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I saw the thread about Kindy started and thought that I'd start one for preschoolers.<br><br>
Anyone unschooling or homeschooling this age? I'm sure there are...<br><br>
I have a 5yo and 3yo but have yet to do any type of formal teaching. Everything I/we have done so far has been in the moment like "hey you're doing math!" and going with it from there.<br><br>
So what are the ages of your kid(s) and what have you done with them?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lovnbnhome</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7233019"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I saw the thread about Kindy started and thought that I'd start one for preschoolers.<br><br>
Anyone unschooling or homeschooling this age? I'm sure there are...<br><br>
I have a 5yo and 3yo but have yet to do any type of formal teaching. Everything I/we have done so far has been in the moment like "hey you're doing math!" and going with it from there.<br><br>
So what are the ages of your kid(s) and what have you done with them?</div>
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my dd is 3 (4 this summer). we don't really do much, just kinda go with whatever. she just seems to be naturally curious and ask tons of questions, so we just go over all that. but we have recently started "the ordinary parents guide to teaching reading". she has been asking to start, and has long since known all her letters upper and lower, plus i'd say 95% of the letter sounds. she is a very structured little girl and was asking me for some form of sit down at the table type thing, so i just kinda read the lessons over in the book and then go over that stuff with her by writing and coloring pictures of letters and using a magnetic letter board. that's about all we do. although in the fall we are going to start doing a lot more. we're very structured people, so our homeschooling experience will probably be a lot more structured than some people's here, and probably will lean heavily towards a classical education. i like the idea of literature rather than dumbed down boring textbooks for later on. blah. who likes those, and who could relate to those -especially the history ones I remember from school, dear god just shoot me now please. i remember the first time i enjoyed history, and that was in college my first semester when my prof said don't buy your books, and if you did go return them, and she would just stand up there everyday and basically story tell, and we got so into it and learned so much more than ever before. she said i don't care if you know the date it happened, i want to know that you know the way the times were, the way people thought, why the events happened, what effects it had on people, how it changed their thinking and therefore affected the future. such a wonderful teacher. actually making us think rather than memorize out of a book.<br><br>
sorry for the running off on a tangent there, haha <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blahblah.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blah blah">
 

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Yes, I have a 3 and a 4 year old and we have increased their "learning" sit down time from 3 times a week to daily. We use a variety of tools and it is all done in play/discovery. They both know their alphabets and numbers up to 20 and are expanding up to 100.<br><br>
DD#1, the 4 year old is writing and has started phonetically spelling three letter words. Science is a biggie around our household and we love doing experiements/basic chemistry, field trips and biological systems.<br><br>
Lately, she has been "playing" on her violin...this involves getting her comfortable with the bow and trying out different sounds in different positions...everything will just come from there as she wants to make songs like mama. DS, the 3 year old, loves making noise in whatever fashion he can and we dance interpretatively to each others creations.<br><br>
If they aren't into sitting for a more formalized lesson, no biggie, we bring out the playdough and create or build musical instruments. It is totally lead by their interest with a little bit of direction by myself.
 

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There used to be a preschool thread almost every month although I haven't seen one for awhile now. Marissa will turn 3 in June. She knows most of her letter sounds and is beginning to try to put sounds together. She'll sit by herself and point at the different letters and make the sounds. We have the first set of BOB books so I'll probably pull those out soon. I found someone to buy the Sonlight PreK core and singapore earlybird math books from used. The PreK program is really just a bunch of great books to read with your child and her attention span and interest in reading is there. There is a Sonlight Prek yahoo group where I've gotten a a schedule that has broken up the readings into themes. That should make it easy for me to add in more hands on activities.<br><br>
-Pam
 

