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How to teach both a 4.5 year old and 3 year old??? Curriculum ideas for active 3 yo?


MitchellMom
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My poor son is driving me nuts. Whenever I try to teach my daughter, my son (the 3 year old) starts getting into trouble. What can I do for him?! I don't want to keep fussing at him. But let me tell you, he is not going to sit silently and listen, or color a sheet of paper, or look at books on his own. Part of it, I think, is that he needs one-on-one time with me, too (besides the 6 minutes or so we spend each day reviewing the alphabet). So, in addition to needing help with him while I teach my daughter, can you offer curriculum ideas for a 3 yo? I'm trying to think of ideas - maybe Little Hands for His Glory? Any other Christian curriculum that's very innocent and fun but would work for a *very* wiggly 3 year old? Thank you!

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Have you tried giving him activities like play-doh or legos that he can ONLY have during school-time?

 

I have a blue kids table for those activities and the dc are pretty good at keeping the mess contained to the blue table. My only problem is that the dc who is supposed to be doing phonics lessons wants in on the play-doh.:001_rolleyes:

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Have you tried giving him activities like play-doh or legos that he can ONLY have during school-time?

 

I have a blue kids table for those activities and the dc are pretty good at keeping the mess contained to the blue table. My only problem is that the dc who is supposed to be doing phonics lessons wants in on the play-doh.:001_rolleyes:

 

My daughter would refuse to work - she would want to play with him! :tongue_smilie:

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I have a DD 4.5 and DS just turned 3 and we have been homeschooling for about 6 months now. For most activities i incorporate DS in some way. If she is doing copywork at the table he will draw on his little white board, or do a puzzle at the table. I am right there with both of them having my cup of tea normally. When we do reading he will play or sit next to me whilst DD is reading then as a reward for sitting nicely i will read a book of his choice.

 

I try to get them outside to burn off some steam before we start anything. I find that really helps. I also do B4FIAR with him so he has his own time with Mum.

 

I do have some Kumon age 2+ workbooks which he quite likes. Very basic but he has come along way in the last 6 months. He now has a proper pencil grip and will follow a simple maze. He wanted his own workbook just like DD so i just had to find something appropriate for him. Nothing is forced.

 

If everything isn't going smoothly, like DD Little Chicken is fussing and DS making too much noise etc we just pack away for that moment, change the focus and try to come back to it later when things have settled. There is no point trying to carry on when everyones stress levels are on the rise.

 

I do have a box of toys for DS & DD little chicken that they can only play with during school time which keeps them busy for a little while.

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I used the Rod and Staff preschool workbooks with my last 3yo. You could even just buy some coloring books or very early learner workbooks at Walmart if he's not ready for something formal. I started the school day with the 3 yos 'school time' first and it made him much more content to then let me teach other dc.

 

Just to encourage you as you persevere that they WILL get used to the routine and things will go more smoothly eventually after they learn what's expected of them!!!

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I have a DD 4.5 and DS just turned 3 and we have been homeschooling for about 6 months now. For most activities i incorporate DS in some way. If she is doing copywork at the table he will draw on his little white board, or do a puzzle at the table. I am right there with both of them having my cup of tea normally. When we do reading he will play or sit next to me whilst DD is reading then as a reward for sitting nicely i will read a book of his choice.

 

I try to get them outside to burn off some steam before we start anything. I find that really helps. I also do B4FIAR with him so he has his own time with Mum.

 

I do have some Kumon age 2+ workbooks which he quite likes. Very basic but he has come along way in the last 6 months. He now has a proper pencil grip and will follow a simple maze. He wanted his own workbook just like DD so i just had to find something appropriate for him. Nothing is forced.

 

If everything isn't going smoothly, like DD Little Chicken is fussing and DS making too much noise etc we just pack away for that moment, change the focus and try to come back to it later when things have settled. There is no point trying to carry on when everyones stress levels are on the rise.

 

I do have a box of toys for DS & DD little chicken that they can only play with during school time which keeps them busy for a little while.

 

Thank you for your advice. There is no way he will sit and work quietly as she works. He does not have ADHD or ADD but he is just wild and so full of energy. I know I shouldn't make a sad face but I am: :( Help!

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Maybe have him jump up and down on a mini-tramp while he counts his jumps, or says colors or something?

 

There might be some computer based activities he can do (Jumpstart World Preschool, perhaps, or starfall.com), I have heard this works best if you set him up on the computer with headphones so it blocks out the "noise" you are making with your daughter. You could also have him watch the Talking Letter Factory or Sesame Street or some kind of educational program, if you're not averse to screen time for someone so young.

 

I suggest having him run around for 30 minutes or so (the more activity the better) and then giving him some cuddle time or doing B4FIAR or a similar program with him before you work with your daughter so he (hopefully) won't work so hard to get your attention.

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My older two dc are about the same age as your two. Sometimes I incorporate ds into the lessons. I switch back and forth asking questions or doing activities for similar skills at different levels (ie, phonics for dd and letter sounds for ds). Sometimes ds just stays with us and listens. But we get the most done (and dd is able to concentrate the best) during nap time. I can't plan on doing a certain amount each day, just whatever we get to. But since she is only 4 that is okay. :)

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There is no way he will sit and work quietly as she works. He does not have ADHD or ADD but he is just wild and so full of energy. I know I shouldn't make a sad face but I am: :( Help!

 

Don't read a book about ADHD or ADD while you have a 3 year old boy! (One of my dyslexia books has a chapter about dyslexia combined with attention disorders...everything they said, my son did! But, it was talking about school aged children, not a normal 3 year old boy. I had to keep reminding myself of that fact every other sentence.)

 

We let him play with the math manipulatives, unfortunately my daughter likes that a lot too and will want to play, too, like you said! She's usually OK with it if she knows she gets to play after each subject. (And, she's better this year, it was tougher last year when she was 5.) They like to put the green units on their fingers and pretend they're tree frogs.

 

When we do phonics/spelling on the white board, my son gets his own white board and gets to draw. (I'm thankful for magic erasers and that we decided not to replace our 15 year old couch until he's a bit older.) This is probably safer outside if you don't have 15 year old furniture.

 

If he's playing with special boy toys, she will play for a minute or two and then be ready for school, she has a limited attention span for trains and cars.

 

When my husband's deployed and I'm too tired to fight with all that, I'll sometimes let him watch a movie he likes that she doesn't, and we sit where she can't see the movie screen, or it's too distracting even if she doesn't like the movie.

 

Last year for K, I worked in really short blocks with my daughter, that helped, we waited until she was focused and worked for no more than 10 minutes in each subject, and usually 5 for everything but math, where we usually spent the full 10 minutes (math is her weak area.) We got through the entire Webster's Speller on this schedule in 6 months, she was reading 3 and 4 syllable words at that point, it's amazing what you can do in 5 or 10 minutes when you don't waste time. She got a play break between each subject for as long as she needed, the breaks varied from 1 minute to 30 minutes depending on how she was doing that day.

