I was playing with the kids at a park one sunny morning when I struck up a conversation with another mom. After a few minutes she asked me, “is he in preschool?” I was taken aback. Preschool? Timmy was 2.5 at the time. The thought of sending my little boy off to preschool was the furthest thing from my mind that morning. “No, he’s home with me all day”, I said. “I’m not planning on sending him to preschool”, I added. The mom just gave me a puzzled sort of look.
I’ve been asked this question so many times over the past six months, that I admit, I’ve even second guessed my decision to not send my kids to preschool and kindergarten. Guilt actually started to creep its way in, as if somehow teaching my own children at home for a few years would harm my kids in life. There’s so much pressure (even for us stay at home moms) to send our little ones off to school at age 3 or even 2. But every time I see Timmy and Vera’s eagerness to learn and their excitement and joy in discovering the world around them, I’m reminded of why I’ve always wanted to homeschool the early years. I look forward to sharing all of these beautiful learning moments with my children.
Our journey will be a learning experience for both the kids and I. The idea of homeschooling can seem a bit overwhelming at first- I have no idea what my kids’ style of learning will be, but I’m excited and eager to learn. Teaching my children started the day I became a mother, but this will be Week 1 of Timmy’s “official” homeschooling (he’s 3 now!). I hope you enjoy a little peak into our adventures in homeschooling!
We spend a large portion of each day reading- during and after breakfast, before and after naps and before bed. Timmy has always enjoyed being read to, but lately he likes to “read” books himself. He’ll read Vera and I books he’s memorized and move his fingers over the words as he reads. I love these beautiful, quiet sibling moments. And relative peace and quiet allows me to snap some pictures.
Vera wants to be just like her big brother. She spent a few minutes reading on the couch after breakfast one day.
Timmy has always shown an interest in letters. By age 2.5 he knew all his uppercase and lowercase letters and the sound each letter makes. His latest interest is in knowing how to spell everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. I have him spell out these words on his magnetic board as I say each letter.
He loves letters so much, I’ve started to introduce Timmy to forming his letters. Timmy loves dot markers- they’re chunky and easy to hold and give the look of paint without all the mess. I drew a big A for Timmy to trace with dots. He picked up on the idea immediately.
Once he had formed the letter A with paint dots, I had him tell me what words begin with the letter A. “Apple, alligator, ant!” was his reply. After I wrote these words on the paper for him, I had him trace over the dots with his dot marker. He did really well!
Timmy loves to build. He was building tall towers of Mega Blocks before his first birthday. I think of him as my little engineer. My husband and I are always on the hunt for new building toys at garage sales and consignment stores. A few of his favorites these days are floor puzzles, Tinker Toys, Legos, Locktagons and his beloved train tracks.
I set out some Locktagons for Timmy on the table after breakfast for him to discover. He took to them quickly and built a tower. I was a bit shocked when he held up an octagon and said, “mommy, I found an octagon!” I worked for a bit with Timmy on patterns using these colorful shapes. He doesn’t yet grasp the idea of patterns- something to work on this year!
Timmy used his Tinker Toys to build a system of “pipes used to suck up water”. I love his imagination.
And as always, he spent hours this week putting together train tracks.
Early in the week, we took a trip the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. It’s really a beautiful zoo and worth the 45 minute trip to get there.
After checking out the giant zoo map, Timmy happily ran from exhibit to exhibit stopping briefly to talk to the animals. He’s taken a real interest in animals lately- at times he’d rather watch Orangutan Island on Animal Planet than a cartoon. That’s perfectly fine by me. I need to remember to check out some animal books from the library next week.
Timmy has always been more of a builder than an artist, but I’ve been learning new ways to encourage his artistic expression. Playing off of his new love of animals, I picked up some animal foam stickers from the store the other day. Tim was eager to paint a “jungle” one evening and spent some time arranging the animal stickers. He had a story to go along with it as well.
He loves watercolor painting, too.
I re-introduced scissors to Timmy this past week. He’s never really shown an interest in using them in the past. He made a brief attempt to use them and then gave up and tore the paper instead. He got in a little practice with a glue stick, though.
Timmy celebrated his third birthday last week. I can’t believe my baby is three already!! One morning this past week, we celebrated at our house with some of Timmy’s little friends from the neighborhood. Timmy really enjoyed his first ever party with friends. His sweet smile said it all!
Our homemade ball pit was a big hit with the kids!
Timmy’s big birthday present from Mommy and Daddy was a Radio Flyer balance bike. He’s been practicing riding it at the park a few times this past week and each time he gets a little bit better.
I’d be remiss not to mention all of the pretend play this past week. I love his pretend play, that magical glimpse into the inner workings of his sweet mind. Timmy spends a considerable amount of his day engaged in pretend play. It starts the moment he wakes up and he lets me know who he is that day- a train, an animal, his cousin. And who he is changes every so often. It’s difficult to keep up at times! Today I had a picnic at the beach with Timmy on our living room floor, he had a tea party with his sister, he drove some stuffed animal friends on a school bus, and he made me breakfast in his kitchen.
We had a busy week. And at 6 months pregnant, I’m tired just thinking about everything we did over the past few days. I’d love to hear your thoughts on our first of many weeks to come!