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# Homeschooling preschoolers support thread - Page 12

Quote:
 Originally Posted by bwylde We did pattern blocks/made patterns, played with 3D geometric shapes...
This sounds interesting. Could you describe more or link to pictures of the blocks/shapes you are using?

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Today Grace wanted to play games, and the first game she brought me was a deck of cards, which she said she didn't know how to use, since they weren't the kind of cards (Dora the Explorer Uno) she plays with Nicole. I showed her how to play War. Then I realized we were practicing inequalities. She found it easy to see which number was bigger, but whenever the cards were equal, she would hesitate and look confused for awhile. We also played hide and seek.
Eminer--"UTTER CHAOS" is a pretty good description of where we are right now. How's your sticker chart going??? You are so very blessed to have Nicole in your life. I really would love to have someone like that for Aiden.
That sounds fun Superstar!
You could play Christmas music too if you want!
We did that and my kids loved it. I cut out shapes (bell, angel, reindeer, etc) My kids aren't quite able to cut out a recognizable shape...then we decorated them with markers, crayons, glitter and glue, and colored tissue paper pieces...Then we simply whole punched added string. They make great keepsakes!

After making a few ornaments my 25 month old decided to put gue all of her hand, let it dry, then peel it off. It was fun to watch her explore abd experiment like that!!
Geometry in a Box (Plastic 3-D Shapes)

Geometry In A Box Linking Cubes (I wish I had gotten this)

Pattern Blocks (Description: Pattern Blocks - a versatile manipulative no math class should be without. Green triangles, red trapezoids, blue rhombuses, tan rhombuses, yellow hexagons and orange squares teach geometry, symmetry, fractions and more. Includes 100 blocks made of sturdy plastic (0.5cm thick).)

Spinner Set (good for homemade games)

Animal Habitat Bingo

Of all these I have gotten, the pattern blocks are DS's favorites. After supper last night it's all he wanted to play last night. He kept going on and on about hexagons and trapezoids all night long, lol!! We spent about an hour just making other shapes into hexagons and making huge honeycombs. I got the wrong book to go with them though. I accidently ordered a tangram book and the shapes are different so I want to find some of those. It's fun to just play with them though.

The learning links are good as they encourage "prealgebraic thinking" according to some sites I have read. DS loves making chains of patterns with them.

The spinners are good for homemade games and you get 6 different ones for \$1.24. They also have a couple of different jumbo foam blocks which my kids love. There are other things on my list to get. There is so much at that site It's hard to limit myself when I buy. I already have another order started :

I was quite surprised about how much DS loved the Habitat Bingo. We played for quite a while last night too. No wonder I got nothing done, we just did stuff for him all night, lol! It was fun.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Aiden'sMom Eminer...How's your sticker chart going???
Not bad. It's amazing that I've gone out many times this week and yet never found myself without my keys, bank card, or supplies for dd2. We seem to have hit some equilibrium with the morning thing, too, where we don't necessarily follow the posterboard list perfectly, yet we seem to remember everything we have to do. The cleaning routine has gotten off track, though, because we have had multiple computer (read: work) crises and spent the last couple of days travelling all over town trying to end up with working equipment. That's been really hard on dd1, which doesn't help the housework situation (picture her vomitting blocks and art supplies while bouncing off the walls while dh and I try to fix a computer).

Quote:
 You are so very blessed to have Nicole in your life.
I know it!
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Aiden'sMom I guess one important issue in my situation is that Aiden is very spirited--he needs way way less sleep than his father or I do. This is overwhelming in itself, and then on top of that, it is very challenging (I hate to say impossible--but it often seems to be.) to have enough time and energy to find project/activity ideas that we can do. I'm happy to do them--he loves science experiments--I just need the instructions and some kind of information about what it is we're learning b/c he wants to know everything about everything.
Let's take it step by step then.

A)You get a brighly colored (because if you're anything like me, you need something easy to find when it's been tossed around the house) notebook and tie a pen to it with a piece of string to write his questions in as they come up - and another one in the car. Hm...maybe two in the car, so there's one there after you've carried on into the house and forgotten to bring it back - again, I'm gauging this by my own tendencies. Or a small tape recorder in the car! Then you can later look up his questions in Ask Jeeves for Kids - so that you don't have to interrupt what you're doing in the moment.
B)When you have about an hour that you can pull away:
1. You sit down at the computer and look through the set of links down below the articles box on this page: preschool and kindergarten learning activities.
2. You find pages that have activities you'd like to try, and you bookmark them on your computer in whatever way will keep them in their separate file.
3. You print out a few pages you especially want to do soon.
4. You take notes on what supplies you'll need.
C)You get out a calendar - you can just print one up, for that matter:
free printable calendars - you and Aiden sit together and fill in where you want to do the things you've looked up. You also fill in the simpler things that don't require planning. And you post the calendar where it will be biting you in the nose whenever you're near it.
D)You let Aiden know you'll both need to put some focused energy into organizing time and energy for them.
E) You have him help you round up the materials you're going to need for the first week.

