Kindy Homeschooling – Weather, Calendar and Chore Charts

kindy homeschool chore chart, calendar and weather

When we got back from Israel I was feeling a bit out of sorts, and also a bit stressed. For a week or two I couldn’t work out what it was, and then I realised – we didn’t have much purpose or direction in what we were doing at home. The activities I’d been expecting to come back to were all on holidays, and the things we were doing at home weren’t fitting in with the age of the boys, as they both seemed to grow up heaps while we were away, and then have secondary growth spurts (physically, but mostly mentally) as we returned.

It hit me that Lior is now 3 ½, and if he were born in a different time of year, he could well be starting Kindy at this age, but because he is a January baby, he will turn 4 just before he starts Kindy properly. I put my teacher hat on and started to look at ways I could create a Kindy learning environment at home, after all, even when he goes to Kindy* he will still be with me 5 days a fortnight, and we’ll still need to occupy our days when he’s at home.

We had two problems at home – the first was that Lior was always asking “What can I do?” and that was making me stressed, because I wasn’t organised, so I really didn’t know WHAT he could do. And the second was that there were lots of complaints when I needed time to do my own work and chores, and they couldn’t see the bigger picture, or understand that they would have their own time later. Enter the “Today Is” chart.

So I looked online at example kindy classrooms, and I’m making a bit of a plan for things we can do, but the first thing I took to doing was this “Today Is” chart. It encompasses a range of concepts which Lior can start to be familiar with – things like the weather, seasons (he doesn’t believe it’s Winter because it’s not snowing – thanks Frozen :-/ ),  the days of the week, and chores.

kindy homeschool chore chart, calendar and weather

How it works

At our station we have three boards – one “Today Is” board where all the information about today goes, the second board holds all the cards that aren’t being used on this particular day (other weather events, days of the week etc.), and the third is the chore chart. 

Together Lior and I look at the pieces on the big board, and decide what we need for today, then we move them to their place on the “Today is” board. Some of them I do myself (like the date and day), and others he can choose completely independently (like the weather). We talk about each of them as we do them, and he will learn to do them all by himself eventually.

On the big board there is a pocket which has all the different activities we might possibly do inside it, and I choose out a few that I know we have to do, and he can choose some others based on his preference (“Would you like to do building or making today?”).

On the Today Is board there is also 20 squares with numbers inside them. This is his sticker chart. He gets stickers for saying “yes mum” when I ask him to do something, having a good attitude, and anything else I think he should get one for. We talk about what the prize will be at the end (most recently he got a Thomas the Tank Engine, but it could be non-toy items like a special ice-cream, or a trip somewhere that he likes).

I’m totally surprised that Lior is loves the chart as much as he does. He asks every morning, “what are we doing today?” and when I start telling him he says, “no, on the board!”, so we have to go to the board and do the whole process. :)

kindy homeschool chore chart, calendar and weather

3 Year Old Chore Chart

We also have the chore chart. I am still amazed at how well this works. Before when I asked Lior to do anything chore-like he would always say no. Now, he looks forward to doing each of the activities. There is no set reward for doing them, though sometimes when he needs an incentive we talk about how if he gets all of them done today he can get a sticker.

The chores I chose for him were really simple:

  • Get dressed
  • Make your bed
  • Feed Pepper (our dog)
  • Set the table
  • Pick up your toys
  • Brush teeth

I chose these activities because they’re easy for him to do (or at least attempt), but also some are ones he doesn’t currently do – like feeding the dog, and setting the table. All need a certain degree of parental help, which is totally fine!

Ideally I would have liked to take photos of him doing the different activities, but that can be an amendment down the track – for now I’m keen to get it happening, so I just found pictures online which I could print out, and attach to card with the labels. Labelling the chores as well as having the picture is important as Lior is all about letters and words at the moment, and he loves to ask me to read things, and sound out the letters in the words.

So that’s our set up at the moment! While I was making it I filmed the process, so I can show you how I made it in a follow up blog post soon. :)

 

 

* Perhaps this is worthy of a different blog post, so I’ll just say it briefly here – we plan to homeschool our children, at least for Prep and Year 1, as I don’t like the current QLD curriculum for these early years. I DO like the Kindy “curriculum”, as long as we find the right kindy. There are quite a few other factors, but I’ll talk about those another time!

15 (16) Weeks Pregnant – Working + Being Busy!

