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Homeschooling for Pre-K

Last post 07-18-2008 11:48 AM by tonbert. 4 replies.
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  • 05-01-2008 5:18 PM

    • jenwen
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 05-01-2008
    • Posts 2

    Homeschooling for Pre-K

    Hi everyone,

     

    I don't know if it actually counts as homeschooling since neither of my boys are supposed to be in school yet (18 mos, and 3 yrs).  For the longest time we just tried to make sure that we didn't have too many "passive" toys.  We have stocked our home with Melissa and Doug, and puzzles, and books for the most part.  We always read about 2 or 3 books per day.  Up until now we've just let them sort of discover on their own.  Well my 3 yr old seemed to be a little behind on his speech compaired to his peers.  So I started letting him watch a few PBS shows to hopefully get him to hear more and give him the insentive to really know what they are talking about, and I've also been doing a letter of the day, ABC song, counting flash cards, color flash cards, and I've got some shape puzzles I want him to do at least once per day.  I've used this website to plan in at least one art project a week, and one feild trip per week.  There are alot of free activities like story time and puppet shows at the city library, and then this month we are going to go to Washington Farms to pick strawberries. 

    I try to keep the "lesson" time to a minimum as I know he's still very young and needs to have time to play and use his imagination.  I do try to make it fun, and so far he's always very excited to do "letter time" as we call it.  I guess I just want to kind of help him along, as I wasn't sure if he was actually picking these things up on his own.  Since I've been doing this (abt 30min per day) he's made a HUGE improovement, and now he's actually using full sentences with some of the correct articles and even other people besides myself and my husband can understand him (most of the time).  He's learning many things, that I'm NOT teaching him, but maybe our tiny lessons are giving him enough of the tools to figure alot of things out on his own while he watches the shows, or plays with his brother.  Anyhow,  I was just wondering what other people do for young pre-K, or if I'm just an overly paranoid parent and I'm just robbing him of his youth :).  I know everything you read says that TV is horrible for young children, and hampers their learning ability but I really have seen a huge improovement.  Am I doing the wrong thing?  Or maybe is it because I'm only letting him watch a channel without commercials, that's all about learning and catered for little kids, and that's ok?  I limit it to about 2 hours max while I do chores in the morning, and if he's bored, or the weather is bad maybe a movie in the evening after dinner.  I really would rather him play outside after dinner though.  After the two hours he HAS to find something else to do, like play with his puzzles, dinosaurs, train set, cars, or animal figurines.

    I suppose I also want to know how to help a young child without suffocating his own natural couriosity.  Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 

     

    PS: The 18mo old is picking up everything so fast from watching his brother's lessons that I might not have to do the same thing for him.  He is already interested in letters, although every letter is either "I" or "O" to him.  Any idea about how to incoorporate him, without slowing the 3 yr old down?

  • 05-02-2008 9:08 AM In reply to

    Re: Homeschooling for Pre-K

    Hi there,

     It is important when children are so young to encourage their creativity, imagination and curiosity.  You might want to read a post that I just wrote on 5/1 re: early childhood.  It's contents are geared toward questions re: homeschooling using a Waldorf/Steiner theory.  If you read under the "What's New" page and scroll down to "Re; Having #3 and #1 is an unmotivated almost 5 yr. old" I think that you will find some useful info.  There are also some other posts on Early Childhood and brain development that can be found here too.  Before homeschooling my children, I was a trained Waldorf Teacher and spent time in the pre-K - 3rd gr. level classrooms.  This is how I personally approach the early development of my children.  It may or may not be for everyone's liking and it certainly does not compare to what many of us were raised with in public schools. My public school teacher training was so extremely different from my Waldorf training.  And of course homeschooling has it's own style too.   Waldorf seems to go hand in hand with homeschooling...especially the early years.  And the practice of Waldorf Educational Theory is truly an extension of the home when done in a Waldorf School.     