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Maybe have him jump up and down on a mini-tramp while he counts his jumps, or says colors or something?

 

There might be some computer based activities he can do (Jumpstart World Preschool, perhaps, or starfall.com), I have heard this works best if you set him up on the computer with headphones so it blocks out the "noise" you are making with your daughter. You could also have him watch the Talking Letter Factory or Sesame Street or some kind of educational program, if you're not averse to screen time for someone so young.

 

I suggest having him run around for 30 minutes or so (the more activity the better) and then giving him some cuddle time or doing B4FIAR or a similar program with him before you work with your daughter so he (hopefully) won't work so hard to get your attention.

 

He doesn't know how to use a computer mouse. This is an excellent suggestion but when I try to teach him how to use the mouse he refuses to learn. He does like Starfall, though; when I'm on the computer he'll say something like, "Do M, Mommy!"

 

If you were not schooling DD what would the kids be doing? Would they be playing together? Is he missing the companionship? My kids LOVE being together and that is the only reason DS will sit at the table or play quietly because he wants to be with DD bright spark.

 

What is your DS 'into'?

 

Oh my ... I had not thought of this. Yes, they would be playing together. They play together all the time - and argue with each other! He very well could be missing her companionship. How can I encourage him to play alone?... He used to, back when she was in preschool, but he acted so lonely and I often would find him either lying on the floor in his room or sitting in a chair downstairs, staring sadly at the wall.... :(

 

You asked what he is into: My son loves cars, trucks, and hammers!

 

 

Don't read a book about ADHD or ADD while you have a 3 year old boy! (One of my dyslexia books has a chapter about dyslexia combined with attention disorders...everything they said, my son did! But, it was talking about school aged children, not a normal 3 year old boy. I had to keep reminding myself of that fact every other sentence.)

 

Oh, don't worry, I am not reading about ADD or ADHD! But my son had over six months of extensive speech therapy and occupational therapy, and his various therapists all agreed that he did not have attention problems.

 

 

I second the short lessons. We do about 10 min lessons too.

 

I hope it doesn't sound like I'm not grateful for the advice, because I am, but ... as soon as we sit down to start a short lesson, he starts acting up. And he watches us sometimes while he's doing it. Attention plea?...

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1. short lessons

2. ditch whatever school your dd is not asking for and wait till she is 6

3. teach to the younger more than the older

4. focus on enjoying and exploring, and getting ds to listen for picture books, if he isn't already into them

5. utilize his nap time

6. occasional Leapster games

 

Those are my ideas. Hope they help. I had two with the exact same age spans and I decided to put off a lot of schooling b/c my younger was also a busy one AND didn't nap.. we took last year very lightly and now my son is still soaring and far ahead of grade level.

 

You may just be spinning your wheels here.

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1. short lessons

2. ditch whatever school your dd is not asking for and wait till she is 6

3. teach to the younger more than the older

4. focus on enjoying and exploring, and getting ds to listen for picture books, if he isn't already into them

5. utilize his nap time

6. occasional Leapster games

 

Those are my ideas. Hope they help. I had two with the exact same age spans and I decided to put off a lot of schooling b/c my younger was also a busy one AND didn't nap.. we took last year very lightly and now my son is still soaring and far ahead of grade level.

 

You may just be spinning your wheels here.

 

Spinning my wheels ... that sounds like exactly what I am doing.

 

You know what else? I was so excited about FIAR but it's not really working for us so far. Why??? It is such a wonderful idea. But a) My daughter does not want to do most of the activities, and b) My son rarely sits still for the book. (There are times when he will sit for 5 or 6 books, but it's hard to get him to do it at FIAR time.) Is something wrong with me?!

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I have a two year old that does not sit for any book that I read but she can look at any page or cover of that book and tell me the whole story. The great thing about home schooling is it happens anywhere and at any time. They are not confided to sitting at a desk staring at a chalk board. With FIAR if I can act out the book we can. That makes the story more captivating to her. We go on bear hunts and then we go on square hunts or what ever the lesson of the day is. We work on letters by picking them off our letter tree and taking that with us finding things around the house or on our errands that start with that letter.

I am going to assume that your kids dont share a room for an hour a day have him go to his room and have him time. He can either take a nap if he doesnt already or play with quiet toys however he can not come out until you come and get him. Be very consistent with that. He will learn how to play independently. That is one thing I have worked with my kids from birth. They need one on one time and they need group time and they just need time to be by themselves. Once you have that routine down use that time to work with your dd one on one on the stuff that your son does not need to be apart of. She then should have her bed room time and then your should work with your son whether it is acting out a book or playing cars or working on motor skills of hamming golf tees in floral foam.

That at the very least will give them both mommy time they both need and you need to learn who they are and it gives them time to figure out who they are.

Good luck

Carol

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I have a friend with an older girl, now 2nd grade, and a boy, now K, but they're less than 2 years apart. When she did her first 2 years of school, she just let her younger boy run around. She thought he wasn't paying attention at all but a few months later realized he had learned all the letter names and sounds and how to spell a few words along with his sister while running around!

 

For a while I had my daughter trained to work when her brother was running around, it worked OK as long as he didn't start jumping on her. (He hasn't napped since he turned 2, so we've always had to work around him.)

 

If you get a large mouse with no sliding thingy in the middle, you can easily train him to use the mouse and work on Starfall.

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Spinning my wheels ... that sounds like exactly what I am doing.

 

You know what else? I was so excited about FIAR but it's not really working for us so far. Why??? It is such a wonderful idea. But a) My daughter does not want to do most of the activities, and b) My son rarely sits still for the book. (There are times when he will sit for 5 or 6 books, but it's hard to get him to do it at FIAR time.) Is something wrong with me?!

 

Sometimes DD doesn't like to do the FIAR activities, but I have found if I act like I am genuinely into it then she will join in. He might not like sitting still when you do have lessons, can you move the time around so you do FIAR when he's ready? I've learned not to do school stuff when DD is at her most active. She won't pay attention and both of us wind up frustrated, but if I wait until she is calmer and focused, it goes 100 times better.

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Hate to say it but it does sound a bit attention seeking. If he is used to playing with her all the time he might see 'school' as bad because it is interrupting 'his' normal. You are taking your DD away from him so he is going to do whatever possible to get her back.

 

You might need to take things back a step or two. Try 1 or 2 x 10 min lessons with her per day for the first week and get him busy with the cars, trucks etc. Give him boxes to make depo's and garages, stuff to be busy and creative. If you can get him occupied for 2 x 10 min lessons per day then intro another lesson.

 

He needs to realise that 'school' isn't bad and that she can play with him the rest of the time. You can also start some one on one things with him.

 

I'd say he is missing her company more than anything.