It's possible, I would think, that if you can pull off a solid week or two on a planned schedule - doing some of the things he loves - he might be able to pitch in and help you come up with the time and energy you need. Motivation and all that ... I keep running across interesting sounding books that have activity ideas for children his age too! That could be something to look for on one of your expeditions to the library.

But it sounds as if playmates are what's missing in this picture. You can't be expected to be everything all the time to such an energetic little boy. I'm realizing how lucky we were to have a little boy on the other side of the fence who was always spring loaded to play with my son! Have you put some serious energy into going to homeschooling get togethers to meet some new people? It can be hard, but it's SO worth it! - Lillian
Quote:
 Originally Posted by TakeItEasyMama So, what kind of day do you all manage to have? Mostly at home or out having adventures? What does your house end up like? I'm trying to figure it all out....
I homeschool my 2yrs5mos. b/g twins and we sort of just do things I consider normal for SAHM's but I am a WAHM so I sort of schedule my day around the kids stuff. We go to different baby gym classes 2x a week, the Bronx Zoo 1x/wk, the Aquarium usually 1x/mo but try to go more often in wintertime, park on days no gym, 1 hour reading per day, my dh does Orff Xylophone music with them, certain days we do painting, flour sifting for fun, cooking breakfast daily (they crack eggs, mix them up, make pancakes by pouring all the ingredients in and sifting the dry goods, stuff like that), lots of Montessori activities and then special occasion stuff like on Thanksgiving we built a teepee that they could fit inside and play in and it's still standing out there on our patio (yeah! I never built one before). We do numbers and letters and shapes when they feel like it and lots of non-directed artwork. We teach about fire by having a lead-free wick candle burning and they get to blow it out before their naptime. We (really my dh is, it is his native tongue, but I encourage it and try to do the daily stuff like say good morning and like that to them in German) are also teaching them German (got the Muzzy German but really hate it for young kids, so I am going to get Rosetta Stone, anyone have any comments on that?) That's all the day really allows for us.

I am interested in stuff that other moms do, perhaps to incorporate into our day. When the kids turn 3 in June we enrolled them for science class 1x/wk at our local science museum. We also go the children's museum, but not as often as I want to, plan to step that up a bit in the winter. We just went on vacation to Florida to visit the grandparents and so we did a whole month of planes and learning about airplanes and travelling to prepare them for the experience and they loved going on the airplane and getting to go in the cockpit and the pilot showed ds some controls, he loved that, and they love trains, so we have a Brio set that we set up different tracks each week and play with that. We also do themed/unit studies where we see a particular animal that fascinates them at the zoo so we go to the library and get books out about that animal and do letters and sounds and stuff based on that. Only things they are into though, I don't believe in pushing stuff on kids at any age, I feel it is off-putting. You have to go with your particular kids interests and strengths, whatever they happen to be. I also believe in a well-rounded child, but not to their chagrin.
Momto3g3b- Blessings and awe to you! And big, big {{{{{hugs}}}}} from me and mine. All kids have their good points and love for mama, isn't that so? I find that my kids love for me is the most wonderful thing they give me, not what they know or what they do daily. I just enjoy them for who they are, no matter what they happen to like or not like, kwim? I am sure you are the same. All the academics mean nothing when I get them both into the hot bathtub and they are just playing with water and splashing about each night having a blast with themselves and their mama.
Didn't have time to finish earlier and say, bwylde, thanks for posting those links! Cool materials.
You're welcome

DS is giving me a headache he's so busy lately!! He just constantly wants to do something. That's not a bad thing, but he's wearing me out, lol!! I ordered the book "Why Johnny Can't Read" because of the rave reviews it has. Aparently it's great for helping kids learn how to read. Right now I have DS helping me read a book each day and he gets a sticker for his reading chart. He was really excited about that. I'm going to reserve a shelf just for easy to read books so he can pick the one he wants.

We don't really have a lot in our community for kids. The library, lol! We have a Fire Fighter's museum, but I never think to go : . Maybe the next nice day (darn, I noticed on their website they had free admission on the 10th).
Quote:
 Originally Posted by bwylde We don't really have a lot in our community for kids. The library, lol! We have a Fire Fighter's museum, but I never think to go : .
You must have some great natural surroundings then, right? (Not that observing pigeons and cockroaches isn't great. )
You ladies are so inspiring! This thread is giving me so many good ideas.

bwylde- I love the book closeouts site, I'm going to order the pattern blocks as a last minute Xmas gift, they look like fun.

