Homeschooling preschooler

Ashley - posted on 12/18/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I have a 3 year old little girl and a 21 month old little girl and I want to do preschool with them and I have no where to start... I started a schedule today and I really think that I planned to much and I am going about it all the wrong way... I really don't know how to teach them to write and learn ... I need help, tips, advice.... Please ...Thank you so much...

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Denikka - posted on 12/18/2012

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I think it can be tough when a parent wants to teach their child specific things. We see them growing so much every day, they seem to pick up certain things in the blink of an eye. I think we tend to forget how little and undeveloped they really are :)
I'm guilty of the same thing with my son. He seems SO grown up at times, he's big for his age, and very smart. I tend to forget that he's not even 4 yet and I can get SO frustrated when there are things he just doesn't grasp, even though it seems like he should be able to. And it's not just about understanding either...kids attention span is about as good as a hyperactive puppy. *Oh look at this! THAT!! What's over here?! OMG SHINY! LOOK LOOK LOOK at that!!!* Yup. . . .Boy, do I feel your pain XD

Part of the trick is to catch them at the right time of day, along with making things fun. Wait for a time when they're quiet and receptive. Use that time for reading and writing activities. And don't push them beyond their attention limits. When they start squirming, it's time to move on to a more physical activity. Kids are actually not designed to sit still for long periods of time. It's quite likely that you'll only get 10 or 20 minutes (at most..on good days :P) at any given time.
Just relax and let the kids lead. Hyper active days call for more physical activities (try making letters with your body), more sedate days call for more reading and writing. Just relax and don't push your girls (or yourself). They learn more than you realize, whether you're specifically and actively teaching them or not :)

Ashley - posted on 12/18/2012

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Thank you so much, I think I was going about it all wrong today I feel I was pushing them to hard and expecting to much from them that they are just not ready for yet.. I really thank you I will do those things you suggested... I really appreciate it Denikka...

Denikka - posted on 12/18/2012

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Pick things that you think are important to learn.
Shapes, colors, letter and number recognition, the alphabet song, count to 10, body parts, animals and what noise they make...relatively simple things.

Your children are too young to sit down and do 20 or 30 minute stretches of *learning* like a 6 yr old would do in school. So use play based learning.
For example, get some plastic animals. Play farm and sing Old MacDonald. Tell them the names of the animals you or they are holding and then make the noises. Encourage the kids to copy you.
Same with colors. There are CONSTANT opportunities to teach colors. When you go for a walk, talk about what color the cars are and ask your kids to guess what color the next car is, or point out a certain color and ask them to find and point out another object that's the same color. Talk about what color toys are, things in books, etc.
Letters and numbers are best learned through reading to your child. Point out words as you read them, show them letters on signs (See the McDonalds sign. That's an M-See the STOP sign, that's S-T-O-P, stop) Singing the alphabet song, especially when you have a visual in front of you, can also help with letter recognition. Point to each letter as you sing them.

Fingers and toes are excellent for teaching to count 1-10. And other body parts can help for basic understanding of the difference in numbers (You have 2 eyes, but only 1 nose. How many eyes do you have? 2!)

As for writing, make it fun. Draw letters and numbers on a chalk board or white board and encourage your child to make a similar shape. Plastic books (that use white board pens) are also useful. Get a couple (I found mine at the dollar store) that have the dotted letters for tracing. My son LOVES to this (he'll be 4 in March).
Don't expect much from your 21mo old yet though. At this age, she'll just be learning how to hold a writing utensil. For both of them, I would focus on that more than on how they form the letters. I have teacher after teacher (and remember from my own early school years) complain about how certain kids can't hold a pencil properly and how difficult it is to break them of bad habits. Holding the utensil improperly makes it much more difficult to form the letters neatly and well spaced.

Really, kids learn through playing. That's what's important at this age :) Just sneak in little lessons throughout the day instead of trying to condense it like school does for older children. Your kids will catch on :) Make it fun instead of work :)

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