Friday, August 17, 2007

Question for You

I usually hesitate at throwing out questions here on my blog ... mostly because I'm worried no one will answer. : ) (But don't feel any pressure. Seriously).

I'm curious about preschool. Noelle is going to be 4 in October and we currently don't have any plans towards putting her in a formal preschool. At the moment, we are leaning towards homeschooling when she is ready to start kindergarten. That said, what have you done for preschool for your child(ren)? Did you do a formal 2-day a week (or more) preschool program? Did you work on anything at home that was more structured? While my goal is not to have her reading before she's ready, I do want to work on some table skills with her as far as listening and following instructions appropriate to her age level, and also have some fun mama-and-Noelle time that is just for "big girls." : )

Thoughts?

5 comments:

  1. Hi--I'm another Stephanie. I don't think I've ever commented here, but I read your blog regularly. I love to look at your scrapbook layouts; you've got a great talent and eye for design.

    Anyhoo, I have a 5yo and a 4yo whom we are homeschooling. We decided not to use any curriculum full-time this past year for preschool. Instead we did activities from Letter of the Week, which is a free online curriculum, and then just read lots of library books, played a lot, cooked together, etc. I tried to throw in basic reading and math concepts along the way, as much as possible and according to my kiddos' interests.

    If you're looking for something more formal, I've heard lots of good things about Before Five In a Row, as well as Little Hands to Heaven.

    Hope that helps! :)

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  2. I have some thoughts. Will turned 4 in May. We are not sending him to preschool. We are planning to homeschool next year.

    I have set up our day so that we have about an hour (depending on how long the other two sleep) just Will and me alone. I'm planning to use that time to work on various skills, projects and reading time.

    I have a book "Early Education at Home" by M. Jean Soyke. It has some great ideas I plan to use. Also a list of skills so I can have a general guide of where to go.

    You might check the library for any other books and resources you can use.

    I've learned that my guy needs some kind of structure but we aren't rigid about it. In a perfect world we'll do a little activity every day. In my world it'll probably work out to 2-3 times a week of structured activities.

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  3. Hi Stephanie,

    I remember asking this question when my oldest was 4. Now I have the benefit of seeing God's gracious fruits in the lives of my 3 school age boys (6th grade, 4th grade & kindergarten). Our daughter is 3 1/2.

    What I would recommend is to shoot for 1 hour per day of reading aloud to her. You can make it special by having the both of you pick out the books together the evening before. (You can put them in a special basket or crate.)

    We also had a set-aside time for coloring, cutting, stringing beads and gluing noodles.

    Nature walks are fun, and I used to give our boys paper bags to collect rocks, sticks, and leaves.

    Also, I began making a big deal out of chore-time once our children were between 3-4. It made them feel grown-up, and I tried to gradually give them more responsibility. (i.e. making bed, setting napkins and forks on the table, helping to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cleaning up toys for little sisters, wiping off the fronts of the cabinets....the whole time praising them and thanking them.)

    Sing scripture verses to them. I took some simple scripture and put it to a familiar tune. The first scripture verse our children learned was "Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." Ephesians 6:1

    We pretty much kept tv/dvd viewing to 1/2 per day. I am thankful that I did...it has made our life so much richer.

    I so enjoy your blog....and appreciate your beautiful art. Very inspiring!

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  4. I've been wrestling with this question, too, in part because my niece started preschool at 20 months, and I can't help but wonder if Bear is missing something. My sis in law has always incorporated educational activities- crafts, science projects, reading, etc... into their daily life. She is homeschooling her 1st grader this year, and will be homeschooling the 4 year old in a pre-k curriculum, to.

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  5. Hi Stephanie! My kids are older (11 and 7) but it wasn't that long ago. As a secondary English teacher, I really felt the need for exposure to reading. We did tons of it. I usually let the boys select what we read, but sometimes I just had to choose after three hundred and twelve renditions of the same book.

    The reading led naturally to letter recognition and sound recognition. Some books are more suited to this, such as Chicka-Chicka ABC. Once the boys could recoginize the letters and sounds, we used the BOB books.

    Other than that, I didn't do anything really formal with them. Lots of coloring, painting, and crafty-stuff. Things to develop fine motor skills such as playing with Legos and Duplo - also helped with counting, categorizing, learning colors, sorting by characteristics, etc.

    Both mine went to Mother's Day Out twice a week. We live in the country with no neigbors. Both of mine really enjoyed the other kids and socializing with someone besides Mama. Both also enjoyed a little more structured learning, too.

    I know have one that loves, loves, loves school, and the other one just tolerates it. Interesting how they turn out.

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Thanks for commenting!