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TheAttachedMama

Teaching Days of the Week, Months of the Year, Weather, etc

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Hi Everyone,

I am sitting down to think about what I want to do with my 4-year-old next year.  (He turns 5 in September.)   I am thinking it might be good to teach him the days of the week and months of the year to give him a better sense of time.   That way when we say, "We will do this on Friday" or "Your birthday is in Septemeber", he has an idea of how long away both of those activities are.

When my older two were in preschool, we had a whole giant calendar set up going.   (Like something you would see in public school.)   However, now I am looking for a method and way that is much more simple and doesn't take up a ton of space.   We don't really have a dedicated wall space or classroom anymore.   Any ideas?  

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I use a regular calendar (one for my 4 year old and one for my 2 year old) and we do this every day:  We go over the days of the week, what today's date is (Thursday, May 17th,2018).  What yesterday and tomorrow are.  We look up the temperature and what it looks like outside and I record it on their calendars.  And of course we put stickers on too.  The stickers cover everything I record ?

We've been doing this for about 3 months and it has helped my 4 year old with recognizing numbers and knowing which day of the week it is and what day tomorrow is.

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I started with a big old calendar that had little magnets and everything but now we just all about it in the car as we are driving places.  “Today is Thursday and softball is tonight.  There is another game on Friday, how many days until the next game?”  “Look at all the flowers, it’s spring time!  What season comes after spring?   yes It is summer, is it hot or cold in summer?”

That sort of stuff seems to stick better than anything formal.  

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It was genuinely easier for us to do a simpler version for the early years and then do the full calendar at age 6/7.  At age 4 and 5 we concentrated on rhythm: seasons, holidays, routine.  My youngest celebrated his birthday with a Montessori inspired activity of walking in a circle for each year that he was alive and talking about the things he did that year.  And we focused on the words for before/now/next to apply to various activities (yesterday, today, tomorrow/morning, afternoon, evening, etc.)  This fell well into our language arts where the concentration was on repetitive stories like The Little Red Hen and The Three Little Pigs.  Around age 5/6 I started singing the song to the Frere Jacques tune:
Today is Monday
Today is Monday
All day long, all day long
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday,
Saturday
Saturday
and since language arts began to focus more on poetry memorization (nursery rhymes), he learned Solomon Grundy and we branched out into other stories that had fun activities, like The Hungry Caterpillar.

I didn't keep calendars from my kid, but I didn't work with him on learning the full calendar until he had all the pillars in place to make it make sense and he was learning the concept of time at a deeper level.  Otherwise we would have devoted far more time to it than we should have and still not had results.
 

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Confessions of a Homeschooler has a calendar notebook that we use. I don't use all the activities but we do use the calendar part.

My son loves the days of the week song to the tune of the Addams Family. You can find it on Youtube. I just throw it in the mix with other songs I have playing during the day.

Super Simple Songs, also on Youtube, has a months of the year chant that we use.

We just treat days of the week and months of the year as some of the very first memory work we work on so we recite them each day until they are memorized and then rotate them for practice just like any other memory work.

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I was looking at this just last week.  My son turns 4 in July.  I found calendar journal pages (mostly looking at ones with minimal writing).  For example, I liked this one: http://glimmercat.blogspot.com/2017/09/ideas-for-your-morning-calendar-in-your.html (scroll down because she does the wall thing too).  Anyway, I love the idea of a big wall, but I really am past having my whole decor be about homeschooling (right or wrong).

 

ETA: I looked up the Confessions of a Homeschooler and like that one also (though it has much more writing). 

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Haven't you used Rightstart Math?  They have the songs for Days of the Week and Months of the Year that could be stuck in the deep recesses of your mind.  I've found, by accident, that a Shutterfly calendar with family pictures and events draws them in.   But like others, I'd tackle it formally when they are older and just throw in the "terminology" as you go about your daily business for now.

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For my preschool class (3s turning 4) we sing songs and talk about time in terms of "sleeps" and naps--so I might say, We will meet again in two naps (for two days). 

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