I like this inflatable Globe. It’s casual, cheap and kids can hold it because it is so light. There is no breaking it, it’s essentially a toy. And it’s large so you can see the letters and the shapes of the countries very well.
We started using the globe very early on. I think at 4 or 5 years old so the inflatable globe was perfect.
If you take a look at our Free Science Guide for 5 – 8 Year Olds you’ll notice that we are always holding that globe.
For beginning arithmetic
An abacus is a good tool to have if you want to introduce basic arithmetic early.
If you wait until they are 6 or 7 years old, all they need is their fingers and writing out the numbers. But I think an abacus helps to ground addition and subtraction in a more tangible way.
Kids tend to learn the numbers from 1 – 20 by the time they are 7. They may also count to at least 30, but that doesn’t mean that they can recognize all the numbers between 1 and 30.
If you wait long enough, at least until your child is seven and a half, learning the numbers from 0 -100 with these flash cards will take two weeks max.
If you want to keep it very simple and not use a curriculum I suggest: 1 – Waiting until your child is at least 7 and a half to start reading. 2) Use flashcards for sight words. I like the ones that are just the words. 3) Have a stack of very easy readers that contain a lot of the words that they know and introduce some new ones. We asked friends that work at schools with little kids or that have outgrown their readers and borrowed stacks of books, we also took them out from the library. 4) work up to smaller text, and Level 2 readers. 5) Practice or expect her to practice, everyday.