i've taught kindergarten, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 6th grade. i have an undergraduate degree in elementary education and a master's in child development and i've given workshops to preschool teachers overseas, so you'd think deciding what to teach and how to teach my twin 2 year olds at home would be easy.
oh! on the contrary!!! i think when one decides to educate their own kids, they are a bit more nervous...or at least i was. i wanted to make sure i found a good balance between free play and structured/unstructured "learning". they were only 2.5!!! i didn't want them to sit and hear lectures or even do worksheets for that matter. and, as you can guess, there's a whole lot of information on the web that makes it even harder!! so many choices! so many views on education/child development.
after much thought and research, i decided on calvert homeschooling curriculum.
skip ahead one year.
the girls are now almost four years old and we are still homeschooling. i still have the calvert curriculum, but we basically only use it as a guide and do a couple of the activities they have. there are some concepts they include that i don't want to miss. but other than using some of their stories and a few activities, we really do our "own thing" and use the internet a lot for project and craft ideas. the problem with calvert is that although it spells everything out for the "teacher", it does little in terms of creative projects for young ones.
when the twins became more interested in learning about letters, i briefly tried the well known "letter-of-the-week" planning. i know of many teachers who still teach the alphabet this way, so i was rather comfortable with doing such as well. the problem with this method, however, is that it seemed a bit too slow and rigid for homeschooling 2 kids. i noticed the problem especially when we looked at the letter "b" and used one twin's name as an example. her sister, who's name begins with "k", understandably wanted to learn how to write that letter and know other words that begin with "k". other letters were the same. they simply wanted to learn letters a lot faster than one a week...
in searching further for better ideas, i luckily found a website that discusses "no more letter of the week" and teaching ideas for preschoolers. this has become the foundation of our homeschooling.