4 year old schedule for homeschooling. - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 11 Old 01-01-2013, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
danielnathan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hey all. I am from South Africa, and would like some help. My boy is now 4 and a half and very much into doing worksheets, reading and learning how to shape letters. 

 

I have gotten a few curriculums, just so that we can have some form of structure. 

 

All about readings pre-reading

Sonlight P4/5

Singapore's pre-k books

Kumon books(mazes etc)

A science experiment book

A art and crafts book.

 

I want to have a small schedule just for an hour a day, where I can add all the above so that he has a week where we do not miss anything. He still has to learn a lot of small things like cutting, etc, so need to make time for that. 

 

Can anyone lead me in how to schedule a bit. I think an hour a day is enough, as we also have one activity in the afternoons, then visiting friends, going to the Nature reserve and library. 

 

Thanks in advance.

danielnathan is offline  
#2 of 11 Old 01-01-2013, 08:55 PM
 
Red Pajama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: climbing a mountain of laundry
Posts: 1,348
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Honestly, at 4, I would expect an hour of "school" time to sufficient, but different than what you're planning.

 

Spend lots of time reading aloud, and in that time talk about letters, sounds, words, counting, and identifying.

 

Use flannel board stories to tell and retell familiar stories (can be purchased at places like lakeshore learning catalog)

 

using math manipulatives to understand one-to-one correspondence, simple addition and subtraction, patterning, more, less, sorting, etc.

 

having art supplies available for cutting, gluing, stamping, coloring, as kid sees fit

 

 

I don't think that if a child likes doing worksheets that it's harmful, if it's not the focus of learning. Instead of spending any more money on curricula, spend it on materials:  flannel board and pieces, math manipulatives, paint, easel, and paper, craft supplies, a magiscopehttp://www.magiscope.com/index.html

 

Have fun. 4 was a magical year for us.


Twin boys (2/05) and little sister (10/07)
Red Pajama is offline  
#3 of 11 Old 01-01-2013, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
danielnathan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks for your response. We have that and do all of that. I would just like to have a little routine for us, so that I dont miss anything. I know that I should go slow, and that is just what I am doing. I never work more than an hour with my kids, and we do daily reading aloud. I am just scared I will miss things that is important like cutting, etc. Already people in mainstream schooling(he did a day of holiday club with a mainstream teacher) says he needs Occupational therapy as he is "Behind with his fine motor skills". Also need to prepare my kids for the real world. 

 

Example. A friend of mine has a 8 year old. They are really struggling financially. She cannot afford anything for homeschooling at this stage. Her boy cannot read or write, neither talk properly. She cannot send him to mainstream schooling as they wont accept him. I dont want that for my kids. LIfe is unpredictable, so I need to prepare them for it. Be it a schedule where we learn for an hour a day, not sure what the harm is in that. He asks for worksheets, and I follow him, so I cannot see how that is too much!

danielnathan is offline  
#4 of 11 Old 01-01-2013, 10:59 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,583
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielnathan View Post

Example. A friend of mine has a 8 year old. They are really struggling financially. She cannot afford anything for homeschooling at this stage. Her boy cannot read or write, neither talk properly. She cannot send him to mainstream schooling as they wont accept him. I dont want that for my kids. LIfe is unpredictable, so I need to prepare them for it. Be it a schedule where we learn for an hour a day, not sure what the harm is in that. He asks for worksheets, and I follow him, so I cannot see how that is too much!

 

I have a friend who has been really struggling financially for many years. This year is a little better. They now have running water in the kitchen, and some meagre income, but still have an outhouse -- and this is in the mountains in Canada where it's well below freezing! And her kids have not done sit-down schooling until age 7, have done much less than an hour a day until age 10 or 11, using absolutely minimal curriculum, mostly just occasional library books, pencils and blank paper -- and they're brilliant! A couple of them didn't read or write early, but they are all capable, knowledgeable, confident, good kids who are now (at ages 11+) above grade level in academic skills.

 

If your friend's son isn't talking properly at age 8, I think there's likely considerably more to the situation than lack of curriculum and structured schooling. Don't let whatever those factors are scare you into doing too much too soon with your own child. Personally I think there can be harm to scheduling an hour of learning with a 4-year-old.

