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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Everyone keeps asking me if I'm going to send my 2-year-old to preschool (including my dh). I just don't think I can do it. I know he'd probably have a wonderful time --- he's very social and loves other kids. But I just have anxiety about him being someplace all day without a family member, where I can't be sure how things are going. And he does have some seperation anxiety, which I know is totally normal at this age.<br><br>
So, anyway, I'm thinking of doing a homeschooling preschool-type program once a week or so with one or two other mommies & 2-year-olds. At my home or theirs, or rotating.<br><br>
Has anyone ever done this? I mean, somewhat structured activities, such as painting, learning shapes, colors, language, that sort of thing, & planning some things as a homeschooling preschool-type thing weekly?
 

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I'm too lazy tonight to repost it, but if you search the achieves you'll find lots of threads and I posted what all I am doing with my now three year old.<br><br>
I'd say read a lot (weekly visits to the library), talk and explain a lot, and get "Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready". I'd also suggest "Beyond the Rainbow Bridge" for a good understanding of open ended toys and a relaxed approach.<br><br>
Art is also a big thing here - it helps with the fine motor skills used for writing later on. We have crayons, markers, playdough, finger paint and more.<br><br>
Have your DC help cook, too. That helps with math and is lots of fun.<br><br>
HTHs!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Elizabeth - the two books you mentioned -- I'm going to search for them on the internet & see if I can look at them at Barnes & Noble (we visit there often as a family).<br><br>
Thanks so much for your advice!!!
 

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Preschool for kids that young is just glorified Daycare - it's touted to be beneficial, but it's been shown that kids that attend daycare/preschool seem to be more adjusted to an institutional school setting at first.....but that they seem to suffer academically in the long run.<br><br>
So, I guess my question is, what are your plans for the long-term? Are you going to be sending him to school when he gets older? Is it important to you that he be "properly socialized" before hitting kindergarten?<br>
(Can you tell I'm aginst preschool as an institution in general?<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> )<br><br>
I'm with you. Davey's not quite two, but I couldn't imagine sending him someplace to play with a bunch of kids that I don't know (and don't know their parents, or when they're getting vaccines & will be shedding virus, and don't know the parenting philosophies of the "teacher") without my being there. How is that protecting you baby? In short, it's not. It' pushing a baby to be "independent", which can have major repercussions later in life.<br><br>
And now I'll get down off my soapbox, and simply say - homeschool preschool is not something that I would worry about at all. Toddlers soak up information like a sponge, so as long as they are included in your daily activities, they pick up things like counting, letters, colors, shapes, manners, games, songs and the like just by doing stuff with mom.<br><br>
If you do end up getting together with other moms & kids, you may want to hook up with some multiple-child homeschooling families. Multi-age interaction is one of the most underrated aspects of homeschooling, but it's very beneficial - when kids aren't separated by age, they seem to relate to others better, and are more likely to be helpful & kind to others as they get older. (Not to mention that 2 year olds LOVE to learn things from other kids - often rejecting mom in favor of the kid!)
 

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PLAYFUL LEARNING: An Alternate Approach to Preschool by Anne Engelhardt and Cheryl Sullivan would probably be very helpful for you right now. It will tell you why a "preschool at home" would be beneficial to your family, along with how to start and run a group like one that you mentioned.<br><br>
There is nothing wrong with not wanting to send your child to preschool, many many parents feel the same way. If a preschool-at-home group will help you feel more comfortable with your decision, then you should definately look into it. Kids do just fine with an active, caring parent by their side, so simple daily life will help them thrive also.<br><br>
Usually 2 year old are at the stage where they enjoy mostly playing beside another child rather than with them. Doing things with a parent at home and then a fun social playgroup might be just as fun, and then later considering a preschool-at-home group when the child is 4-5 would work just as fine.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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IMO, 2 is really young for preschool. At that age, the only reason I can see to do it is if you need a break. We just started a very relaxed home preschooling with my soon to be 3 year old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, you guys. This is making me feel much better. I'm going to take a look at all of these books that you suggested on our next trip to the bookstore.<br><br>
Right now we do LLL twice per month, which has a group of lots of toddlers & babies for him to play with --- and the meetings are in a large room with tons of age-appropriate toys.<br><br>
Also, my sister & her 2-year-old come on Mondays & play with my ds for 4 hours while I go out to meetings (i'm a work-at-home mom, but i do have a couple meetings i need to attend outside the home). They mostly play outside in the sand box & with push toys & trucks & bubbles.<br><br>
We also try to get together with my friend & her 2-year-old once per week & go to a park & then out to lunch together.<br><br>
My ds and I seem to do better with getting out of the house for activities, in the community. When we're home, we tend to watch TV too much (both of us) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blush.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blush">.<br><br>
I guess what I'm feeling is that when we're home, I'm not providing a rich enough environment for him. I also feel that I'm always dragging him around with me on errands & shopping, and he's spending a fair amount of time in the car seat. Which I feel guilty about. I recently bought a bunch of paints & art supplies & that sort of thing. But somehow I feel really intimidated by the task of providing activities at home. It stresses me out a little. When I used to take care of other children, before I was a mommy, I used to do tons of art projects, music, dancing, reading, ---- all kinds of spectacular stuff. And I don't do that with my ds. I feel really guilty about it. So, I'm thinking that if I have a scheduled thing at my house, giving him the opportunity to do some artistic things with other kids, then it'll be easier to follow through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
fyrflymommy - good to know i'm not alone.<br><br>
by the way, the AP group in your signature: i tried to find it on yahoo, but couldn't. is that the address?
 

