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Homeschooling Preschoolers March06

post #1 of 146
Thread Starter 
We've made it to another month and the Feb thread was getting looong so What is everyone doing with their preschooers this month?

post #2 of 146
We're still finding new number games to play. I have 100 wooden cubes that I've numbered, just need to put the magnets on the back of them, put them in a gift bag and give them and a cookie sheet to son so he can practice putting them in sequential order. He has a complete fascination with numbers so I'm always trying to figure out new things to play with him that involve them. He's 2.5yo and knows his numbers to about 100. I want to make him a fishing game too, I think I have all the pieces, just need to figure out how to put them together. Right now he's playing with some wooden magnetized letters and the cookie sheet. I found the letters at Dollar Tree which was really cool. I also picked up some poker chips there, when it's not so rainy I'm going to number some of them and bury them in the sandbox. Hopefully I can get him interested in digging them out and using the sifter to find them. I need to work on using utensils with him so I figured if I can get him going using his shovel then maybe it'll be easier to move down to a spoon. I'm also looking for ways to help him with his speech, he doesn't talk yet unless prompted and then it's only a couple of words. We are in speech therapy for it but we keep having to change therapists so there isn't any consistency. We're switching one more time and that's it, if something happens then we're taking a break and seeing if he'll just start talking on his own (which he probably will and I'm worried about nothing.).
post #3 of 146
Well my kids are doing very well. We have been going to a weekly homeschool park day, and next week we are going to the botanical gardens for a butterfly exhibit with our group. We are all looking forward to it! Celia is learning to write her letters, she tries to write them in dirt w/ a stick, at home on paper, she even finds letters in shapes around the house. She is also really learning her own boundaries physically. She is trying to climb trees and do some daring stuff at the playground. Rowan is getting really into his own independence, and he is starting to show interest in the potty. He can recognize all of his letters and #s and now is learning the signs to go with the albphabet song!

I have put some posts up about our recent days up on my blog, w/ pics if anyones interested.
post #4 of 146
I have no idea. The weather is getting nicer, so more outdoor stuff is in order. I did get some muppet babies education cd's(phonics, sorting, same/diff) for less than a $1 each. Jarad likes them.
post #5 of 146
Hi, I'm new to post here, but I have a 3.5 year old son. I'm sick as a dog today so. . . he's watching cartoons . Not at all my idea of ideal learning at home. But tomorrow we have our weekly HS park day and a special city educational bus is coming. The kids will learn about public transportation, pollution and get a short bus ride (of course I'll be right there with him for that!). I *really* don't want him to miss out on the fun so I'm praying I'm better tomorrow.

Looking forward to sharing ideas!

post #6 of 146
We are having a slow time here. I have been sick with pneumonia, and DH just lost his job and is feverishly updating resume and starting the jobsearch again. DS (3.5) has been spending alot of time on computer games, he does reader rabbit kindergarten and reading with phonics, and magic forest math club. He also loves Muzzy (learning french) DVD. Other than those things we are doing some small things, he has been practising his letters on a doodle board, counting and comparing with unifix cubes that someone gave us and playing with legos. We got a bag of cuisenaire rods for math from someone, but now money is very tight and I dont know really what to do with them. Anyone have some good references or ideas for me? I have seen books online, but obviously until we have a paycheck I wont be buying anything other than food and paying the absolute essentials for living.
post #7 of 146
We're doing pretty much the same thing. We do the starfall website once a day and read a lot. His new favorite book is "Big Fat Hen" so now I have to buy it (have it from the library). He likes to "read" it, he doesn't know the words but pretends that he does but he knows the numbers and has fun reading them to me. He's in that lining things up stage so we play with some flashcards like that. I hold it out and say what it is and sometimes he repeats it and then he puts the card down in a line on the floor. He loves that game but we can only do it when my youngest is sleeping b/c he likes to play also and messes up the line and then all heck breaks loose!
post #8 of 146
I'm joining in the HSing thread. I was planning on holding off on starting more educational activities and routines until after our big transitions this summer. But the little ones are getting a bit too rambunctious and I think they're craving a little more structure and variety in their days. I'm not really sure where I'm going to start yet, but hopefully this week I'll figure something out.

This thread has been very helpful!
post #9 of 146
Hi- New to this group. I am Laura, mommy to Mya who is 3.5. Today we have had a great day- I figure the great days balance with the crappy ones. Today we went to the library and got a variety of books. We've played with a lot of mainipulatives- stringing beads, laceing cards, magnetics thingys, and the peg board. Over the weekend we planted a small garden. We are also talking a lot about animals- discussing what animal kingdom certain animals are in, what they eat, vertebras, etc.