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I have a three yr old and 18 mo old. We are taking things really casual right now. He knows most of his ABC's, we're still trying to work on sounding them out, but just doing it for fun, and no drilling. The leapfrog DVD is actually pretty good, he likes it, maybe I will start showing it to him again. It's been a while, but it does seem to help him understand the alphabet pronunciation. I think we're also going to start working on identifying lower case letters. He knows his upper case. Counting is something he is actually really interested in right now, but we are having a problem where he does not count, "1," he starts with, "2." I am not sure how this happened, but I've been trying to get him to start counting with, "1" and it's still not clicking. I think it's a math concept that will just take some time for him.<br><br>
We do some very easy arts and crafts. We enjoy the KUMON books, he LOVES the cutting one. I got him the coloring, folding and tracing ones too... but he's not as into it. I think he is going to be left handed and I'm having a hard time trying to teach him how to old a pencil correctly, and the way he holds it now, he has such a weird angle, that when he tries to write anything, it puts so little pressure, that it barely gets on the paper or it is very light, so he gets very frustrated. When I try to help him hold it correctly, he gets upset. So, for now we've just kind of avoiding any writing activities although he seems to enjoy the ALEX bulb crayons, since you can hold them with the palm of your hand. He thinks that using scissors is really cool.<br><br>
I've been trying to introduce him to some games, but with a combo of him being impatient and my 18 mo old interfering all of the time, it's been very frustrating. So, I'm going to wait a few more months. The good thing is he knows his shapes, colors, animals (my DH calls him an, "animal genius," since my son is nuts about all types of animals). He gets a lot of free play time, starting to build his own train tracks, which is kind of cool. He enjoys listening to music, so we do occassionally stick a CD in and just listen to different kinds of music and we talk about which instrument he is listening to, etc.. Finger plays are a lot of fun for both of my kids too.<br><br>
He enjoys books a lot, so much so that I think that by spring, we will officially be starting BFIAR. I already have the parent's guide and some of the books, the rest I can obtain from the library. I am hoping that my youngest child will also be interested, but I don't know, my youngest one isn't as interested in books as my oldest one. With them only being 18 mo apart, I kind of hope that I can just have them on the same page regarding HSing, but I think my oldest son is ready to learn more, so we are going to begin and my youngest can catch up later on (my youngest is a very quick learner, so I do not foresee this as an issue, whatever his older brother is doing, he wants to do too). The odd thing is that we cannot go to storytime at the library. While my oldest son loves books at home, during storytime, he does everything, BUT sit down to listen! So, we just don't go anymore, b/c I think they are distracting the other children. I think he would love to take some sort of, "class," and I am thinking about maybe signing him up for swim class in the spring or summer, something that involves activity, b/c he is soooo active!
 

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We haven't been doing a whole lot this week except DD has been on the computer a lot (and watching too much TV) because I'm sewing frenetically to get ready for Estrella War. I figure we'll make up for it next week when we camp for 6 nights and get to see all the different medieval stuff all week.<br><br>
When we do do something, it's usually a game. Candyland, chutes and ladders, today she busted out hi-ho cherry-o to play with her dad, and she also likes Memory and Harvest Time. And Go Fish, and we've tried War a few times.<br><br>
She's slowly working through a Kumon workbook (numbers 1-30). I want to get her the cut/paste books and more maze books (she did My First Book of Tracing first, then My Book of Easy Mazes, which she blew through). She's still not really on top of numbers/counting, though she can identify several numerals she counts...creatively.<br><br>
She had her play dough out today, and helped the 9yo. I babysit clean her (DD's) room. (9yo's idea.)
 

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I nanny for an 18 month old and a 3 1/2 year old. We are relaxed homeschooling preschool with the 3 year old. She goes in phases of what she wants to do. Some weeks all she wants to do is make letters. We write them on her magnadoodle (I think that's what it's called), and I have the wooden pieces for handwriting without tears that she loves to play with. Other than that, we don't really do anything else formally. She also loves Kumon workbooks. We do the tracing/mazes one occasionally, and just started the cutting one a bit ago, when she became obsessed with scissors. We read a lot. We go to museums and the zoo and gymboree and the children's theater. We put music on and dance around the house. We do TONS of art projects. The art closet is fully stocked and accessible to her, so she just goes and gets what she wants (asking for help with things like paint). She likes to cook with me, and she is really good with numbers. She speaks German with me (and a bit of Spanish and French) and Czech with the other nanny. We travel a lot. She's been a real eye-opener with me, because I loved school and formal learning so much (I was a workbook geek), and it was hard for me to accept that you don't need to do workbooks and formal learning. I really had to suppress the urge with her, and she has shown me that was the correct thing to do. She became interested in letters all on her own, and picked up numbers and adding just by living life.<br><br>
The 18 month old loves to climb. And eat. And he especially enjoys sand or water or other sensory type play.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mags</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7243720"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We do some very easy arts and crafts. We enjoy the KUMON books, he LOVES the cutting one. I got him the coloring, folding and tracing ones too... but he's not as into it. I think he is going to be left handed and I'm having a hard time trying to teach him how to old a pencil correctly, and the way he holds it now, he has such a weird angle, that when he tries to write anything, it puts so little pressure, that it barely gets on the paper or it is very light, so he gets very frustrated. When I try to help him hold it correctly, he gets upset. So, for now we've just kind of avoiding any writing activities although he seems to enjoy the ALEX bulb crayons, since you can hold them with the palm of your hand.</div>
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It's a good thing that 3-year-olds don't have much of a need to write things that can't go in crayon! But that sounds so frustrating for both of you.<br><br>
I am left-handed, and also have a disability that affects my right arm - which means that I use my right hand even less than most left-handers do. My mother's approach to this worked very well for us: she would show me how *she* did something (hold a pencil, knit, etc.), and then she would say, "...but because you're left handed, you'll need to figure out the best way for *you* to do it." Then she'd leave me to it.<br><br>
That looks not-very-helpful, I know, but in reality it was wonderful. It freed me to try a lot of different arrangements until I found one that was comfortable for me, and it freed her from having to try to figure out how to teach the "correct left-handed way" of doing things (which felt weird and backward to her).<br><br>
You might try just saying to your son, "I see that when you hold the pencil that way, it's hard to make a mark. You might want to try messing around with other ways of holding it, until you find something that works." (Or, of course, you could just stick to crayons until his coordination improves a bit.)
 

