As many of you guys may know, a few weeks ago I made the conscious decisio
n to stay home with Riley throughout the summer. Today was the mark of our first day of summer together and to say it went well would be a massive understatement. I’ll admit I was a little nervous in the beginning about devoting so much time and energy into developing a summer curriculum, while still unsure as to how it would go. We all know how kids are. One minute they love an idea and are excited to do something, and then the next they’re shitting in your Wheaties. But today definitely left me confident that our summer together would be one filled with an abundance of progress, happiness, and fulfillment. As time consuming and exhausting as it was to put all of this together for him and connect the dots all around to make everything happen, it was well worth it.
I must say I think at the start, I underestimated how much work it would be. It wasn’t as simple as a time-off request at work, and a few free Pinterest printables. If you’re interested in developing a summer curriculum for your child, there are a few things you should know:
IT’S NOT CHEAP
Just to supply our third bedroom (now Learning Room) with the actual books and classroom supplies necessary to ensure a better learning environment for Riley and to give him the focus he needed, it cost us about four hundred dollars. Really, I feel for teachers. I can only imagine the amount of money they pour into their classrooms alone.
THERE ARE TONS OF FREE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
Really I couldn’t and probably wouldn’t have done any of this if I wouldn’t have found the resources I did. Think about it. Do the math. Summer is nine weeks long. That means you need to supply yourself with enough teaching tools to last you nine weeks. I teach Riley three days out of the week. That means all in all I needed 27 days worth of Reading, Writing, Science, Math, and Social Studies teaching material and enjoyable activities to supplement it. By far, my favorite resource was Teachers Pay Teachers. This awesome website has thousands of cheap and even free teaching materials, and worksheets all categorized by grade level, subject, and cost. It was truly my life saver. And of course I can’t forget about the many cute theme and craft ideas I found while browsing Pinterest!
BE PREPARED TO HAVE TO BRUSH UP
Its almost embarrassing to me to have to admit I had to brush up on my knowledge of things like measurements of matter, the thirteen colonies, and haiku. Lucky for me I’m only teaching a soon-to-be first grader. Who knows what troubles I’ll face in the years to come. Brushing up is just a necessity. It will keep you familiar with the material that way whenever your kids start with the question asking, you’re prepared to give them the best answers possible.
DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
I personally have to keep areas of my life like this extremely organized and well planned out otherwise, not only will I go loco- but I won’t follow through with a damn thing I said I was going to do. I have a folder for every week of the summer, in each folder contains a curriculum sheet divided into three separate days. Each day has its lessons planned and categorized by subject. Attached to each curriculum sheet is each and every photocopied lesson, pamphlet, worksheet, coloring page- you name it, for the week. That’s just the system that I found worked for me to keep organized. I’ve heard people say they prefer a lesson plan book, or none at all. Some like to plan as they go. It’s all about what works for you and theres no sense stressing yourself out for no reason.
ABOVE ALL, HAVE FUN
I tend to develop anxiety over menial things in any type of planning situation. Once I ditched the idea of things having to be perfect and realized just how little the obsessive tiny details mattered, I was able to focus on what was really important; making sure he and I have fun together. Don’t get me wrong, the education is important. But above all, this is an important bonding experience for you and your child. Have fun with it!
What are your experiences with teaching your child from home? Drop a comment in the box below! I’m so excited to keep you guys updated on all that’s to come! Until then my friends!