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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would really like to start ds with a pre-school curriculum, but I don't have the time to figure up my own. I would really like a daily guide for activities & learning - just 1/2 to an hour a day would be plenty. I'd like this for a couple of reasons - I need to test myself to make sure I will follow it - to make sure I feel that I can handle regular hs'ing, plus I want to show ds how fun it is to hs (he's 3 and has told me that he doesn't want to learn at home - he wants to go to school) so that when the time comes it's an easy transition.<br><br>
So - is there such a thing out there? I don't just mean those books that have a craft for every day, but something that will actually help teach some fundamentals. Any suggestions?
 

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<span>I hope you don't mind a little different twist on the idea. With the idea being largely to show him how much fun homeschooling will be, I'd be careful to make sure to keep things geared to exactly where he is developmentally and to what his particular enthusiasms are. While some children that age are interested in learning the 3Rs, a whole lot just really aren't ready. So doing a lot of things with him that are definetly fun for children that age but are not necessarily geared to teach more academic fundamentals can be a lot more productive.<br><br>
The first two articles on this page I put together are by homeschoolers, and offer some fun ideas - most of the rest are by various professional educators or researchers who encourage imaginative play above all else: <a href="http://besthomeschooling.org/gateway/inted16.html" target="_blank">Preschool and kindergarten learning activities</a> . And underneath that box of articles are annotated links to websites that have lots of ideas for fun activities to do with little ones.<br><br>
So what I'm saying is that the fundamentals for a child that age can be quite different from what they'd be for a child a few years older - which, of course, can include pointing out a few letters or words or whatever here and there in your reading to him or on errands in the community, and those things could mean more to him than in the course of lessons. One schedule that can work well is to pick and plan some things at the beginning of each week you want to do, gather materials, plug them into a calendar, and be ready to go ahead and do them during those slots of time.<br><br>
- Lillian</span>
 

