Un-"preschooling" your 3 1/2 year old. - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-25-2010, 12:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Obviously, I know this isn't a real term. I just thought it was kind of funny. My DD is talking a LOT about school. We go to school playgrounds all the time and she always wants to go inside so she can go to preschool. It's sweet and I'm always explaining to her that mommy and daddy know what's best for her and we want to teach her at home. She is asking for "homeschool." She loves to do activity books with me that we pick up from the book store. I really do want to unschool so I don't want to search for curriculums but I also see that is a really good opportunity to introduce the right lessons for reading and such. Do you have any good resources or just ideas...kind of lesson plans that I can do with her? I guess I feel like if she is ready, than I can help her learn to read but I didn't think I'd need to research reading programs so soon.

Please don't judge my writing...I'm exhausted and have a baby in my lap.
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:43 AM
 
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3.5 seems young to me to introduce to reading, but maybe she's ready. Most likely her discussions of school have more to do with curiosity over what other kids do than any real understanding of what school is for. Playing in activity books may only be fun and not an indicator of reading readiness.

However, to let you know what I'm doing...

My son is a couple months shy of 5. I asked him if he wanted to play the letter game on www.starfall.com. I didn't push or nag or anything, I just let him play when/if he wanted to. He now knows all the letter sounds. I got the wooden pieces to handwriting without tears (got them for $5 off craigslist.)I also bought the laminated templaces from HWOT. (paid full price.) PLUS I got extra pieces and cards for making small letters from ebay. Tonight we did the small letters. We worked together to put the pieces on the cards. It was fun, like doing a puzzle. He told me all the letter sounds. We came up with words that start with those letter sounds.

He's also really big on words that sound alike. "Garden and gardenburger start with the same sound." It's my understanding that kids start by identifying the sounds at the beginning of words then end of words then middle of the word. They basically start with word or syllable sounds then move onto letter sounds. If you ask him what sound "berry" starts with, he'll tell you "bear" not "B."



For the most part I'm just letting him lead the way on all this. We're just playing with sounds as an introduction to phonics.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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Old 10-25-2010, 10:19 AM
 
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I don't think 3.5 is too young for anything...if it's led by her. At that age my DD was getting into Reading Eggs and previous to that she loved Starfall.
DD was interested in bricks and mortar schools at that age too but she lost interest pretty quickly when she realised it meant all day without her dad or me.

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Old 10-25-2010, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the links...looking into both of those.
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:57 AM
 
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i am unpreschooling my son. i like that word for it

he turns three on the 27th and i just answer his questions which are becoming more and more. he is asking me a lot about words and letters and is pretending to read and recognizing labels and signs and things. i am enjoying watching him it is a fun age. he also asks a lot of questions about numbers a while back someone gave him magnetic numbers and letters for the fridge and he has a lot of fun with them. he has not gotten much into starfalls tho i did show that to him once. i prefer he not play computer games yet so if he doesn't like them yet that's fine with me!

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Old 10-26-2010, 10:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flower01 View Post
She loves to do activity books with me that we pick up from the book store. I really do want to unschool so I don't want to search for curriculums but I also see that is a really good opportunity to introduce the right lessons for reading and such. Do you have any good resources or just ideas...kind of lesson plans that I can do with her? I guess I feel like if she is ready, than I can help her learn to read but I didn't think I'd need to research reading programs so soon.
Both my kids started reading at age 3, so it's certainly possible she is ready for more info than she's getting right now. FWIW, I don't believe in "reading programs" or that there is such a thing as "the right lessons for reading". If a child is ready to read they will do so. When looking for things, don't think so much about what the child "should have" or "needs" but simply where their interests lie. There are tons of great sites online (we did Reading Eggs for a while) and my daughter loved doing workbooks (still does, though it goes in phases). She also loved just going to the library and picking out her own books, or listening to books on CD.

Think of reading like any other interest: ballet, animals, whatever, and do what you would do in that case. Rather than thinking of it as something that "needs to be taught". Most kids (IMNSHO) can learn to read on their own, they just need access to words in a way that interests them. For my DD it was mostly books, but for DS it was video games that required reading to get through them.

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Old 10-27-2010, 01:49 AM
 
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My 2-year-old often points at letters and numbers and wants to know what they are...so I tell her. I don't think 3 is too young, and if she wants to do stuff that seems schooly, that's fine because she wanted it. When I was 4 my mom got me fun workbooks because I wanted them. I thought it looked like fun because I saw my brother doing his work.
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:17 AM
 
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I have two websites to recommend, both I have referred to for my kids.

