A typical week’s plan for us
I thought I’d take a few minutes to share how I usually go about planning a week of “school.” The first place I go to is my ABC Jesus Loves Me 3-Year Old Curriculum book. All the lesson plans are available on the website, but I like the ease of flipping through actual pages to find what I need. I printed out the 36 week table that gives a quick overview of what’s being taught week by week, followed all 36 weekly lesson plans. You DO NOT have to print all this out to use the curriculum. It just works best for my brain. (You can also order a spiral bound book from the website with everything already printed if that option works better for your family.)
As I’ve said before, I don’t use every part of the curriculum. Here are the key components I take note of:
- Bible story
- Memory verse (although I sometimes choose my own that I feel is more appropriate for the story or that I particularly want Ian to learn)
- (Book of the week)
I usually use a book from my booklist (which I talked about in this post) rather than the one listed in the curriculum. Once I know those components, I put together my weekly plan. I don’t schedule each day, though we do have a typical pattern we fall into. I usually just put together a sort of list of what elements I want to include in our week, and then I try to get to them whenever I want to have some focused learning time. It might look something like this:
Bible story: Adam & Eve
Memory verse: (Psalm 119:10) “I will seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.” (This isn’t the verse from ABCJLM for that story, but I came across it in one of the activities she had listed, and it seemed more appropriate to me.)
Concept Focus: colors, shapes, numbers, or a letter of the week, anything I think Ian could benefit from being exposed to. (I’m going ahead and reviewing letters with Ian, mostly because he’s starting to be interested in writing. I don’t want him learning poor habits so I’m teaching him correct letter formation using various activities other than actually writing.)
Songs to sing (we do these throughout the week as we’re getting dressed, making meals, in the car, etc.):
- Memory song: Tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, saying “Psalm 119 verse 10,” then repeating the words of the verse.
- “Oh Be Careful, Little Eyes”
iPod playlist (I’ll put these on in the background as Ian is playing). This usually contains things pertaining to the Bible story from various sources:
- audio Bible (We LOVE the ESV Audio Drama Children’s Bible from Faith Comes By Hearing. If there’s a song that goes with a story, I include that.)
- The Singing Bible
- Songs from the Beginner’s Bible
- Bible songs from various CDs.
- Bibles (we read from the NIV at night, but I also use several different children’s Bible storybooks, which I’ll have to talk about in another post)
- Big Thoughts for Little People (just the page for the letter of the week)
- My First Steps book (recommended in the ABC Jesus Loves Me curriculum)
- Book of the week
- Tell Bible story using flannelboard
- Trace upper- and lowercase letter of the week using sandpaper letters
- Writing letter of the week in rice
- Bible Notebook (We do some sort of 2-dimensional craft to represent that week’s Bible story and put the memory verse on the page. I go to the weekly lesson plan online and look through all the activity links for inspiration, usually coming up with my own idea based on something I see). After we’ve made our page we go through our entire Bible Notebook from beginning to end, reading the verses, briefly mentioning each story, etc. to help get the verses and stories more deeply rooted in our hearts.)
- Ideas from the Before Five in a Row Manual our Homeschool Share to go along with our book of the week.
My teacher training comes out a bit, as I also feel the need to write down weekly learning objectives:
Objectives: By the end of this week, Ian will be able to:
- Retell the Bible story using flannel board
- Recite (or sing) the Bible verse
- Write the letter of the week with his finger in rice/sand/finger-paint
And that’s a pretty typical week for us. If there’s a video that goes with our Bible story (I usually check the library for the Beginner’s Bible videos, Nest Entertainment’s Animated Stories from the Old/New Testament, Greatest Heroes and Legends of the Bible, and VeggieTales), I usually let the boys watch that sometime during the week. I also try to expose them to some Spanish through Salsa videos at least once a week (more on those another time), and they love watching Signing Time videos as well.