 

Another thing you could try is a reward chart, with stars, stickers or stamps for good behaviour. When he gives you and DD quiet time to do school without interrupting he gets a star, stamp, sticker on his chart. When he earns 5 (or whatever number you choose) you could treat both kids to a trip to the local park or something similar (no cost, not food). A token box would work similarly. Make some tokens and a token box (like a money box) and pay him a token for good behaviour during school time.

 

I think you are going to have to work at independant play for him. Finding a means to get that to happen is the hardest thing.

 

I'd explain to him what you are going to do too.

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Can you take the FIAR concept of pulling learning opportunity from books on his time? I have been casually doing this simply b/c we have so many great books not in the FIAR booklist and it's SOOOOOOOO much easier for me to think of ways to incorporate learning vs. ways to get my dc into a book that they just aren't loving or the activities that aren't what they had in mind.

 

Another idea: b/c 4.5 is still very young, and shouldn't take much time at all, can you do quick lessons with her while daddy has quality time with the 3yo?

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I think you could either

 

1) put off school for another year and try again then. In the meatime you could get ds used to taking quiet time in his room for 30 minutes to an hour a day, or

 

2) do school now, but teach to your younger child and include the older one. Let them takes turns choosing a stories to read every day. Take them to the library frequently and let them borrow new books. Get some math manipulatives and just explore them together. My 2 and 5yos LOVE to play with math manipulatives! They will occupy themselves for an hour with a bag of pattern blocks and some free designs I printed offline. They also beg to play with linking cubes. Ha!

 

Take frequent walks, go to the park or a nearby body of water and watch boats, fishermen, insects and wildlife. Choose a shape every week and look for 5 things each day that are that shape. Make picture grocery lists so that the children can help you shop. Make a grid of letters and have them find all of the As. Get a basket of art supplies together (sturdy pads of paper, oil pastels, coloring pencils, washable markers) that you can grab 'on the go' and take it outside with you. Have the children draw what they see.

 

Make blank books from cardstock and white paper and make them accessible to your children. Keep playdoh, fingerpaints, glue, glitter, safety scissors, sidewalk chalk, etc. stocked in your home. Use something every day. Let your children use chalkboards and whiteboards. Ask them to draw spirals and curves both clockwise and counterclockwise. Ask them to draw zig-zags. Let them practice cutting.

 

I know this might sound messy. A tip for keeping mess under control: get a few large, inexpensive cookie sheets and a roll of masking tape. Tape papers to the bottom of the cookie sheet before children color or paint. Tell them to keep their playdoh inside the cookie sheet. We use our cookie sheets every. single. day. The little rim around the edge contains most messes.

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I think you could either

 

1) put off school for another year and try again then. In the meatime you could get ds used to taking quiet time in his room for 30 minutes to an hour a day, or

 

2) do school now, but teach to your younger child and include the older one. Let them takes turns choosing a stories to read every day. Take them to the library frequently and let them borrow new books. Get some math manipulatives and just explore them together. My 2 and 5yos LOVE to play with math manipulatives! They will occupy themselves for an hour with a bag of pattern blocks and some free designs I printed offline. They also beg to play with linking cubes. Ha!

 

Take frequent walks, go to the park or a nearby body of water and watch boats, fishermen, insects and wildlife. Choose a shape every week and look for 5 things each day that are that shape. Make picture grocery lists so that the children can help you shop. Make a grid of letters and have them find all of the As. Get a basket of art supplies together (sturdy pads of paper, oil pastels, coloring pencils, washable markers) that you can grab 'on the go' and take it outside with you. Have the children draw what they see.

 

Make blank books from cardstock and white paper and make them accessible to your children. Keep playdoh, fingerpaints, glue, glitter, safety scissors, sidewalk chalk, etc. stocked in your home. Use something every day. Let your children use chalkboards and whiteboards. Ask them to draw spirals and curves both clockwise and counterclockwise. Ask them to draw zig-zags. Let them practice cutting.

 

I know this might sound messy. A tip for keeping mess under control: get a few large, inexpensive cookie sheets and a roll of masking tape. Tape papers to the bottom of the cookie sheet before children color or paint. Tell them to keep their playdoh inside the cookie sheet. We use our cookie sheets every. single. day. The little rim around the edge contains most messes.

 

Brilliant ideas, mama!

 

I totally agree with teaching to the younger and let your older one come along for the ride. I really enjoy Before FIAR, great stories plus lots of ideas for dramatic play, music, art. I also keep a container of salt (rice would work) that my 4yo can drive his trucks/dumptrucks in. He *loves* that. (so do my 7&8 year olds! LOL)

 

It's so much about absorbing their world around them right now, make it as enjoyable as you can for them *and* you!

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Can you take the FIAR concept of pulling learning opportunity from books on his time? I have been casually doing this simply b/c we have so many great books not in the FIAR booklist and it's SOOOOOOOO much easier for me to think of ways to incorporate learning vs. ways to get my dc into a book that they just aren't loving or the activities that aren't what they had in mind.

 

Another idea: b/c 4.5 is still very young, and shouldn't take much time at all, can you do quick lessons with her while daddy has quality time with the 3yo?

 

DH is gone three days a week all day long, and on the other evenings, my daughter is so excited about him being around that she wants to play with him. :(

 

I really appreciate the advice from all of you! I realized I have not completely described my son's personality, and this is sad: He does *NOT* want to sit down and do work of any kind. I was shocked the other day when he wanted to sit down and paint. To teach his ABCs I have to eventually fuss at him to sit in front of the dry-erase board because he wants to run all around the room. I can tolerate this to a point, until he starts giggling and answering me in strange voices. :001_huh: I know this is working because he now knows all letters except for two (D and W) but he is so wiggly it drives me nuts. :willy_nilly:

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This is great advice. I am not a big fan of "preschool programs" that require seatwork, because I really think kids this age learn best by play. If you avoid "seatwork", almost anything you do can be adapted to include the younger child. Our library carries a wonderful periodical for early childhood educators with ideas to do with children that incorporates the seasons and the world around them. There was no seatwork in it. Unfortunately, I can't find the title of it. I will be stopping in this week (either today if i can fit it to drop off some books or on Friday) and I will post the title. Not a pretty glossy magazine, but a no-nonsense, try these great ideas type of thing.

 

Read lots of stories. According the Mem Fox, children need to hear 1000 stories before they are ready to learn to read. Narration can be acting them out.

Nature walks. If you live in a cold climate, looking for animal tracks and learning about those animals, what they eat, how they spend the winter, etc.

Letters can be learned with playdough, chalk, whiteboards, even their own bodies. What is cuter than a 3 year-old trying to make an 'A' with his little body?

Math can be manipulatives. When I had a toddler and an advanced preschooler, we would do beanie baby math and dinosaur math. The ONLY think I liked about Saxon was acting out the addition and subtraction by having "animals" get on the bus and off the bus. We did ordinals by lining up the dinosaurs. My younger son knew his ordinals before he was 3 because T-Rex HAD to be 4th. Tantrums would ensue if T-Rex was anything but 4th:). That is how ds earned his nickname Tyrannosaurs Tom! Counting- throw a bunch of numbered index cards on the floor and have them jump to the numbers in sequence. If the 3yo doesn't get it, so what - he will be jumping and having fun. The hardest part for me was to keep the older child from getting upset when the younger one does something "wrong."