    Your awareness of the toys that you expose your children to fit nicely with Waldorf theory as well.  We tend to bring nature in, wooden toys vs. plastic ones that allow for little left to the imagination are great for encouraging creative play.  It is important to understand brain development and cognitive awareness before pushing skills that a child may just not be ready for yet such as reading.  In a typical Steiner school actual reading is not pushed until 2nd gr.  It is the belief that the brain's dev. is not ready until a child hits the 7 yr. change (when one turns 7) Reading that takes place before then may be purely memorization and not grasped by true cognitive awareness and processing. 

    While I advocate for Waldorf Theory, that is my personal opinion and understanding.  Do I do everything Waldorf in my homeschooling?  No...I listen closely to my children, I watch and observe, I take into account what my child's personal needs are and I allow for flexibility.  That is the great thing about homeschooling.  It is about meeting your child where he/she is at and going from that point.  I am eclectic in our approach.  Do we have some plastic toys?  Yes.  Do we allow for tv watching?  Yes.  Do we purchase other types of curriculum?  Yes.  We have set the foundation and are open minded to all possibilities.  My children have special needs and we are always meeting them where they are individually at developmentally.  It is important to find balance and I always encourage others to not compare your child to others, including siblings.  Each are unique and different.  Listen to their needs on an individual basis and you can't go wrong!

     Best of Luck to You and Yours,

    ~hsiamy

    ~ hsiamy
  • 06-18-2008 12:54 PM In reply to

    Re: Homeschooling for Pre-K

     Hi!

     

    I have recently decided to start homeschooling my 26 month old daughter. However, from all the research I've been doing, it seems I've been homeschooling her all along!

    My daughter loves the Noggin Network on T.V, and she has learned an enormous amount of vocabulary from those shows. She's even learned to say Hi in Chinese! I disagree strongly that T.V is bad for children! If you are careful of what they watch, and also explain to them what they see, they will absorb like a sponge!! You're not doing the wrong thing at all! This is YOUR child and You are the parent...instinctivly, you know what's best! If he's showing huge improvement, then encourage it.all children learn differently, and this could be just what he needs!

     

    Way to go! You're doing a great job! 

  • 07-15-2008 8:24 AM In reply to

    Re: Homeschooling for Pre-K

    I agree about TV. Noggin and ETV have given my children wonderful reenforcements from what we teach at home. I am officially starting homeschool with my 5 yr old this year but will be working on Pre-K with my 3 yr old...and like the mom mentioned earlier...as long as you monitor what your child watches and explain as it goes along....its a form of teaching too! Keep it up!

  • 07-18-2008 11:48 AM In reply to

    Re: Homeschooling for Pre-K

    Hi,

     I too have a 3 year old (Oct. she will be 4) - I let her watch the PBS shows as well and Nick Jr. only because I had read someplace that for a young child  Nick Jr. has a smaller amount of visual things to see on the TV and kids focus better on the things said, as where Sesame St. had too many things to visually  focus  on and  and thier eyes were wondering around- okay so how true this is? I don't know, and I am not putting down Sesame St.  in any way. My daughter LOVES ELMO.

    What I realy wanted to let you know about was a website that my daughter LOVES- (she calls it abc blocks) I think your son would like it too- so if you have a few minutes to go on with him check it out! (my daughter now likes to do it by herself and is getting quite good at it!)  http://www.starfall.com/

     Also another website to check out is  http://www.edhelper.com/  Although this site you have to pay  to use, (about $20 to $40 , they have 2 different levals to join at and it is for a 1 year subscripsion)

    but if you continue to homeschool your kids for any amount of time in the next few years I recommend this site, it has saved me alot of time,( I am homeschooling a 13 yr. old)  they also have alot for the little ones.  This site is  great, but your kids are still young yet, and you may not need or want all the things they offer for your boys just now, it is just something to take a look at and for any other mom's or dad's out there who could use a little time saving help!

     Have Fun, Andrea

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