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#1 of 16 Old 03-27-2012, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#2 of 16 Old 03-27-2012, 08:04 PM
 
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I have a 3 and 4 yr old that I "homeschool." What that really means to me is that they are not enrolled in a preschool and I am an intentional mom who focuses on creating learning opportunities for them. It really comes so easily at this age as they are so interested in so much and so creative in their play. We are also planing on Homeschooling them down the road. But, I can completely understand your desire to bring some structure to your day and be able to feel as though you are covering things that your DS would otherwise be doing if he were in preschool. Here are some ideas of things I've used over the past 2 years:

 

-I've found this website very helpful. It's a free online curriculum for preschool. It is Christian, but even if you are not religious, there is lots of great stuff on here and it is geared toward preparing kids for school: http://abcjesuslovesme.com/

-read books from "Before Five in a Row" found crafts to go along from http://homeschoolshare.com/

-craft ideas from http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/

-check out children's music cds from the library and listen in the car

-Watch Leap frog phonics/number videos

-Read read read and read more....drawing from lists that I have found of great children's books and also from whatever they are interested in 

-taking trips to local farms to pick fruit in season...berries in summer, apples, pumpkins in fall and then baking together

-planting seeds in spring and talking about the seasons

-going to parks 

-Play-doh, fingerpaints, painting, 

-magnetic pattern blocks with cards

-starfall.com (my DD learned to read CVC words using this)

-progressivephonics.com 

-Bob books

For handwriting: 

fingerplays

fine motor skills activities 

coloring

drawing shapes

tactile letters/number flashcards

making letters with play-doh

sidewalk chalk

 

I used to use the time in the morning during the baby's nap for doing our crafts or reading, but now that he is not napping in the morning, it has been harder to do something more structured with him around. So, we read b/f our nap/quiet time, bedtime and maybe even over breakfast or lunch. 

 

Really though, I find that even when I've had some kind of well planned activity for the kids, they will take me by surprise and come up with something so much more impressive just on their own when I  just make things available for them like craft supplies, books, etc.... they are really so creative and inquisitive at this age, learning just happens all day.

 

 

 

 

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#3 of 16 Old 03-27-2012, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#4 of 16 Old 03-27-2012, 09:49 PM
 
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There are quite a few ideas in this page I put together for preschool/kindergarten ages - look beneath the box of articles for annotated links to websites that are packed with activity ideas.

 

The articles do discourage work/study on early literacy and writing skills, but they also encourage following your child's natural interests, so I don't think there's a conflict.

 

My own experience is that so much gets learned in the course of prolonged imaginative play, that I think you'll find he'll be learning on his own a lot more than you might realize at this point.  - Lillian

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#5 of 16 Old 03-28-2012, 05:20 AM
 
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There are quite a few ideas in this page I put together for preschool/kindergarten ages - look beneath the box of articles for annotated links to websites that are packed with activity ideas.

 

 



Lillian, this page is amazing!!! thanks for posting. I can't wait to dig in. ;)

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#6 of 16 Old 03-28-2012, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#7 of 16 Old 03-28-2012, 05:04 PM
 
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littleacornlearning.com BEST prek curriculum out there. there are 2 or 3 weeks you can download as samples on their website to get a feel for it.


transtichel.gifAk Hippie mama  ribbonpb.gifYamia  DSD '03 blahblah.gif  DS '07 ribboncesarean.gif  DS2 '09  hbac.gif & DS3  uc.jpg '12

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#8 of 16 Old 03-28-2012, 08:52 PM
 
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 I have worked with tracing letters with my son, but I was shocked when he just wrote his name while coloring one day.  He wasn't looking at letters or pushed or anything.  Like you said, it is a natural interest.  We obviously made a big deal about how exciting it was, and then he wrote it again, but then he moved on to coloring rainbows.


Yes - that's the kind of thing that will happen all along. When our son was first homeschooling when he was almost 8, his dad and I both noticed that he was learning things out of the clear blue that neither of us had any idea he'd even been exposed to. Then, one day he walked through the room and mentioned something that absolutely stunned me, and I walked over to my bookshelf and took down a book I'd put off reading because I found the title off putting. I should add that I had been through teacher training in college and had substituted in schools for a while, and had been devouring everything I could find about "homeschooling" and childhood education since our son was 5 and still in school. Anyway, the name of the book was I Learn Better by Teaching Myself, by Agnes Leistico. The author was writing about her own experiences, trial and error, and observations about her own homeschooled children. I stood right there in the kitchen reading it on the spot and found myself laughing out loud to realize it was about the kind of things that had been going on in my home all along - I felt so silly for having been so resistant to the notion that my son really could be his own best teacher if I only supplied an environment and support for it. 

 

About schedule, I've known people to make general time slots for various things, just to have a rhythm and goal to think of so that they don't forget to slow down and include things that will make for a more satisfying experience for the children. So Monday might be a day when everyone expects to go the library and pick out books, peruse them, and be read to and/or read. Thursday might be a good time for fun and simple little science experiments or nature crafts, etc. But what you're thinking of in terms of focusing on something in the mornings might be your own best rhythm - and getting out of the house at least once a day sounds great! And finding a playmate or two could be wonderful for imaginative playtime. You might start thinking in terms of getting together some things that can fill times when your son is wanting/needing more than you can provide while taking care of the baby's needs - audio stories to turn to, puzzles, craft and building supplies, tunnel, playhouse makings, sand table and/or box - well, the sorts of things that are suggested in the set of links I mentioned earlier and that sassafrassmom listed. And I've always heard nothing but good things about Little Acorns, the program onyxravnos suggested - that might make it easier to have ideas on hand to turn to when pressed for planning time.