Looking forward to seeing everyone else's ideas.

post #10 of 146
Nini- we just ordered some cuisinar rods. I think the best thing with them with kids this age is to let them play with them and experiment. You can demo fractions with them.
post #11 of 146
I've started loosely following the Five in a Row curriculum. Many of the activities are a bit advanced for a 3 1/2 yo but there's enough in there for it to be a useful starting point and I like that it gives me a bit of direction.

This is "The Story about Ping" week and in addition to reading the story we'll:

-play with counting and grouping ducks (I'll photocopy a bunch and enlarge to different sizes and she'll cut 'em out and assign them to different familys, she loves to cut and glue these days).

-make reflection prints, where you put paint on one side of the paper and fold in half to make a reflection

-draw out a map of Ping's journey, locate Ping's river on our world map

-do sink and float experiments

-read non fiction books about ducks
post #12 of 146
Ooh, new thread. Hi, everyone!

Like I mentioned in the last thread, I am working full time for now (it's a long temp job). Dh does many of the same things with our 4-year-old dd while I'm out -- e.g. take her to the library -- but other things are different: for example, they are more likely to do art with software than paint. And he has been teaching her about role-playing games. My mom visited last weekend, and we all went to the Museum of Natural History, which was lots of fun and gave dd fresh material for the animal game. This weekend, we had a birthday party for dd's alter ego, Trishalee Trish, who was turning 1. I notice that she is again hitting an intense time for pretend play (and general imaginative thinking). And taken another big leap in her reading. She now tries to read all the signs, everywhere we go, and pays attention to the words in books and newspapers. But she persists in counting like this: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 60, 61, 62, 63...

nini2033a, I'm sorry to hear about your dh's job loss. I second what OTMomma said about cuisenaire rods. I seem to remember that John Holt wrote about the positive affects of just letting kids play with the rods in How Children Learn. Or maybe it was Learning All the Time. Both worth borrowing from the library. I'm sure they have books with more structured cuisenaire guidance at the library, too, but I don't know about them so I'll stop talking now.
post #13 of 146
post #14 of 146
We unschool, but I'm starting to realize we need a loose schedule for ME. Otherwise, I procrastinate and we're more likely to veg in front of the TV than anything else. Additionally I'm an introvert and so are my kids. So I need the reminder to get out the door and actively do something, or else no one asks or does it. We went TV free for a few days last week and not only did that jump-start some activity on our end, but everyone was less grouchy. So my weekly goals are to use a loose schedule and keep the TV off as much as possible.

Last week, we attended two library programs at different branches that included: stories, songs, dancing, imaginative role-play, bubbles and hand-stamps. The kids loved it. We also made a point of getting there early so the kids could use the library first. In the past, I've shied away from this with my 2yo for fear he would throw a loud tantrum. But he behaved like a little old man; it was a pleasant surprise. And he's been announcing, "libery! BIG one!" so we will add at least one weekly library visit to our weekly plan.

On Friday, we have Gymboree art which I really want to get out of due to logistics but guilt is preventing me from leaving. We did the park earlier in that day and that was a huge hit. We haven't been in a while due to procrastination. So we will have one official weekly park day.

We also got out Tempura paints one afternoon and let the kids have at it. I'm not a messy person or what people would term "a kid person" and my mother was so strict when we were growing up. So, while I rationally know a free paint session is great for the kids, inside I'm freaking about the paint on bodies and hair. I did good though and I think more regular use of paints will help me relax.

My oldest is really into science, so I'm thinking that I need to join up art day with a science day, to remind me to do experiments with him.

Ok learning things...
They do some serious pretend-play. I think that must be how they spend most of the day. I was telling dh last night, as we were watching Dreamer (4yo) making his truck talk, that the pretend play really develops important parts of their brains. It may not be memorizing facts and figures but it really stretches those parts of the brain so that when the child is ready to do serious academic things, the brain is exercised and ready to process a ton of stuff. I'm fascinated by how serious the kids are in doing this pretend-play; it almost looks like work. I guess it is their work.

Dh is getting ready to go on a work trip, so Dreamer has been back at pretending to go on trips. Yesterday, the trip was to Africa and he asked me to point it out on the globe. He can pick it out on a map, but I guess it's trickier on the globe b/c you can't see the other continents and visually pick the right one.

