PreSchool from Home

Our daughter attends an awesome preschool built on the structure of “Learn & Play”, in the city where I work. I wish so much at times that I could be at home full time during these years, so that I could experience the joy of teaching her myself; however, at our house that doesn’t work out for us. But I do insist on still being a strong force in her education in learning. It can get a little intimidating when I work all day and then in the evenings I just want to relax or sit down and play with her. But we are doing our best to work out a routine that works best for us. I’m not promising we will be able to implement a lesson or project around learning EVERY day (we are going to shoot for 30 minutes a night, Monday through Friday), but I think as long as we have a schedule that it will work out more often than not having a plan! These are a few of my favorite places to get free worksheets and ideas for working with our daughter at home. Please patronize their amazing sites and resources.

The Inspired Apple

Scattered Sea Shells

Preschool Palace

Teachers Pay Teachers

I also found a great book at Wal-Mart that is like 3 inches thick of preschool worksheets. It covers everything from colors, shapes, letters, numbers, to cutting and pasting matching shapes, learning less/more, larger/smaller, above/under. So we do a little combination of everything at times! Here is a sample of my plan to keep me on track:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

 

·   Practicing letters

  Writing

  Recognizing

  Matching

  Sing ABC’s

·   Practicing Numbers

  Writing

  Recognizing

  Matching

  Counting

 

·   Shapes and Colors

  Drawing

  Recognizing

  Matching

  Patterns

·          Bible Study Lesson

OR

·          Science Lesson

 

·   Arts & Crafts project

-Holiday?

-Season/Weather?

-Theme?

 

 

Now I plan to take all of the materials I do have and implement them into this plan. The only thing I will have to really research and plan ahead of time is the Friday Arts & Crafts projects to make sure I have the right materials for the current craft. When she reaches the three year old class and gets her new evaluation next January, we will change our plan and focus. I received her 2 year old evaluation right after the new year, and she really is ahead on many things and on target with the rest! Which made my chest swell with pride. Ha! She can name all ABC’s and count to 15 without assistance (they only expect to 10 at this time.) She can recognize all of her shapes except an octagon. I mean, I am not stressed about a two year old not recognizing an octagon if she can recognize a trapezoid. I think we are good here. And she knows and recognizes all of her colors. The teacher did tell me that she can recognize 3 letters of the alphabet and 2 numbers by sight and that recognition by sight for numbers and letters is a three year old skill. Well, I want to help her master that skill!! That will be our focus for the next year and learning the sounds of our letters. I’m actually really excited! Either I am just one of those overly excited moms or I should have chosen a degree in something other than criminal justice. (;

Also, I recently purchased this 3-DVD Set that focuses on learning Sight Words. I love it!

Sight Words DVD

Do you do preschool at home with your child(ren)?

Shoot me ideas for craft projects and toddler science-y things!!

Build and Grow

lowes-build-and-grow-logo

WHERE WERE ALL OF THESE FUN ACTIVITIES WHEN I WAS A SMALL CHILD?

Okay, if I am honest, I had plenty of opportunity for things like this in my grandparents back yard in the shop where I learned to GET AWAY from the table saws as we watched Papaw build hope chests, shelves, and hand craft the cedar trimming that still hangs in my mother’s home to this day. (Which led to a few eventful creations of our own with some left over nails and scrap wood. Let’s just say, I’m sure they ended up as kindling over the years. Ha!)  Or sometimes it was on the front porch where I vowed to never eat another pea or bean again. I guess I never realized how much I was learning or developing during these activities. When you are 9 and you shell enough purple hull peas that your fingers ache and your nails are purple and green for days, you do not feel like you are learning anything. None of these activities, however, included a cute little workshop apron, completion patch for each project, or a free pair of child size safety goggles. Where’s the fun in that?!

Now that I am older, I watch as new activities pop up to teach children the things that I grew up thinking were natural every day fun, like building random things. I have come to realize and appreciate the opportunities I had as a child and understand just how different people’s lives can be even when they live in the same town. I understand that many children are not afforded the hands on involvement we were both given.

With that being said, we unfortunately do not have a workshop, yet. We have already built things together with our daughter in our back yard, though. Everything from a birdhouse out of scrap wood to a wooden bird feeder that came in a kit. We let her freely paint the bird feeder, so if you ever happen to see it hanging from the Dogwood tree in our backyard, over look its curious appearance (two year olds have interesting artistic talents. ) It was made with pure innocence and love, which makes it prettier than anything I could have ever bough in a store. Gosh, that sounds so cliche. Regardless, it hangs in the back yard in all of its glory.

hero1

In December, I somehow found myself signed up for an email that sends an update daily on new freebies you can snag from many different retailers. I’ve scored over 100 free photo prints from Walgreens, free Aquafina flavored waters, free Multi-vitamin samples, etc. On one of the emails in December, it had an update that you could make a Christmas Train with your child at your local Lowe’s Home Improvement Store for free. (After some research, I found out that Home Depot also does something very similar. In case you’re a die hard loyal customer?) Anyway, it was a wooden train with holiday themed stickers that were rub and smell. How cute was that? It even came with an apron as well as a an iron on patch and certificate once we were through. Daddy ended up working that day, so here we were. The two year old toddler donning her apron, safety goggles, and the smallest hammer ever, and her mom. Not that I felt inferior, but I did feel stared at until my two year old finished with her project first. Ha!

SHE LOVED IT! Okay, WE loved it. To her, she had just built something as magnificent as the Eiffel Tower. I was so proud of her and excited for her. She STILL talks about it. Yes, in February.

photoThis is the amazing Christmas train. It was actually really cute!

In February, I had to miss the event, but she went with her daddy. They made a Love Note Holder. I was a little curious at what that would look like. I mean, the activities are for children ranging 2-10. A love note holder? It turned out pretty cute too! The ends are heart shaped and they’re chalkboard material. She thinks it is cute. She has used over half of the stick of chalk board that came with it.

note holder

Do you already take your children to events like this? What are the ones at Home Depot like? We really enjoy them and look forward to participating in many more!