Lillian
 

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#9 of 16 Old 03-30-2012, 05:06 AM
 
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I love Lillian's web site! She has so many wonderful resources. :) 

 

I'm home with my preschooler now , with no plans to send her to preschool ever.  She gets plenty of social interaction between church, play groups, story times, being the youngest of 3 kids, friends kids, cousins, etc. etc. lol  I do things at home with her, more than just "live life" mainly because I get bored. lol.gif  I am very developmentally appropriate though. I am not standard based or focusing on the 3r's. I try focus on play, imagination, exploration,  etc. I'm currently doing book themes with her which we are both really enjoying. I do keep a routine (not set in stone) for the days we are home. I allow TV, so there is a time it goes off, a time for free play, a time for our projects, a time for outside...... It just helps our days flow better.  I blog, if you would like a link feel free to PM me. :)

 

As far as early literacy, I'm very against pushing kids to meet "standards" for learning in the preschool years. There is a lot of research into the negative effects of pushing kids to early.  At the same time I do a lot of literacy/math activities. The key is to keep them open ended, so they work at a variety of levels and the child can work right where they are ready to work.  For example, I keep a pad of paper in our kitchen set. My youngest mainly scribbles on it from time to time. It is very developmentally appropriate way for a 3 yr old to "write". My 6 year old will write a complete order down while playing restaurant . Neither child is forced and they are both working at their own levels with the same materials. :) 

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#10 of 16 Old 03-30-2012, 10:54 AM
 
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...mainly because I get bored. lol.gif  

 

tiphat.gif My hat's off to you - it's a rare person who can admit to that, even to herself, or recognize it so early on.

 

I think it's great to really pay attention to what it's all about, or we can really get in our children's way by unconsciously making them part of our own creative project. I had to get over that when I started out, but my son, in spite of his natural tendency to be polite, soon showed me that I was a pain in the neck. 

 

   - Lillian

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#11 of 16 Old 03-30-2012, 11:59 AM
 
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notes.gifMy daughter's only 13 months, so not quite there yet, but taking notes for the future since we're seriously considering h/s as long as DH is Active Duty and we're moving every few years.


Married to my Airman since 12-23-06. Cloth diapering, baby wearing, breastfeeding AP mama to DD born 2/24/11

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#12 of 16 Old 03-31-2012, 07:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post

 

tiphat.gif My hat's off to you - it's a rare person who can admit to that, even to herself, or recognize it so early on.

 

I think it's great to really pay attention to what it's all about, or we can really get in our children's way by unconsciously making them part of our own creative project. I had to get over that when I started out, but my son, in spite of his natural tendency to be polite, soon showed me that I was a pain in the neck. 

 

   - Lillian

orngbiggrin.gif I've been a stay at home mom for a while. There is only so much cleaning and meal planning that interests me. I actually I have two school age kids who are currently in public school. My oldest is like how you describe your son. We tend to get to 'teachy" with the oldest kids sometimes.winky.gif  "oh look honey, that's a amphibian, can you say amphibian. they eat bugs and its scientific name is......" all the poor kid wants to do is look at the cool frog.  lol.gif

 

  I think this works for us, because I truly have no agenda other then to keep us busy. She isn't feeling pressured in anyway and is free to pick and choose what she wants to do.  I'm not worried about her "knowledge" as long as she is learning something and growing we are good. No checklist of letters/shapes/numbers/etc.  I'm just trying to expose her to different things and allow her space to explore and play with them.  It's not about teaching, it's about facilitating learning experiences and letting her discover them. thumb.gif  That and I really love preschool. love.gif

 

 

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#13 of 16 Old 03-31-2012, 11:44 AM
 
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   I do things at home with her, more than just "live life" mainly because I get bored. lol.gif   



this is completely me too. I am goal oriented by nature and a former teacher, so I have it in me to want to get things accomplished with my kids--though I have to remind myself over and over, they are only 3 and 4! and it is very frustrating when you come up with this wonderful craft or something, and they are totally not interested or want to do something completely different with it. I have to ask myself a lot--is it really them who need the structure, or me? and then find ways that I can feel like I'm getting that b/c I don't really think they even get out of these "lessons" what I think they will. They mostly just enjoy being read to, playing and make believe right now. 

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#14 of 16 Old 03-31-2012, 01:04 PM
 
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 "oh look honey, that's a amphibian, can you say amphibian. they eat bugs and its scientific name is......" all the poor kid wants to do is look at the cool frog.  lol.gif

 


Ah, yes! I remember it well redface.gif - didn't keep it up long, fotunately, but it definitely comes with the territory of those just starting out with a bang. 

 

- Lillian

 

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#15 of 16 Old 03-31-2012, 01:39 PM
 
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this is completely me too. I am goal oriented by nature and a former teacher, so I have it in me to want to get things accomplished with my kids--though I have to remind myself over and over, they are only 3 and 4! and it is very frustrating when you come up with this wonderful craft or something, and they are totally not interested or want to do something completely different with it. I have to ask myself a lot--is it really them who need the structure, or me? and then find ways that I can feel like I'm getting that b/c I don't really think they even get out of these "lessons" what I think they will. They mostly just enjoy being read to, playing and make believe right now. 


I think as long as you're willing to drop it when they are completely not interested and let them do the completely different thing with the materials then you're good.. winky.gif   That's developmentally appropriate. Kids will naturally gravitate to what they are ready for and really become absorbed in it. Most of the stuff we do is really open ended. Like art projects are painting with different mediums vs crafts. A science experiment is more like mixing baking soda and vinegar or sprouting a seed. Not something that requires knowledge and will teach. More things she can observe and participate in. thumb.gif

 

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#16 of 16 Old 04-03-2012, 10:17 PM
 
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Right now, we use Seasons of Joy and we love it! www.ourseasonsofjoy.com
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