 

Boy, I miss homeschooling this age. I was a fun, creative person back then. Now I am just the mean old task master to my highschooler. WAA! I WANNA GO BACK TO PRESCHOOL!

 

Oh, sorry about the hijack!

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Mine were 15 months apart, oldest is girl and youngest boy, the boy has ADHD and Sensory issues. Both of mine tested gifted if that means anything.

 

Here is what we did when my kids were that age:

 

Literature

BFIAR book (sometimes) and ONE activity. Some people like to do BFIAR like FIAR but it was not written that way.

 

We would do theme weeks on things they liked -dinosaurs, airplanes, lots of animals

 

Basically, I had a basket of books and we read whatever they picked out throughout the day. I rarely read more than one book in a sitting. My son usually played with his toys while I read. He didn't sit still for a book until I read Wizard of Oz when they were in grades 2/1 and even now it's rare for him to sit still while I read.

 

Reading

I did 100ez lessons with my dd. I adapted any lessons I could to a game. When she sat on my lap, I would have her find "two words that look alike", "This word is 'the" -can you find another one", etc.

 

My son listened in on her lessons (while playing with his duplos on the floor) and we all watched Letter factory, word factory, etc a lot. He actually learned to read listening to us. I didn't have to teach him.

 

Writing

We did prewriting activities -like making letters with playdough, writing in sand in the sand box,shaving cream, and chocolate pudding. We cut letters out of magazines to make words, played with letter magnets and tiles, used letter sponges to make our own Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree. We made cards and writing her name in them, some labels in her nature journal, etc.

 

We did lots of fine motor skills practice -songs with finger plays, legos, playdough, spraying our plants with water, cutting, lacing, etc. We did a lot of pretending -our car was a submarine or a space ship or that lady on the corner is an alien and tell stories around that.

 

Math

We made our own number books with stickers and my scrapbook punches, watched number factory, counted everything, made fruit loop and macaroni necklaces with patterns, made patterns with our crackers, I would put number cards on table and we would put that many goldfish crackers on them for snack time, I would draw numbers on the driveway with chalk and we would jump to them. We played hi ho cherry o and candyland. We listened to math songs in the car. We played simon says with numbers ( do ten jumping jacks, etc). We played store with play money.

 

 

Science

Lots of nature walks, sensory table fun, trips to museums for storytime and meet the animals, we had nature journals -very humorous to look at now. We made nature collages on back of old wrapping paper. We blew bubbles, raised caterpillars, made popsicles, sorted things, etc. They love Zaboomafoo at this age. There are several books that you can find in library about science for little ones.

 

Social Studies

We played store, restaurant, zoo, library, house, etc. We did a lot of holiday related activities.

 

Art

Nature colleges, fingerpainting, drawing with crayons and chalk (Dd doing stick figures and some never perfect shapes, and ds just scribbled) playdough, cut up junk mail and leftover holiday odds and ends to make collages, stickers, etc.

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This is great advice. I am not a big fan of "preschool programs" that require seatwork, because I really think kids this age learn best by play. If you avoid "seatwork", almost anything you do can be adapted to include the younger child. Our library carries a wonderful periodical for early childhood educators with ideas to do with children that incorporates the seasons and the world around them. There was no seatwork in it. Unfortunately, I can't find the title of it. I will be stopping in this week (either today if i can fit it to drop off some books or on Friday) and I will post the title. Not a pretty glossy magazine, but a no-nonsense, try these great ideas type of thing.

 

Read lots of stories. According the Mem Fox, children need to hear 1000 stories before they are ready to learn to read. Narration can be acting them out.

Nature walks. If you live in a cold climate, looking for animal tracks and learning about those animals, what they eat, how they spend the winter, etc.

Letters can be learned with playdough, chalk, whiteboards, even their own bodies. What is cuter than a 3 year-old trying to make an 'A' with his little body?

Math can be manipulatives. When I had a toddler and an advanced preschooler, we would do beanie baby math and dinosaur math. The ONLY think I liked about Saxon was acting out the addition and subtraction by having "animals" get on the bus and off the bus. We did ordinals by lining up the dinosaurs. My younger son knew his ordinals before he was 3 because T-Rex HAD to be 4th. Tantrums would ensue if T-Rex was anything but 4th:). That is how ds earned his nickname Tyrannosaurs Tom! Counting- throw a bunch of numbered index cards on the floor and have them jump to the numbers in sequence. If the 3yo doesn't get it, so what - he will be jumping and having fun. The hardest part for me was to keep the older child from getting upset when the younger one does something "wrong."

 

Boy, I miss homeschooling this age. I was a fun, creative person back then. Now I am just the mean old task master to my highschooler. WAA! I WANNA GO BACK TO PRESCHOOL!

 

Oh, sorry about the hijack!

 

Thank you - you might not have intended to have this effect, but you made me realize that I really need to enjoy this age and be as fun and creative as I can! :)

 

 

Mine were 15 months apart, oldest is girl and youngest boy, the boy has ADHD and Sensory issues. Both of mine tested gifted if that means anything.

 

Here is what we did when my kids were that age:

 

Literature

BFIAR book (sometimes) and ONE activity. Some people like to do BFIAR like FIAR but it was not written that way.

 

We would do theme weeks on things they liked -dinosaurs, airplanes, lots of animals

 

Basically, I had a basket of books and we read whatever they picked out throughout the day. I rarely read more than one book in a sitting. My son usually played with his toys while I read. He didn't sit still for a book until I read Wizard of Oz when they were in grades 2/1 and even now it's rare for him to sit still while I read.

 

Reading

I did 100ez lessons with my dd. I adapted any lessons I could to a game. When she sat on my lap, I would have her find "two words that look alike", "This word is 'the" -can you find another one", etc.

 

My son listened in on her lessons (while playing with his duplos on the floor) and we all watched Letter factory, word factory, etc a lot. He actually learned to read listening to us. I didn't have to teach him.

 

Writing

We did prewriting activities -like making letters with playdough, writing in sand in the sand box,shaving cream, and chocolate pudding. We cut letters out of magazines to make words, played with letter magnets and tiles, used letter sponges to make our own Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree. We made cards and writing her name in them, some labels in her nature journal, etc.

 

We did lots of fine motor skills practice -songs with finger plays, legos, playdough, spraying our plants with water, cutting, lacing, etc. We did a lot of pretending -our car was a submarine or a space ship or that lady on the corner is an alien and tell stories around that.

