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Finally have an idea

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Since we're just "trying" out hs'ing for preK we've decided to concentrate on teaching him to read and write. We also will add some basic math but focus more on the read and write. Think that's good for preK? And play. Lots and lots and lots and lots of play. lol

post #2 of 14

Many 3 and 4 yos aren't developmentally ready to read or write. I would follow his lead on those two subjects rather than have teaching them be a goal. If he likes drawing and having stories read to him, I would do as much of those two activities as he has interest in doing. They are important foundations for writing and reading. And if he is ready to learn more, he'll ask questions or just learn from observation. Math for the pre-k level is usually things like making patterns with blocks, noting when some amounts are less or more than each other. That sort of thing, not actual arithmetic.

post #3 of 14

Toatlly follow his lead, some kids can figure out reading that young, but many cant. My little guy is pointing out letters asking what sounds they make, but my older nephew (pre K age) could care less. 

post #4 of 14

Nothing wrong with exposing him to some early reading skills. The problem arises if you measure the success or failure of your homeschooling based on what progress he makes in learning to read. At that age progress is about 95% dependent on developmental readiness, and 5% on the kind of teaching and guidance he's getting. If he's truly ready to read at age 4, he'll probably learn even with no direct teaching. If he isn't ready, no end of creative activities and guidance will get him there. 


If you want to "test out" your homeschooling, I'd be more inclined to focus on things that are more likely to be within the developmental means of most 4-year-olds. Learning songs, rhymes, fingerplays, puppetry, simple handicrafts, household helpfulness skills, tending a small garden, freeform rhythm and dance, mucking about with art media of various sorts, storytelling, and all that sort of stuff.


And he may learn to read, if he's one of the unusual kids who, like mine, are ready to read at 4. But that's almost beside the point, IMO.



post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

He knows his abc's and the sounds they make. He also likes to "read" to me. I've introduced some 2 letter words to him by sounding them out and he gets so happy when he gets it. So I figured I could teach him to read at least 2 and 3 letter words.


I'm sorry. I didn't mean actual math. He does count and can count to 30 most days (when he feels like it, really). He likes to count out how many oranges we have and to tell me, after he takes one, how many are left so to me he's "doing subtraction".


As for writing, he likes to watch me write and tries to copy what I'm doing. I just thought I could introduce it, too.


Would this be considered as following his lead?



ETA - He doesn't like puppets or fingerplay. He likes nursery rhymes and singing/dancing. He has chores he does and chores he helps us with and we have a garden that he picked out what to plant and helps with weeds.

post #6 of 14
Originally Posted by MindlessChrissy View Post

As for writing, he likes to watch me write and tries to copy what I'm doing. I just thought I could introduce it, too.


Would this be considered as following his lead?


If he likes to watch you write and tries to copy, then what's to "introduce"? He's already busy learning. Taking an interest in his copying, providing writing tools, answering his questions... that's "following his lead." You betcha.


Not sure whether "introducing it" would be following his lead, since I'm not sure what exactly you mean by that. It sounds like he's well on his way and you're doing a fine job of supporting and facilitating without overstepping things. I would just carry on.



post #7 of 14
One thing Rain loved at that age was treasure hunts - I would leave a series of clues leading to a "treasure" at the end. Originally I would use something like a chocolate coin, but she liked the game so much and wanted to play it over and over, so we switched to using a lego treasure chest.

It's easy and flexible, and you can use anything from pictures to sentences as clues. So, to start with you might give the child an index card with a drawing or magazine picture of a bed, and then if he went to the bed he would find a card with a picture of a bathtub, and in the bathtub he would find a card with a picture of a cup, and so on... until he went to the last place and found the treasure. Then you can start incorporating some words with the pictures - like "Rain's (picture of cup)" - or just using short words, like "cat". As Rain became a more confident reader she liked more and more complicated clues and actual riddles - we played this off and on for years.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Both 4evermom and sk8boarder15 said I should follow his lead and I was giving examples of what he/we already do and asked if that's following his lead.
post #9 of 14

Your saying teaching him to read or write sounded very ambitious! My ds knew all his letters and sounds when he was 3, too. I thought he was on the cusp of learning to read! BUT he didn't actually start really reading until he was 8.


If your ds is happy and interested, however you do things is fine. Just be aware that not all interests are sustained. Kids take breaks from some "subjects" because they are engrossed in other things. In my experience, they cycle back to them eventually and do all the better for the break. They don't always progress evenly. Honestly, I think kids can learn everything they need to know in the elementary years just from playing without any formal instruction. Just answering their questions is a good way to "follow their lead."

post #10 of 14

Echoing again what 4evermom said... Yes, I think what you're doing is great. Just make sure you hold your expectations in check. Natural learning does not usually proceed along a steadily sloping trajectory. It's characterized by plateaus and sudden leaps. My eldest dd knew her letter sounds at 22 months and spontaneously sounded out her first word ("press") at age 3 years 3 months. Yet it was almost 18 months before there was any more demonstrable interest in reading that carried her beyond that point. Then suddenly she was a fluent reader at a very high level, passionate and insatiable. I am very glad I heeded the subtle signals she sent me at age 3 that said "I'm not really all that interested in working on learning to read with you." I could have mangled her gestating interest, I could have taken over control of her progress and turned it into something that was more about my need to feel like a successful facilitator than about her need for autonomy and privacy as she cracked the code. A year and a half of being almost ready to read with no clear progress on her own was a test of my patience, but I just kept telling myself that she would move ahead when she was ready.



post #11 of 14

We're child-led around here, so things happen when they're ready to happen. As proof of this, my son was REALLY into chemistry when he was 6, but hadn't learned to read yet. No matter. I read TO him, be built molecules, we drew molecules, we put on little mini "plays" where we acted out the parts of atoms and molecules, he made a science fair display, we did experiments, etc.


....he didn't really read until age 7 I think. I remember being very worried but now he's nine and a fantastic reader. The interest in chemistry has dropped off. Now it's Minecraft! LOL


Now my current reason for panic is math. But I am sure someday I will look back on this and laugh. It helped a lot when I learned about right-brain versus left-brain learners. No amount of me forcing left-brain drilling and worksheets on that kid were going to have anything more than piddling amounts of success, overshadowed by huge quantities of stress.


I say, find your child's style and run with it.  :-)

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you, everyone. You've given me lots to think about. Honestly my expectations aren't very high. He gets a word, we celebrate, we move on. His days, when it's not pouring rain, is to play with water. He enjoys coloring it with food coloring. He can, and does, do this for hours. So I've been showing him how to mix colors to make a new color.
post #13 of 14

OT, sorry, but I'm wondering how you contain the food coloring and water play?



post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Since he does it outside we use his kiddy pool and clear containers I've bought from the dollar store or had in the house that wasn't being use for anything. Clear drink cups from places like McDonald's (I drink the iced coffee and reuse the cup and straw). If he's inside we use the bathtub and containers to make less of a mess.

He loves it and always asks if he can "do colors".
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