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I never found anything I was completely happy with. I loved <a href="http://letteroftheweek.com/" target="_blank">Letter of the Week</a> but my DD1 didn't--she can smell structure a mile away <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> We used it for awhile, for what it was worth, but eventually tapered off.<br><br>
I've heard good things about these:<br><br><a href="http://winterpromise.com/journeys_of_imagination.html" target="_blank">http://winterpromise.com/journeys_of_imagination.html</a><br><a href="http://winterpromise.com/journeys_of_imagination.html" target="_blank">http://winterpromise.com/journeys_of_imagination.html</a><br><br>
But I only have firsthand experience with their pre-K-2nd program (we like it, it's more structure and activities than we need, but we customize and are relaxed), which I wouldn't really recommend for pre-K at all, unless your DC is VERY advanced.<br><br>
There's also <a href="http://www.fiarhq.com/B4FIVEINAROW.html" target="_blank">Before Five in a Row</a>. We enjoyed the stories very much, but again, the structure simply was not my DD1's style at all. We used it as a book list though, and I plan to try again with my DD2.<br><br>
My DD1 DID love, and we still have for DD2, the <a href="http://brightervision.com/" target="_blank">Brighter Vision</a> sticker/"workbooks." You can sign up for a free (pay for shipping) trial on the site, and then you can get the rest of the workbooks (and sometimes more) on eBay VERY cheaply now.<br><br>
And of course there are the links on Lillian J's site, with which you could simply create your own daily "curriculum" with some forethought.<br><br><a href="http://besthomeschooling.org/articles/bev_krueger.html" target="_blank">http://besthomeschooling.org/articles/bev_krueger.html</a><br><a href="http://besthomeschooling.org/articles/lillian_jones_ps_kdgtn.html" target="_blank">http://besthomeschooling.org/article..._ps_kdgtn.html</a><br><br>
HTH!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Lillian J</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9915438"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><span>I hope you don't mind a little different twist on the idea. With the idea being largely to show him how much fun homeschooling will be, I'd be careful to make sure to keep things geared to exactly where he is developmentally and to what his particular enthusiasms are. While some children that age are interested in learning the 3Rs, a whole lot just really aren't ready. So doing a lot of things with him that are definetly fun for children that age but are not necessarily geared to teach more academic fundamentals can be a lot more productive.<br><br>
The first two articles on this page I put together are by homeschoolers, and offer some fun ideas - most of the rest are by various professional educators or researchers who encourage imaginative play above all else: <a href="http://besthomeschooling.org/gateway/inted16.html" target="_blank">Preschool and kindergarten learning activities</a> . And underneath that box of articles are annotated links to websites that have lots of ideas for fun activities to do with little ones.<br><br>
So what I'm saying is that the fundamentals for a child that age can be quite different from what they'd be for a child a few years older - which, of course, can include pointing out a few letters or words or whatever here and there in your reading to him or on errands in the community, and those things could mean more to him than in the course of lessons. One schedule that can work well is to pick and plan some things at the beginning of each week you want to do, gather materials, plug them into a calendar, and be ready to go ahead and do them during those slots of time.<br><br>
- Lillian</span></div>
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Ha! I knew she would beat me to it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
ETA:<br>
In this same vein, given my DD's inclination away from structure, I found that what worked best for us was simply providing an enriching daily life. She went everywhere with me, and we just talkedtalkedtalkedtalked all day long, about everything. We looked at the calendar, talked about the weather, read a gazillion books, went to library all the time, etc. That's what she craved more than anything else, so we just went with that.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>melissel</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9915462"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Ha! I knew she would beat me to it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"></div>
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<span>Only by one minute! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
And I hope you keep it up, because I'm going to be away for a while. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Lillian<br></span>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks - I'm definitely going to look through everything that was mentioned. The closer he gets to k age, the more I do want to be aware of teaching him more... well, more of what he'd get in school. Please don't jump on me, but I guess my pride wants him to know as much or more than the typical ps'd kid would - I don't want any of my ps'd family or friends to have any reason to thing that our hs will be a disservice to our son. (that "I'll show them" attitude) I know, you probably won't like that....
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Lillian J</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9915780"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><span><br><br>
Only by one minute! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
And I hope you keep it up, because I'm going to be away for a while. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Lillian<br></span></div>
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You know we all will. I hope it's a good "going away" for you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Nicks Mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9915851"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks - I'm definitely going to look through everything that was mentioned. The closer he gets to k age, the more I do want to be aware of teaching him more... well, more of what he'd get in school. Please don't jump on me, but I guess my pride wants him to know as much or more than the typical ps'd kid would - I don't want any of my ps'd family or friends to have any reason to thing that our hs will be a disservice to our son. (that "I'll show them" attitude) I know, you probably won't like that....</div>
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Mama, you're certainly not alone in that. I'm the same way. My DD1 definitely has a tendency toward overachieving, and I have a tendency to want to take that and run with it, IYKWIM. Do what you feel is best. Many kids do thrive on and crave structure, and there's nothing wrong with providing that for them. (I am a very structured person, and am even now trying to find a balance between my style and hers. We use the Winter Promise curriculum currently.) I think most of us who have kids older than preschool age, though, would tell you that, above all, you should prepare to be very flexible and attuned to your DS's needs. As much as my DD loved to read and color and cut and paste, if I put together the books and coloring pages and other resources from a Letter of the Week plan, even without mentioning the plan to her, she would turn up her nose at everything I had. Basically, I ended up leaving her entirely alone in terms of direct learning or teaching (with the exception of the occasional Singapore Math pages, which were easy and fun for her), and she taught herself to read by the age of 4 <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
Anyway, my point is, keep in mind the old saw about the best laid plans and all <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> Have some alternative ideas in mind, and don't get frustrated if what you plan isn't received the way you expect it to be. Trust me, I learned all this the hard way <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> If only I'd been a regular on this board then...
 

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<span></span>
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;"><span>Quote:</span></div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Nicks Mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9915851"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">but I guess my pride wants him to know as much or more than the typical ps'd kid would - I don't want any of my ps'd family or friends to have any reason to thing that our hs will be a disservice to our son. (that "I'll show them" attitude) I know, you probably won't like that....</div>
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<span><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Golly, how did you guess? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">:<br><br>
But just a thought - a little attitude right back at 'em can go a long way too. Y'know, I took a different route to the same end when mine was little, I'll admit... I let it be known near and far that my child was getting something very <i>precious</i> that many others his age weren't - lots of time to just dream and play and develop his imagination (two years of 1/2 days in Waldorf kindergarten) - in his case up until he entered 1st grade at at a little alternative school when he was almost 7. Right before he started there, I needed to get him started reading so that he wouldn't be out of place with the other 1st graders that had learned to read up to 3 letter words the previous year. I taught him the alphabet in a flash, and had a former teacher teach him very quickly how to read - I could have easily done it myself it I'd realized it at the time. It took hardly any time at that point - and he was on par with everyone by the time school started.<br><br>
Interestingly enough, none of the other moms of his friends thought I was nuts - they just thought it was "interesting" in an eccentric way. They all ended up thinking it was actually pretty cool - one, whose son went to a very fast lane little prep school told me she thought I'd made a good decision. Neither of his grandmothers were concerned either. I think a lot of it had to do with simply having a lot of confidence in what we were doing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Lillian</span>
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;"><span>Quote:</span></div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>melissel</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9916458"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You know we all will. I hope it's a good "going away" for you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"></div>
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<span>Thanks! Going to see my son is <i>always</i> a good "going away." And then he'll be visiting me again before heading back to college... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
- Lillian<br></span>
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was even asked today if ds was in school (meaning pre-school). I absolutely hated to say no... I mean, I'd hate it more if he were in a pps, but I wanted to say yes - we're doing a hs preschool. But I just don't know where to start... ok, I need to start by having enough time to do some reading - like reading all the links you all were wonderful enough to post!<br><br>
I think I have some books that say what your k'r should know, what you're 1st grdr should know, etc... but what about a preschooler? Is there anything besides fun & play that they should know before k?
 

