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Hi all,

 

My first daughter is about to turn one very soon and I am already concerned with her education. :laugh: I have a feeling that she is gifted. When she talks to me, she often gives a disapproving look to my response as if she were saying, "That's not what I mean, Daddy!" Likewise, she'd cheer or smile if I do what she wants. Right now, she can pronounce about 5-6 words somewhat consistently and knows some "tricks" (e.g., bye bye, arms up, etc.). She can cruise, but cannot walk unassisted yet.

 

I am exploring the possibility of homeschooling. I am working full time, while my wife stays at home full time. My wife said she wasn't confident enough to do the homeschooling. I am willing to teach my child (or children, when we have more kids) and be fully committed / involved in their education. All these, however, will be done after work hours, for sure. So, are there any options that we can consider, possibly 2-3 years down the road? Any strategies or tips?

 

My second question would be: Is there anything that we, as parents, can teach to her right now? Any infant or toddler-level curriculum? Or is it still too early?

 

Thanks,

-A concerned dad

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Welcome to the boards :)

 

First, I wouldn't worry. Some of the most precocious toddlers end up being perfectly average kids/adults. (I have one ;)) Your child may be gifted, but it is far too early to tell. If she shows interest in learning about something, go for it...but in more of a play form. Pushing a curriculum early is just setting yourself and your child up for burn out.

 

My dd talked early, walked early and read the entire Harry Potter series at 7. She's now 15, and while she is intelligent, I wouldn't put her in the gifted category.

 

Second, most homeschooling moms probably feel inadequate to the task of educatiing their kids. But most do a pretty good job anyway. Research it, read about it, talk to other parents about it. You have a good 5 years before you have to decide.

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The best type of early learning, IMO, is free play. That and read, read and read some more. I agree that toddlerhood is too young to identify giftedness. There is a huge variation of normal early on. Each child learns and grows at their own individual pace, with many starts and stops.

 

I don't think anyone who homeschools began with confidence. I am just finishing my first year and I had no idea what I was doing, had lots of self-doubt but it seems the year has turned out okay. Give your wife time, she's got a few years yet to warm up to the idea :)

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I agree with what the others have said. No curriculum needed at this age. :-) But if you want some things to do now...

 

Start building a home library of good quality children's books. For a toddler, you can find some excellent board books -- some of our favorites are Sandra Boynton books, Each Peach Pear Plum, Jamberry, I Love You As Much, Goodnight Moon. You can also get board book versions of classic poetry like A Child's Garden of Verses (available used), Eloise Wilkin's Poems to Read to the Very Young, or a good Mother Goose collection.

 

When you are ready to expand your collection beyond board books, take a look at lists like the 1000 Good Books List or the booklists at Ambleside Online.

 

Play classical music at home. Learn some fingerplays and enjoy those together with your child. (You can find some online, or you can get a book of fingerplays.) Read stories and poetry. Listen to foreign language videos and/or podcasts. Let your child have free time to play, indoors and out. Be sure your child has a puzzle or two among her toys, and replace them with harder ones as she masters the ones she has.

 

You and/or your wife can start now reading books like The Well-Trained Mind and Charlotte Mason's Original Homeschooling Series. I think you'll both find that there's a lot your wife can do herself to homeschool your daughter, even if you supplement in the evenings with things she is really not confident doing. At the very least, I would encourage her to be involved and see herself as one of your daughter's teachers, as she will be spending a large part of the day with your daughter -- and a child is going to be learning all day long, whether through direct teaching or not.

 

ETA: The Robinson Curriculum was created by a father who continued homeschooling his children after his wife passed away. So it is definitely possible for the primary homeschooling parent to be working during the day and only giving direct instruction in the evenings. I think folks on the afterschooling board here could help you a lot with logistics when the time comes, if your wife ends up not teaching much or at all. There are other parents here with nonstandard arrangements. But I wouldn't recommend you start out with that plan; there's a lot your wife can do now to prepare, and my guess is she would enjoy it if she gave herself the chance. :-)

Edited by cottonmama
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My 2 yo has picked up several things from Kindermusik and I have a couple of leap pad DVD's that teach the sounds letters make and they teach numbers. I have also done some sign language with her. We do this stuff together along with reading, playing, singing, and having fun. The leap pad stuff we just started doing with her a couple of months ago, but could have done it before. All the other stuff we've done from early on.

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Wow, thank you so much everyone! Even more answers by the end of the day. I will check out the Montesorri school, Sandra Boynton books, classic poetries, 1000 Good Books List, the booklists at Ambleside Online, puzzles, Kinder music, and classical music stuff all of you have been suggesting. I'm going to read Well-Trained Mind and Charlotte Mason's book. The Robinson Curriculum might be something I'd consider as well. I will also try to figure out how music and foreign language can be regularly introduced at regular basis. Thank you so much. :hurray: You all rock!

 

I'm still trying to piece things together, especially between planning 2-3 more children and getting the education plan together. I guess it's best for now to just read about Well-Trained Mind and other homeschooling book first to gain some perspective.

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I liked the book "Slow and Steady get me Ready". Plus, as everyone has already said, lots of reading and playing.

 

I always keep a running dialogue with my kids. Even before they could talk, I would talk to them, explain what I was doing or what we were looking at or even how I was feeling.

 

Welcome!

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Don't forget the natural sciences! You can get started on them right now if you haven't already. Dirt, mud, sand, grass clippings... :D

 

And yes, reading homeschooling books for perspective is a great way to spend your time. When you have some idea on what you want to teach, you'll know what to go off and learn yourself! I'm told that helps. :lol:

 

Rosie

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I absolutely agree that low-key, non-formal, real life is best and absolutely wonderful.

However, I *do* like the idea of some baby and toddler programs. I find them fun to do with a little one and if they learn something too, double benefit. Of course, the 10minutes or even an hour if you did a lot wouldn't be the only thing you'd do with them. You'd be reading to them, talking with them, playing in the sandbox, etc many hours per day.

 

If you are interested, BrillKids.com (maybe they should pay me? LOL) has some awesome boards and a neat download section (things that go with their programs as well as ppts and such). LOTS of links and ideas.

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We loved baby sign language at that age and younger. It helped with expressive communication.

 

I'd also look into all the physical therapy things they do with little kids - finger work/fine motor skills - playing with playdough, finger painting, etc. I would also try to send time walking and even running and jumping.

 

Gosh it is difficult to remember what they can do at that age.

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