Friday, August 23, 2013

Preschool at home

My daughter is 2 1/2.  She's inquisitive and always wants to learn new things so I was really hoping she could start preschool this fall.  But, it is kind of expensive and because I stay-at-home, it's not necessary for us at this point.  After some thought, I decided to do preschool at home.  

I was a teacher before my daughter was born and through the course of our time together, I have become lazy and fallen in to a rut.  My reason for wanting to do preschool at home is to make SURE that I spend some time, EVERY DAY, focusing on our daughter with no other distractions.  We've been doing preschool at home for a week and so far, she LOVES it.  We both do.  :)    

I had no idea where to begin and then I came across this blog.  It gave me a fantastic jumping off point.  I decided what "subjects" to teach and made our schedule.  From calendar to the end of spelling & writing generally takes around 20-30 minutes depending on how long of a book little girl chose. 

We begin with the calendar.  Little girl flips over the number for the day and I tell her what number it is.  She repeats me and then I show her that the date is under "Friday".  Then we read the date correctly, pointing to each part as we say it.  "Today is Friday, August 23rd."  After she repeats me, we read the numbers together.  

I'm going to add weather icons to the calendar on the space at the bottom.  I'm out of card stock and haven't made a trip to the store yet.  Weather will be coming soon!

After calendar, she picks out whatever book she wants to read and brings it to the table.  Speaking of the table, I LOVE our school table!  I told my mom I wanted a light table for our daughter (mainly for me, but yeah...) so we designed it together and here it is!  The chairs are Ikea Kritter chairs and work perfectly.  They're big/strong enough to support my weight.  My husband sat in them too and they're still standing.

  Okay.  Back on track.  So we read whatever she picks out and then it's time for math.  I looked up preschool math lessons on pinterest.  There are a LOT of things to choose from!  For now, we're focusing on shapes.  This week, we focused on squares.  Today we did a scavenger hunt and she had to find 10 squares around the house.  She pointed out square buttons on the dishwasher (I never really noticed!), picked up a square pillow, and a microfiber rag.  It amazed me that she knew the crumpled up rag unfolded to a square.  Wow! 

After math, we focus on spelling and writing.  Today we popped the letters out of her foam puzzles (dollar store again!) and matched the lower case with the upper case.  Earlier this week, we spelled words on cards and spelled her name.  We wrote some words together as well (I held her hand as we wrote).

Activity time allows her to paint, color, glue, cut, play with playdough, etc.  After her activity, we have play time.  She can choose any toy or game and we sit down and play together.  This week, we've played with potato heads, blocks, baby dolls, and her kitchen.  She's very independent and likes to play by herself so it's nice to have a built-in time that I can sit and truly PLAY with her.  

Here are some the books I got from the dollar store.  The writing board in the back is dry erase and works very well!  The other side of the board is plain.  If I were still teaching, I would have bought at least 20 of them for my students!  The workbooks are really cute and enjoyable.  They are meant for ages 3+ so most of them are a little advanced for my daughter right now.   We used the shape one this week which allowed her to trace squares and find squares in a picture.  I helped her trace most of the squares but she traced the second square down all by herself!

And finally, here is my "lesson plan book".  I just bought a planner at the dollar store and write S/W for spelling/writing and M for math.  I like to have an idea of what I'm doing each week so this helps a lot.  I'm using it as a personal planner too.


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