Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 Homeschool Goals and Daily Routine

It's the start of a new year! We started our first day of school in our homeschool yesterday, January 2.  We started our day by reading the Hey! Wake Up! book by Sandra Boynton.  Yanthy led in praying before their breakfast while Mateo prayed with his older brother by doing the sign of the cross (his not-so-perfect but cute version) and listening to Yanthy.  After eating, Yanthy read his morning prayer. 
Below is the prayer we have chosen for Yanthy to pray every morning aside from The Lord's Prayer. This was taken from Mateo's book entitled First Prayers.
Dear God,
Help me to be good
when I have to share my toys.
Help me to be good
when I'm making too much noise.
Help me to be good
and eat up all my greens.
Help me to be good
when I'm tempted to be mean.
Help me to be good
each and every day.
Help me to be good
in every single way.

Here is Mateo's morning prayer with actions, also from the same book.  I love it when Mateo imitates our actions as we read from our books, both from our story books and prayer books.
Jesus, may I walk your way (point to feet)
in all I do (hold out hands to the sides)
and all I say. (touch finger to lips)
One of my joys as a homeschool mom is to see my kids pray on their own in their unique and cute way.  I can't help but smile every time I hear Yanthy say his prayers and Mateo puts his hands together to pray.  During Mass, Mateo even tries to sing with us in his very adorable way.  During prayer meetings, he raises his hands as well; while his big brother Yanthy dances and sings his heart out.
The kids rested a bit after eating breakfast. I read some more books (a story book and an alphabet book with one picture and word per page format) to Mateo.  Then, the kids had some free play. Usually, they have their baths after their unstructured play time or after lunch.
Around an hour before lunch, I supervised Yanthy's writing practice.  Mateo usually takes a nap before lunch so that gives me a good oportunity to focus on helping Yanthy with his writing practice.  If not, Mateo will have extended play time with our helper.  Yanthy has been writing his name on his own even last year but he needs to improve his penmanship and is still quite moody when it comes to writing practice.  This year, his Dad and I decided that we will require him to write his name every day and finish a page in his writing book.  Yesterday, he traced the broken lines for the letter M page in his writing book.  Today, he did the letter N.  So far, we've followed this schedule in the past two days before we eat lunch.  If he is not able to finish all of his writing exercises before lunch, he will continue after eating before his nap.  It's still challenging to get him to sit still and finish his writing task.  I had to remind and prompt him a number of times and motivate him by drawing a green star at the end of each row that he finished and for every part of his name that he completed.  I also promised him that if he will be following our schedule and doing his table top activities every day from Monday to Saturday and from January to December, his Dad and I will buy him next Christmas his much desired toy -- go cart. 

Our homeschool goals this year are pretty much the same with last year's.  For Yanthy, it's better reading skills, learning how to add bigger numbers and learning subtraction, improving his writing skills, improving his spelling skills, speaking in English again when talking to Mom and Dad and when asked in English, and most of all improving his behavior (obedience, adhering to house rules and meal time rules, and respectfulness).  For Mateo, it's helping him to grow in literacy like recognizing objects, numbers, letters, colors and shapes, helping him speak more words and improve his motor skills.


We still want to focus a lot on values formation and mastering our daily routines since Yanthy is quite fast in learning other things. 
Another goal that we have this year is to look for a suitable curriculum for our eldest child.  We plan to attend orientations of various homeschool providers to learn more about them and to narrow down our options.
The kids are napping now; that's why I'm able to update my blog.  I hope to get some more work done after this before they wake up. :)
They will have more time for unstructured play later this afternoon when they wake up.  They will also have time to play with musical instruments and sing their favorite songs.  That would be our usual routine in the afternoons before preparing for dinner again and going to bed.  We'll have some reading time and time for talking about our day before saying our night prayers and sleeping. 
This schedule or routine sounds very simple but with two kids below 5 years old, following this routine can be challenging at times. 

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