Learning with my 3.5 yr. old... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 02-02-2010, 12:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've read many times that it's better to wait with formal learning when it comes to young children and not o invest in curriculum. My question is, what if the child wants to do school like their older siblings?

My dd is 3 (4 in May) and since last spring has been in love with workbooks, craft books, regular books, anything to do with learning. I've been considering starting her on either Happy Phonics or MFW K. Would it be turn around to bit me in the butt as some ppl say? I mean, if the child is ready and waiting, why delay the interest in fun curriculum?? The girl just LOVES to "do school". Mostly right now, I just follow her led with what ever she pulls out of her "school" tote.

Thoughts on this would be very helpful to me! Thanks!
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#2 of 6 Old 02-02-2010, 01:22 AM
 
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If she's loving something, I can't see any reason not to go along with it. But I'd be careful not move it into something more formal than she's asking for. And I'd think in terms of bringing in lots of interesting "school" activities of all kinds rather than concentrating on the 3Rs, because she may get just as much satisfaction out of any focused activities that could entertain and broaden her world - little science experiments, nature studies, crafts of all kinds, bubble play, games, blocks, building things, rhymes and finger play, building forts, painting, etc. Lillian
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#3 of 6 Old 02-02-2010, 02:03 AM
 
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My 3.5 year old also wants to "do school" while her big brother is doing his. I have a number of Pre-K workbooks. I explain what the goal of the activity on the page is... and then she just does what she wants. Sometimes this ends up having some relation to the goal of the page, sometimes not. In any case, it keeps her happy and occupied, without undue academic pressure.

Dollar stores, Target, and so forth tend to have very inexpensive workbooks which are good for younger kids who may end up scribbling on every page.

(Of course, there are kids this age who will have the interest and capability to actually do the work, and if she handles the cheap workbooks well without signs of stress, it could be worth it to try a real curriculum.)

DS born 6/03, DD1 born 9/06, DD2 born 10/10, DD3 born 4/14.
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#4 of 6 Old 02-02-2010, 03:21 AM
 
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I have tried a lot of different programs. Abeka, Hooked on Phonics, Berry Best Preschool, Fireflies, Affordable preschool, Carolyns, ect. I have found that using free printables that I get online are the best for things I would buy workbooks for . I love Abeka flashcards for basics. I love readingeggs.com. The eggs program is great and is not the same thing over and over like Hooked on Phonics. I get Berry Best for two kids and it is nice to have something ready and prepared for me each day. My kids hate workbooks. I think as long as they think it is fun and you don't grind it into them it can be fine. I never do more than a couple of lessons at the most at one time. I think outside play is just as important as doing lessons . I also think I would never be as Creative as Berry Best as far as ideas for indoor work. I tried doing things in a diffferent home school program that gave me tons of ideas but I was never organized to get all of the craft supplies together. I would need red yarn or googley eyes and not have them. The boxed kits come with all of the supplies you need. Each kit is marked for each day. Tomorrow I will pull out Feb 2nd and it is all there in a plastic wrapping. They ship one month at a time. All I need is glue, crayons and scissors. All the kit places will let you do a trial month also to see if you like it.
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#5 of 6 Old 02-02-2010, 12:17 PM
 
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I agree....keep it fun and never forced. I might also encourage you to remember all this learning and ground work that she's already done when she's older and perhaps resisting...I've found that my kids' learning is sometimes cyclical...they go through phases where they are HUNGRY for knowledge, then times when they don't want to hear one more book read to them! (It reminds me of my college years...ha!) It took me awhile to accept these cycles and work WITH them, instead of against them. (I still make them do the "seat work" type things during their "down" times, but wait with concepts until they are back into the 'groove'.)
Enjoy her desire to learn! About the curriculum...we love Five in a Row, Handwriting without Tears Pre-K book, flashcards, and games, games, games!
My girls have also loved TRACING anything I've written for them (I use gray crayon and they go over it with a pencil)....we do shapes, words, names, etc.
Have fun!
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#6 of 6 Old 02-03-2010, 12:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your replies. I defintely NEVER force her. In fact, with her workbook, she just skips around and does whatever page suits her fancy at the moment. She asks he what to do and does it. Usually, I have to direct her attention to other ventures though, she just wants to keep going with the WB, lol.

I'm seriously considering doing MFW K and just taking it as it comes. As in, if she only does two days worth per week, so be it! If she takes two years to get through it (which would put her at "grade level" at the end), then great. If she really is into it and does it in one year, that's fine too, it would just put us ahead a year and I'm not sure she'd be ready for MFW 1st at that point, but we shall see. I'm getting ahead of myself here!

There's also so much other stuff to do with her right now. It boggles the mind!! She's into learning about so much, at times I'm not sure what to do next honestly. Maybe that's why I'm thinking curriculum vs. completely delight directed learning. *I* need something to hold my hand so we don't get bogged down!

Whew! I kind of went of there lol...
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