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My ds is 3.5 yo. He is showing no interest whatsoever in letters, though he loves books and often pretends to read. He can count to 10 (that is, he was able to but lately he's been saying random numbers whenever asked to count). He recognizes numbers by sight up to 5. He counts in Spanish (thanks to Dora!) up to 5 and in French up to 4. We do no formal teaching of any kind, he basically just plays all day or helps out with chores. He also watches a lot of DVDs (mostly Dora and Diego). We don't have limits on TV time because he usually is not a passive TV watcher. If he's watching Dora, he plays with Backpack and Boots doll, and if watching Diego, he plays with his Diego figurines.<br><br>
Lately, he has been huge into role playing. He likes to cook me dinner, have "guests" come to celebrate birthdays, take me to the doctor's, and get this...today we pretended to get on a school bus. When we got to the "classroom", he said we had to be quiet LOL. No idea where he gets this!<br><br>
We play games like memory and chutes and ladders but he doesn't want to follow rules. We still play, just not the way the game was designed <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Arts and crafts are of little interest to him right now, his attention span for painting/colouring/cutting is less than 5 minutes.
 

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My DD is only 2 1/2 so at this stage we're working on letter and number identification, color and shape identification, and starting to work on basic letter sounds and number concepts.<br><br>
We have a pretty laissez faire approach. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I keep educational toys around and we read a lot of books. When she shows interest in an area we focus on that and then back off when her interest wanes.
 

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My DD's been a bit Dora-obsessed lately, and is attentive to the Spanish bits. I play into it by playing her games in Spanish (such as Candy Land) and she's picking up a few words, I think.<br><br>
I at least would like her to have an 'ear' for it because it will help with pronunciation later.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Rivka5</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7247314"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It's a good thing that 3-year-olds don't have much of a need to write things that can't go in crayon! But that sounds so frustrating for both of you.<br><br>
I am left-handed, and also have a disability that affects my right arm - which means that I use my right hand even less than most left-handers do. My mother's approach to this worked very well for us: she would show me how *she* did something (hold a pencil, knit, etc.), and then she would say, "...but because you're left handed, you'll need to figure out the best way for *you* to do it." Then she'd leave me to it.<br><br>
That looks not-very-helpful, I know, but in reality it was wonderful. It freed me to try a lot of different arrangements until I found one that was comfortable for me, and it freed her from having to try to figure out how to teach the "correct left-handed way" of doing things (which felt weird and backward to her).<br><br>
You might try just saying to your son, "I see that when you hold the pencil that way, it's hard to make a mark. You might want to try messing around with other ways of holding it, until you find something that works." (Or, of course, you could just stick to crayons until his coordination improves a bit.)</div>
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Thanks Rivka!<br><br>
I know they say it's still difficult to tell at this age if they are a lefty or righty, but so far he just seems to prefer the left. I worry that having him learn how to write left handed will be frustrating for him, and it will put him off toward any type of writing/drawing activities. So, I need to read up on some resources on how to help him in this process, b/c it is all new to me. It's something I will need to research more on and thank you for sharing your experience and how your mom went about letting you figure things out for yourself. I am going to do that, but in the meantime I would feel better too if I read up more on left handedness and just being more familiar with some of the issues that he may struggle with from it and how I can help him. My DH is of course excited... can't stop talking about how our DS could become a left handed pitcher, lol.
 

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I don't get why left-handed writing would be frustrating or more difficult to learn than right-handed. After all, several major writing systems in the world (notably Arabic) are written right-to-left and most people in those cultures are right handed and manage to write right-to-left, so why would left-handed people using roman letters have trouble writing left to right left handed?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ravin</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7248141"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't get why left-handed writing would be frustrating or more difficult to learn than right-handed. After all, several major writing systems in the world (notably Arabic) are written right-to-left and most people in those cultures are right handed and manage to write right-to-left, so why would left-handed people using roman letters have trouble writing left to right left handed?</div>
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I think you misunderstood me. What I mean is that *I* think that *I* will have a difficult time teaching him how to hold a pencil correctly and write nicely, b/c I am used to doing things right handed. I do not know the correct way that a left handed person would do these type of things, so I worry that I will not meet his needs. I'm not saying that left handed ppl will automatically have difficulty writing. I am struggling to try to figure out the best way for ME to help him. He is already getting frustrated with this, so that is why it concerns me, b/c I don't want him to dread writing.
 

