I'm a beginner and need help

Sanenyah - posted on 03/08/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My son is 2.5 yrs. old. What should I be doing? I don't want to get caught buying into things I don't need.

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[deleted account]

At 2.5 years old, your child probably won't sit still for much school work. Flashcards are a good idea if you REALLY wish to start schooling this early. However, my personal opinion is that he is too young to start structured schooling. He may in fact be 'capable' of doing it, but the question is 'should he be doing it'? So many parents wish to push their children into learning too early, thinking they need to get this huge jump on learning..as if they are going to miss something. Are you wanting baby Einstein or just that your child learns in a loving home environment to the best of his ability? If the latter is the case, then I would suggest letting him just be a toddler and chuck the structured learning until he is at least 5 or even 6. He will learn his shapes, colors, counting, etc all on his own just by talking with you, coloring his coloring books and other activities. None of it has to be 'sit down school work'...especially so young. Just because others have their kids in 'head start' and other early programs doesn't mean you have to as well. Those programs were mainly designed for working parents that needed babysitters..even for their toddlers. However, studies have found that those kids do NOT do better in school than kids that didn't start until kindergarten! Those parents wasted those years!! So, I suggest just letting your toddler be a 'toddler'..exploring his surroundings and learning on his own until he is old enough for structured learning and will 'enjoy it'.

Alisa - posted on 03/08/2010

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Dollar store flashcard or make your own. Numbers & Letters first. Learn in order and then mix them up. Google preschool printables. This will give you free worksheets to use. Research phonics & how children learn it next. You don't need to buy a program but if you understand how to teach the letter sounds; stretching words; etc. Before Kindergarten a child (age 5) should identify numbers 0-30 and know their upper & lower case letters (along with the sounds each letter makes). Colors & shapes should be learned prior to preschool (age 3-4). At age 2.5, you should focus on speech making sure he can say & hear words & sounds correctly since this will affect phonics in the future (ultimately affect writing & reading skills). Read & talk as much as possible and correct any miss pronounced words. Just some ideas- I hope this helps.

Andora - posted on 04/13/2010

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at 2.5 years old what he will learn from best is just playing and watching you. you model the behavior he will use, you do the things he will do and say the things he will say. you can supplement with simple flash cards or games or such, but if it isn't fun, he won't want to do it and may even develop an aversion to learning. just have fun with him and explain this or that as you do it and he will learn. peace to you and blessings as you begin your learning journey with your son.

[deleted account]

PBS is the same as with anything out there. You have to be careful. Between the Lions, Word Girl, Sesame Street, Fetch and Zoom have been great educators and conversation builders for me and my kids. A disclaimer re: anything I suggest is: God early on showed me I can NOT protect my children from everything. But I can control my response to the world and seek His help in helping my children learn how to handle living in this world. My caution to other homeschoolers, is to not homeschool to "shelter" or "protect" your children only. We need to guard their hearts, but also prepare them to live in this world. There is no magic when or how to introduce what to each child. It is best to seek the Lord for his guidance and help with that. But in my almost 14 years as a mom and home schooling we have had to confront many hard issues. All of which I have tried to guard and protect my children from, but we live in this world. Some of my children are aware of the situations, others not so much. I trust God's timing is best for each child as we face each and every experience and day. When I suggest something, please know I don't want to lead you against any convictions you may have, just trying to share what has worked for me.

[deleted account]

Hi!
I have turned to an elementary curriculum that you can buy from a book store and add in some of the workbooks that you can get from Wal-Mart.You can get this too for preschool.I use Everything your_ grader should know. You can also come across these on e-bay. I found them to be acceptable and include fun and educational activities. You can use the Bible for a class also and ask the Sunday school teacher if they can order you some workbooks extra to assist you in your quest to keep God in your schooling. If I can be any more help, just let me know.

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Terry - posted on 04/03/2010

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read to him!!! sing and play, be careful to make it fun so he will love to learn

Cheryl - posted on 03/23/2010

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I agree with everything said, I wouldn't worry about spending big bucks just yet. Maybe in a year or so try one of the holistic programs like My Father's World or Sonlight that is very hands on and is alot of time reading together and enjoying learning together. I personally used a program called Hands on Homeschooling for preschool, as well as another friend of mine. We loved it and found our K daughters advanced and very well prepared!! I have also heard great things about Little Hearts to Heaven by Hearts of Dakota but when we tried it, it was already too easy since we'd been doing HoH for a year. You may be able to start LHtH now with your child!

[deleted account]

for lapbooking...there are how to videos online. I have come across blogs where moms show how to.
Also the Dinah Zike books are really good. I am trying to remember titles..something like mini books and paper activities. Big Book of....

