We have been homeschooling for about 2 years now. Miranda has been through kindergarten and first grade. She is now going into second grade. Our son, Kaelan, will be going through kindergarten this year and Sophia will have her pre-K things to participate as well.
Our journey in this part of our lives actually started back when we started to regularly attend our local library storyimes when Miranda turned 2 and Kaelan was pretty young still, an infant of a few months old. These were times I was able to “go out” and spend time in the world as a Mom in an environment that nurtured my children’s imaginations as well as my own. I have always loved reading and being at the library.
Manatee County storytimes always include early education aspects such as letters, numbers and counting, shapes, colors, different and alike, patterns along with songs and reading books. There is Mother Goose on the Loose that focused more on 2 to 3-year-olds and is more about rhymes, movement and songs with one short book. The Preschool Storytime is a program for 4 to 5-year-olds with a selection of books and some songs and activities thrown in. There is always a theme and those themes tend to coincide with a holiday or season when appropriate. For example, during fall, they always include pumpkins or apples or both. And during summer they include beaches and rain…I suppose being in Florida has to do with that also.
I realized when I began starting Miranda in kindergarten that I had been doing school all along without knowing it since she was two. This, of course, also means that all the others have been learning and growing and taking in from very early on as well. Kaelan, Sophia and Evelyn were brought to the library as soon as I was leaving the house and going back to “normal” after birthing a baby. Sophia was already identifying letters and their sounds when she was two and a half. She is three almost four now!
The particular branch that we used had an actual room in their children’s area that functioned for these times as well as housing toys that our children often enjoyed. Couple that with pulling multiple books with glorious pictures and sitting for hours at a time looking through them and you have one happy Mama! We also incorporated abcmouse.com and let them take a half hour on the library computers to work on it. As a side note, most public libraries offer abcmouse.com for free in their children’s departments! Never be afraid to find your free resources for your children’s education…talk to your librarians; more often than not, they can point you in the right direction and share where to find those resources.