Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pre Pre-School :)

I'I know I'm sounding like a broken record at this point, but the threat of a 100 degree day kept up pent up inside yesterday. In other words, our life is incredibly boring. :) So today I thought I'd share with you my plans for working with Evelyn starting this Fall to help her learn all of the basics. I'm a big believer in letting children explore to learn and to let them naturally pick up on things. (Man I wish we had more Montessori schools around here!) And because I have the luxury of working with Evie one on one, I'm taking advantage of our time together by gently introducing shapes, colors, letters, and numbers through activities, exploration, and a little bit of structure. Feel free to copy our curriculum, or to just call me a loony if you must. :)

First of all, if you want learning materials at your disposal, run to the Target dollar spot NOW! They have workbooks and flashcards and even teacher planning books for a buck. We picked up colors and letters workbooks, four sets of flashcards, a planner (because I'm a nerd and I like to have a plan), and even a cute little holder to keep it all in.

I've been using this website to loosely base my "curriculum" on:

Basically, it works like this: Each week has a theme, and each day of the week we'll work on a new concept. Our first theme is "Apples!"

Monday: Introduce Theme
Look at pictures of apples
Look at a real apple
Color a picture of an apple
Eat the apple

Simple, right? The idea is that we can easily fit in a little "lesson" every morning that will take no more than 10-15 minutes. (So no excuses for not doing it, haha.)

Tuesday: Shape - Circle
Show circle flashcard
Trace circles in workbook
Look for circles around the house

Wednesday: Color - Green
Show green flashcard
Play "Which item is green?" game
Play with green play dough

Thursday: Letter "A"
Show letter "A" flashcard
Make "A" sounds
Hunt for the letter "A" on the refrigerator (we have letter magnets)
Read ABC book

Friday: Number - 1
Show #1 flashcard
Hold up one finger and count to one
Draw one dot on a piece of paper
Draw one apple

I'll share one more week of plans so that you can see it's the same formula just plugging in a new theme and concepts. Our next theme is "Birds!"

Monday: Introduce theme
Show picture of bird
Pretend to be birds
Look for birds outside
Put together a bird (I'm going to cut parts of a bird out of construction paper - body, beak, wing, feet)

Tuesday: Shape - Square
Show square flashcard
Trace squares in workbook
Make a large square out of four smaller squares (construction paper)

Wednesday: Color - Brown
Show brown flashcard
Look for brown things around the house (we have lots!)
Make chocolate pudding

Thursday: Letter - B
Show "B" flashcard
Make "B" sounds
Find "B" on the refrigerator
Blow bubbles

Friday: Number - 2
Show #2 flashcard
Hold up 2 fingers and count
Draw 2 dots on paper
Jump 2 times, clap 2 times, spin 2 times, kiss 2 times. :)

Easy as pie!

Because I stay at home with Evelyn I don't think we'll be sending her to preschool for two years. In fact, if Kindergarten wasn't an entire day long we probably wouldn't be sending her to preschool at all. (There's no way I'm going to make her go from being at home all day to being at school all day. I think there needs to be some sort of transition somewhere.)

We're also planning to hold Evelyn back a year, because she has a summer birthday. So she'll start Kindergarten after just turning 6. We have many reasons for doing this, but most of them are social. I could write a whole blog post about this alone, haha. But if you want an incredibly interesting read pick up a copy of "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell. (This book solidified my reasons for wanting Evelyn to be one of the oldest in her class instead of the youngest.) It will blow your mind! Age won't be an issue when it's Gracie's turn...with an October birthday she'll be one of the oldest in her class already.

These lessons are so quick and easy that any mom could find time to do them - whether you work full time, part time, or stay at home. I was always a little lost when thinking about how parents taught their kids all of the basics, so I thought I'd take the reins and make it fun. Hopefully this helps someone! Now I hope that today we can go exploring a little bit and get out of this house. Happy Wednesday!

Here's a look inside the teaching planning book in case anyone was wondering. Totally think it was worth a whole dollar...haha.


Meagan said...

You are such a good mommy!! The boys will be some of the older kids in their classes too & that makes me happy!

Cassie said...

i would love to know more on your thoughts of holding kids back. if this baby comes in the next couple of weeks he will be the youngest in his class and i am terrified of that!! i have gotten a few people's opinions but if you get some free time PM me your thoughts. thanks!!

Anonymous said...

GREAT idea and very simple! Never to early to start teaching a child! You got all that stuff at Target's dollar bin? I LOVE the holder thing too...been looking for those for magazines and things for my house and cannot find any that are not like $9 a peice. If they are a dollar at Target, i am SO there! I love the planner too....that is awesome! Target here I come :)

Heather said...

I was one of the youngest in my class and I don't know that it ever had an affect on me. The only thing I remember having an issue with when it came to my summer birthday was the fact that I never go to take cupcakes to school for my birthday. :) But seriously, I really don't think it affected me one bit. I never really thought about it an it was never really an issue.

What do they say are the reasons for having your kid be one of the oldest and not youngest? I'm genuinely interested.

Adrien said...

Oh my, I could talk your ear off on this issue, haha. I was going to PM you Cassie, but I may just go ahead and blog about it tomorrow just to answer any questions that pop up.

Heather - Both Eric and I were the youngest in our classes...I was literally THE youngest with an August 23 birthday. It didn't affect Eric at all, but it really did make a difference for me. After reading "Outliers" both Eric and I decided that we wouldn't take the chance and just give Evie a little head start by waiting a year. Hopefully I'll be able to explain more tomorrow!

Adrien said...

Oh, and yes Angie that was all in the dollar bin! They had other cute designs for those paper organizers, too. :)

Sarah@everydayeasy said...

thought you would like this quote!

Adrien said...

Love it!

Anonymous said...

I think you are such a sweet mommy.
Great work!!!

Jackie said...

you are such a good mom....I hope that when Loreli is older I can do all of this!


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