 

Math

We made our own number books with stickers and my scrapbook punches, watched number factory, counted everything, made fruit loop and macaroni necklaces with patterns, made patterns with our crackers, I would put number cards on table and we would put that many goldfish crackers on them for snack time, I would draw numbers on the driveway with chalk and we would jump to them. We played hi ho cherry o and candyland. We listened to math songs in the car. We played simon says with numbers ( do ten jumping jacks, etc). We played store with play money.

 

 

Science

Lots of nature walks, sensory table fun, trips to museums for storytime and meet the animals, we had nature journals -very humorous to look at now. We made nature collages on back of old wrapping paper. We blew bubbles, raised caterpillars, made popsicles, sorted things, etc. They love Zaboomafoo at this age. There are several books that you can find in library about science for little ones.

 

Social Studies

We played store, restaurant, zoo, library, house, etc. We did a lot of holiday related activities.

 

Art

Nature colleges, fingerpainting, drawing with crayons and chalk (Dd doing stick figures and some never perfect shapes, and ds just scribbled) playdough, cut up junk mail and leftover holiday odds and ends to make collages, stickers, etc.

 

Thank you for these wonderful suggestions! Both of my children have Sensory Integration Disorder. Back in February, my ds would stand and stare at a wall when we were in crowded places. (Sensory Overload) I think I mentioned before that we started agressive occupational therapy (at one point he was seeing an OT four times a week and a ST twice a week - 6 appts per week! This is what happens when a mother (me!) is terrified!). The OT joked that one day ds would be on the other end of the spectrum (wild!) and she was right! LOL. So there are times when he is hyper and I have to remind myself that this is a good thing!

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You can also make big numbers and letters on the floor with painters tape and then walk around the shape. Talk about the shape and sing songs or chant about the sound it makes, what # it is, etc. while you are marching.

 

Learn how to write your numbers in sand with a big stick, in shaving cream etc. Make them really big so that their larger muscles are engaged.

 

Make a bunck of letters cut out of cardstock (or you could use flashcards, but you want a lot of them.) Throw them in the air and have DS bring the letter D while DD brings you the first or last letter in a word, the letter that makes the ___ sound, or the word cat. Make it a contest.

 

I hope this helps some. Bouncing on anything (mini-tramp, little inflatable bounce house, hop ball, rubber horse) while listening to you teach is a good idea too.

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Ack! I would keep the FIAR books for later, but if you are selling, let me know. :tongue_smilie:I might go for a good deal!

 

DD has SPD too! She has the symptom of sensory overload and she is hyper and aggressive (like she does not know her own strength). She has improved a lot during the last few months. One thing that helped me was in a thread on here. I will forward it to you, it was so good.

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Have you heard of "blanket time"? I am just beginning to work on this with my 3.5 year old.

 

You train your little ones to sit quietly on a blanket. So I am starting out with 5 minute increments. I spread (or have ds spread) a small blanket on the floor and have ds sit on it. I bring him one toy. He is supposed to sit on the blanket quietly for 5 minutes. Right now I sit on the couch right next to him and immediately correct him if he speaks or tries to get up. Once he masters 5 minutes I will incrementally increase the time and eventually leave the room.

 

I read about this in the new Duggar book (the homeschooling lady with 18 children) and apparently it's worked really well for her. But remember to be cheerful about "blanket time" and treat it like it's a game.

 

Now for my current reality. We do school for 2 hours in the morning (with short breaks in between subjects). I do a letter of the week with ds but the rest of the time he is free to play around the house. He is distracting for sure but I still get a lot done with dd.

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A couple suggestions for directing your ds' energy in an *ahem* educational way. 1) Make flash cards out of index cards. I've used them for letters, numbers and shapes. Stick tape at the back and tell your ds to go stick the A, or the square, or whatever to the wall. (If you pick a wall that's far away from where you are, it'll take him more time ;) ). Then you can ask him to bring the letters or shapes back one by one. My dd(2) liked it when I stuck the cards on my fingers and waggled them at her. 2) Give your son a basket and have him find objects to put in it, frex, something that is red, or round, or is made of wood, or an animal figure. Does your ds nap? I work on phonics with ds(4) while dd(2) is napping. For math, we use manipulatives a lot and math picture books which both kids enjoy. I also second (third?) the suggestion of doing something with your ds first thing and teaching your dd once he's done and wanders away to find something else to do. Hope this helps.

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I don't know if this will help anyone, as you all seem to have plenty of

experience and all children are unique... but someone told me that DD is craving intensity

from me. She is very intense... I am more quiet and laid back.

Anyway... she will get it because she needs it, so if I do not give her

intense emotions in response to positive things then she will push and

push until she gets me to yell at her. Since I have been making an

effort to go overboard with my reactions to things (which feels really

fake at first) she has gotten better. (That was combined with an effort

to show her love.) Basically, you know how you act when a baby walks in

the room. Your face lights up and you use a sing-song voice. "Well, Hi

there!" Somehow someone connected that a kid with SPD like my DD craves

that extra emotion. "Look mom, I made a picture." me now: "Wow! That's

great, is that the bird from our story?" me before: "I see. That's a good bird."

 

Anyway you get the idea I think.

 

Hugs are the same way. She hugs me with a bowl you over squeeze out your breath hug. Turns out that instead of teaching her to be gentle, I need to give it back to her. She needs the intense feeling, not gentleness.

 

I have also been working on really showing enjoyment in her and showing my love. It was so hard to deal with her for so long that sighing and grinding through it was my natural response. It was making her feel unloved and making her behavior worse.

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I am just going to say a resounding, "stop."

 

I really love the advice given above where a pp pointed out that just having fun in life, looking at books, painting, digging, etc. is education.

 

I really, really, really think you should just put "school" on hold for a year or even two, till your daughter is true K age. Why rush it? I did that with my older son and it was a waste of time. Of course, many people told me to stop and didn't listen right away and "spun my wheels" for a year, and then I did listen and we had a wonderful relaxing K year...my son made almost zero progress in "school" last year but he DID stop almost all of his sensory integration disorder behaviors, improved motor skills, and we just had so much fun. He and my dd are now best friends, and she is older and understands when I need some time alone to teach my ds.

 

I completely think you should put FIAR, RS and all of it away and just enjo them...they are 4 and 3. Your 3 year old would be unusual if he *was* interested in sitting down for book work. Your 4.5 year old is the oldest child, so she wants to please mama. She has learned that doing her school nicely pleases mama, so she will do it pretty happily. But if she learns that helping around the house, playing nicely with little brother pleases mama, she will do that nicely too. Oldest kids are usually like that. Don't know why but it is what it is.

 

Have I shared with you my love of picture books? FIAR was OK and we really liked it, but didn't do any whole volume except B4...but what I did learn was how to enjoy picture books on a deeper level. Now I am the picture book queen.

 

Here is my method.

1. Go to library

2. Let dc pick out books, and put in a stack for you to quickly scan content (sometimes they pick out things about divorced parents, people dying, AIDS, or Gay parents...yeah they really have...so I learned the hard way.)

