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Homeschooling Preschoolers Jan '06

post #1 of 145
Thread Starter 
So, should we start a new thread to talk about what we are doing now that the holidays are basically done? Is anyone starting something new in the new year? Maybe a quick check-in, as the old thread kept growing and growing: how old is/are your dc(s), what are their interests or obsessions, what are you or aren't you doing right now ()? What's an average day (week?) like for you and your dc(s)?

I have two ds's - 4 1/2 and 2. My 4 1/2 is very, very verbal, asks questions constantly, and carries on quite coherent conversations with most adults. Sometimes I have to just sit back and listen and smile. His current reading obsession is Magic School Bus (to the point that I will tell him that I'll read anything right now except for Ms. Frizzle . Dh just introduced him to Sudoku puzzles (on the Sudoku site, they have a subsite of Sudoku for Kids, where you can find varying levels of puzzles, and you can convert them to letters too!). He is learning how to write his numbers from that and "bowling" down the hallway (dh has him write his own score on the white board).

We are also starting some very limited systematic phonics instruction this month - I ordered Explode the Code books 1 and 1 1/2, though I'm planning on talking us through them instead of making ds do the writing aspect at this point in time. We also play with letters and making words (he does very well adding the correct beginning consonant to word family endings to make words). In all, I don't see this comprising more than 10 minutes out of our day.

I also plan to make a list of Kindergarten level math concepts (for me), and then consciously trying to integrate those into every day life. Yesterday ds#1 was "making cookies" in the shower and sequenced everything perfectly, but probably had much more fun doing it that way than sitting down with a workbook and putting the pictures in the correct order! (Though when I was a kid, I probably would have liked the workbook. )

Ds#2 (2) is just hanging out with us when we do things. He is somewhat delayed with his language (though it's hard for us to guage because ds#1 was freakishly early with his language skills). Right now ds#2's obsessions is "counting", so we count everything. He also has picked up quite a bit about letter sounds and can pick out quite a few letters by their sounds from signs, books, etc. He has a strong desire to do what big brother does, so we're just letting him pick things up as he desires.

Even though I asked above, we don't tend to have an "average" day. Mondays are typically house-work days after the weekend. Tuesdays we walk with my dad for bagels, and then typically join a bunch of my friends and their hs'd kids at the park. Wednedsays can be anything; Thursdays are story-time at the library, book check-out day, and typically play a little at the park. Fridays are right up there with Mondays and Wednesdays ... pretty loose in schedule. I'm going to try to set aside M, W, and F as days where we spend about 20-30 minutes in the morning doing a little phonics/reading instruction, or baking, or science experiments, or something of that nature. Being pregnant, I tend to nap with ds#2 in the afternoons, so ds#1 gets to "rest" on the couch and watch PBS Kids. I am wanting to get a little more "routine" to our days "off" (M, W, and F) but then again, love the flexibility they afford us (we can call Grandma and see if she wants to hang out or get lunch for instance).
post #2 of 145
I am interested in a new thread, mostly because the last one got so long. I didn't have time to read your post yet, but I WILL be checking back in. I just wanted to let you know that I am here
post #3 of 145
my 4.5 yo wants to do copywork and asks me to spell things for him so he can write them. I actually wish he wouldn't since he still has a fist grip. I've watched him write (out of the corner of my eye while doing dishes--not directly, of course, he wouldn't have it) and he has a very interesting process for writing the letters.

He also wants me to write words and tape them all over the house. Well, the other day I had to take it all down. The toddler keeps shredding the papers and it got to be such a huge mess. My son was crushed. I gave him a notebook and he seemed happy about it at first, but now he says he needs to see the words all the time, even when he's busy doing other things.

Maybe I need to buy a laminator and laminate some index cards.