We did the ornament thing yesterday. The girls had a wonderful time. Sylvia's favorite part was squeezing all of the glitter out of the glitter pens into big blobs. I got her to put some finger paint on her hand for a hand print but she got grossed out and made me take her to wash it off!!!

I've introduced Sylvia to the starfall site and she loves it. She's always wanting to play 'ABC's'. I don't think she's going to be reading anytime soon but I'm glad she's getting the exposure to the letter sounds. Actually, I'm still conflicted about letting her on the computer so much (probably around 1 hr. a day, sometimes 2). I'd love to hear other's opinions or experiences with this. I'm leaning towards trying to keep her off of it but I don't want it to turn into the forbidden fruit.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by eminer You must have some great natural surroundings then, right? (Not that observing pigeons and cockroaches isn't great. )
: More like seagulls and wharf rats . I can see the harbour from where I live and there's places to walk to but it's too hard to navigate over the snow and ice right now (not to mention way too cold!!). I can't wait for spring already.

ETA, I'm loving the pattern blocks. I think after Christmas I might get another set or two. DS and I are having a blast with them!!
Quote:
 Originally Posted by SuperStar Actually, I'm still conflicted about letting her on the computer so much (probably around 1 hr. a day, sometimes 2). I'd love to hear other's opinions or experiences with this.
Personally, I'm in favor. Both my kids have been interested in the computer practically from birth, because it plays an important role in the world around them -- dh and I use it to make a living, find information, shop, play music and movies, create images and stories, etc. (In fact, my 9-month-old is drawn to the bright colored light and likes to sit and type -- not bang -- on the keyboard while looking up at the affect produced on the screen.) In keeping with our "continuum" approach to Grace's attempts to join in our projects, we gave her an unplugged keyboard on a mini desk right next to the big one when she was 1yo. At 2yo, she showed an interest in using the mouse, so we gave her some simple clicking games. Before 3yo, she became interested in making the letters on the keyboard appear on the screen. When she found out we were typing emails that said something, she wanted us to tell her the letters to type to make her favorite words. That's how she learned letters; later she learned to write them only because she felt like typing at times when the computer wasn't handy. Now she uses the computer for many purposes, much as dh and I do, but a lot of the time it is still in conjunction with interacting with a grownup. In any given day, she uses it anywhere from not at all, to longer than the 2 hours you mentioned.

In my mind, the computer is just another tool. It's not an end in itself, and it's not an *alternative* to interacting with real people, reading paper books, making non-digital art, building with real stuff, writing with pens, exploring real natural environments, etc. But as long as a child continues to do all of those other things, I don't see how an hour or two spent at the computer can hurt.

Here are some benefits I see:
- My dd can attach her digital paintings or scanned artwork to an email and get grandma's reply the same day, while she still remembers what she said in the original email.
- She can relate to film in an age-appropriate, super-interactive way, much as she relates to books: freely stopping the movie to point, discuss, replay a particular scene over and over, etc.
- She has amazing access to information, which is especially important in light of the crumminess of our local branch library. For example, recently, when we were discussing cheetahs, dd asked to see a movie of a cheetah running. She knew we'd be able to find that on the web.

If your dd is using the computer exclusively for starfall, then a lot of that doesn't exactly apply...but still you could ask, why does she like it? What is she getting from it that distinguishes it from similar things she could be choosing to do instead?

Quote:
 I'm leaning towards trying to keep her off of it but I don't want it to turn into the forbidden fruit.
If you don't suggest it, and you subtly steer her toward appealing alternatives, maybe she'll move on to another interest. She probably will anyway, once she's had her fill of ABC's for now.
I don't think that the computer is inherently evil, nor that a child playing on a computer is necessarily a bad thing. In fact, the only reason that BeanBean *doesn't* use the computer that often is that we can't run a page like Starfall without the entire bloody system freezing...

Instead of worrying about the computer itself, I'd worry about the way that my child uses it. BeanBean is not one of those children who watches TV as though his buns were glued to the floor, with his mouth hanging open and his eyes glazed over. Mike is, but not BeanBean; he gets bored with that, he likes to get up and move around and *do* something. He's still paying attention, he remembers everything that he sees and can talk to you about it, but he doesn't just sit and passively watch. He's the same way with the computer-- after a while, sitting on his butt just has no appeal to him, no matter how "busy" the screen is. I know that even if he was given perfect freedom to use a computer whenever he wanted to, he would limit himself to less than two hours a day (probably a lot less), so I don't have a problem with him using the computer when he gets the chance.