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What about Oak Meadow preschool? It would give you some nice, relaxed ideas.<br><br>
There are also some pre packeaged preschool "curriculums", complete with crafty things and such. One is Early beginnings preschool in a box, and the other is Mother Goose Time. They are geared toward home daycares, but you can order for just 1-2 children.<br><br>
Good luck
 

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As far as providing a "rich environment" goes.....get down on the floor & look around, and pretend you're 2. EVERYTHING is fascinating!<br>
Your little one is going to be learning a lot every day, even when running errands or watching you fold laundry. Heck, even flinging laundry out of the basket to see what happens is doing scientific testing! Don't run yourself down by thinking that your everyday routine (or lack of routine) is somehow not enough - life is life, and the best way to learn to live is to do it, not sit in a circle with bunch of age-mates while someone tells you exactly what "we" will be doing & when. That may be life for some.....Dilbert comes to mind......<br>
anyway, you get my drift. I'll shut up now before I say something stupid<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Thanks for that, Mehndi Mama...I sometimes worry that I'm doing the same thing with 14 mo DD at home and it's nice to be reminded that doing just about anything is "learning" for her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Milkbarmom - what's Oak Meadow Preschool? Is it a theoretical book or an activities book? I'm going to look on B&N.com........<br><br>
MehndiMama - Yes, thank you for reminding me of that. I just WORRY, you know? In 'theory', I know that he's learning just by living life. But in "practice", I'm thinking, how can he be learning & developing well if we're just laying around snuggling & watching TV & nursing? And not "playing together". I don't know, I feel like I should be playing with him more. I just feel like I'm not doing enough. He does play with his train table a lot (toddler-sized table with train track set up, trains, other vehicles), but I feel like that's the only thing I'm providing consistently. We read together a little, but not every day. And we don't even play outside every day. Basically, I do 'my' agenda for the day -- errands, some of my WAHM stuff (computer work, internet stuff, typing & printing, phone calls), shopping for groceries, going here and there.<br><br>
What I feel like is that I should get the paints out several times per week, and set up an easel for him, and let him paint. Or finger paints, or whatever. And I feel like we should be doing seasonal art projects, like glueing autumn things onto a collage, etc. ..........and I used to sing to the children I used to work with, but I don't sing to my ds. And I feel like I should be cooking with him, and making play dough, and doing lots of that sort of thing.<br><br>
I also feel like I should have the house decorated with seasonal stuff (which I used to do with children i worked with). And I feel like I should be teaching him his colors, numbers, letters, shapes. We are doing some of that, actually. Which he enjoys. But not consistently at all.<br><br>
Anyway, I"m just getting really intimidated by everything I feel that I *should* be doing. To the point that it sort of paralyzes me & I don't end up doing any of it.<br><br>
Has anyone ever experienced this?????? I know I must sound crazy.
 

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AutumnWind: yes that's the address.<br><br>
i feel like i should be doing more stuff with toddler too. a friend of mine goes on and on about how much HER toddler learns in daycare (which she calls "school"<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: )..... i
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by AutumnWind</i><br><b>Milkbarmom - what's Oak Meadow Preschool? Is it a theoretical book or an activities book?</b></td>
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Oak Meadow is a <a href="http://www.oakmeadow.com" target="_blank">www.oakmeadow.com</a> . I have the Preschool and Kindergarden stuff and I don't really love it. The Preschool stuff has *no* activities, it's just their theories on child development and how to structure you daily life. To get more information and spend less money I would get 1) Beyond the Rainbow Bridge (a book on the Waldorf theories of child development) 2) Seven Times the Sun (a book on how to set up your day with lots of information) and 3) Earthways (actual activities to go with the seasons).<br><br>
For HSing my three year old daughter I am using a book called "The Well Trained Mind" combined with some Waldorf. Nothing is forced and it seems to suit my daughter perfectly. We do letters and their sounds right now but most of the time she knows them before I show them to her.<br><br>
Here are some free resources -<br><a href="http://www.letteroftheweek.com/" target="_blank">http://www.letteroftheweek.com/</a> - free online ideas for each year<br><a href="http://www2.worldbook.com/parents/course_study_curra.asp" target="_blank">http://www2.worldbook.com/parents/co...tudy_curra.asp</a> - a Preschool "typical corse of study". I took this list, edited off whatever my DD could already do then checked to see if she could do anything else on the list and took it all off. After all that, we had about thirty-six weeks of activities to try. I don't expect her to be able to do all or even half of the list by the end of the year, but I do have a basic guide.<br><br>
I try and limit TV. I've found that if I have background music playing I am less likely to turn on the TV. I also try and get time off daily so that I am less stressed. Like I said, we do art daily be it finger painting, playdough fun, crayons, markers of watercolors. I look for ways to have numbers in every day life like counting fruits when we buy them, or counting steps we go up or down and even counting the five points in our five point car seat.<br><br>
For book lists I have a lot of sources. The main one I use is "The Read Aloud Handbook". I went through and highlighted all the books that were at Annabelle's attention level and checked them out about seven at a time until we had read them all. We found some great books this way! We just started using "Great Books for Girls" which I am less than impressed with but I hope it gets better. We are also using "Waldorf Student Reading List" and the suggestions in "Beyond the Rainbow Bridge". Library visits are a weekly thing here.<br><br>
We have a structured day but I don't stick only to it. It's enough rhythm for us. There are large chunks of time that I don't have anything planned so we can go outside or do free play. Here's what we do in a day -<br>
Wake up, Dress, Make Bed<br>
Breakfast (Grains and Protein); Wash Hands; Brush Teeth; Take Medications and Vitamins<br>
Chores water plants inside and outside, check pet food and water<br>
8.30 Exercise (yoga)<br>
Circle Time - Mon Alphabet/Wed Slow and Steady/Fri Numbers for 5-30 minutes<br>
Help Tidy up<br>
Wash Hands; Lunch (Dairy); Brush Teeth<br>
Math Games/ Manipulatives for 10-30 minutes<br>
Wash Hands, Tea Time, Brush Teeth<br>
Art/Dot to Dot for 10-30 Minutes<br>
Help Tidy up<br>
Wash Hands; Dinner; Brush Teeth<br>
Bed Time Routine Begins - Offer Bath or Shower; Brush Teeth; Read three stories<br>
Nursing
 