15 weeks pregnant

As suspected, pregnancy number 3 is flying by. How can I really be 15 or 16 weeks already?! This week Luke was involved in helping to host some events, including an event with the Israeli Ambassador to Australia, which was pretty exciting! So he has been out lots, and we have had lots of functions on, so it’s been busy in our house this week, and I’ve been feeling a bit tired and stressed. To top it off we spent time looking at Kindys this week for Lior to go to next year, and had a doctor’s appointment for him for an allergic reaction he had the other week. I also did some work this week, and because of Luke’s other appointments I had to ask a friend to look after the boys. This in itself is not a huge problem, but since doing it I’ve had to stop and ask myself if this is really what I should be doing. It’s definitely something I WANT to do, but there are many, many things I want to do, and I’ve had to consider if this is really the right time for me to do this particular thing… It’s food for thought at least!

Wearing: This week I officially grew out of my regular jeans, might have to expand my maternity wardrobe, as this is certainly a bit earlier than I’m use too… My belly is feeling harder, and rounder, and I definitely feel pregnant.

Move it: Definitely feeling baby kick this week. I mean, perhaps only 2 days of the week, but still! The work I did was filming an active birth session, and by gosh did I feel the baby kick a lot by the end. Maybe I have a future midwife inside me?!

Feeling: By the end of this week I’m feeling much less tired. Hopefully those iron tablets are working, and we’re moving into a nicer, more energetic period of the pregnancy!

Anticipating: This week I’ve been keeping my ear out, and praying for two friends who are due to give birth. The first one popped this week, and has a beautiful little girl, and the second friend should give birth next week I guess! All of this just makes me clucky (and maybe a little scared!) for my own little person to come into the world in 6 months time.

15 weeks pregnant with Lior.

15 weeks pregnant with Eli.

Fall Feasts Christian Countdown 2015

Fall feasts countdown

I know it’s only July, but I wanted to give you all a head’s up about a program I’ll be running throughout the month of September. Last year in preparation for the Fall Feasts (Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kippur, and Feast of Tabernacles) I set up a “countdown” with a new activity for us to do each day. Activities include colouring ins, art, cooking, acts of service, and things to read. This year I’ve decided to do up a mailing list, as I’ve had lots of people contact me asking for advice on how they can celebrate these Biblical appointed times and make them an important part of their family life.

This countdown will refer to verses from the New Testament as well as the Old Testament, and will include a focus on the birth of Jesus during Sukkot (as this is when He was most likely born). It designed for Christians – either those who are keen to know more about these Biblical appointed times, or those who have been following it for a while now.

>>> Sign up here. <<<

Countdown through Fall Feasts - family activities - colouring in

How do I participate?

The program is designed so you’ll get an email each day, and can do an activity each day, but the truth is some days you won’t be a chance to do the activity, or your kids just won’t be up for it. Don’t stress! There’s no pressure to do… any of the activities – you can sign up and then just do the activities that you like the sound of, that you have time for, or the ones that you already have stuff for. Perhaps you’ve never celebrated the Biblical Feasts (and Fasts) before – no worries! Use this as an opportunity to be inspired, and to learn, and feel free to adapt the activities to suit your family’s needs, and your current understanding.

There will be a basic activity, and I will provide suggestions of how to adapt it to younger or older children. You can share what you’re doing on social media (details will be in the emails).

>>> Sign up here. <<<

How many emails will I get?

When you sign up to the list below you will receive a confirmation email when you sign up, then I will send out a reminder a month before our countdown starts, and one or two emails the week before the countdown starts with a list of some things you might need (these won’t be expensive, but one activity might require a bunch of toilet rolls, or glue, or cellophane, so I will let you know what you might want to round up!). Then you’ll get regular daily emails for a month. You’ll stay on the list for next year too. :)

You will get the emails on the evening that the Hebrew day starts, so that you can complete the activity when you wake up in the morning.

Countdown through Fall Feasts - family activities - countdown

What will be in the email?

It might vary, but this is the basic format:

  • Bible verses
  • The activity for the day
  • Any supporting things you might need (template, links, instructions etc.)
  • Ideas for how you can keep these appointed times depending on if you have a group of people to do it with, or if you’re on your own.
  • Some personal thoughts
  • A heads up of what to expect later in the week so you can be prepared
  • Any other bits and pieces you might like to collect for future years (books, music etc.)

Fall Feasts Countdown of Family Activities - baking

Subscribe to our the Fall Feasts Countdown Email List

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What are the activities like?

Last year I shared a few of the activities here on the blog. Some of them include: