Saturday, October 6, 2012

This is how i do it

I have received a few enquires about what textbooks or curriculum i use to teach sonshine. Since it seems to be a popular question, i decided to post my reply here.
It was hard to answer this question because i realised i have none! Then it made me feel like i've been very haphazard in my homeschooling. But i realised i have been haphazardly systematic. Yes, oxy-moron.
This brings on the next question; how do i know what to teach? How do i plan our lessons?
1) On the whim and common sense
When sonshine was younger, i taught him based on whatever i wanted him to learn.  For subjects like Mathematics, i generally went with my common sense. Start with counting, recognising quantity, addition etc. For others, i followed his interest. Like, when i noticed that he would always pick up our Atlas book to read, i decided to teach him about world atlas. Most of the time, it is purely coincidental. For instance, once i was trying to get him to eat faster by entertaining him with dollar notes- which happened to be on our dining table. From there, he learnt how to tell the quantity of each dollar note. So, this has been my lesson plan for the past few years- my homeschool curriculum largely came off from my own head.

I would like to add that this is the beauty of preschool years. You can teach anything, ANYTHING, you want to teach. I love to teach during these years because there are no deadlines (like examinations), no limits to what a child can learn & what you want to teach. There is liberty in teaching whatever you want, no primary school curriculum to catch up with, no stress, no pressure (oh i wish it would remain like so in Primary school, sigh). It's fun!
2) Assessment books
Now that sonshine is heading for Primary school in less than 2 years (sob), i feel a need to have some sort of checklist or structure in our homeschooling. My source of reference mainly come from the assessment books. It gives me a good idea what i should teach sonshine. The content pages on the assessment books somewhat act as my curriculum plan.
This brings me to the next question- do i draw up a homeschooling daily/weekly/monthly/yearly plan? No. I yearn to be like those organised and structured mamas, but however hard i try i fail. I realised it is because i don't work against a timeline. Basically, i teach chapter by chapter, level by level. To me, it is very important that sonshine fully understands each level before i move on to the next. I don't believe in jumping to the next chapter just because i need to stick to a plan. I don't like being stress or rushed by something so rigid. I prefer to ensure that whatever he learns has been deeply carved into his brain before i deem it good to close a chapter. For this reason, i don't aim to finish something within a time frame. I never set a goal to teach him addition by 3 years old or aim to finish Primary 1 curriculum before he turns 6. Instead, i follow his pace of learning. We are where we are today because it happens that his learning pace is faster (i say this humbly). That is why it is really hard for me to do any planning because, i never know how long it will take us to finish a chapter.
The content pages on my assessment books are like my homeschooling blueprint. That's why i don't really need to plan any lessons. All i have to do is to flip to the content page, see where we left off and move on the next.
The other reason why i do it this way is....lazy! But hey, it gets the job done! :P

And since we are at it, here is how i slot in our homeschool time

Wake up/Wash up
Homeschool (15-20mins)
A bit of play
Off to school

Home from school
Eat, sleep, play & just be a kid

There! This is how i do it!


  1. Do you follow his curriculum at school closely and do follow up on the same topics? I find that this wears me out. In the end, I'll just teach whatever I wanted, and leave the school curriculum to the teachers.

  2. i don't follow the school curriculum. For one, sonshine has pretty much covered most of the syllabus. For English the school seem to be steering toward science related topics-some i've not covered. But, still i don't follow the school curriculum either. I like to give him some space to experience learning new things at school & from someone else. Also, like you said, its too tiring to try to keep up with the school. However, that said, i do check the school curriculum from time to time just to make sure he is coping well. I will have no qualms to follow up if ever i find he's lagging.


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