If I had a child who used the computer in that glazed, half-comatose kind of way, I'd probably try to redirect him to other activities out of concern for his health and well-being. This would especially be true if I didn't have the sort of child who becomes completely obsessed with one thing for a few weeks/months and then drops it and never looks back. I would want to encourage more variety of activity, especially at his age. Then again, I may have a different sort of child and a different set of experiences than you do. You know your kid much better than I do, so none of my advice may apply to your situation.
This is a long thread so I haven't read the whole thing but wanted to chime in/subscribe. I'll try to catch up.

We're taking an unschooling approach with our almost 5yo and 2.5yo. Like another poster said, we consider ourselves HS because we're gearing up for anything we may do later and it's easier to say "We're HS" than to explain that dd doesn't go to preschool/K (which sounds like we do nothing, KWIM?). Dd will want to learn about something so we'll check out a batch of books... horses, cows, etc. Can you tell we live in a rural area? All of our playgroup friends are in 2-3 day preschool except one family who will be HS too so we don't get together every week like we used to. But, we'll be able to do our own HS trips with the family we've been friends with since the oldest were 9mo & 1 year old.

So far the books I've read and enjoyed re: HS are Linda Dobson's HS the First Year and Raymond S. Moore's Better Late than Early.

I was homeschooled for most of my education... my parents taught me to read in preschool/K and then my mom gave birth to two brothers in 17 months so I went to public schools for 1st-4th grade. Once we recovered from the death of my youngest brother I went to a private Christian school for 5th and 6th grade before we moved out of state. Again, I was HS for tw more years and then begged to attend school again (but not public schools LOL) so I went to a church run school for one semester before begging to come home again. The curriculum there was okay, but a boy who had been kicked out of every area school was allowed to pick on me constantly and I grew tired of it. So back to HS where I finished a semester early by taking the SAT and GED and easily passing both (and no studying , which I regret because I could have made really great scores if I'd studied).

My dh was 100% PS but is supportive of our choice to HS... and my family takes it in stride because my brother and I were HS. His family that knows we will be HS are supportive. Any one who isn't, sure hasn't said so!

Gosh, this is long. Sorry!
Quote:
 Originally Posted by eminer In my mind, the computer is just another tool. It's not an end in itself, and it's not an *alternative* to interacting with real people, reading paper books, making non-digital art, building with real stuff, writing with pens, exploring real natural environments, etc. But as long as a child continues to do all of those other things, I don't see how an hour or two spent at the computer can hurt.
That's exactly the point Jean Healy s makes in this chapter from her book, Failure to Connect: How Computer's Affect Our Children's Minds - and What We Can Do About It:
Technology and the Preschool Child - using it as a tool, rather than as a means of edutainment (although I doubt that she'd agree with the idea of a child that age at a computer screen for that amount of time). I've met her and seen her speak - she's quite an impressive and passionate dynamo who's done a lot of personal research on all this, and her concerns are shared by a growing number of other professional educators who's articles I've run across. My own concerns have to do with vision skills - computer screens can be hard on the eyes, and young children's vision systems are still developing. I don't mean to be an alarmist, but I just think it's worthwhile to keep some of the concerns in mind to consider from time to time along with one's own observations - and then decisions can be made with more data to draw from.

Some articles:
--Children and Computer Vision Syndrome
--Do Computers Hinder Young Children's Development?

- Lillian
Thanks for the link on computers and young children.

When I talk about doing starfall.com with my 3.8mos. yo I mean for about 8-10 minutes. We do a few letters and 2-4 stories and then we're off. We do this about 3x a week. I don't think I'm making it into a forbiden fruit...I just offer other fun things.

I like reading different perspectives and hearing what others are doing.
Thanks for the different perspectives ladies!

Also, Lillian, thanks for the links.

I've been trying to draw dd away from the computer by providing lots of other fun stuff to do but it is hard.

I was addicted to watching tv as a child and hate thinking of all the time I wasted. This adds to my sensitivity of my own child becoming glued to a screen.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by SuperStar I was addicted to watching tv as a child and hate thinking of all the time I wasted. This adds to my sensitivity of my own child becoming glued to a screen.
I'm absolutely fascinated by the concept of TV addiction. I've been reading The Teenage Liberation Handbook lately, and in it the author responds to the question, "What if all I want to do is watch TV all the time?" Her response is that for most people, the TV watching has to do with your brain thawing from it's hibernative state, which was induced by the school environment. Eventually it ends, and you'll find that you no longer need to watch TV to relax, your brain wants to do interesting, stimulating things again. It certainly has merit, in my mind; I've only met one homeschooled child who was ever addicted to TV, and his family didn't have one and did a very strict school-at-home kind of program. When he got to college, he'd spend hours in the communting student's building staring at the boob tube.

At any rate, I'm wondering if perhaps you weren't simply trying to cope with school by withdrawing into the alpha state which is induced so quickly by TV.
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