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My ds#2 is will be 4 yrs. old on the 24th and we are very child lead. He has NO desire to learn numbers or letters. He likes to "role play" with his superman, ninja turtles, and gi joes, color, cut paper, play playdoh. We read books and he likes to count things on the pages, lol. Sometimes he'll say, "that's a "r" but most the time, he's wrong at naming his letters by site. He's definately a different kid. I can totally see that he learns things very differently than many other kids his age.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mags</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7248322"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think you misunderstood me. What I mean is that *I* think that *I* will have a difficult time teaching him how to hold a pencil correctly and write nicely, b/c I am used to doing things right handed. I do not know the correct way that a left handed person would do these type of things, so I worry that I will not meet his needs. I'm not saying that left handed ppl will automatically have difficulty writing. I am struggling to try to figure out the best way for ME to help him. He is already getting frustrated with this, so that is why it concerns me, b/c I don't want him to dread writing.</div>
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Mags, it's great that you are worried about teaching him. Have you thought about just putting a crayon in your left hand and writing something? Sure, i't might not look great, but that's okay.<br><br>
I am a lefty who went to public school and when it comes to writing, I was mostly ignored. No one explained how to hold the pen/pencil so I didn't smear everything I'd just written. I had to figure that out myself. I would have loved it if someone had at least paid some attention to the fact that I needed help, instead of figuring they could not help because they wrote with their right hand!<br><br>
(Not that it scarred me for life....I am a writer and before the computer age I did a LOT of writing by hand....so much so that I wore a groove in my left middle finger from holding the pen!)<br><br><br>
Anyway....we have a 4 y.o. (also a lefty) snd an 18 m.o. (can't tell yet) and are unschooling.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nancy926</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7251681"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Mags, it's great that you are worried about teaching him. Have you thought about just putting a crayon in your left hand and writing something? Sure, i't might not look great, but that's okay.<br><br>
I am a lefty who went to public school and when it comes to writing, I was mostly ignored. No one explained how to hold the pen/pencil so I didn't smear everything I'd just written. I had to figure that out myself. I would have loved it if someone had at least paid some attention to the fact that I needed help, instead of figuring they could not help because they wrote with their right hand!<br><br>
(Not that it scarred me for life....I am a writer and before the computer age I did a LOT of writing by hand....so much so that I wore a groove in my left middle finger from holding the pen!)<br><br><br>
Anyway....we have a 4 y.o. (also a lefty) snd an 18 m.o. (can't tell yet) and are unschooling.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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Thanks Nancy! What great advice! I will try that with him next time he wants to draw. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> That is too bad that you were ignored at school. I think that is why I am trying to be aware of it, b/c I remember fellow classmates at school who were lefties that had a difficult time and were kind of treated as a nuisance. The teacher didn't want to spend extra time helping them.
 

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I was refered to this site when I had questions about teaching my lefty to hold a pencil.<br><br><a href="http://www.handwritinghelpforkids.com/expert.html" target="_blank">http://www.handwritinghelpforkids.com/expert.html</a><br><br>
The biggest problem they have is that their hand tends to smudge the words they have already written. This can be really frustrating, especially if you have a little perfectionist. By turning the paper they can write without smudging their work. My son is still not too interested in learning to write. When he is,I'll probably look at that site more carefully.<br><br>
Kathi
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nancy926</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7251681"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I am a lefty who went to public school and when it comes to writing, I was mostly ignored. No one explained how to hold the pen/pencil so I didn't smear everything I'd just written. I had to figure that out myself. I would have loved it if someone had at least paid some attention to the fact that I needed help, instead of figuring they could not help because they wrote with their right hand!<br></div>
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At least you were allowed to be a lefty. When I was in school, kids who were lefty were forced to use their right hand. It was pretty traumatizing for most lefties. At least education has gotten better in that respect.<br><br>
Kathi
 

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My DS is 3 1/2. We usually work on whatever he wants to. We are working on reading and he is doing pretty good. We are working on letter sounds. He already knows how to write the letters but sometimes gets the d and b mixed up. We are also doing addition up to 12 and counting to 100. He can count to 49 but after that it turns into "forty-ten"<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
He is really into learning about money and counting change. His big thing is outer space. He wants to know everything possible about the planets. He really loves the Bill Nye the science guy DVD's. He likes to rhyme and is really into games. He will do anything if I make it into a game. So we have the food game where he names what kind of nutritious foods we eat and what we don't. He made up the stairs game to see who can get up the stairs faster. The clean the room game is to see who can clean fastest. We are also working on German. He can say the alphabet and count to 10 so far.We also walk to the park or dig outside and look at bugs. He really likes worms. This summer he will have his own little garden. He also wants to play piano and take ballet.
 
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