He's finally lost interest in the phonics instruction and I'm glad as it seemed really dull and slow-going. We used, "The Ordinary Parents Guide to Reading" and I didn't really like it. If you want a pure phonics program that goes step by step, then use this. I was thinking that phonics wasn't the way to go with him anyway, because he's a visual-spatial learner and because neither dh nor I learned by phonics. So, I was on a mission to see if he would accept some whole word memorization and it's worked really well. We started with the word, "the", and added others like, "and", "my", etc. I got a simple space book from the library and pointed as I read, prompting him to read his memorized words. He did well and I think it boosted his confidence. So I think I'm going to keep introducing sight words and maybe eventually he'll make inferences from that.

I don't do anything with my little one, although I technically did some handwriting instruction with him last week. He had started writing his name and I instructed him to change the formation of the letter, "Y". He had tried writing his name in art class, always eager to copy his brother. I had to dictate the last few letters. But within a day or two, he was independently writing his name. Normally, I'd stay out of his way. But I noticed the, "Y" looked just like the, "T", so I taught him that the Y's "arms" had to turn up. I associated the "Y" with the sound, "wheee", like the Y throwing his arms up in the air. It sounds really weird, but it worked, because now he writes the Y correctly and also makes a "wheee" sound when he does it. Now, I'm backing off again.

That's us. I'm not sure what we're going to do today, but I need to pick something. Maybe Tuesdays can be art day.
post #15 of 146

Math Rods

We're another family that plays with math rods. We have the cuisinaire connecting rods. Two favorite games here are to make trains and to make skyscrapers. The trains, obviously, can get really long. With the skyscrapers, I showed my oldest how to blow them over after the city was made. I think the most I've done with him was to ask him to make a rod that was the same size as mine. So, of course, the 10 rod can be made of a 6 and a 4 and a bunch of other combinations. They're fun to play with.
post #16 of 146
We're not doing anything structured but the kids are always doing something. DS loves to print his letters and numbers. I print off sheets of letters for him to trace but he also does a lot freehand. He's picking up on a lot of words and is always asking what words say. DS has also been sounding out letters which is leading to him sounding out words. I'm glad as I didn't think he would get it. He loves counting and counts well over a hundred. He's starting to get what hundreds are now that he understands the tens.

The kids both love to paint and will sometimes play with my scrapbook and stamping stuff (eek!). DD loves to draw on everything. Our fridge is a mess as she got a permanant marker one day :

We like to play games. They like Candyland but DD tends to just make a mess of it. DS and I play Jr. Scrabble which he really enjoys. He plays a lot on the computer and we've been doing some french. I think we mastered the French section of an immersion program I bought, but it didn't have much on it. I'd like to get an expanded program but we can't afford Rosetta Stone (which I'd ~love~).

I have a ton of books on it's way(you get the same amount free if you spend over $25). I focused mostly on social studies. I think it will be a lot of fun going through them. Even if DS has no intrest now, I love learning about history and other cultures.

I can't wait until we can afford the Math-u-see program (probably this summer). I think the kids will have a lot of fun playing with the manipulatives.
post #17 of 146
We are still here ... Ds#1 is getting good at reading and wants to know what everything says, what the different "rules" are, and how different words break the different phonetic "rules". The Olympics actually helped his environmental print reading - he was addicted to the commercials and now can recognize a bunch of different stores and their names.

We haven't been doing many "formal" lessons, but often are playing with the magnetic letters from the fridge. We also got out the HWT chalkboards and wooden letter piece cards to practice letters. He wants to learn correctly (he's told me) but also balks at times with direct instruction, so we are taking it a little bit day by day. I've told him that when hs'ing, there will be times where mommy gets to decide what/how/when, and he'll listen to me, and then there'll be times when he gets to decide what/how/when.

Our main obsession right now is Magic School Bus - both the books (we read those every night) and the dvds. He was telling me today that Magic School Bus and science are good for our brains!

Ds#2 is just trudging along with us - his obsession lately has been the Leap Frog Math video - he gets to watch it once in the morning usually before his brother wakes (allows me to wake up slowly and keeps him somewhat quiet while ds#1 is sleeping). His speech is pretty delayed, but he knows what numbers are, is getting good at "counting" and recognizing amounts, and knows pretty much all his letters by their sounds. So, if we could get the speech to catch up, he'd be giving his older brother a run for his money.