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<span>".. but what about a preschooler? Is there anything besides fun & play that they should know before k?"<br><br>
My computer is really, really acting up - the browser keeps shutting down - so I'm going to post this quickly.<br><br>
My humble opinion? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> Nope. Fun and play are great big huge elements in and of themselves for that age. It's a very short time of life, and those are the things that nature drives us to do during that time - because that's how young children grow and learn and develop the foundation that everything else will grow from. But as we get older, we lose sight of how important it is, to our children's detriment.<br><br>
The folks around you who are making assumptions and asking questions have probably not had any reason to put serious thought into any of this. When you get to the articles in my website, you'll find some amazing articles by researchers and educators who've put a lot of time and passion into studying how children develop - and a common theme in their advice is to put imaginative and free play back into it's place of importance. Don't miss the articles by David Elkind and Vivian Gussin Paley (an author and former teacher of 37 years experience).<br><br>
There are children who will teach themselves to read at age 2, and there are children who learn to read after age 9 and then go on to excel at academics - it all falls into place in good time, unless there's some special problem. Some children will ask to learn how to read, and others won't have even a remote interest in it - but it really doesn't say anything about who will be the better reader or more enthusiastic learner when those children are old enough to be learning about things that might actually matter in their education.<br><br>
It used to be that a child went to kindergarten and played up a storm, participated in some "circle time" with "show and tell," fun little activities like "hokey pokey," played some more, and went home after half a day. Those children learned how to read in the 1st grade, and went on to a perfectly fine higher education in later years. As things have become tougher - for what ever reason - in schools, they've started pushing the curriculum down to younger and younger children. There has even been an epidemic of pre-k children being "expelled" for basically behaving like 4 yr. olds under stress from being expected to behave like 5 or 6 year olds. But in a home setting, there's no reason to have to march to anyone's schedule but your child's.<br><br>
Okay, I'm going to try again to post this now! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Lillian<br><br></span>
 

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<span>Getting more specific/practical in terms of suggestions, look at just a few of the things you can do to provide wonderful imaginative experiences for children - and they'll be learning in all sorts of ways:<br><br><a href="http://www.zurqui.com/crinfocus/bubble/bubble.html" target="_blank">Bubble fun and experiments</a><br><br><a href="http://www.esl4kids.net/fingerplays.html" target="_blank">Fingerplays and action rhymes for young learners</a><br><br><a href="http://preschoolerstoday.com/resources/articles/greatoutdoors.htm" target="_blank">Fun with nature</a><br><br><a href="http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf970278.tip.html" target="_blank">Rainy day fun</a><br><br><a href="http://www.perpetualpreschool.com/dramaticplaythemes.html" target="_blank">Dramatic play themes</a> - make a fort from fabric, bungee cord, clothespins, and cup hooks. Make a great space ship from a cardboard box, foil, and tape. Set up a pretend library complete with books and library cards, a pretend grocery store, retail store, covered wagon, bakery, the "Three Bears" house...<br><br>
So many things for little ones to do, so little time to be little ones... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Lillian<br></span>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>umbrella</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9919201"><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 Oak Meadow's Kindergarten year is a good for that age range.</div>
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I don't have OM K, so take this as you will...<br><br>
I do have OM Pre-K. From my understanding, this is not like older grades. There are ideas on how to do pre-K, but no real structure in terms of how to formulate a day outside of a one page generic ideal (I have OM pre-k.) Now my understanding is that from K on, there's a syllabus as to how to run a day/ week.<br><br>
I have a problem with starting a 3yo with OM K material. From my understanding (and please, someone correct me), this is when they start to introduce letters. This might be fine for some 3yo, but my 2.5 ds is far from ready and my almost 4.5yo dd is just starting on writing her alphabet (out of interest.) Ds knows some abc's from hearing dd and she has repeated them ad nausem with the abc song, besides simply id-ing them out and about (as in , "mommy, that sign has an A, E, S, and O.") I guess my point is, if your dc is ready, go ahead with OM-K. However, if your dc is still developing, then it may be smarter to go with those resources on the internet. There's many a preschool thread here, so a simply search my produce some results you haven't seen yet.
 

