Monday, December 27, 2010

(Our First) Annual Wrap-Up: What a Year!

We take homeschooling very seriously.
I don't know who invented the term "terrible 2's," but this was a wonderful year for the Bibliophile, and for me as his mother.

I have been trying to come up with some goals for homeschooling in 2011.  Looking back, though, I never would have imagined that the Bibliophile would have learned what he did in 2010, with no plan.  So, I'm not really sure that I am driving this train, so to speak.

Before I decide on my 2011 goals, I wanted to take a look back at 2010.  The Bibliophile's birthday is at the end of the year, so this is what he learned from age 2-3. 

The biggest development was learning to read.  It is difficult to remember when he really made the leap, but by mid summer, we were posting about some of his favorite early readers.  The reading opened up a world of fun new games and activities, like this Secret Animal Code Game printable and this homophone worksheet related to Knock Knock jokes.

Early in the year, with the help of a hugg-a-planet globe and some geo puzzles, his interest in geography exploded.   (See all of our geography posts here).  We eventually started on some fun, sporadic country studies, like this week-long study of Ireland.  We summarized some of our early geography activities in this post on 10 Geography Activities for Two Year Olds.

With Daddy's help, he mastered morse code.  And we dabbled in learning some Spanish.

He also started to enjoy pretend play (here he is in a cardboard box car, which was later turned into a fancy car craft from Daddy).  By far his favorite pretend play/storytelling is to use his hotwheels cars to tell stories (or, better yet, to have us tell him stories), but he also enjoys just about any pretend scenario we present to him.  I try to work this pretend play into story writing, and I posted about Our Story Journal and 10 Additional Ideas for Encouraging Storytelling back in August.

His love of board games continued, and we posted about many of his favorites, including this post: Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Board Games?

We introduced soccer to him, which he loved, even if he cried a bit when we suggested that he try to take the ball from other kids to make a goal.  Maybe he is a little too good at sharing.  When the weather wasn't cooperating, we had some silly indoor fun with my exercise ball.

Midway through the year, I bought and introduced our "learning boxes,"  which were an instant hit.

We turned his love for Daddy's old camera into a great My First Photo Assignment.  And did some artist-inspired projects here and there.

In the math area (or what we like to call "fun with numbers"), he can now count seemingly forever (or as long as his attention span will allow)(see our posts about counting books here), and we introduced addition and subtraction.  With the help of monopoly, he's becoming an expert negotiator, but he does sometimes forget whether he's supposed to be going higher or lower!  We summed up some of the ways we learn in this post on What to Do With a Set of 1-20 Numbers.  We also played with some of the more complex shapes, with the help of the book The Greedy Triangle and a fun companion activity.

We managed some crafty fun in there too.  Some of my favorites were these Valentine's/heart projects, our Chicka Chicka boom boom tree, and salad spinner art.

And lastly, the Bibliophile learned what it is like to be a big brother!

So, what's next for 2011?  Stay tuned to see what my plans are (assuming that I ever get them written up.  This last week was our first full napless week).  I have a list a mile long.  It's not hard to think of things that he would be interested in, or is capable of learning, but I struggle a little with whether that means I SHOULD teach it to him yet.  At the same time, I'll be looking to fill in some gaps on anything we've "missed" and trying to take a big picture view to include things like social interaction, trying new foods, etc.  I want to be mindful of the limited time we have for homeschooling like activities, since it is my first year balancing a newborn and a toddler, but I need to keep up our momentum -- not because I think he needs to learn more at this point, but because he wants to.  He keeps going over to his learning boxes and asking me to fill them.  When they are full, it gives us a clear direction, and actually makes balancing the two kids much easier. 

I will link this post up with Weekly Wrap-Up, Preschool Corner, and Tot School.

Comment: What should we learn next?  I'd love ideas!  

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MaryAnne said...

You've done so much this year! I still can't believe the IB's academic ability - it's truly exceptional!

My sister's kids are following a cruise ship on a round the world trip to run their geography lessons this year. My brother-in-law's parents are conveniently going to be ON said cruise ship, but it could be a neat idea even without the personal connection...

Lisa said...

If you'd like a shot at the terrible twos I'd be happy to send the Bug to visit. Maybe until he turns 4?

I can't believe all the bibliophile can do, my 5.5 year old Kindergartener is just now learning to read!

Infant Bibliophile said...

@Maryanne what a fun idea!

@Lisa age 3, combined with new sibling, AND dropping naps, has definitely brought on some attitude adjustment here. I'm getting a lot of no's and whining. I expect to potty train by the time he's 10.

Raising a Happy Child said...

IB is truly an exceptional child, and I am looking forward to see what he will be up to in 2011. It's been a great year for your family.

Christy said...

This is a great post! You had a wonderful year! I hope the naps return - yikes!

Ambra said...'re son has learned a lot! I totally agree with feeling better, more productive, less chaotic when I have things planned out for us to do together. I have a 10 month old and my days go a lot smoother and I feel better about myself as a mother when I have a plan! :)

Thanks for the link to that Sesame Street game, I'll give it a try and see if it helps him understand patterns.

Madonna said...

Ok, I completely agree...we had the best year...terrible wasn't even in the vocabulary. Unfortunately, it already reared its ugly head this month. Evidently, my son must have got confused and thought it was terrible 3's.

It is so interesting to hear that your son is reading. I didn't know if I wanted to go there with mine, but I don't know what else to do with him. Did you follow a program?

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