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Transitioning from playing to school


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#1 Pintosrock

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 02:05 PM

I have a preschool aged child with developmental delays. Up until now, we've been playing, with lots of fun outings (library storytime, nature center, and parks), but no serious curriculum.

I hate comparing her, but her agemates know at least some colors, numbers, and letters. I think it's time we did something formal, but I'm not sure how to incorporate this into our day.

We've tried a few different things (Elemental Science, AAR Pre-reading, c-rods) but nothing is clicking. I think the problem is more her lack of interest than the failure of the programs. Frankly, we'd both rather go play in the sandbox instead of another letter craft.

She's still young enough that nobody requires formal schooling, but I also don't want her to fall farther behind, so I'm thinking we should do.... something.

My question is, how do you start something and what something is a good first something?

#2 barnwife

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 04:12 PM

I am probably not the person you want to answer (I don't require any formal schoolwork until sometime between age 5 and 6), but here goes. 

In your situation I would make a list of current goals for your child (i.e. learning to identify colors, letters, shapes, numbers). Then I'd get in the habit of reading books that feature those things. (Ask if you want suggestions for tried and true recs by posters here.)

I'd be going to the library weekly to get books about those concepts (and lots of other quality picture books). I'd make sure to RA for at least half an hour every day (not necessarily at one sitting).

I'd count everything we encounter: stairs, plates for the table, steps to get across the house, how many wheel are on all the cars in driveways during our walks.

And then I'd do more sandbox, play-doh, coloring, painting, dancing, biking, singing, etc..time. Remember, she can't be behind in HS. The only person she's "competing" with is herself. Someone here said HS is a marathon, not a sprint. Just incorporate those age appropriate concepts throughout the day.

BTW, welcome to the Hive!


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#3 HomeAgain

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 04:16 PM

I'd think something like Before Five In A Row or Wee Folk Art would be a good place to start.  It's organized play.  Still developmentally appropriate, but it's more of a shared activity than "school".



#4 MerryAtHope

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 04:28 PM

How old is she? Honestly, I'd just keep playing and note things casually. "This pail is blue. This shovel is yellow. It's fun to play in the sand!"

 

"Let's set the table for dinner. How many plates will we need? Let's count how many people are in our family..." 

 

"Let's count the stair-steps." 

 

"What color cups should we put out?"

 

Lots of kids' games involve colors, counting or both (High-Ho-Cheerio, Candy-Land, Sorry....)

 

Wait about 6 months or so and then see if you and she are ready to do a bit more of a formal curriculum like AAR Pre-reading, but just play for now.


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#5 wendyroo

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 04:41 PM

I think the goal of having her learn some colors, numbers and letters is very realistic and appropriate, but if she isn't interested in formal curricula, then I worry that it might actually hinder her learning by correlating "school" with conflict and stress.

 

Preschool curricula don't hold any sort of magic key.  It's not like some workbook is going to "explain" red differently than you ever have and suddenly your daughter will have a eureka moment and never misidentify red again.  Preschool learning is all about repetition and giving kids opportunities to interact with knowledge in different ways.  Curricula can certainly be one avenue by which kids can interact with information, but it isn't the be all, end all, especially for a kid who is resistant.

 

Colors, numbers and letters are everywhere!!  There are hundreds of kids' books about them.  While you are out in the sandbox there are colorful things to count and name and draw letters in the sand with.  A trip to the pet store, painting a picture, taking a nature walk, building with blocks, helping with laundry, baking Daddy a birthday cake...every activity you do with your daughter is a chance to naturally incorporate learning.

 

Wendy


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#6 EndOfOrdinary

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 01:57 AM

Sesame Street, Word World, and just about any number of kid centered videos at the library can teach her these things with initial exposure and repetition from daily interaction. No need for curriculum if she is not interested.

Heck a stack of carefully chosen library books and reading together could begin the process. Brown Bear, Brown Bear or The Hungry Catapillar are classics that come to mind.
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#7 Mshokie

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 11:46 AM

Ditto on what everyone else has said regarding getting library books on the concepts you want to cover. Particularly, try the "concept book" area of your library. There you will find books on colors, counting, ABC, etc.
If you want some ideas for topics and activities, you could try Pam Shiller's "The Complete Resource Book for Preschoolers". She also has one "...for "toddlers and twos" you want to start there due to delays. Those books are geared for daycare teachers, but you can easily do most of the activities at home with things you already have. The activities are organized into themes and there are book and song suggestions.

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#8 Pintosrock

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 03:39 PM

Wow, thanks for all the advice everyone.

We do read a lot of books, but mostly stories. Daughter is currently obsessed with the Elephant and Piggie series, before that is was Llama Llama. I will try to incorporate more concept books.