We also get an update every 20 minutes or so on the relative size of various dinosaurs. I used to think that dinosaur obsession in children was a cliche, but no, it's true, my son sleeps with not one, but two dinosaur books.
post #4 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PumpkinSeeds
He also wants me to write words and tape them all over the house. Well, the other day I had to take it all down. The toddler keeps shredding the papers and it got to be such a huge mess. My son was crushed. I gave him a notebook and he seemed happy about it at first, but now he says he needs to see the words all the time, even when he's busy doing other things.
We have some things labeled, but I ran out of steam! What I did was use sentence strips (the same thickness as index cards), and covered them in clear contact paper, front and back. Ds#2 gets ahold of them and rearranges them, but hasn't been able to destroy them.

Another option might be to take some digital pictures of items around the house and arrange them in publisher or something by room - have the picture with the word underneath, and print those out (maybe 4-6 pictures per page). You can keep them in clear page protectors in a 3-ring binder. Then your ds can have access to the words without worrying too much about your toddler destroying them. It can turn into a personal dictionary - you could have pages with pictures of family members/friends printed with their names, familiar places in your community ... each "topic" could have a separate page in his dictionary - complete with digital picture and label underneath.
post #5 of 145
This is a very good idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders
We have some things labeled, but I ran out of steam! What I did was use sentence strips (the same thickness as index cards), and covered them in clear contact paper, front and back. Ds#2 gets ahold of them and rearranges them, but hasn't been able to destroy them.
.

My first son was also a freakishly early talker. My second son is almost 2 and can't say anything except, "mama" and "no". They all are so different aren't they?
post #6 of 145
Hi there,

Dd1 just turned three. She is a big fan of the alphabet -- she has these big foam letters that she plays with, as if they were dolls (and she has plenty of dolls). Over Thanksgiving she read the word "my" off the newspaper. She is slowly picking up other words by sight. We are also worked our way through the Letter of the Week online, free curriculum. She has known all her phonics for a year, but she's not ready for anything beyond the phonics stage -- except for picking up a few sight words here and there.

She also wants to count everything now.

And yes -- dinosaurs! She loves dinosaurs! Dinosaurs have kicked the dolls out of the dollhouse and now roam there freely (with foam letters hovering outside).

Dd2 is only 9 1/2 months old, so she crawls all around and explores everything at will. We play peek-a-boo and I chase her around while she laughs. And she chews on the foam letters ehn her sister isn't looking.

I am appreciative of this thread. I believe everything should be fun for kids, but I do consider ourselves to be homeschoolers, especially since dd1 has taken such an early interest for the alphabet and has just now begun to attempt reading.
post #7 of 145
Can I join y'all?

I have a DD who is going to be 4 next month. We are working on word recognition and writing. Oh, and number recognition. Part of our problem is our lives are going through a lot right now. She thinks it's funny if she refuses to do things I know she can do, like put on her shoes.

After our move this month, we will be working more on things. I'm hoping to start off with just 30 minutes a day on her studies and work up from there. We still have a year and half until we need to start kindergarten work, so I'm not too worried.

I also have a DS who will be one tomorrow : He doesn't say many coherent words, but he has some great motor skills instead
post #8 of 145
I want to join in here too. My DS is 2 1/2 and we have a newborn. We have not been doing any structured hs activities, but do many things that would qualify - numbers, alphabet, cooking etc. He is really into names of everything, people and objects. And is completely into trains, so we use that as a medium too. I only have one friend who is also doing hs, so I'm looking forward to getting ideas and inspiration and hearing what others are doing.
post #9 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWine
And yes -- dinosaurs! She loves dinosaurs! Dinosaurs have kicked the dolls out of the dollhouse and now roam there freely (with foam letters hovering outside).
Dinosaurs have been an object of obsession in our house for about a year now Much of Raye's science learning has been centered on dinos. She wants to be two things when she grows up: a paleontologist (or an archeaologist, she's still thinking) and a mother : awwww. BBL
post #10 of 145
Hi! I have a 3.5 year old DS (well, he'll be 4 in May) and a 17 month old DD. Ds is doing all kinds of things lately but mostly putting together train sets and playing Freddi Fish and other computer games. He loves all things math, shapes and letters. He's picking up on a lot of words lately. I'm taking a more laid back/unschooling approach to things lately. When he wants to do something, we do it. I just make sure to have lots of things around to capture his attention.