 

Obviously it depends on the child and on the schedule and the parent-child dynamic. But just as an example of the sort of negative repercussion you can't always anticipate, my eldest dd decoded her first word ('press') at age 39 months. She loved noticing letters and letter-sounds in environmental print, and she loved being read aloud to. She initiated rhyming games and alliteration games, she would tell me letters and words she recognized with great delight. So as she got closer to 4, I started setting up little early-reading activities and trying to encourage her into taking part in them. Fifteen minutes, three or four times a week. She was clearly ready to read, as she was already reading a bit. The activities I was encouraging were hands-on and playful. If she wasn't engaged, I'd just try again later, or differently. It went fine for a week or two and then she shut down totally. She had wanted reading to be her thing, a process she led entirely on her own without any encouragement or guiding. For almost a year afterwards she refused to be read aloud to, she refused to try to read anything, any interest in letters and letter-sounds seemed to disappear entirely, and she stopped being interested in any of the fun-and-educational projects she had enjoyed prior to that with me.

 

After a year she finally let me know that she had continued learning, secretly, and had become a fluent reader. And then gradually her willingness to participate in projects and other activities with me re-emerged. Her courage and persistence in trying new things came back, and things got much better. But just that one stab at parent-directed early reading work derailed what had been a nice child-led flow, for about a year. At that age she had no way to tell me that she was feeling her autonomy threatened, or that she wanted no help, or a different kind of help, or that she feared being judged. Her only coping tool was to put up a wall, and it happened before I had time to see anything coming. 

 

I've seen very young kids develop negative reactions to things like printing, numbers, letters, etc.. They want very badly to make the adults in their lives happy, so if they're struggling, or feeling anxious, or disliking something or not ready for it, they sometimes don't show the negativity until they're very much overwhelmed, at which point their reaction is to shut down and resist. I don't think it's a coincidence that the countries that delay formal academic instruction beyond age 4 or 5 have much lower rates of dyslexia. 

 

I'm not trying to scare you here. I'm just saying it's not necessarily as simple as saying "there's no harm in starting early." 

 

I have a 9-year-old working at an academic level typical of 12 or 13-year-olds. On a good day she might do an hour or so of structured academics. On an average day she does considerably less. Most of her learning is still informal and extra-curricular. An hour a day for a four-year-old -- whether intellectually gifted and worksheet-loving or not -- would be considered a huge amount in most homeschooling circles.

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#5 of 11 Old 01-02-2013, 06:04 AM
 
Babayaga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I want to just "ditto" everything Miranda said. Beautifully put, and it matches my own experience exactly. The idea of providing formal instruction of any kind to 4 yo's is now widely accepted, I realize. Even day care centers refer to themselves as "schools." But this is also a very new practice, and there is plenty of well-regarded research that says that early instruction doesn't help in the long term and can even hurt.

I can relate to your fear about this other child. When I started homeschooling, I heard some "horror stories" about kids who were terribly behind. I do think it happens, although rarely. I agree with Miranda that an eight year old who is not speaking almost certainly has something else going on other than poor homeschooling methods. I have seen moms who were clinically depressed or had some other serious issue have trouble with homeschooling. I also have seen older homeschoolers who I thought were not well-served by a parent's overly rigid interpretation of child-led learning as disallowing any efforts to gently nudge kids out of their comfort zone to take on a challenge. But these are extreme cases.

Like the previous poster, I provided no or almost no formal instruction to either of my kids at 4 or even 5. Six was when we started to do just a little bit more. Before that, we read a ton, took walks, watched documentaries, made crafts, and did hands on projects, and went of frequent trips to local museums.

I understand not wanting to "miss" anything, but what kids most need is a curiosity and a confidence that they can seek answers to the questions they generate. Then there won't be any important gaps.

That said, I too felt very anxious that my kids would "miss" something. I managed my fears by getting a subscription to some on-line learning sites. I never did this until my kids were close to 6, but I don't think it could hurt to let a younger child play on these sites as long as it was something he or she wanted to do. I think highly of these sites, and we still use one of them now that my kids are older, but please realize that at this stage, using them would probably be most useful for "anxiety management." At least, that is how I thought of them for myself at that stage! The ones I liked best were time4learning.com, readingeggs.com, and dreambox.com. Starfall.com is another good site.