Dianne Flynn Keith's UP

(Great, encouraging, pressure-relieving and good book rec's)

and Lilian Jones's preschool ideas....soo many to try! We had a lot of fun doing some of them. I love her main site!!!

Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
Lucky Wife to My Techy DH for 11 years.
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:45 PM
 
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I really don't think 3 is too young! We've been "unpreschooling" DD from early on. She's almost two and is beyond obsessed with dinosaurs so we try and find cool dinosaur books at the library, do lots of pretend play with dinosaurs, visit the natural history museum often, and draw them for her.

She's also interested in letters/numbers/colors so we always answer her questions but never push.. Some days she's interested so we'll talk about stuff like that more other days she wants to just color so that's completely fine too.

She's also more interested in the stuff surrounding school than school itself. So we got her a backpack, paper, crayons etc. We don't really play school but she'll put on the backpack, my shoes and tell me she's going to work.

Maybe you could look into a local homeschool co-op/homeschooling groups for anything she'd be interested in? She wouldn't have to go to school per se but maybe she just might be interested in interacting with the other kids?
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all of your thoughts.

It's so fascinating because even my friends who already homeschool are very much into teaching reading a certain way...like there are rules to reading. You have to teach phonics first. It's pointless to learn capital letters before lower-case, etc.

I did sign up for the trial of Reading Eggs and she likes some of it. Some of the games seem to bore her though so I don't know if it's worth paying for.

The thing that I have really noticed with her is that she does what she wants to do her way. We get the activity books (like Kumon or some other one I can't remember). I'll read her the instructions and she decides if she wants to follow the instructions or just do it her own way. Sometimes it's hard for me not to tell her the "right" way.
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Old 10-28-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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this is a nice simple read for little home/unschoolers interested in b&m schools: http://www.amazon.com/I-Am-Learning-...8281366&sr=8-1
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Old 10-29-2010, 05:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flower01 View Post
Obviously, I know this isn't a real term. I just thought it was kind of funny. My DD is talking a LOT about school. We go to school playgrounds all the time and she always wants to go inside so she can go to preschool. It's sweet and I'm always explaining to her that mommy and daddy know what's best for her and we want to teach her at home. She is asking for "homeschool." She loves to do activity books with me that we pick up from the book store. I really do want to unschool so I don't want to search for curriculums but I also see that is a really good opportunity to introduce the right lessons for reading and such. Do you have any good resources or just ideas...kind of lesson plans that I can do with her? I guess I feel like if she is ready, than I can help her learn to read but I didn't think I'd need to research reading programs so soon.

Please don't judge my writing...I'm exhausted and have a baby in my lap.
Honestly...curriculums themselves are not "bad" in my opinion. It is all about how you use them. You can use them for your own reference for ideas of things to strew or things she would enjoy. I own TONS of curriculums (I am not a pure unschooler) however I never use them as a "curriculum". I use them to either 1) educate myself in an area that is of interest to my kids 2) give me ideas for strewing such as maps, books, crafts they may like.

Dont worry about judging. That should be the beauty of unschooling/homeschooling. You are free to do what works for your family.....regardless of any labels. Do what feels right and works well. Enjoy it. And change it a week from now, a year from now if it stops working. Feel the joy of not being tied down to any ideals, rules, etc that are not set and guided by your own families beliefs.

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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Old 10-29-2010, 05:42 PM
 
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At three and a half, my girls seemed very ready for literacy learning-- they both knew some letters and sounds, and had an understanding of print and how print works. So I definitely wouldn't rule out the possibility of her being ready!

My DS, on the other hand, is 3.5 now, and couldn't really give two figs about learning letters or anything. He likes listening to stories, but his mental energy is mostly consumed by learning the names of every single type of construction vehicle that exists in the world. I tried to teach him the first letter of his name, in an informal kinda way, and it was a total flop-- I would tell him, "J is the letter that starts your name," and show him his name, or a J, and he would just say, "Why, mama?" and then move onto "can we read my truck book please?"

I'm a reading teacher-- that's what I do, full-time before and part-time now-- and it's been hard for me to resist the impulse to be too much of a "teacher," and to remember to follow their interests. I struggle with that.

I just got a big easel pad, and DD2 (who's also 3.5 now) and I sit down every few days and write a "story" on the pad-- she dictates, and I write it, and we stop to point out features of the writing-- the names of the letters, the punctuation, the size of the words, which words start with letters she knows, etc. And I got her an ABC poster for her closet, and she's always asking me to tell her the names of the letters-- she also spends a lot of time standing in front of it, "practicing my school, mama!"

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