Our oldest, Timmy, just turned four a few days ago. It’s such a fun and curious age, isn’t it? He’s not enrolled in preschool (so shocking to some!) and so our homeschooling plans this year have been and will continue to be very laid back. Young children love to learn…you only need to nurture and guide their natural curiosity and thirst for knowledge. The only structured ‘school’ time at this point happens for about 30 minutes each day while my two year old and baby are napping. Most of his learning is woven into everyday life.
I somehow made it through three years of calculus and differential equations in college, so yeah, preschool math, I’ve got this. No need for any sort of formal curriculum.
We use our abacus, counting bears and unifix cubes to work on the concepts of addition, subtraction, skip counting and patterns.
I’d also like to introduce him to the concepts of money and telling time this year as well.
We love playing with pattern blocks. They are such a great learning tool, teaching spatial reasoning, visualization, symmetry, slides, turns, problem solving, sorting, colors, 2-D geometric shapes, attributes and pattern making.
We make a weekly/bi-weekly trip to the library for new books. I usually check out books relating to whatever ‘theme’ we might be exploring in our home preschool, picture books, fairy tales and whatever else seems interesting to the kids at that time. Reading aloud ALL THE TIME is so important. We read aloud several times each day.
I don’t think anyone’s ever too old for a good picture book, but I would like to add some chapter books to the mix this year, particularly for bedtime reads.
In addition to reading aloud to the kids, our oldest started reading several months ago. To teach him to read I have been using Bob Books- I love these books and so does he! We love playing a sight word Bingo game together, learning phonics and word families and he enjoys making silly phrases on the refrigerator with his word magnets.
I’ve also started writing down all the cute stories he tells me as he’s engaged in pretend play. I re-write these stories into simple books and then ask him to illustrate his stories. You can read all about it here.
I am a huge fan of listening to audiobooks whenever we’re in the car-the library has a great selection. Listening in the car makes me feel as though we’re doing something wonderful when we’re in the car. And as an added bonus, I get some peace and quiet while driving.
At this time, Timmy isn’t really interested in writing. That’s fine. There’s much that should be done prior to actually working on making letters. He loves his Kumon Tracing and Cutting books. Stringing beads, which he loves to do, is great preparation for handwriting as well. Two or three times a week, I have him sit down and make the marks necessary to form letters-vertical lines, horizontal lines, circles and diagonal lines- on handwriting paper. He’s been using a Twist ‘n Write pencil to help him learn the proper pencil grasp.
Our family is preparing to make yet another cross country move in just a few months. Our oldest will be making the cross country drive with his father. Such a wonderful experience for a young child! He loves maps and car trips so I’m planning to make this as much of an educational experience for him as possible. I’m sure it will be an adventure for both of them!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on what we’re doing this year.