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Homeschooling Preschoolers March06 - Page 3

post #41 of 146
my dd does alot of play and pretend and role playing...it is so focused, and she takes it so seriously...i know that it is really prepping her brain for bigger thinking and planning skills for the future...
she is 2.5

since i am preg again, she has probably watched one dvd a week.....these months...which was making me feel all stressed and guilty, but i guess that is a useless outlook!

we play outside alot....work in the garden, talk about spring changes...go to the zoo.
we are members of our local science/history museum which we both love and go there at least once a month

we do playdates with other homeschool families where we do loose and unplanned arts and crafts

we read ALOT of books

go the the library once a week

play with maps and globes

learning as you go type stuff...really unstructured and organic
and child led.
post #42 of 146
True Blue- the Cuisenaire rods are a set of tiny blocks basically, that are incrimental- they are each 1cm wide, and come in lengths of 1cm, 2cm, etc to 10 cm long. They can be used to teach addition, subtraction, fraction, multiplication and all kinds of stuff. But with preschoolers its just a good manipulative for them to explore themselves, so they learn things like "wow, 10 tiny blocks is the same length as 1 long orange stick". Basic premath stuff. We also just got a balance/scale to learn about measuring for our math.

Natashacat- I do think your child would do more imaginative play if the tv were off more. I know my child will watch tv and not play if I let her, but if we have a few days of no, or little tv- she plays much better. I know there have been studies that children age 3-6 can benefit from educational tv, but no more than 2 hours a day. Maybe you can discuss that limit with your dh? I also think you should try to let go of the guilt on the playgroup thing. Maybe your dh would be willing to take your kids to a story time at the library? My dh is an introvert, but he'd do the library- because he wouldn't be expected to socialize himself- just get the child there. yk? And maybe you can seek out one friend with a child near your dd's age to see on weekends? Another WOHM, maybe?

Oh, and I too waver between hs and private school, True Blue. Right now my plan is to hs at least until Kinder. If I get pregnant- we'll hs, and if not I'll work to pay for private school- we can't afford it otherwise. We've been ttc #2 for over a year and a half- so we'll see.
post #43 of 146
Hello! I know I have posted some before but my name is Kureen and I have an almost 2.5 year old DD and a 6 month old son. We mostly read ALOT and play all day. We go to Kindermusik twice a week, which she loves and we have lots of playdates. She is really into music and she "plays" piano with me and sings all day long. She makes up songs and has great rhythm. We are going to put her in Suzuki in about a year, I think. I am taking piano lessons and she loves me to play her Kindermusik songs. She loves to pretend with her dolls and imitates me all day long with her babies. She is really getting into playing a Balancing Moon game we have and I was wondering if anyone has simple game suggestions for this age? Thanks!
post #44 of 146
I always sub half-way through the month

Hi there everybody. Any form of formal education has been put majorly on hold. It seems like the very day I found out about my pregnancy is the day the nausea started!! And I've been sleeping in A LOT. So we basically are just flowing with the wind right now!

But I will be feeling better soon I hope :

Then, back to the fun.
post #45 of 146
Getting ready to start Daisy's with other homeschoolers/SAHM's/Parttime preschoolers/dc's not in school etc for our little group of girls.
All of the other daisy groups in our area are associated with schools so we decided to form an "area" group.
post #46 of 146
Finally time to post!

DD is just barely 2. (last Sunday!!!) She's taught herself her letters from the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom book and from Starfall.com. Right now, though, I think they're just objects to her-like a giraffe or a couch. She loves finding them in books, on cans, on trucks, etc and labeling them, but I don't think she's put 2 & 2 together that the letters are what we're reading when we read a book. We're not pushing reading at all. It kind of makes me nervous that she's figured out letters already. Is that early or not? My instincts tell me to just follow her lead and she'll let me know when to go farther, but is that right? Am I shortchanging her by not introducing reading?

