When we embarked on our adventure, I will admit I had grand ideas that required a never ending supply of money, which as we know in the real world doesn’t actually exist. One of the grand ideas I had was that Ladybug was going to be going to School/Crèche/Preschool while we were slumming it in Dubbo. In the end I decided to Home-school Ladybug.
Ladybug has been at Nursery school since she was 8 weeks old, she is popular and well liked at LPP, plus when you have been attending school (nearly) every day for 5 years school is kind of ingrained into you. Ok truth be told I didn’t want her to go 5 days a week, but rather just 2 – 3 days a week to keep up little people interaction and give Mommy some much needed alone time.
Everything Has a cost – including Home-school
I found that preschool in Australia horribly expensive – bear in mind I was need to still convert to Rands. Some preschools were wanting up to $80 a day, that’s over R800.00 a day! I eventually found a school that wanted $30 a day, which in dollars isn’t absurd, but that is over R300.00 a day *just* so that Ladybug can have little people interaction. Hells bells I don’t spend that much on myself per day just because I need to look after myself.
I then decided to Home-school Ladybug, and build in activities/groups that allowed her to still have that little people interaction. Once upon a life-time ago I was a Nursery School Teacher, my Mom is a Teacher so I guess these things come naturally. To be honest, I was really excited to home school Ladybug and to watch her grow. One thing I learnt very quickly was that you cant just leap into home-schooling. There is so much you want to teach your child, there is so much to learn, but where do you start and how do you do it. I needed time to set this up and do it properly if it was going to be any benefit to Ladybug.
I spent hours researching home-schooling. I discovered there was this whole community of home-schooling parents. Its not as much of a foreign concept as I originally thought and a concept that is actually embraced in Australia. I found some great online resources, some amazing groups and a whole bunch of Moms online who are doing the same thing.
Operation Home-School is Good to Go
We set up an area in the Rumpus Room as Ladybug’s Classroom. It meant that when it was time to do school work we moved to that area and did our work there. When it was playtime or the weekend, the “classroom” area wasn’t turned into the classroom. Ladybug would move the table and chair to make the distinct difference between work and play.
I decided to keep some continuity with LPP and I drew up a board where we covered the days of the week, months of the year, the weather, the seasons, our tasks for the day and how to dress for the day.
The end result was awesome! We sang our days of the week song, we went through the months of the year and we sang our seasons song. It took a few days for me to get it right – according to Ladybug – but once I had learnt how to sing the songs, we were A-for-Away! Ladybug LOVED dressing the Bunnies for the day. Most days she wanted to change their outfits as the weather for the day changed, but it showed me that she was taking notice of her surroundings.
Daily repetitions are key to growth
Our day was semi structured in that every morning we would sing our songs and we would go through Ladybugs writing. I had laminated lines for her to trace, along with numbers and her name. Coloured whiteboard markers worked wonders.
Not only was Ladybug working on her pencil grip and her pencil (whiteboard marker) control, she was also learning to identify her numbers at the same time. A few days of this and she was recognizing numbers everywhere! She also started writing her name, which was pretty awesome when it came to signing Christmas and birthday cards, it added that extra “aaawwww” factor.
(If you want to get your child to start practicing their name click here – or on the picture – and you can customise your own printable for your child to practice with)
We would then move onto lessons and activities for the day. I would pick a theme for the week and arrange crafts and activities around that, sometimes it would go over two weeks, that is the joy with home-schooling, you can take as long as you need on a theme, as long as your child needs to grasp the theme.
I will cover some of our more successful themes that we did, and I will give you some of the awesome resources I came across – over and above Pinterest.