I think I might order Singapore math this summer to start in the fall (ds#1 will be techincally kinder age and ds#2 would be the standard pre-school age), and also start the history portion of WTM (very loosely though). I also want to buy Muzzy Spanish - probably will do that AFTER the mw is paid for and we upgrade our computer. My mom said she might buy the Muzzy for us, though, and then come over for lessons too. I'm thinking of taking her up on that option!

Otherwise, our weeks have become busy - Tuesdays are our biggest days I think. We walk to bagels with my dad, and then have our hs'ing park day. Wednesday is Mommy & Me at the roller skating rink (my mom skates with the boys and I go out there in my shoes and walk the rink with them - I'm excited to get on skates once the baby is born). The boys LOVE it and ds#1 wants to have his birthday party there. Thursdays are library day/story time, and we usually walk over to the playground area of the park to play for a little while. Ds#1 is also totally excited because we signed him up for Co-ed Pee Wee Indoor Soccer through our city sports league (free!). So, that should be a fun experience for him - they don't keep score.

With the baby coming at the beginning of June, I'm hoping that by the end of the summer, we'll have enough practice with a 5th member of our family, that we will be able to easily slip into a routine come fall. For now, though, it's fun just taking things as they come (though my boys both thrive on routine, as long as it doesn't start too early in the morning).
post #18 of 146
And speaking of routines - do you all get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, and then start doing whatever you are going to do that day? I feel like the only one where we get up, stay in our pj's, watch a little TV while waking up, have our relaxed breakfast often away from the breakfast table, and then eventually get dressed and begin our day. (Our Tues, Wed, and Thurs aren't quite so relaxed as all our activities on those days start relatively early.) Does anyone else have a relaxed morning? Am I the only one with children that watch any TV? Just curious.
post #19 of 146
I'm subscribing also...

I went to public school and was kept home, so I got the best of both worlds I think. Now I have two three year olds (and a nine year old who stays home from school a lot- public school special ed program, yuck) and we have just started HS. I hope to learn a lot from all of you more experienced folks.
post #20 of 146
Hi all
Well it's startin got warm up enough to tbe outside and spring is kinda happening all around so we are pretty busy.
We are going to do some pruning of our fruit trees this weekend and DS is very excited as we've been readin gabout how trees change in teh spring form their sleeping state in teh winter. So he's seeing the buds start and gettin gexcited to get them ready for apples. (Too bad it talke so long ot bear fruit!!) We have also been talkgin alot about "school" as he currently goes to a christian preschool 2 days a week more for a break than anyhting (there aren't many kids his age in our area or much ot do for that matter and we had signed him up before we realized how many other homeschoolign families were actually out there around us )So i told him that he wouldn't be going to "school" at the smae place this fall, and he was fine with the idea of having "school at home instead". I was plannig to follow the unschooling route and just let things happen but he is insisting tha twe have a chalkboard adn paint a room and hang up ABCS and numbers so it looks liek a school (Which is ironic cause hsi school is NOTHIGN liek that.) They dont' even do Abc's it is very much liek a mix of unschool and montessori with a bit of religion tossed in But I think all these darn books with so and so's first day of school and the TV has kids in school on commercials and stuff so he sees it. Plus we drive by schools a lot so they intrigue him. But he was fine with the idea and a close friend of our is starting HS this fall with her 4 1/2 year old who should be entering K here. So we are gonna team up wth them for stuff. And i'll make him his litle "room" to do his work in/ (At least it will give me a place ot store our academic "proof" for friends and family that doubt and the state stuff also LOL.
But then tonight he says "When can I go to a real school? " and restate that we are going to do school here at home with his special room remember? and he says " Mom you're joking. I have to go to real school liek everyone it's a law." HMMMM Not sure where he got that from . He's not even 3 1/2 not sure why he would be concerned abotu the law. SO we're back to explaining about how each family does what is best for their kid (we deal with this alot with friends who let their kids do whateever) and that it isn't against teh law to do school at home instead on in a school building. He was fine after that.
I'm kinda wishing that we never sent him to a "school" cause he woudl have no idea that it were any differetn than being at home. But we're going to get the back pack lunch box etc all that crap that his best friend will get when he goes to school just so he doesn't feel left out, ANd we can use the stuff on our outigns and trips.

OH on a good note My mom got our first book for our "school" (she's under teh same impression that he is that we need a special littel room etc LOL)
It a Abe Lincoln history type thing. but written at a kids level (She and my dad went to DC this weekend to teh lincoln memorial and thought we would liek it) so we have 1 book for the "classroom " LOL (liek we don't already have a million books here to begin with !)
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