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<span>And pre-k traditionally is aimed at the year before kindergarten - so since kindergarten is usually assumed to be about age 5, that means the OM pre-k would be aimed at about age 4.<br><br>
You got me curious about the idea that Oak Meadow is now introducing letters in kindergarten - I thought that just <i>had</i> to be wrong. So I Googled it and found it to be true - and here's a letter by one of their owners that explained this. I guess the difference is that children who attend Waldorf schools are usually not so exposed to TV, whereas those homeschooling are.<br></span>
<blockquote></blockquote><span>"Teaching the Alphabet and Numbers in Kindergarten<br><br>
One of the changes that we made, teaching the alphabet and numbers in Kindergarten, has sparked considerable debate among Waldorf advocates because of its move toward early learning. Our decision to do this was not based, however, upon a belief that children should learn earlier, but upon the recognition that children already are learning earlier without any help from their parents, due to the influence of television and the predominance of printed information in our culture. The Oak Meadow Kindergarten curriculum arose, at the request of many homeschooling parents, several years after we had written the First through Third Grade curricula. Their children had already learned the alphabet and numbers on their own from watching television, billboards, and street signs and they were now asking their parents to teach them how to read. These parents wanted a curriculum that would enable them to bring to their children a deeper understanding of the letters and numbers, but since the children were five years old, their parents didn't want to start the children in our First Grade curriculum, which was more advanced, so we developed the Kindergarten curriculum to give children an age-appropriate context for learning the alphabet and numbers."</span>
<span>Heket also mentioned other preschool threads - I have a few bookmarked:<br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=588795" target="_blank">Is 3 too young?</a><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?p=7653524" target="_blank">Homeschooling a 3 year old-where to start?</a><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=767839" target="_blank">Pre-School Home Schooling Materials</a><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=795189" target="_blank">Anyone not teaching preschoolers?</a><br><br>
- Lillian<br><br><br></span>
 

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We really enjoyed Letter of the Week - -a free site with lots of indeas. You can make it as structured or as unstrutured as you/your child sees fit.<br><br><br><a href="http://www.letteroftheweek.com" target="_blank">www.letteroftheweek.com</a>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>RedWine</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9921259"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Here, they are reading and writing by the end of K.</div>
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<span>I meant I thought that it "just had to be wrong" - that they're probably not really doing that - because Oak Meadow used to echo Waldorf - and Waldorf would definitely not be introducing letters in kindergarten. I guess I should edit that post to make it more clear I was referring to Oak Meadow. When I looked into OM many years ago, the only differences at that level were that they did knitting and crocheting at different times - but they've obviously been tweaking the program quite a bit over the years. They don't even include the Grimm's fairy tales any longer, because people were finding them too scary.<br><br>
- Lillian<br><br></span>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Lillian J</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9918614"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There has even been an epidemic of pre-k children being "expelled" for basically behaving like 4 yr. olds under stress from being expected to behave like 5 or 6 year olds. But in a home setting, there's no reason to have to march to anyone's schedule but your child's.</div>
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Thank you for this post. My DS was in preschool for a while because he wanted to make friends. He did, and that was wonderful, but it was so high pressured that he was having panic attacks at home. A THREE AND HALF YEAR OLD! My sweet boy was "sent to the office" every day<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: And even switching to a more easy going school has not been much better. They play a lot and he has made friends, but it's too stressful. We are home now and much happier!<br><br>
To the OP - just start with something basic, like going to the playground twice a week, story time at the library, reading aloud every day and TONS of free play. That's really all they need right now! There's plenty of time. Just by talking and doing everyday things at home as well as out and about they will learn plenty.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Lillian J</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9921393"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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I meant I thought that it "just had to be wrong" because Oak Meadow used to echo Waldorf - and Waldorf would definitely not be introducing letters in kindergarten. I guess I should edit that post to make it more clear I was referring to Oak Meadow. When I looked into OM many years ago, the only differences at that level were that they did knitting and crocheting at different times - but they've obviously been tweaking the program quite a bit over the years. They don't even include the Grimm's fairy tales any longer, because people were finding them too scary.<br><br>
- Lillian<br><br></span></div>
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Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't read the posts carefully enough, I'm juggling a lot of things today. I'll delete my post.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy">
 
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