What I wanted to ask about is rural homeschooling. We are moving to a very rural area (8 miles to the nearest neighbor, 30 minutes to the nearest town). While I'm beyond thrilled to be moving into the country, I'm worried about my daughter. I'm not very social, but she is. I'm currently in a very populated area with an active homeschooling population-lots of preschoolers involved in the hs groups-so it makes it easy to be actively involved. I'm excited for how much she can learn as an unschooled child on a farm, but I'm worried about finding opportunities in such a rural area for the socialization that she craves. I'm a real homebody. Anybody have ideas?
post #47 of 146
excitedtobeamom- I think you are doing fine. MUsic and reading are so valuable!!! She is *sooooo* young for games! If I were to try to find a game, I would stick with a matching game. Or just use Mother Goose type songs and rythmes.

Niamh-She does seem advanced to know letters,but does she know letter sounds?
Reading is the way to go. Just make that a priority. No starfall,etc...JUst cuddling up in Mom or Dad's arms, and reading.
There are a few HSer's in our group whom live way out in the country. They pick and choose which events they are going to be available,and they also HOST a few gatherings throughout the year. I think it all depends on how social your dc are. With mine, I would limit going into town to about three times a week.



post #48 of 146
My DS is on the advanced side and he too knew the letters at 2 or very shortly after...I know he knew his colors by then for sure. We used to play with an alphabet puzzle a lot. And if you want to try to help her learn letter sounds, Zoophonics is great for starting with toddlers. DS started it in a mommy and tot class for fun at about 2.5 for a few weeks. He liked it. A few months later after we moved, he was begging me to teach him to read so I ordered it myself. It's all fun, really, and each letter is associated with an animal, a signal, and a sound. They get to use their bodies for cues. I really like it.

I did some reading on the articles in the thread "he neds socialization" and WOW, I always kind of thought preschool was unnecessary and I was right. (well, at least for SAHMs who have any sense and ability to each their own children the basics...I realize for some this is not possible) The conculsion is that middle to upper class kids only get modest intellectual advances and are actually very hindered when it comes to socialization compared to kids who don't go to preschool. So now I really want to be able to stick with homeschooling, at least for the first few years. That and the recent Newsweek article about boys. I really need sleep to be functional though and I just haven't been getting it these days!!! DS has NEVER been a good sleeper. And I don't have a good enough routine going in the day to be fully productive in addition to being tired. What do you all do?
post #49 of 146
This is a great thread. I'm new here...new to homeschooling actually. I've decided to not return my 3.5 year old DS to preschool (he was going to a wonderful Quaker school) and begin our long road to homeschooling. I also have a five month old little girl.

I have, however, begun to incorporate things into his schedule that will continue throughout the summer and fall. He goes to a farm once a week and rides horses, holds and learns about all kinds of animals, and gets to be with other homeschooled kids. He goes to our local Y and does a tumbling class and plays basketball. He writes legibly and is just on the verge of reading, spelling out "words" with tinker toys on our floor for hours. We spend down time doing puzzles, playing card memory games (which he loves), and reading reading reading. DS has an abundant group of friends, all from like-minded families, so we have lots of playdates. But I'm realizing he needs down time for long stretches at home, so I'm planning to make at LEAST one full day all about home and being with his family

I am reading about homeschooling and have joined a large homeschooling cooperative nearby. We also have tons of friends locally who homeschool, so we are beginning to swap ideas and share talents. All of our kids are little though, so it will be some time before we can fully use each others' skills.

I have to say, though, that having a little nursling around makes it harder for me to concentrate on him and his needs for long periods of time. How do all of you manage that?

post #50 of 146
OT but Marie, I love your dd's name!
post #51 of 146
Originally Posted by oneotamama
Lately ds has been watching too much TV in my opinion. But maybe I just say that b/c I don't watch much TV. My addiction is this dang computer! Anyway, he watches the channel Noggin.

I'm waiting for warmer weather so we can get outside and then I'm pretty certain that my TV addicted ds will move on to other things.

I feel this way as well, and I too am more addicted to the computer than TV!! In fact, on an average week, I watch zero TV and maybe one or two rented movies. The most TV exposure I get it at work in the break room, and when dd watches Noggin. She is an early riser, and I will cuddle up on the couch with her and let her watch some TV while I join the living. I've been feeling guilty about it lately though, because sometimes I will also let her watch while I sweep, do laundry, read email, etc.

She's an only child though, so it's hard to get her interested in play long enough for me to do these things. She's really good at playing alone, but chores can take so much of the day. I've recently decided to ignore most chores during the week, and save big cleaning for Friday or Saturday. The kitchen table is filthy, but we are more relaxed and concentrate on each other more now.