DD likes to mark on everything with crayons that appear out of nowhere : . I spent an hour yesterday scrubbing crayon off the fridge. She is no where near as verbal as DS was at the same age and it's hard not to associate talking with intelligence. She is pretty smart and is picking up on a lot of things. She's starting to mock and mimic what big brother is doing, which is fun.
post #11 of 145
thank you for starting this new thread!! i so wanted to be part of the last one, but it was too long to read, and i did not want to skim it! ds is 3 and a half and we have new arrival coming in february....so far we are doing mainly unschooling, working on reading comprehension, asking a lot of questions. ds is very bright and very verbal and we are kind of just going with the flow right now....working on letters and numbers too....we bought "before five in a row" and plan to do some work with that....now that the holidays are over, and before the new babe comes i would like to try to get into a routine of doing a little more structure.....dh is totally an unschooler, i am a little more structured.....looking forward to getting to know everyone!!!!
post #12 of 145
My son is 3 yrs old, and I am a "home schooling" momma to him, I teach him dutch, and everything else that I think he needs to learn, in a playfull way, I mean not chaining him to a chair and tell him, YOU MUST LEARN, hahaha, I just teach.

What was cute is that he was counting while we were waiting at Micky d's Drive through to get a drink, and he was counting the numbers that go with the meal. Which I thought was so cute.
He counts about anything.
What got him counting really well, and for him to regonise numbers was because of Thomas The Tank Engine and his friends, all trains have their own number, and he will go, Thomas, number 1 and he is Blue, percy number 6 and she is green.

Isn't amazing how well they learn when your not pushing them, as long as you introduce them to toys where they can also learn things with.
post #13 of 145
Hi, everyone!

My dd Grace is 4yo. In the past few months, what has emerged as her most profound interest is artmaking. She spends a lot of time doing elaborate drawings, paintings, projects (devised by her) involving cutting and arranging and glueing, and projects with polymer clay. Dh just started showing her how to use Corel Draw, which he uses to make graphics. She is also very physically active, and she likes to learn about animals. We are unschoolers. Or at least I am. Dd says she might like to try school one day, and see if she likes it. I think she literally has in mind trying for one day.

Our days and weeks are highly variable. Lately we've been staying home a lot. Home includes the library, the laundromat, and the supermarket. Maybe once a week we go from the Bronx into Manhattan for a homeschoolers group event, or to wander around Chinatown or go to a museum or park or whatever -- not often, lately, because Grace finds the subway ride boring and I find the combination of Grace and Eve and the subway tiring. Most nights, my best friend comes over and hangs out with us, and we have dinner and say evening prayer. Grace decided she found the Liturgy of the Hours boring (notice that this is a pattern since she turned 4) and initiated her own kid-oriented evening prayer. Last night I tried In My Heart Room, a book of guided meditations for children, on the whole family, and it went great.

I think the "boring" thing is a side effect of her need to be engaging everything in a fully active way all the time. I love her 4yo ways, even though they can be exhausting!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwylde
DD likes to mark on everything with crayons that appear out of nowhere : . I spent an hour yesterday scrubbing crayon off the fridge. She is no where near as verbal as DS was at the same age...
This reminds me so much of my dd! Just had to offer you my sympathy. I think I tried every gentle discipline technique out there, and nothing stopped her from taking every writing implement she could get her hands on and drawing on the walls. In fact, even now I occasionally find a face looking out at me from her bedsheet, or a corner of the wall or furniture. Btw she also was not verbal (said only a few words) at 17 months. I wonder if she had a need to express herself on the walls. She suddenly started speaking in full sentences before 2yo, and the wall drawing did decrease.
post #14 of 145

I'm glad to find this thred.
No time to read, be back later.
post #15 of 145
I have two ds's, older one is 2 and younger is turning one in a few days. My younger is the early talker, he says so many things it is crazy. Ds#1 is really into counting (mostly naming numbers, some counting of fingers) and the alphabet right now. I was just going to ten with him but then we started going to 20, now we count to 110. He doesn't say them all of course, but he loves to hear them We do the Starfall website a LOT (that's HIS website and if no on is on the computer he runs over and tries to go to it). I got him some workbooks for non-computer practice. I was doing Letter of the Week with him but I've been slacking lately. I'm probably going to work it back in, in the next few weeks.
post #16 of 145
Subscribing.