[deleted account]

Heather, those are great suggestions. I completely forgot about the Cathy Duffy book...a terrific resource for any homeschooler, new or old! However, one thing I would want to warn against on the PBS side of things...there is a LOT of humanism not on those shows..even the lil kiddy shows. So be careful what is taught to little ones at that age. Yes, the shows are cute and captivating and even teach some things, but they also teach things that you may not want your child to learn while being raised in a Christian household. That's just my opinion though, so take it as you will.

[deleted account]

Loving on him! Enjoying this time with him!
Seriously, right now they are sponges. There is plenty of time for sitting and doing serious school work later. Life experiences are the best for this age. Zoos, museums, trips to the grocery store learning about the produce, meat, etc. Pick out a new produce of something to try each visit. Parks are great for noticing ant colonies to silly squirrels. Library storytimes, Summer reading programs, art projects at home. Play time. PBS on tv (my fourth child shocked me when he was 4 by naming the letters aloud on a shirt I was showing him....I hadn't even started teaching letters to him. I asked him where he learned that? "PBS") We love PBS.
If you need a little structure or help in knowing how to guide them in learning, I highly recommend Five in a Row and Before Five in a Row. A very gently approach to learning using books. You read a story and then teaching bounces off topics in the story. We love, love it.
I also recommend the book 100 Top Picks For Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy.
It really helped me to identify my teaching style and my children's learning styles and which curriculum best suits both aspects. Which is very important!
Hope this helps.

[deleted account]

Sanenyah, I have a friend that does Egghead Academics (you can find it on FB as well), and she offers lapbooks for a good price. Also, you can go to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine & Store and type in 'lapbooks' to the store's search bar. They have a LOT of homeschool stuff there! Awesome! I cannot recommend their magazine enough, as well! It has so many tips and help for new homeschoolers and veterans alike. They have reviews of all kinds of homeschool curriculums, unit studies, lapbooks, etc each year and introduce new ones throughout the year too. You can find a LOT of stuff at Rainbow Resources...absolutely HUGE catalog of stuff...and it's a FREE catalog you can order! I believe there is a site for lapbooking called www.lapbooking.com. Or, just type it into your search engine and you are sure to have many, many hits for it. ;)

Sanenyah - posted on 03/16/2010

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Thanks Erica.. I don't take credit for it all!! Its all God. He's my only one. Sometimes he moves so fast that its hard for me to catch up at times.

Sanenyah - posted on 03/16/2010

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Thx...Heather!! That was great advice. I will definitely look into that. Do you know of any good resources for unite studies or lapbooking?

[deleted account]

Wow indeed! Your child is certainly advanced for his age of 2.5 years! If he is that far along already, you can either just let him learn/explore on his own and supplement any 'new interests' of his (such as things he sees outdoors like insects, trees, birds, etc) with unit type studies. Look up whatever you can on whatever it is he's interested in at the moment...baseball, race cars, etc....and feed his knowledge (at HIS LEVEL) on the subject until he doesn't want to learn any more about that particular thing. Then, when he shows interest in something else...help him to learn all he wants about that. It's an easy, child-directed way of learning for that age group...or any age group for that matter and they take a lot more in because they WANT to learn it and it is not foisted upon them to stuff a bunch of facts into them for the sake of learning it. When he is older, you may choose to get more structured, of course, or you can continue with this type of learning. Many homeschoolers do child-directed as well as structured 'book studies'. Lapbooking is a great way to do child-directed, unit type studies. They are very hands on and kids love them. Whichever way you choose to teach your lil boy, I wish you the best of luck! Homeschooling's awesome and you share in everything your child learns as he grows instead of losing those 'ah ha!' moments to strangers. Make it fun and engaging and your child will want to learn. ;)

Gene & Erin - posted on 03/16/2010

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Wow! Smart kid. When I read your post my first thought was "this is her oldest/only child". My oldest was way ahead of the game and she LOVED learning. Then the second one came and he just could not sit still for a book or much of anything unless it involved trucks and cars. All the kids are different - but none have been as "advanced" as the oldest (well this week she says that "math is stupid" so I guess that love of learning comes and goes)
Just keep doing whatever it is that you are doing and exposing him to new things. You sound like an awesome mom!

Sanenyah - posted on 03/15/2010

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I totally agree with 2.5 being too early for structured learning. I just wanted to explore several resources before I officially began. I love research..so working ahead is what I do. By doing the things you've already suggested my son knows his ABC's(he recognizes upper and lower case letters and their phonic sounds), he know his colors, shapes and numbers(1-20). He even knows how to recognize his name and read a couple of words. I never pressured any of this on him. I just want to make sure I keep him probably engaged in his potential learning.

Gene & Erin - posted on 03/15/2010

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I agree with Heather Barnhart. Enjoy your little one. One day, all too soon, you'll add the structure. I will add that you teach your child through reading together and talking together (ie "Look at that blue truck" or "thats a big square window") They learn more than we think.
If you'd like more "structure" plan out your days to include reading and being sure to talk about how many, what color and so forth.
I so glad you are commited enough to consider homeschooling! We love it!

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