Btw, my kids are now 8 and 10 and both are significantly above grade level in spite of not having received any formal instruction until later, and then only a bit!
Babayaga is offline  
#6 of 11 Old 01-02-2013, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
danielnathan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I appreciate everything you ladies are saying. I will see how it goes with my oldest and see how he enjoys it...we will take it very slow. We do play a lot and are outdoors a lot(we are in South Africa after all!!!joy.gif) so no winter and snow for us EVER!!! I will come back on here and give an update, and see what you ladies think! Is that ok? All about reading does not even touch a pencil, and encourages loads of reading, as does Sonlight, I find their activity books so difficult, that we havent even touched it, so mainly doing the reading and crafts and science activities. I will put the worksheets away! 

 

Thanks again!

danielnathan is offline  
#7 of 11 Old 01-02-2013, 07:59 AM
 
tbone_kneegrabber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: West Philly
Posts: 2,779
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For fine motor skill stuff just having craft materials available is usually good enough. Scissors, lots of stuff that can be cut, glue, stickers, different kinds of writing instruments (crayons, pencils, pens, markers, oil pastels, chalk etc), sewing/weaving/beading things. Playdough is great for increasing hand and finger strength.
tbone_kneegrabber is offline  
#8 of 11 Old 01-02-2013, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
danielnathan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks, yeah I certainly do not want to be told that my kid needs OT at age 4 because he cannot cut yet. I have actually not really introduced a scissors to him, hence not being able. I will do that as well, if he wants to, he has not been super keen!

danielnathan is offline  
#9 of 11 Old 01-02-2013, 09:14 AM
 
SweetSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Westfarthing
Posts: 4,945
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)

A couple of bits of scissors advice--

 

Skip the "safety scissors" and head straight for the "kindergarten" scissors, or whatever they call them there (for 5 and 6yo).   They are sharper, though they are blunt at the end.  Safety scissors (the kind introduced to preschoolers) I find are difficult for them to use.  Maybe you have "that" kid who will wreak havoc with real scissors and you will know it if you do, but otherwise, head for real thing, sized appropriately.  My girls started at 3yo with these scissors and were good with safety, though not entirely mindful with what should and shouldn't be cut.

 

Then, let them cut up magazines, catalogs, anything.  My girls started cutting out  paper dolls from certain clothing catalogs.  I give them free access to paper and tape and a glue stick (now "school glue" as well) and let them create what and when they want.  Recently we used tissue paper and small thread scissors to cut snowflakes.  The thin paper made it easy (tracing paper works easily as well and is perhaps a bit sturdier)

 

I've heard that the "Lite Brite" toy is good for strengthening fingers, Legos are great, as are stitching projects, even simple lacing toys, beadwork.  

 

My oldest has struggled with fine motor skills in her hands, and she has struggled with writing until somewhat recently.  Now, she is catching up and writing consistently.  She still has a ways to go for writing fluency, but her writing is neat though not "precisely" formed.


Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
SweetSilver is offline  
#10 of 11 Old 01-02-2013, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
danielnathan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We bought Daniel the smaller Legos, not the duplos, and he plays with it for hours. I will get some beading as well for him to do, also have lacing, so will muck in more with that. Wish school materials was so cheap as in the US, we have no dollar stores etc, so will get hubby to budget it in and get a few more crafty things...
danielnathan is offline  
#11 of 11 Old 01-02-2013, 04:09 PM
 
Emaye's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: between beauty and beast
Posts: 623
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hi there,

 

Just wanted to let you know that I have a 4.5 year old daughter and she is not doing much in the way of academics.  She is not interested and I am not at all worried about it.  She does know some of her letters and numbers.  During read alouds, she enjoys predicting what happens in the stories.  She has me dictate letters to various people etc.  

 

However, we have a craft desk and she spends tons of time over there cutting, taping, gluing, drawing, coloring, etc.  It is always a mess because she is pretty much there doing stuff every day and throughout the day.  Can you set up a place for your son where he has free access to do his own projects whatever they may be?  For example, for Christmas, mine spent a lot of time making "presents" and it involved taping two pieces of paper together, have me write a letter to the person the present is for and then put the letter between the papers, roll them and put a tissue paper bow on them.  She spent days doing this and of course it looked like no other present I have ever seen!  But she loved making them and I loved helping her write the letters.  My point is, it doesn't matter what he does with the materials as long as he is using them.     

 

Also, I am not sure how much being in South Africa will affect your style of homeschooling, especially if your kids will go on to school later.  I know the style of education changes from country to country.  So, if you have to prepare your child for life in school in a few years, then I understand you will probably need to approach your homeschooling differently.  

 

E

Emaye is offline  
Reply

Tags
Homeschooling

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off