Board games are almost entirely a bust. The first time we tried Hi Ho Cherry-O, she wouldn't stop spinning the spinner. I figured she just needed to investigate it for a bit before we played. 90 minutes later, she was still spinning it.

As far as Sesame Street goes... We don't have a TV. We moved about 6 months ago and decided that we'd get more use with a train table in that space instead of a TV that we almost never watch (husband complains that programming has gone downhill, but that's another story.)

You are right, though. I can certainly be more intentional in using colors and counting around Daughter. This and fun concept picture books seems to be the best take-away for us. Thank you all!
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#9 ElizabethB

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 04:15 PM

Letterpeople for fun way to learn letter sounds.

https://m.youtube.co...DCB8405DC420C68

There are letter people coloring sheets if you Google.

My blending video for more fun ideas for blending once sounds are learned.

https://m.youtube.co...h?v=6Q4KTyqpg5o

Edited by ElizabethB, 25 February 2017 - 04:18 PM.


#10 jrhodes

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 11:00 AM

If baths are still enjoyed also do things in the bath, add color tablets to the water or use the bath numbers and then add that amount of items so you can count them (then have an enjoyable bath so the 'activity' takes like 2 minutes!). Window markers might be great for colors as well. I taught my older son his colors, shapes and most counting and number recognition through books and play honestly. Oh and balloons make EVERYTHING fun! I hang balloons from the ceiling with letters on them (what we're currently working on, so put a number or just call out a color) and have my son try and hit it. 

 

I was worried about the play to school transition, so it's why at 3 I instituted 'activity' time. I do 1 forced activity a day (usually mostly play/game based though) that is 5-20 min depending on interest. We do 3 literacy activities a week, 1 science, 1 math, 1 other (sensory/art - not his forte or mine really so I need to make sure it gets done to work on fine motor type things). Next year at 4 I'll require a sit down of 10 min with a timer, because my thought has always been instead of going from nothing to something, I'd rather slowly work towards our goal with small increments. 

 

Of course with delays everything will depend on what is happening and how it affects them. My younger son is already in such a different direction since instead of counting/colors in play like I did with my older son, my younger has a speech delay so I'm purely focusing on minimal words and strong emphasis just to try and get him the language he needs over added extras. 


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#11 Tanaqui

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 11:06 AM

Frankly, we'd both rather go play in the sandbox instead of another letter craft.

 

So, in addition to what was suggested above, why not "write" in the sandbox with fingers or sticks? Start with just doing squiggles and drawing to get the hang of it. Or chalk letters on the ground and jump (or hop, or twirl, or tiptoe) from one to another, with Mom naming the sound.

 

You might also try asking this in the subforum for people whose kids have special needs. Forget exactly what it's called, but you'll figure it out :)



#12 mathmarm

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 12:34 PM

I have a preschool aged child with developmental delays. Up until now, we've been playing, with lots of fun outings (library storytime, nature center, and parks), but no serious curriculum.

...

I think it's time we did something formal, but I'm not sure how to incorporate this into our day. Get on the gross and fine motor skills. We have a balance bike, we kick different color balls, we jump, stomp, climb and roll. We run a lot. We run up and down the yard, we push our cars, and pull our wagons. Introduce jump rope.

 

Learn and teach finger plays, and once she's good at finger plays, introduce the manual alphabet, 1 or 2 letters at a time. Teach by their sounds, primarily. Once she knows a few letters, read ABC books or books on the letters that she knows. (What words can she say well? Teach her the letters for those words. IE, if she can say bike,  and cat and mom, teach her B,  C and M.

 

For us, the trick has been to integrate learning into our day and keep it informal. We read concept books, discuss the colors and number of items in the pictures in picture books (even when we don't read the words on the page). We have daily circle time type routine where we talk about the sound/number/color/animal of the day and we've just grown it with him to account for where he's at.

...Frankly, we'd both rather go play in the sandbox instead of another letter craft. 

Play drawing in the sand. Bury a couple of letter cards at a time and go dig for them. Write LARGE letters in the sand, on the side walk and play follow the leader as you walk along the entire letter with one foot in front of  the other. Make the manual letters and press your hand into wet sand and see if you can figure out which letter sign the other person made.

She's still young enough that nobody requires formal schooling, but I also don't want her to fall farther behind, so I'm thinking we should do.... something.
You should. Work on her gross and fine motor skills. Teach her finger plays and ASL-alphabet, read concept books and point out animals, signs, numbers, colors and shapes in her environment. Trace shapes in the sand, give her a sand or rice tray to make shapes in. Plant a seed in a paper cup and check on it every morning. Go to the pet shops and look at animals. Take her to a petting zoo and describe some animals as hard (turtles) and others as soft (goats, bunnies) and some as wet (frogs) and others as dry (snakes and birds) etc as you go around.

 

Talk about the importance of washing your hands to keep away germs and bacteria that might make her ill, or sick.

