Homeschooling Little Ones with the Noah Plan®
It feels a bit surreal when I think about how it has been fourteen years since we began using the Noah Plan curriculum. But, here I am with three homeschool graduates. And we have used the Noah Plan® curriculum all the way through. That said, we homeschooling parents know that we start “home schooling” from our children’s infancy. By God’s design, children learn from their parents. The first lessons are about love, care, provision, security, and hopefully Christ-likeness. We’re their first comprehension of God’s love and care. Keeping this perspective will help as you begin homeschooling little ones with the Noah Plan®.
Homeschool is a Natural Extension of Parenting
Just think of it. Every time you speak and sing to your child, you are teaching them about language. Isn’t language and communication a precious gift? In the Noah Plan® our children learn about how language is a gift and a tool for liberty. And, isn’t it quite natural to bring our little ones along our side to cook and bake? As we stack blocks we talk about colors and count with them. So much naturally happens through play and every-day life. So, have confidence. This is God’s design and you are walking in it when you accept the responsibility to and commit to homeschooling your child.
My parents homeschooled my younger brother and I. Thanks to my mother, I learned to think this way: “If the school system is concerned that you can’t teach your own child, then they haven’t done a very good job of it for those who attended their schools.” It’s a good point, isn’t it?
Beginning with the Noah Plan®
Firstly, always remember that homeschooling is never meant to emulate the school system. (And remember that the school system developed long after homeschooling.) Each family has its own rhythm and flow. And it changes as your children grow. For some of us, it changes each time we add another family member to our homes. So, adjust we must. However, when I was first homeschooling little ones, we had a general flow when using the Noah Plan® Kindergarten curriculum. Much of it we could do as ‘together school’:
- Mondays: Prayer and Bible; spelling; math
- Tuesdays: Prayer; Bible review; Literature (reading more if chapters required it); spelling review; math
- Wednesdays: Prayer; Bible review; English; spelling review; math
- Thursdays: Prayer; Bible review; History; spelling review; math
- Fridays: Prayer; Bible recitation of memory verses; Geography; spelling review; math
- Saturdays: We’d enjoy ‘Saturday Science’ and my husband would lead the lessons
As a part of our daily flow, we’d do arts and crafts. It didn’t feel like a formal lesson per se. It was just together time and I’d talk about Bible principles with them while we created together.
Of course, to help them learn skills and practicing self-government they’d help with chores and other responsibilities.
If we didn’t ‘get to’ literature during the day for some reason, I’d often times make it our family read aloud instead. Gathering around the living room they’d listen while they drew and colored from the story. We’d have discussions about the characters’ internal and external qualities. Discussions about cause-to-effect took place. And, we’d talk about some Biblical principles.
Breaking it Down More
How did we do Bible together? I’d just go through the lessons, have discussions, and most of the time they draw and/or color.
How did we do spelling together? We use Spell to Write and Read. So, we’d go through the flash cards of the phonograms together. For our younger ones, they’d hear the spelling list, clap syllables, and ‘finger spell’ with me. The ones ready to write would write and work on their penmanship. My little preschoolers would practice tracing or play.
How did we do math together? For this, I just taught my Kindergartner and up together. For some things, math needs to be one-on-one. Math card games were easily done with our K and older as well. And, often times my preschoolers would sort the rainbow bears for counting and sorting while the older ones did something else.
You can probably picture that the other subjects were handled much the same way.
Homeschooling Can Be Enjoyable, Casual, and Enriching
If it sounds too casual, maybe it’s time to consider home life and learning in light of our environments. Again, the school system is a completely different environment—one that is not at all natural. Many individuals point out how it isn’t natural for children to be away from their parents and among their peers for hours on end.
At home, we can snuggle next to each other on the sofa and learn together. To this day I sometimes sit on the floor and have babies and toddlers crawling on me while I read. Maybe I’ll stack blocks with them while my early readers practice reading aloud to me. Or we can be at the table and copying notes from the whiteboard. Maybe my little ones who are too young to ‘do notebook pages’ are playing with play dough next to us. In the kitchen, we can have a lot of memories made while we toss together a snack or meals. When we relax and let our homes be our homes, a love for home is developed. What fond memories and close relationships we have!
These are like how my early days with the the Noah Plan® and the Principle Approach® were for me. Needless to say, it still is much this way because I am blessed to still have little ones in this season of life.
If you’re like our family and keep adding little ones, this is how I manage to teach with little ones. The Word study on management in this article blessed me so much. I hope it blesses you because you’re in the thick of it, too! This is one of the most important duties there is. And you’ll do just fine at it. You will and the Lord will be by your side each step of the way. So, lean in on Him with all you’ve got.
You can ‘rough it‘ by going at it all or mostly alone. There are some materials for individuals to do on their own. For example, there is the Renewing the Mind for Teaching and Learning study.
Or you can join a community of like-minded people.
I love to help homeschooling families to learn how to use the Principle Approach® in their homeschools. It’s a purpose and life mission of mine. Over the years, I’ve received emails about how someone wishes they could carry on past third grade, but they don’t have the time to create the lessons. Or they don’t have the confidence or understanding for how to do it. That’s why Principled Academy continues to exist and why I create products to help homeschooling families make it happen.
Our sister website, Biblical Classical Homeschoolers, is launching this year. This is where you will find some Biblical Principle Approach course curriculum for your homeschool. If you sign up for our membership you, you’ll have access to course curriculum and community. We hope you help us to build our community there as we shift it away from social media. (Who else is tired of social media?) To learn about when we launch the Biblical Classical Homeschoolers website, get one our email list. Just be sure to open up the emails we send.
Friends of mine also have the same heart and mission to teach and help homeschooling families use the Principle Approach®. You’ll find some great classes through Dr. Brenda MacMenamin of Teaching His Story ( <- not an affiliate link). Additionally, my friend Laura Caruso of Providential History has wonderful classes for your students ( <- not an affiliate link). Both of them are offering online classes.
There are teacher training courses offered through the Foundation for American Christian Education has now ( <- not an affiliate link).
You’re not alone! And you can do this!