3. let dc look at their books while you walk up and down the rows. Scan titles of books. Look for:

 

Anything with a cultural reference esp. Hispanic, Black, Jewish. I am Christian so I often avoid or look over things with a Muslim or Pagan sound to it. Something like "Pepito's Day" or "Sigfreud's Violin" will catch my eye. The former will present my children with something rich about someone hispanic while the latter will do the same about someone Jewish. (As I write this I probably sound really strange but my method works!)

 

I also look for anything with "grandparents, uncles, cousins" etc. in the title...they are usually about lasting family values.

 

Look for anything your children are interested in. I always stop and grab anything with "ballet" or "robots" b/c of my dc's personal interests.

 

I also have favorite authors, such as Bill Peet, Margaret Wise Brown, Eric Carle, and Patricia Polacco. And I know my dc have favorite authors, but they will usually find them on their own.

 

Here is what I avoid:

 

Watch out for anything with 'sister" or "brother" in the title. Sadly, it's usually about how a sister or brother is gross, or annoying. But not always, so check.

 

Avoid anything stupid/goofy, etc. Your kids will pick these out on their own. LOL My son is allowed one goofy book per week just because I can't stand them.

 

Avoid titles with references to behaviors you disapprove of...for me I avoid things about homosexuality, divorce, etc.

 

 

Then when we get home we just read 3 or 4 per day, sometimes more. I try to mix it up. I will add one or two of my cultural stories, with beautiful families and lasting themes to a few of my children's stories which tend to be more about animals, or favorite characters.

 

 

As far as formal education, I would let it all go this year, and teach your ds to have room time at the same time that your dd has her own room time. This way in coming years you can choose to either have a sanity break or to school your older while the younger has a break and so on.

 

And as a side note, I made it a goal when my son was that age, up until last year to be outside a MINIMUM of 3 hours per day, and his sensory integration disorder practically vanished. I mean, it's stillt here a little, but I am convinced that my son need HUGE amounts of unstructured time in the wind, breeze, beach, rain, dirt, mud, getting filthy, digging, filling up buckets, swimming, playing in the little wade pool, playing with the hose, laying in the grass, eating apples and oranges and watermelons in the grass, rubbing and climing on the bark of the trees, ...I feel that all that outdoors free time helped him overcome much of his SID. I recommend huge, huge amounts of unstructured time outdoors, getting completely dirty, wet, whatever for any child with SID. I have nothing to back it up except my own son. :001_smile:

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I am just going to say a resounding, "stop."

 

I really love the advice given above where a pp pointed out that just having fun in life, looking at books, painting, digging, etc. is education.

 

I really, really, really think you should just put "school" on hold for a year or even two, till your daughter is true K age. Why rush it? I did that with my older son and it was a waste of time. Of course, many people told me to stop and didn't listen right away and "spun my wheels" for a year, and then I did listen and we had a wonderful relaxing K year...my son made almost zero progress in "school" last year but he DID stop almost all of his sensory integration disorder behaviors, improved motor skills, and we just had so much fun. He and my dd are now best friends, and she is older and understands when I need some time alone to teach my ds.

 

I recommend huge, huge amounts of unstructured time outdoors, getting completely dirty, wet, whatever for any child with SID. I have nothing to back it up except my own son. :001_smile:

 

:iagree::iagree:WOW! We took a year off too. :) :grouphug:

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:iagree::iagree:WOW! We took a year off too. :) :grouphug:

 

 

Thank you, everyone.

 

I know many people are suggesting I take a year off, but I don't want to do so completely, because my daughter is able to do all of the work - from Reading to Math. If she is mentally ready to learn, then it is unfair not to teach her, don't you think?... Or should I *still* back off?

 

I've looked into the book Peak with Books that someone recommended and it looks great. How is it similar to/ different from FIAR? Thanks!

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Thank you, everyone.

 

I know many people are suggesting I take a year off, but I don't want to do so completely, because my daughter is able to do all of the work - from Reading to Math. If she is mentally ready to learn, then it is unfair not to teach her, don't you think?... Or should I *still* back off?

 

My DD was doing K work and reading at 3 years old. We stopped HS when I was pg and started back up for first grade. So we took over a year off. She was capable of the work, obviously. She was writing and drawing beautifully, reading, adding, counting... etc. But we were under stress as a family and she didn't want to do the work. I am just now accepting the fact that we stopped and that she would be at least a year (and I believe 2) ahead academically if we hadn't stopped. It was best for my family at the time. If I had kept going I might have taught her to hate learning, which is the last thing I would want her to learn!

 

The one thing that I still wonder about/regret is that she has gotten into a whole word habit. Her reading level kept going up during our break, with no phonics lessons. So that is the one thing I would worry about.

 

My opinion in your case: I think that at the least you need to get an easier and/or more fun math program for her. I did not pay attention to your other curriculum picks, but if her phonics and etc. has writing in it, I would switch that, too! If you teach to your three year old and teach using fun activities, you will all enjoy school and she will still be learning, not regressing. You have leeway already, so you can use it when you need it... now. Definitely go with less seatwork/ writing and more fun activities. It should make both of your children happier, and maybe teach them both to love learning. They will enjoy eachother, you, and school more than they would otherwise.

Edited by Lovedtodeath
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I disagree with taking a year off. Why should your daughter's education be put on hold because you have an active 3 year old? If she's interested and ready, then I say don't put it off. My son was 2 when I started homeschooling our dd in 3rd grade. He was active, but I was pretty strict that when I was doing school with his sister he had to play in his room or he could watch a little Playhouse Disney or Nick jr for some of the time. He soon wanted to do school, too. He knew that to get to be at the table with us he had to do school. I also saved the stuff that was harder to do with him around until his nap time. If he doesn't take naps, could he have a rest time on his bed for 30 minutes where he has to lay down, but can look at books or take a toy or two?

 

I started off with hands on manipulatives, which he didn't care for, so I picked up a workbook at the grocery story (same/different, etc.) and he loved them. We did just those kind of things that year. For his 3 year old homeschooling, we did Handwriting without Tears Get Ready for School book and Learning Resources Game Board Book for Preschool, along with things I found on the internet. I read to him, of course, too.

 

For Pre-K, we did A Beka reading for K4 and a Kindergarten math program. We also read lots of books from the library, fiction and non-fiction.

 

Some say don't start workbooks early, but I started both of mine at 2, and they were both reading at 4 and are doing very well academically. My dd tested last year at 12th grade 3rd month overall on her ITBS, and she was in 5th. I say don't start too late. I know several mothers who didn't start doing any type of school with their sons until Kindergarten and now they regret it because since they had been able to play all day for so long, now they don't want to sit for any school.

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I didn't read all the suggestions, and someone might have already said this...but, when my youngest was three (and had given up his nap), I couldn't get much accomplished with our then six- and eight-year-olds. So, I hired a local homeschooled girl to come and play with my three-year-old while I did school work with the older children.

