Today is the official start of the new school year at Le Chemin ABA, my learning house for children with special needs. We are so excited to be back and to be planning our best school year ever! In honor of the beginning of a new school year, I am sharing a special homemade system with you to make home program curriculum planning easier. I am always on the lookout for new ways to make home programs run more smoothly and easily and this system does just that.
What are “program envelopes” you ask ? They are an organized system that will help you and your home program team (if you have one) know what to do with your child when you have learning materials and your child sitting in front of you waiting for some learning fun ! Planning home program curriculum for your child is about to get a whole lot easier!
Begin by selecting 2-3 of your children’s learning materials/toys. I suggest using materials with which you and your child are already familiar to start. This will make it easier for both you and your child to start putting this organizational and educational method in place.
Get started making your own “Program Envelopes”
Collect the learning materials or toys you are planning to use for this program :
- You will need 2-3 of your child’s favorite learning materials/toys at first. You can use this system for as many of your child’s learning materials as you choose. I used Mr. Potato Head for this project I am sharing with you today.
- You can use anything from puzzles, to board games, to a farmhouse and farm animals.
You will also need :
- Plastic envelopes (you need one envelope for each learning material/toy)
- Index cards
- Laminated photos of all materials used for this program (I recommend this laminator value pack)
Steps to creating your “Program Envelopes” :
Prepare your plastic envelopes. The envelopes I used are size A5. They are just the right size to hold all of my photos of Mr. Potato Head as well as an index card explaining the activities to do with Mr. Potato Head.
Take pictures of all your materials. For Mr. Potato Head, I prepared a white background using a thick sheet of white paper and took a photo of Mr. Potato Head’s body before he was assembled and after he was assembled. I also took a photo of each of his body parts individually for the various activities I plan to propose using these photos.
Prepare the index cards that you will put in each envelope. Label the top of the card with the name of the learning material or toy, in my case I wrote “Mr. Potato Head” at the top of the card. Then list 4 or 5 different activities that you can do with the item. This list will serve as a reminder when you pick up the activity. It will also help your home program team members know what to do with your child with any given toy. This makes planning, and preparing, home program curriculum a lot simpler.
Sample activities to do with Mr. Potato Head
1/ Ask your child to match Mr. Potato Head’s body parts to photos of those body parts.
2/ Ask your child to receptively identify Mr. Potato Head’s body parts in response to the request “give me __________” (for each of his body parts).
3/ Label Mr. Potato Head’s body parts.
4/ Ask your child what do you do with each of Mr. Potato Head’s body parts ? (function of each body part)
5/ Ask your child to show you each of Mr. Potato Head’s body parts (for example, “show me the nose”).
Keep your system organized
I recommend keeping your materials organized in drawers in a child-friendly system. I coral items by category or by activity and label each bin or drawer with a photo label.
Keep your new “Program Envelopes” in each of your corresponding drawers or bins.
Once you have this system in place, home program organization and activity planning will be easy. (Ok, I don’t know if it will ever be eaaaasy, but I can promise it will be easier !)
Good luck with the new system! I would love to hear about YOUR home program curriculum and what you are planning to teach your child this school year. Tell me all about it in the comments below.
This article contains affiliate links. I only recommend materials that I believe in 100% and use with the children in my learning center.
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