I too am really looking forward to the warm weather, because we live in an urban area and bikeride around town looking for things to do. There's a lot more learning going on in spring We have an art museum, Y, and parks galore and love to take advantage, but in the winter we are home-bodies!!
post #52 of 146
Originally Posted by excitedtobeamom
Hello! I know I have posted some before but my name is Kureen and I have an almost 2.5 year old DD and a 6 month old son. We mostly read ALOT and play all day. We go to Kindermusik twice a week, which she loves and we have lots of playdates. She is really into music and she "plays" piano with me and sings all day long. She makes up songs and has great rhythm. We are going to put her in Suzuki in about a year, I think. I am taking piano lessons and she loves me to play her Kindermusik songs. She loves to pretend with her dolls and imitates me all day long with her babies. She is really getting into playing a Balancing Moon game we have and I was wondering if anyone has simple game suggestions for this age? Thanks!
I didn't start to focus on reading until Raye was interested in the sounds and could draw the letters. She too knew all her letters by the time she was two, and she knew the sounds that they made by three, but I wasn't convinced she was interested enough to do reading lessons until she asked to be taught how to print the letters at 3.5. Those three skills combined made me decide to do some short lessons. She thoroughly enjoyed the lessons for about six months, then we found Starfall which she enjoyed as well, and she has been reading ever since.

(In my opinion) At this point, you should just continue to foster a love of reading by going to the library and pointing at words while reading to her, etc.
post #53 of 146
I'm glad to hear about another young child knowing his numbers. I was afraid I was pushing my child (she's now 3 1/2 but she's seemed to have a knack for numbers since she was very young.). She doesn't know her numbers to 100, but she can do simple addition.

Thank you! You just encouraged me.
post #54 of 146
I was wondering who else here is unschooling their preschooler/toddler? We're not doing curric or instruction...anyone else?
post #55 of 146
Some days of the week we are unschoolers- but really I found that with my dd, I need to provide a lot of mental stimulation, or she'll be begging for the tv all day. I can't wait for her to ask to learn things- I have to have things available. I don't do any set curriculum- but I do have a lot of educational stuff I can pull out- some of it is montissori based, some is just stuff I think is cool, games, manipulatives, crafts, music, etc. I'm not pushing reading or math- we have fridge magnets, games and such that encourage the building blocks for those skills though.
post #56 of 146
i think "unschooling" can mean different things to different people....
i mean, esp with preschoolers....

i consider myself an unschooler but i sure do provide my 2.5 year old with a lot of choices and info and manipulatives...
she does not know anough about the world to know to ask to learn specific things sometimes....sometimes she does...

for me, unschooling my preschooler means i do not force her to learn anything....

play based learning is the best for this age...and i think you would have to work very hard to make learning not play based! YKWIM?
post #57 of 146
Yeah, unschooling is a loaded term. I use it, because I don't have a better one without going into a long explanation. I am hesitant to call myself an unschooler on unschooling lists, however, but I've found the variation very interesting.

I just feel a bit out of my league on this thread, because we seem like slackers. I shouldn't be so paranoid.

We have manipulatives available for play like connecting math rods, pattern blocks, puzzles and alphabet magnets. Now that ds2 is older and more responsible, I can leave them out in a neat stack in their room so they get them whenever they want them. I do have to help in putting the stuff away but they're gettting better at not taking everything out at once.

I don't sit with them and teach them, for the most part (exception follows). When I get toys or activities out, I don't have a goal of making it educational. Connecting math rods are simply trains or skyscrapers, although I have the urge with that particular toy to make it educational (e.g. can you make your train the same length as mine?). I haven't done the ABCs with my youngest (I did with my oldest because he had no speech and I was trying to see if he could make the sounds). We only count in hide-and-seek, because you have to count in that game; I don't try to work counting in. My teaching exception is that my oldest asked me to teach him how to read, so we were working on that for a while.

