I’ve always thought I would most likely homeschool my kids, but I didn’t even consider starting them before the age of 5 until a few months ago. After several interactions surrounding my daughter’s first birthday, I decided I would start “homeschooling” her in the fall. For more details on this decision, read my blog post, Why I Am Homeschooling My One-Year-Old.
Lilly turned one back in May, and for the summer we took a break from any focused learning or activities. For her first year I compiled a handy printable of Weekly Activities for Baby’s First Year and generally stuck to that. Now my plans for teaching and training my toddler are more involved, and the activities vary depending on the day or week. I’m delighted to say that if you want to join me in this journey, I’ll be posting a month’s worth of lesson plans a week or so ahead!
These lesson plans are all adaptable for your child. For instance, my husband really wants Lilly to learn the Greek and Hebrew alphabets, so I have her learning a little bit of that each week. You may not want to do that with your child, so pick a different language or just work more on English. Do what works for you and your child! I hope these lesson plans will simply give you a springboard from which to launch your own ideas and plan for teaching your child. That’s why these plans are all presented in a word document so you can edit or change them as you desire.
A few important things to remember before diving in to the lesson plans:
- Your relationship with your child should always come first. If you find yourself getting frustrated because your toddler won’t “pay attention” or “isn’t learning anything”, you’ve taken it too far. This is not about achieving goals and checking things off, it’s about your child’s growth and development in their relationship with you and the world around them, which looks different for every child.
- Your child may be learning more than you think they are. Since most toddlers can’t say very many words, they will most likely not be able to articulate everything they understand or retain from you. You may not see the fruit of your labors for quite some time.
- This early homeschooling is about the exposure and the experience, not the outcome. In order for anyone to learn something, they have to have repeated exposure to it, correct? These lesson plans will help keep you accountable as the teacher/parent. We also want our children to experience the joy and satisfaction in learning and growing.
- These lesson plans are not for everybody. Even if you do want to be intentional in teaching your little one, having lesson plans might not be your thing. Maybe you’re already on top of it, and lesson plans are in a sense, “beneath you”. I’m a busy wife and mother and I need plans and schedules to keep me accountable. On the other hand, maybe lesson plans with lots of details stress you out. If you take a look at these documents and quickly start feeling anxious about all the things you “should do” with your child, don’t use them. What works for one mom will not necessarily be what another mom needs. However, I would appreciate if you contact me if you think a simpler approach to these lesson plans would be helpful.
Now, let’s get in to it. Each document is a two-page weekly spread, with five activities listed each day for Monday through Friday, and two activities for Saturday. There are three activities present in every weekday: Health, Language, and Bible. I determined that these three needed to be touched on every day because they were most important and/or had a lot of material I wanted to cover. Below is a list of most of the “subjects” present in the lesson plans and a few notes on how to interpret them for this first month:
- Health – Learn parts of the face by pointing them out on yourself, your child, or stuffed animals. Eating fruits and vegetables is the best way to experience them, but you can also draw pictures of them, go pick some, or watch a video about how they grow. Let your toddler help or just watch you cook, using a different cooking technique each week.
- Language – First three days of the week are devoted to one English letter, while the last two are for Greek and Hebrew. To learn letters, you can: say, read, listen to, draw, sticker, or color them.
- Bible – The Storybook Bible is a filled with many stories from the Bible. I really enjoy the style of writing and each chapter/story is not very long. The catechism questions are taken from the Children’s Catechism, starting with question one.
- P.E. – watch and/or learn different sports and styles of dance.
- Science – drop different objects and see which ones fall slower and which ones fall faster to experience the effect of gravity. Experiment with light switches, daytime and nighttime to discover Light/Dark.
- Music – look at pictures, play or listen to instruments and different genres.
- Social – Learn and practice different social skills. Learn hugs, kisses, and sharing with family members. Practice these skills during free play (impromptu visit to park, playground, etc.) or playdate (arranged play time with other kids your child knows).
- History – Learn about American flag and map as well as the days of the week.
That’s everything! Please check out the link to the lesson plans for September below.
Let me know how it goes for you, and check back in a month for October’s lesson plans!