Saturday, October 9, 2010

Preschool - But what do i DO?

One of the most common questions on homeschool forums is what do I DO with my preschooler.
Well.... there are two main answers, There is the 'academics / three R's' and there is the 'better late then early' and there are several in-betweens but still what does one do with their 2/3/4 year old?

Okay so we have the basics. Let them help you cook, clean the house, pick out food for dinner, maybe sew a little. Read to them. ( and read to them, and read to them, and read to them...) Have them help around the house and be part of real life and play I think everyone reconizes the power of play these days and no one wants to deny children the wonder it is to be a child but aren't we missing something? Shouldn't there be more?

Well..... So besides the above go ahead and do a little more. If there is interest in workbook type activites go ahead and use them. - Kumon First Step Workbooks are nice once to try out. But many kids can't yet do workbook activities or don't like them. Now what?

Pick a theme.... moons, knights, fall, christmas, apples, choose something that works for the time of year you're in (well I suppose you could do butterflys in January but really, why?) and something your child has interest in. From there you can find any number of things to do for 'school.' Take Dragons. Bake bread and make it the shape of a dragon. Make / sew a dragon or knight constume and do some imaginative play. Count the number of princesses your dragon eats or the number of dragons your knight slays. READ books about dragons. Draw some pictures either from your play or the books you read together. Do a dragon craft activity..... Really the list goes on and on for any subject. If you have trouble thinking of things just type in -your subject here- + crafts into google and I promise you there will be more ideas then you ever thought of!
Little Acorn Learning has two sample weeks to give you a very good idea of how a weekly rhythm might go or consider buying a month or two of their program until you feel comfortable with doing preschool on your own. (Really I swear I don't own stock in them or anything I just love their curriculum. Best preschool program I have ever seen.)

Need more? start with a basic spine or outline of the things you want your child to learn or improve on for this year. Place in fun projects that help accomplish those things. I suggest 1 'school' activity per year of age but lets not forget that life is also school and sometimes teachable moments happen at non school times. The trick is to have the little list in your head so at least you feel like you did school.

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