All posts tagged: articles

what curriculum is best for preschool? via lagarfias.com

Curriculum for the Little Ones?

Why preschoolers learn best with their siblings My three “school-aged” children have been studying the Middle Ages for the past several weeks. They have enjoyed tales of plundering barbarians who never take baths, conquering kings who unite peoples, and the development of their own English (or should we say “Anglish”?) language. We devoured Beowulf with a relish I never experienced in my own drab English Literature college course; the tale of a heroic young man who defends the honor of his father’s friend by slaying a dinosaur-like creature fired the imagination of us all. My 3-year-old has been the most fascinated by our studies. Indeed, he has been known to insult his sister with the epithet, “You look like Grendel’s mother this morning!” As I write this, he is barefoot in the backyard, waving a stick into the air, screaming to an imaginary king that he will, indeed, kill the “hideous monster Grendel, or die trying.” He must, for his father’s sake. Preschool-aged children benefit most educationally from exposure to their older siblings’ elementary and …

Build an appreciation for good music while they are young, via lagarfias.com

Growing with an Appreciation of Music

From my article for Home School Enrichment, how we as homeschool parents can teach music appreciation in our daily lives. Growing with an Appreciation of Music One of my earliest recollections is of my father singing.  I still remember him rocking my younger sister to sleep every night in the creaky maple rocker, singing every verse of “Amazing Grace.” That simple melody and uncomplicated text naturally became ingrained on both our hearts.  My sister and I can still sing every verse of that song, if tears don’t choke us up. This poignant memory is just one example of how my parents used music throughout our lives. There was always music in our home.  My mother sang constantly.  Loud, lusty singing was the soundtrack of housecleaning, cooking, and errands through my growing years.  My infamous bout with chicken pox, during which I infected my entire church kindergarten class and my baby sister before breaking out over my entire body, was also the beginning of my Patch the Pirate addiction.  I would soon wear out many a …

How to Attend a Homeschool Convention

I’ve just begun writing for Texas Home School Coalition. The May issue of their Review, my first month writing for the magazine, focussed on Homeschool Conventions. So, I submitted an answer to a question posed on the Home Education community of facebook. I had answered the question briefly there, but I went into more detail for the article. Last year I attended my first home school convention. That is shocking since I am a home school graduate and have been homeschooling my own children their entire lives. I simply never realized what a plethora of knowledge and resources these gatherings are. Now that I have experienced the wonder for myself, I am hooked. Recently someone asked me how to get the most out of her first homeschool convention. The following are seven tips I gave her: Make your list, and check it twice. Conventions are overwhelming sources of information, resources, and materials. Your shopping list should be divided into two parts:  needs and wants. Needs should include any curriculum, textbooks, or resources you and your …

How to choose picture books, via lagarfias.com

Picture Books for Preschoolers

Picture Books for Preschoolers How to choose great children’s literature One of my earliest memories is of the baby activity book Pat the Bunny.  My father would read it to me on his lap, and together we would “smell the flowers in the garden” and “peek at baby in the mirror” and “feel Daddy’s scratchy face.”  That book meant more than preschool sensory stimulation to me.  It was time with my father doing what we would love sharing together for many years to come: learning and discussing at his knee.  It is no wonder that when I learned I was expecting my first child, one of my first purchases was my own copy of Pat the Bunny for my own son. Picture books do hold a special place in the early years of a child’s life.  He will first learn to love words and pictures, learning and letters while listening to his parents’ voices over those pages.  Parents understandably put great importance on these first books they read with their children. Wise Words In the …