DS is 3 years and 4 months. He's reading and LOVES books. I have to read to him until my throat is sore. We go to the library once a week. We get one audio-book, 1 DVD (these are quite expensive to borrow - $4 each - so we have to limit them) and as many books as we can carry.

Ds is crazy about numbers right now, they are his new obsession. He recognises all numbers up to 100 and has just figured out how to do addition on his own. He counts everything he sees.

He also loves to do arts & crafts, especially water colours and gluing/ sticking.

Ds is bilingual in German and English and we've been introducing French as a third language with Muzzy. He's started to repeat and learn a lot of French phrases and just the other day he smiled: "Merci, mama" when I handed him something.

Some of his recent topics of interest include: dinosaurs, knights & medieval castles, dragons, Chinese fables, racing cars, and Dr. Seuss books.
post #17 of 145
Subbing

Let me reintroduce myself before I miss this whole thread too Things have been busy for us lately.

I am Sara, and I have one 4.5yodd named RayeAnne. She's a very passionate, energetic and precocious girl. I would say we are unschooling. But we do have workbooks laying around that she is allowed to pick up and play with or work in whenever she likes. We used to have a schedule but that fizzled out a bit. Right now, most of her interests are typical and similar to all the kids here. She started reading almost a year ago, but recently got "bored" with it and is concentrating on more aesthetic projects. She still loves to be read to but has little interest in reading for pleasure on her own. Yesterday we read a book on water vapor, prompted by a question about vapor on a window. Otherwise I try to keep her busy with things available to her. She seems to like developing skills and then putting aside the activity for something new.

For Christmas we went through her things and overhauled the bulk of it. She proclaimed an interest in blocks and wooden things so that's what we tried to get most of. Since, she has been building a world for her dinos with blocks. Her other main interest is playing with toy horses so I got her a set of small figurines and she takes them wherever she goes. We've been casting models of dinosaurs lately and also doing 3D wooden puzzles of them, which we will be painting and hanging from the ceiling in her room. She also helps me with my many projects around the house. Yesterday it was doing a tile mosaic She got to smash the tile and had a great time fitting the pieces like a puzzle.

I wish I had more time to type this morning. My G-pa passed and I have to get ready for the service but I will be back soon.

post #18 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunRayeMomi

I wish I had more time to type this morning. My G-pa passed and I have to get ready for the service but I will be back soon.
post #19 of 145
Let me introduce myself, how rude of me to just jump in, I am very sorry about that.

My name is Ann.
I am 27 years old, I was born on December 15th.
I was born & raised in The Netherlands, Europe, I moved to America(Arizona)about 5 years ago to be with my loving husband Mike. Mike and I met online 6 years ago.
We got married on october 20th, 2001. One of the most beautiful days of life.
On october 8th,2002 we gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Michael Christian. The moment I held my son in my arms, was the moment I knew true and unconditional love. Becoming a mother is the best thing that has happened to me.
I co-sleep with Mikey, I also Homeschool him and plan on homeschooling him when he is considered school aged, hubby & talked about this last night.I am also raising my son BiLingual, which is another wonderful gift we can give him.

This is a little about us,
Can't wait to get to know everyone.
Ann
post #20 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunRayeMomi
Subbing

I wish I had more time to type this morning. My G-pa passed and I have to get ready for the service but I will be back soon.

I am so sorry about that. Maby BIG hugs!!!!
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