Jump to content

Menu

Help me design some preschool, please


Recommended Posts

I have never been a big pre-school person. Just haven't found it necessary for my family and our needs.

 

Well, I will begin caring for a 4 year old come December. I would like to begin a letter a week with him. I hope to give him a foundation that he may not otherwise receive, so I kinda have the idea of teaching him everything I can so if he's out of my care (and back in the seriously ghetto neighborhood school) in the coming years, he'll have a better chance at success.

 

My goal is a letter a week, teaching phonics versus names. I would like to choose our letter and incorporate books and very simple art projects to reinforce sounds. For example, A (a-cat, a-state, a-want) and do one day of

Mon: art: finger painting apples, acorns, papaya

Tues: geography: Asia

Wed: story (any focused A book), then practice writing strokes using sand/water/fingerpaint, whatever to aid in handwriting.

Thursday: cooking - sliced apples, grilled asparagus (whatever)

Friday: treasure box: each Friday a box is filled with A letter treasures (4-5) and we pick them out or we take a walk and find the respective sounds in real life.

 

That's just my direction of thought. I know this is being done all over blogland, so I would love some suggestions on great blogs. I don't want to do anything extravagant, won't take more than 30-45 per day, and then we'll have reading time throughout the day (incorporating him into our school read alouds).

 

All the while I'll be chasing about (although I hope not too much) a spry and fresh out of the gates toddler. That'll be interesting. My dc are in for a reality check about babies. I'm hoping it will teach them to clean up after themselves!

 

Yes. I'm a little crazy. :) I like a challenge! Thank you all for your great info. I need the help!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think what you are planning sounds wonderful. I would suggest focusing only on a single sound per letter though. 4 is pretty young to teach all of the sounds, especially if there is not going to be continual reinforcement. 1 sound per letter is more likely to "stick."

 

There are wonderful "sound" alphabet songs that you could use to reinforce your activities. I think you can order SSRW's CD individually. The song goes......a, a apple, b, b ball, c, c cat, and d, d doll, etc.

 

Best wishes on your endeavor!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can my 3yo come to your preschool? Your outline looks great. Currently, I'm trying to put together some preschool for him that takes up about 30 mins/day. I won't be focusing on academics (reading and math as he picks these up from big brother), but more discovery and motor skill development. I'd love to check out some blogs with ideas too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For example, A (a-cat, a-state, a-want) and do one day of

Mon: art: finger painting apples, acorns, papaya

Tues: geography: Asia

Wed: story (any focused A book), then practice writing strokes using sand/water/fingerpaint, whatever to aid in handwriting.

Thursday: cooking - sliced apples, grilled asparagus (whatever)

Friday: treasure box: each Friday a box is filled with A letter treasures (4-5) and we pick them out or we take a walk and find the respective sounds in real life.

 

 

 

If the point is for him to have experiences to enrich his life then this is nice. If the point is to teach phonics, then this will get little results for your effort. He might remember seeing a cool spider on his walk, but it is A week, and you wanted him to be interested in an acorn. When he is finger painting, he might be thinking about finger painting, not the A sounds. The phoncs will get lost in the finger paint, snacks and treasures. (and isn't this as it should be?)

 

I would go ahead with the paint, stories and walks, because those things are good in and of themselves. I wouldn't use them for phonics. Starfall, flashcards, and letter games are good, for phonics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't want to be all pessimistic but you are already schooling all of yours and to add all that prep work for preschool...that is a lot! If you're up for it, good for you!

 

I do simple things because I don't have creativity or time to do the other stuff. We do ABC puzzles, # puzzles, and read lots of books. I don't spend a lot of time on things other than phonics and numbers daily. I just let my 2yo listen in on history and Bible (mainly just practice sitting still). I try to do art and science one day/week.

 

I know, don't follow the slacker...but really, I would recommend to spend the majority of the time on phonics and numbers...for example, everyday learn letters a different way (leapfrog, puzzle, alphabet beanbags, alphabet blocks, starfall.com, abc-type books,etc) and do the same sort of thing with #s (Count different things, have a "train" (shoe box w/string) and he fills it w/a certain # of things, etc).

 

I don't see why you would need a toddler gate...he is 4, not 18mo...

After his "school" time, I would suggest stuff from Tools for Tots (1+1+1=1), Melissa and Doug stuff, maybe a video...these are just some things mine like to do and will stay relatively quiet doing while the other one is having "school time" with me.

 

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I don't see why you would need a toddler gate...he is 4, not 18mo...

Good luck!

His little brother who is 18 months is why I want the gate! He just hit that, "Oohhh what's this, and this, and this, and this, and this stage. I need to keep him contained, but not imprisoned :)

 

I think what you are planning sounds wonderful. I would suggest focusing only on a single sound per letter though. 4 is pretty young to teach all of the sounds, especially if there is not going to be continual reinforcement. 1 sound per letter is more likely to "stick."

 

There are wonderful "sound" alphabet songs that you could use to reinforce your activities. I think you can order SSRW's CD individually. The song goes......a, a apple, b, b ball, c, c cat, and d, d doll, etc.

 

Best wishes on your endeavor!

Both are excellent suggestions. Thank you so much. If it takes us 2 years to ingrain phonics, that's just fine. I'll head into PR when he's six, if I still have him. He is the brother to my pseudo-grandchild mentioned in my siggy, so I just might have him...time will tell.