 

Now, I was fortunate to have the resources at the time - both the money and the access to homeschooled girls:). I realize a sitter is not an option for many families.

 

One young woman became a regular in our lives, and to this day, our seven-year-old begs to have her come over and play! We don't get to see her much, but we do attend her concerts and plays, etc. She was a joy to have in our lives, and she became a blessing beyond the hours of imaginary play she engaged in with our young son.

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I disagree with taking a year off. Why should your daughter's education be put on hold because you have an active 3 year old? If she's interested and ready, then I say don't put it off. My son was 2 when I started homeschooling our dd in 3rd grade. He was active, but I was pretty strict that when I was doing school with his sister he had to play in his room or he could watch a little Playhouse Disney or Nick jr for some of the time. He soon wanted to do school, too. He knew that to get to be at the table with us he had to do school. I also saved the stuff that was harder to do with him around until his nap time. If he doesn't take naps, could he have a rest time on his bed for 30 minutes where he has to lay down, but can look at books or take a toy or two?

 

I started off with hands on manipulatives, which he didn't care for, so I picked up a workbook at the grocery story (same/different, etc.) and he loved them. We did just those kind of things that year. For his 3 year old homeschooling, we did Handwriting without Tears Get Ready for School book and Learning Resources Game Board Book for Preschool, along with things I found on the internet. I read to him, of course, too.

 

For Pre-K, we did A Beka reading for K4 and a Kindergarten math program. We also read lots of books from the library, fiction and non-fiction.

 

Some say don't start workbooks early, but I started both of mine at 2, and they were both reading at 4 and are doing very well academically. My dd tested last year at 12th grade 3rd month overall on her ITBS, and she was in 5th. I say don't start too late. I know several mothers who didn't start doing any type of school with their sons until Kindergarten and now they regret it because since they had been able to play all day for so long, now they don't want to sit for any school.

 

 

Thank you because I disagree, too! My daughter likes to do workbooks. She asks to do them! But it's sitting down and writing the date every day that drives her nuts. "I already know how to do that!" she argues. I can't blame her. I want to throw the freaking calendar out the window most days because it is the source of her agony. But what if she never learns how to write the date? Also, her math is now saying she needs to memorize 2+2=4, 3+3=6, 4+4=8.... and she is not interested. I can't blame her here, either! I thought about not forcing her to learn these facts. Then I thought, She will be behind if she doesn't! :confused:

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Thank you because I disagree, too! My daughter likes to do workbooks. She asks to do them! But it's sitting down and writing the date every day that drives her nuts. "I already know how to do that!" she argues. I can't blame her. I want to throw the freaking calendar out the window most days because it is the source of her agony. But what if she never learns how to write the date? Also, her math is now saying she needs to memorize 2+2=4, 3+3=6, 4+4=8.... and she is not interested. I can't blame her here, either! I thought about not forcing her to learn these facts. Then I thought, She will be behind if she doesn't! :confused:

 

Does she know how to write the date? I have Becca write the date on at least one school paper every day - I also have her write her name at the top of all her papers. She hasn't yet figured out that I know it's her paper because she's my only official student! ;)

 

We're working on memorizing math facts still - that's an ongoing process for us here. Becca can figure it, but doesn't have them down "cold." Basically do a little bit each day. Try to make a game of it, offer small rewards, etc.

 

Does your DD earn rewards for her school work? I drew up a little chart that has 5 boxes on it. She gets one sticker for every day she does school work, and then when she gets 5 stickers, she gets a treasure from our "treasure box." I stock it from the Target $1 section or Dollar Tree. It's helped motivate Becca.

 

I deal with the 3 yo thing every day that Sylvia's not at preschool... it is tough, but I just go one day at a time. Becca frequently gets distracted and wants to do what Sylvia's doing too.:glare:

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As far as memorizing the doubles facts, I don't know why a young program would have you do that. If you want her to do it, though, turn it into a game. Put the individual numbers on cards (for example, 2 cards with a 2 and 1 card with a 4), then play memory matching games with 3 cards. Use dice and have her start adding the rolls, some will be doubles. My son learned a lot about adding that way. You could keep score and see who reaches 100 first. Take the numbers cards and hide them in a room. Have her see how many matching groups she can find.

 

I don't have mine write his name on every paper, but that's just not a big deal to me. None of his papers included a place for the date on each one.

 

I know kids balk at having to do things in school that seems senseless to them. We all did it, too. My ds has things that he doesn't want to do, but I have a chart for him to receive smiley faces in each subject. If he does what's required with a good attitude, then he gets the stickers. If he gets all smiley faces in a day, then that day he gets to do a video game. Does she have some privilige that will really motivate her to keep a good attitude? It has worked wonders with my ds. He realizes that priviliges have to be earned.

 

I try to tell my kids that we all have to do things we don't like, but that is just part of life, and it will be easier if we just accept it and try to have fun with it. My dd doesn't like math. I've told her that she doesn't know what God will call her to do in her future, so school is to get her ready for whatever that is. Even if God doesn't have her do something in a math related field, if He wants her to go to college, she has to do well enough on her entrance exams to get in to wherever that place might be; therefore, math is necessary.

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Does she know how to write the date? I have Becca write the date on at least one school paper every day - I also have her write her name at the top of all her papers. She hasn't yet figured out that I know it's her paper because she's my only official student! ;)

 

We're working on memorizing math facts still - that's an ongoing process for us here. Becca can figure it, but doesn't have them down "cold." Basically do a little bit each day. Try to make a game of it, offer small rewards, etc.

 

Does your DD earn rewards for her school work? I drew up a little chart that has 5 boxes on it. She gets one sticker for every day she does school work, and then when she gets 5 stickers, she gets a treasure from our "treasure box." I stock it from the Target $1 section or Dollar Tree. It's helped motivate Becca.

 

I deal with the 3 yo thing every day that Sylvia's not at preschool... it is tough, but I just go one day at a time. Becca frequently gets distracted and wants to do what Sylvia's doing too.:glare:

 

Yes, she knows how to write the date (e.g. December 25, 2008, not 12/28/08). I'm just worried that if we don't do it every day, she will forget.

 

What math are you using with her? I don't think it is necessary at 4.5 to know the addition facts. I'm all for doing school when they are young but it is a little soon for that I think. Maybe you need a different math program for younger kids?

 

Saxon Math. Just placed an order for Singapore Earlybird!

 

As far as memorizing the doubles facts, I don't know why a young program would have you do that. If you want her to do it, though, turn it into a game. Put the individual numbers on cards (for example, 2 cards with a 2 and 1 card with a 4), then play memory matching games with 3 cards. Use dice and have her start adding the rolls, some will be doubles. My son learned a lot about adding that way. You could keep score and see who reaches 100 first. Take the numbers cards and hide them in a room. Have her see how many matching groups she can find.

 

I don't have mine write his name on every paper, but that's just not a big deal to me. None of his papers included a place for the date on each one.