I'm not criticizing people who do use curric or work educational stuff into their day. I just felt a bit out of my league and paranoid. Man, some of you are motivated! I was just wondering if anyone else here is like us. Thanks for being so supportive.
post #58 of 146
Lets see, the easiest way to answer that would probably be to give you a typical day for us.
First of all, upon waking, there is usually a cuddle session in the big bed. This usually includes a pretend session of either chipmunks in a snuggery, polarbears in an ice cave or caterpillars in a chryssalis. Then we get up, Mom heads blindly for the coffee pot, we let the dog out, feed the dog 2 cookies, the cat a spot of cat meat, and DS watches some tv. This could be Noggin, or Muzzy French, or Leap Frog Phonics depending on what he feels like that morning, he gets to choose. While I wake up, he drinks "moo Milk" and eats something while watching TV, he plays with whatever, this morning it is fridge magnets, yesterday it was foam beads and quidgits. Then at some point we read books, get dressed, play with friends at a park. In the afternoon, there is always some computer time, DS at 3.5 is quite computer savy, he turns it on, goes to his own sites of learning, he also has his own games, currently he is using a math club game and a phonics reader rabbit game along with starfall and studydog. In the evening he helps set the table, helps makes biscuits when we eat those, and evenings are board games or movies and computer games, books, family activities, woorkbook pages on occasion, whatever. Sometimes there are art projects thrown in here and there, he likes library story times, he has a doodle board and is constantly trying to draw letters and words, dinosaurs are a big interest. He has a play room full of toys, loves legos and puzzles, and gives my pots and pans quite a work out in his pots and pans band.
Whenever he spills his crayons, we have made a game of picking them up with a pair of training chopsticks, so now he spills them on purpose.
All his "educational materials" are kept in a filing cabinet in the familyroom/kitchen. He can get into it whenever he wants, and gets into it regularly. He leads the day with his interests, but I make sure that we always have things available.
post #59 of 146
I just feel a bit out of my league on this thread, because we seem like slackers. I shouldn't be so paranoid.
You know, I feel the same way sometimes, and that's why I haven't been posting as much as I did the first time this thread was posted. But I really don't believe we are alone. When it comes to preschoolers, it seems that pretty much anything goes. It's not the fact that our children are learning that we find in common, because that's going to be true for any family. It's the fact that we consider our homes to be schools and we have all decided not to send our children elsewhere to learn, be it now or as they age. How we homeschool is not the important common factor between us all, I don't think. It's nice to have a place to come to for ideas and thoughts, whether we unschool, WTM, classical, whatever.
post #60 of 146
We are also unschoolers, don't do curriculum or instruction. We "did" letters, when dd asked us to tell her how to type words, by pointing out which keys she needed to hit. This happened to occur when she was 2.5yo. Interestingly, although she could write all of the letters and knew their sounds before she turned 3yo, she didn't actually become at all interested in the alphabet per se (i.e. alphabetical order) until just recently, and she still doesn't dwell on it and can't recite or sing the alphabet in order. Meanwhile, she is suddenly doing a lot of reading. So things don't necessarily come in the conventional sequence or at the conventional time.

In general, we treat "academic" stuff as non-distinct from other parts of life. Dh will offer to take things to the next level, when dd is interested, almost as if he were teaching her to fish or cook or something. They have played a lot of word and letter games, but dh doesn't plan these out as part of a sequenced curriculum: he just comes up with something while killing time with dd and they continue playing it until it gets too easy and he has to come up with a slightly more challenging version. Dd learns in bursts and then plateaus for a long time, repeating and processing and enjoying what she has learned, and often changing her focus for a period of time. So for example, her current interest in reading comes after a time of several months where she was not paying much attention to letters and at one point even stopped writing them. Instead, she became a prolific artist and also produced "lists" she would "read" which looked like scribbles or grids. Then suddenly, she picked up writing again, rather further along than where she left off. This is similar to the evolution of her learning to dress herself, or bounce a ball, etc. It's interesting...once you don't think of "academic skills" belonging together, they can appear to fall very distinct categories. Reading is more of a mechanical life skill. While history is half culture transmission, and half specialized habit of inquiry. I would hate to classify bug watching as science, because that might imply that one particular way of responding to it (scientific method and/or the biologist's habit with respect to interpreting phenomena) is the most appropriate one. There are so many ways to respond: practical ways (how are we going to keep the ants out of our bathtub?), imaginative ways (I'm glad I'm not an ant, because I wouldn't want the bath water to seem like a big ocean to me), simply observant ways (I notice that all of the ants are gathering on that piece of wet cloth). Et cetera.
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