Learning to Teach with Small Lessons
Wether you are a Parent, new Homeschool Mom, or Teacher (without a formal education), taking on the task of teaching can be quite overwhelming. You may not have gone to post secondary school to learn how to teach but it's okay. While you may not recognize it... you have been innately gifted with the ability to teach. From day one being around a child, you have taught them something!
Humans have been teaching their young without that college ed since the beginning of time, and it is no different today. Many prefer to send their offspring into a school to acquire knowledge, but the truth is, it doesn't HAVE TO BE DONE that way.
So you're probably here reading this hoping that it can help guide you with this task at hand. I'll do my best to get you well-oiled for your new situation. It doesn't matter if you're trying to give your child some extra learning moments during the summer, or if you've decided to home educate, or if you've taken an early education teaching position... these notes, steps, or tips will help you! So take a minute and grab some basics... Coffee, Coke, Healthy Brain Drink... Paper, Pen, and maybe.. sticky tabs (they are my favorite).
If you remember your own time in school, you may recall how you needed to take a large chapter and break it down into sections to study. The idea is the same for teaching children. Obviously, if you're focusing on pre-k to 5th..the smaller the lesson, the better. Older children can handle more depth into subjects, but little ones struggle with attention spans, so you need to take your topics and break them down to 2-3 minute lessons.
Ex: Topic is on Anatomy. That's a huge one..so let's dissect it. Anatomy is broken into Systems right, Integumentary, Circulatory, Respiratory..etc. So Let's start with Respiratory > Lungs > Breathing > make an inflatable lung craft.
Lung Craft would be ONE small lesson. Maybe you would talk a little about breathing, and then make the craft. But that's it. The next day, you can talk more about how the lungs push oxygen around our bodies. Then slowly build each day until you've covered the system. If you're trying to cover the whole of Anatomy for a younger child, consider that most of the detailed information won't be covered at this age. 4th and 5th grade are great levels to incorporate more detail, more activities. 6th grade and up is easy to find curriculum for these types of topics.
Instead of dropping loads of money on curriculum books for every topic you want to cover, look into small shops online that create lessons. Like my website, these shops create small lessons that often incorporate Videos, Songs, Crafts, Recipes, and Beautiful printable activities that easily fill your needs. You can piece them together to build as well.
Ex: I want a Human Body Systems Chart- I like this one from Montessori Factory>
But I also want to show systems of the body, so I'll add something else...
Building a Unit Study
- One Picture Book a day
- One kind of activity (to completion)
- One section of a chapter book
- One writing assignment
You can always switch things out, but this gives enough of something for them to do, and keep you on track to finish. Don't fret if you never use everything you gathered...it happens to most of us!
The Benefit of Digital Bundles
One of my newest loves are digital bundles. Especially the ones that have some of my favorite shops. Now, my kids are older so I don't use everything in the bundles, but the low price is sooo worth it. If I found a bundle with diverse lessons then I'm already stocking up on material to use throughout the year! If you're paying a discounted price, chances are you save money. I always use about 5-10 lessons from a bundle and that would've equaled double the bundle cost or more! Don't be shy about taking a look at them. Yes, you need to download them, and yes you will have to print what you need, but the alternative is hundreds of dollars for heavy curriculum that you may or may not use. Once downloaded, it's yours forever. So you didn't get to something one year...well it's there for the next!
Preparing Your Space
It's important to stay organized when teaching. This world opens up the path to become a hoarder easily. Find what works for you, but remember to unclutter often. I'm a big fan of magazine holders for separating topics, and file folders for keeping printables organized.
If you need more tips or questions, don't be shy, message me!