Thursday, July 28, 2005
Advice to a Mom about to homeschool
You're going to like teaching a preschooler. I know I do. I'm homeschooling my girls for pre-K and Kindergarten this year. We're new to it too. Don't hold your child back from trying anything just because someone tells you that 3 yr olds "can't do that". My 3 yr old is surprising me every day. I thought she disliked workbooks. I had bought a workbook for my 5 yr old and she let me know that it was full of "baby work" so we got her a 1st/2nd grade workbook. My 3 yr old decided that the Kindergarten work book is hers now. So each day she has been tracing letters and numbers, and doing all the work in it just fine. I have to tell her "enough worksheets for today!" or she'd never stop.Then, I decided to teach my 5 yr old dd from a 3rd grade history book, since she is very intelligent and was interested in history. So I spent a week teaching her about Christopher Columbus. We were all in the van the following weekend with their grandparents. I had my 5 yr old tell her Grandma everything she remembered about Chris. Columbus, and she'd really learned alot. Then my dh told me that our 3 yr old had been telling the same info to her Grandpa in the back of the van! She had learned just as much from listening to a story that I thought she wasn't old enough to understand! So, I guess my point is, that your child is unique. Offer all kinds of info, anything that he seems interested in, and let him show you what he's ready for. And don't withold info for fear of making him "too smart". Several people have acted like I was doing something wrong by teaching my young children from books that were "too advanced" for them. I want to know who made the rules about what information you can teach at each age? My kid didn't come off an assembly line!Some activities we've done: Drawing shapes, letters, and numbers with chalk in our driveway, then playing "who can find?". For example, Who can find the triangle? Then the kids run and jump on it. Also, hopscotch is good, having them count each number as they land on it. We also draw chalk arrows on the sidewalks and streets leaving a trail for the kids to follow. This teaches directions.We play "slug bug" in the car to learn colors, Reader Rabbit computer games, most board games help them with counting skills (moving the game pieces), "Simon Says" touch your __body part___ to learn all the parts of the body including unusual ones like instep, arm pit, eyelash, earlobe, we tape paper shapes/numbers/letters we are learning all over the house and let the kids race to find them all yelling out the name of the thing each time they find one, the kids have a dry erase board that they practice letters/numbers/shapes on. My 3 yr old has really good handwriting, better than some 9 yr olds I know, so I know that she has fine motor control, it's just a matter of practice. She also colors in the lines well. For cutting, we let the girls cut the pictures of children out of the weekly flyers we get in the mail. Those clothing ads are great. My girls cut out the clothes and put them on the kids like paper dolls.We got our workbooks from Wal-Mart. They are called the "Ultimate Skill Builder" workbooks from Learning Horizons. I also really really like the "What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know" series. There is one for each grade. It's more of a textbook, but written like it's speaking to the kids. The info is short and includes easy activities. We usually spend 2 hours or less on specifically homeschool activities each day.