 

Check out Letter of the Week, it is well put together.
I will surely look at that.

 

Thank you all so much!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't want to be all pessimistic but you are already schooling all of yours and to add all that prep work for preschool...that is a lot! If you're up for it, good for you!

 

That's why I'm thinkin' 30 min a day of guided instruction, tops. I already own a craft closet, so if I don't own it, or can't easily pull it off the computer, I'm not doin' it! He loves starfall.com already and he loves to listen during circle time (he comes over regularly already).

 

I will def. focus on phonics and numbers (hadn't even thought about numbers).

Thanks for the input. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to teach preschool and I focused on thematic units and worked letters, numbers, etc. into the theme. At this age the child needs to learn about season, holidays, etc and thematic units are perfect for this. It is super easy to work in science, math (lots of manipulatives), letters, literature, numbers, etc. Don't forget the daily calendar and weather report.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the point is for him to have experiences to enrich his life then this is nice. If the point is to teach phonics, then this will get little results for your effort. He might remember seeing a cool spider on his walk, but it is A week, and you wanted him to be interested in an acorn. When he is finger painting, he might be thinking about finger painting, not the A sounds. The phoncs will get lost in the finger paint, snacks and treasures. (and isn't this as it should be?)

 

I would go ahead with the paint, stories and walks, because those things are good in and of themselves. I wouldn't use them for phonics. Starfall, flashcards, and letter games are good, for phonics.

 

:iagree: With this. I've several times to stick with the letter of the week idea but each time I've found it quite tedious and I lose interest. ;) To give you suggestions to help you along with your goal of covering a letter per week, here's two resources that you may find useful:

 

Literacy Bags, which can be seen here for free on Googlebooks. It's missing a couple of letters, but you could easily improvise those. Some of the activies are not entirely age appropriate but this book did have some really original ideas that my dc have enjoyed.

 

Evan Moor has a nice book that has a craft project and other ideas for each letter of the alphabet. This is the book I have. They're easy crafts that can be done by the kiddos without much adult intervention.

 

Another resource that can be done mostly independently if you're busy with teaching your dc is the R&S A-B-C series. This is a great series as it will also introduce Bible stories and early math concepts.

 

HTH a bit. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could also have him watch the Leapfrog Letter Factory video. I think it's excellent for teaching the letter sounds and can be done if you have to spend some time chasing after the toddler.

 

Yes, Leapfrog Letter factory!

 

 

:iagree:

 

Unless one is an absolutely "no television ever" type parent, the Leapfrog Talking Letter Factory (and the follow ups Talking Word Factory I and II), are hard to beat for helping children learn their letter sounds.

 

I also think exposing my son to Cuisenaire Rods in pre-school (drawing on Miquon and self-created activities) to engage him with "math" was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

 

Bill

Edited by Spy Car
Link to comment
Share on other sites

LaLeche has a great book called Preschool At Home. It's jammed full of activities that this preschool teacher finds wonderful!

I also would only teach one sound, and don't be afraid to teach the name of the letter--for most kids, it's not confusing at all, just like calling a dog a dog and then teaching that it barks is not confusing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wanted a quick and easy letter-a-week for my youngest (then 4yo) last year. I didn't want to spend a ton of time searching for things on the computer, so I got two books, Cut and Create ABC by Kim Rankin and Letter Shapes by Kathy Ross. I also printed dot-to-dot worksheets off http://www.enchantedlearning.com and http://www.first-school.ws. We had a very successful year.

 

I do agree with a previous poster about teaching only one sound per letter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Letter of the week is exactly what you are describing, with the ideas and booklists and poem lists and links to printouts right there for you. You can follow as much or as little of it as you need/want.

 

It does focus on one sound per letter also (short vowels first..) I have done a modified version of this w/both of my dds and have loved it. It includes math ideas for each letter, animals to study, bible stories, arts and craft activities, physical games. etc.

 

I would print the plans each week a few days ahead so I could reserve a book or two from the list. I also printed a letter coloring page from Sesame Street each week, and put the letter pages into a notebook that my dd made as the year went by along w/any other crafts that were 3 hole punchable that went w/the letter. HTH!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the advice about phonics. Letter Factory videos are great. Once kids get the hang of basic reading, I like the old episodes of the Electric Company (which taught me how to read back in the day).

 

We used the Right Start abacus with my preschoolers for math. We didn't necessarily do structured lessons, but I used ideas from the "Activities for the AL abacus" book. They liked to make the stairs. It's a great way to introduce the idea of place value from the beginning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Check out Letter of the Week, it is well put together.

 

We have JUST finished the Letter of the Week Preparatory Curriculum. I highly recommend it.

 

The curriculum uses a "Learning Poster" that displays the letter of the week, theme, color/shape, nursery rhyme, number, vocab. We hung ours up in front of the TV.

 

I also rearranged the themes and added extras to correspond to each letter of the alphabet. We had about 10 extra weeks of review in this manner.

 

The local library is great for finding books on any theme, so you are not tied into the suggested books for each topic.

 

There is also a yahoo support group for this curriculum. It is a little more religious group than I am, but it is also full of very nice and supportive parents. I have never witnessed sniping in the two years I have frequented it.

 

dd2 and C3 both know all of their letters and sounds because of the time we put into this curriculum. They know all of their colors (other than C3 calling yellow "orange" today) and shapes, and they can count past 30.

 

Again, I cannot say enough good things about our past year with Letter of the Week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...