Vary your word choice when you're look at things in the grocery store, doctors office, in the car, etc. Describe things as huge, enormous and gigantic, instead of just big.
My question is, how do you start something and what something is a good first something?

My library has book lists in the toddler area of concepts books. There is a seperate list--some of them multiple pages--on books about colors, numbers, alphabet, animals, etc....

 

Just pick up a bunch of books on a couple of concepts at a time.  For example, a couple of books on blue, a book on numbers and picture books. Read the color and number books with her a few times, and even make up the words/story to hold her attention and make it very interactive. Invite her to point, count, find, or ID things on the various pages.

 

Sing songs about and rhymes.

 

Honestly, I don't think that recognizing the numeral (the symbols) are nearly as important as knowing the amount that the numeral stands for. I'd rather a child recognize @@@ as three items, then be able to ID "3" in a line up.

 

I would happily keep things focused on learning the amounts 0-5, (teach 1-3, then 0, then 4 and 5). Once she knows 0-5 really well, begin building 6-10 out of the smaller numbers. It's far more useful than pointing to the right symbol without a healthy appreciation for what that symbol stands for, in my opinion.

 

But keep things engaging to her. Read the concept books and Later, when you are playing, point out things that are blue. Point out groups of 3, or have her find 3 of a thing and bring them to the sand box. Have a tea party for 3, set the table for 3, etc. Use two groups of items--3 plates and 4 cups. Talk about how there are more cups than spoons, so we need another plate or whatever.

 

After she knows about 4 or 5 colors, begin taking out books on colors, or the rainbow, so that she can experience joy in knowing certain colors and keep discussing the colors she doesn't know yet.

 

My son loves the Kumon cutting/tracing/pasting/maze books and they've helped to improve his hand-eye-coordination, fine-motor and concentration. Pick ONE that you think that your daughter might like, and offer that as seat work, I think that lots of yard play, reading together and Kumon Skills books make a perfectly wonderful Kindergarten curriculum.


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#13 SKL

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 06:25 PM

Have you had her vision checked by a developmental optometrist?  My daughter seemed to take forever to consistently know simple things like colors and a few letters.  Turned out she needed glasses (for distance) and vision therapy (for focus etc.).  She actively avoided books, because looking at them was hard on her eyes / brain.  So, a lot of time spent trying to do preschool activities was wasted and counterproductive.  If your daughter seems to take a long time to learn or doesn't like looking at books / print or video, I would schedule an eye appointment.

 

If you aren't sure what to start with your child, check out your local library's kindergarten readiness programs for inspiration and perhaps free classes.  :)



#14 Pintosrock

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 12:10 PM

Yes, she's had both her hearing and vision checked (normal). It seems like those are routine tests for children with delays.

She attends a preschool for children with delays (free, through our public school!). All the other parents are going crazy about what preschool to put the kids in next year. Really crazy.

So, my daughter's delays are not significant enough (yeah!) to qualify for their preschool next year (boo!) Her teachers both think that she would do better at home than in traditional preschool next year, since she lacks foundational skills (colors, numbers, etc) they think she'd fall through the cracks in preschool.

So, I was asking about concept books to get some ideas about how to shore up her "missing foundational skills". We do lots of active play and fun outings _library storytime, nature center, zoo, parks, etc) I might briefly talk about colors or count her toys, but I could certainly do better there. And I will!

#15 Shifra

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 11:42 PM

I took a class in special education last year, and I learned that children with developmental delays do not always pick up concepts from the environment casually like a developmentally typical child might; a child with developmental delays often needs direct instruction. So you are wise in taking a proactive approach.

 

When you introduce a concept, I would introduce just one concept at a time. For instance, if you want your child to learn the color red, I would just focus on red for about a week. Paint red, color with red crayons, make red jello, etc. Then, when you are sure that she could identify the color red easily, go on to the next color. I would do the same with letters and numbers. Only introduce one letter and/or number a week and keep reviewing it until she knows it without any prompting from you.



#16 bltex

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 04:26 PM

You might try the Learning Leapfrog "Letter Factory" dvd to help her learn her letters.  Maybe she could watch it during snacktime to make it seem more fun (but it's pretty entertaining for most preschoolers).  I'm not usually one to outsource teaching to the tv, but it really is the fastest and easiest way I've found for kids to gain mastery of their letters.  It also introduces the main sound each letter makes, so she would get a gentle headstart on phonics.



#17 Hawkins3748

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 06:09 PM

Have you heard of the Homegrown Preschooler? She has a curriculum called A year of playing skillfully. It's a wonderful learning tool for up to 7 years old (although even my 20 year old had a great time with it). Playing is a great way to learn. Children do not need formal education to start too young. Let them learn at their level. Nothing wrong with that. If you go on the website you can download a month long schedule for September. We had a blast.
http://www.thehomegr...reschooler.com/


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