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I forgot to say what our weekly rhythm is -<br>
Monday I plan a weekly menu and we do a letter in circle time<br>
Tuesday Is our errand day and the day we go to a local Preschool home school co-op that is Waldorf based<br>
Wednesday I spend an hour at my desk working and we do the activity fro "Slow and Steady, Get me Ready"<br>
Thursday we do the co-op again and do something fun as a family<br>
Friday we do a number in circle time and watch a family film together<br>
Saturday is a "major project" day around the house like yard work or cleaning a room of clutter. It's also "you have to have a bath or shower" night.<br>
Sunday I spend an hour doing weekly house chores and general day of rest.<br><br>
As far as monthly or year rhythm goes we're not Christian so we don't do Christian holidays. Mostly I focus on solstice and equinoxes and nature. I'd love to work in moon cycles but I am always too tired and Annabelle is often asleep. I use the solstice and equinoxes to change our circle time. Circle time is based with on the season we are in with finger plays and nursery rhymes and body games that deal with the season. For example we have been doing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" in our summer circle. In July I reassess our home school because August is my DD's birthday and that's when I move her up a grade and see what is working and what is not.<br><br>
Wow, these are two very long posts. I should make these Blog entries! LOL. I hope this helps someone : D
 

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Elizabeth,<br><br>
I have oak meadow kindergarten, but not the preschool. Thanks for sharing the info about it. I have always felt that the Kindergarten was more of a "preschool". We actually don't use it anymore.<br><br>
I am going to check out some of the books you suggested. After all, I am also still learning what works best with our homechooling routine too! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I have been "homeschooling" my dd since she was 18 mos. old. Just spending time talking to her, pointing stuff out, playing games, and reading a lot. She's now 2.5 years old and knows a lot of the things preschoolers know (colors, letters, counting, shapes, etc). What I'm frustrated with is that academically she's ready for preschool studies but she has physical and mental limitations that keep her from being ready for the preschool packages I could order, such as Calvert. She loves learning and I'm running into a brick wall as far as where to go next while waiting for her to mature in some areas. She keeps asking me to teach her more.<br><br>
She holds a pencil well and can draw circles and some crude letters but lacks the coordination to write anything for real and gets frustrated trying. She will look at our cereal box and say "C-H-E-X spells cereal, right mommy?" So reading readiness is there but she's not ready to put the sounds of letters together yet. Doesn't have the attention span. She really WANTS to do these things and she gets frustrated that she can't pick up a book and read it like I can. So I read her books enough times that she memorizes them and "reads" them herself.<br><br>
I've seen some preschool cirriculums and she's just not there yet in so many ways, but she's getting there. It's not just about learning ABC's but also about other activities that develop the whole child. So for now we are working on toddler jigsaw puzzles, playing Memory with 10 tiles to learn how to take turns, swimming lessons, imaginative play and role playing, potty training, etc. Our days are still busy and full of learning!<br><br>
Darshani
 

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My son will be 3 in January and I'll be starting Hands on Homeschooling preschool with him as soon as it come in. It does have Bible so that is a problem for some people. It does abc and 123's, manners, shapes, colors, seasons, that sort of stuff. Lots of projects and stories. I feel I need more structure in my day plus he really wants to start "school". We will be homeschooling for the duration. You could also trying before five in a row. My sister has that one and it looks pretty good. I will probably get that one after we master the basics.
 
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