 

I know kids balk at having to do things in school that seems senseless to them. We all did it, too. My ds has things that he doesn't want to do, but I have a chart for him to receive smiley faces in each subject. If he does what's required with a good attitude, then he gets the stickers. If he gets all smiley faces in a day, then that day he gets to do a video game. Does she have some privilige that will really motivate her to keep a good attitude? It has worked wonders with my ds. He realizes that priviliges have to be earned.

 

I try to tell my kids that we all have to do things we don't like, but that is just part of life, and it will be easier if we just accept it and try to have fun with it. My dd doesn't like math. I've told her that she doesn't know what God will call her to do in her future, so school is to get her ready for whatever that is. Even if God doesn't have her do something in a math related field, if He wants her to go to college, she has to do well enough on her entrance exams to get in to wherever that place might be; therefore, math is necessary.

 

Could you please explain the games a little more? They sound fun! :) Thanks!

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I would think that with the date you could write it twice a week and she wouldn't forget.

 

Math facts... It is very early for that IMHO. I was mad that MUS Alpha expects my DD to learn them at 6! I thought that was a 7 or 8 yr old thing. I am moving along in our understanding of math concepts without having facts down and we will work on facts with Addition made Easy. Many move on in their programs and memorize facts later. She won't be behind... as long as you do it at some point.

 

From what you say of your DD, she will probably love Singapore Earlybird.

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I know you probably aren't going to agree, but I think you need to just stop too.

 

I read this study about two kindergardens. To loosely sum it up--In one the kids did phonics, in the other they had experiences- field trips, painting, cooking, museums. Even several years later, the "experinces" group read better and had much better comprehension scores. At this age what thier brain needs to be a better reader is to experience more of this world- NOT worksheets.

 

3 and 4 year olds really learn better doing things. Just because they can do the workbooks, doesn't mean they should. And though you say in this thread that she loves workbooks, in others you have talked about how she doesn't work hard, and you both get frustrated, ect.

 

If you really feel like you have to keep going through your curriculums then why don't you do it without your kids ever seeing the books.

 

So for math look over today's lesson, and then find a way you can teach it with both of them. Jumping down the side walk to add, or throwing snowballs, or eating pretzals, if it is apples divided- divide a real apple and see what you find.

 

Do the same for Language arts. Write in the snow or the sidewalk. Make sticks or draw in the dirt.

 

Then for the times she wants to do workbooks, get a pile that you don't care how she does- mazes, adding, whatever, but cheap ones that she can do for fun, and you aren't worried about. And let her do those when ever she wants, how ever she wants- even let ds if he wants to.

 

The 3yo won't be a problem, the 4yo won't be stressed, you'll feel like school was done. And some day when she is 8 or 10 or 16 and some part of school work really needs to be done this semester, she will have these first few years of school as a really fun thing ingrained into her.

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3. let dc look at their books while you walk up and down the rows. Scan titles of books. Look for:

 

Anything with a cultural reference esp. Hispanic, Black, Jewish. I am Christian so I often avoid or look over things with a Muslim or Pagan sound to it. Something like "Pepito's Day" or "Sigfreud's Violin" will catch my eye. The former will present my children with something rich about someone hispanic while the latter will do the same about someone Jewish. (As I write this I probably sound really strange but my method works!)

 

 

Wow.

 

Just.... Wow.

 

I was reading along in this thread, and I found some of your ideas interesting, but this really struck me as shocking. I too enjoy having my children read about other children from around the world and our own religion, but the way this came out is a bit shocking to me. Anyway.

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I have a daughter who just turned five and a younger daughter who is 3.5. My younger daughter goes to nursery school two days a week. I don't do school with Anna five days a week. My younger isn't super busy and can play on her own a bit, but here's what I have done.

 

For reading, I started off using Headsprout for my older daughter. It worked nicely because Catherine (my younger) was often entertained by watching Anna (my older), but because the computer did a lot of the instruction, I could step out for a minute or so at a time. (I did sit with her most of the time, just because it helped her stay on task.)

 

We did Singapore Early Bird for math. They are fun and colorful and short. Anna's finishing it up now and then we'll start Right Start math.

 

For handwriting I don't do anything formal. I have some maze books and coloring books, and at times I will help her learn how to form letters when she's playing/ drawing. I keep art supplies around, and both children do a lot of drawing, painting, play dough, cutting, gluing. My younger daughter likes to snip straws into tiny pieces. Lots of fine motor stuff is available: peg boards, lacing cards, Montessori practical life stuff (have own snack shelf; they pour own beverages; set table, fold cloths, work on dressing selves, using eyedropper and baster, using ladles and tweezers, etc). I try to do a lot of upper body and trunk strengthening activities (monkey bars, swinging on bars, wheelbarrow walks, donkey kicks, exercise ball play), since that sort of thing is so important for later handwriting development.

 

I use the Five in a Row and Before Five in a Row and Peak with Books as book lists far more than for the activities. I like the approach: I will pick books and read them every day for a week. I'll glance through the manual for ideas, and sometimes I'll point out something as I read ("Look, this takes place in a cranberry bog! That's the setting!"), but mostly I am just focused on making them familiar with the story through repetition.

 

We read books. They help us cook. We do puzzles, and I let them do art stuff, and we play lots of games (memory, Great States Jr, Cariboo, Chutes and Ladders, etc). I have them use hammers and screwdrivers. They watch some tv: Between the Lions and Leap Frog, etc. They play with the globe. I encourage lots of active play and lots of imaginative/ dramatic play. They jump on the trampoline and hop on the hop ball. I encourage things that will help with balance. We play with pattern blocks. We play lots of fishing and jumping games. (Fish and catch a word, read it and do the action. Fish and catch a letter and say its sound. Fish and catch a shape and name it. Jump to the "ee.") Go on field trips. Read nonfiction books on lots of topics.

 

But count me in for another vote for wait. Another year to a year and a half won't put her behind at ALL. Honestly, at this age, and even up through about age six, skills work is WAY down the list of priorities. Active, physical play; imaginative, dramatic play; practical, real life work; learning about the world through books and experiences; things that build motor skills (crafts, woodworking, cooking); building the ability to work with concentration and independence, and work in character skills and obedience are all WAY higher in my book. Learning to read and do math is an ego boost for ME, but it's not the gist of what is important academically for my children.

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I know you probably aren't going to agree, but I think you need to just stop too.

 

I read this study about two kindergardens. To loosely sum it up--In one the kids did phonics, in the other they had experiences- field trips, painting, cooking, museums. Even several years later, the "experinces" group read better and had much better comprehension scores. At this age what thier brain needs to be a better reader is to experience more of this world- NOT worksheets.

 

3 and 4 year olds really learn better doing things. Just because they can do the workbooks, doesn't mean they should. And though you say in this thread that she loves workbooks, in others you have talked about how she doesn't work hard, and you both get frustrated, ect.

 

If you really feel like you have to keep going through your curriculums then why don't you do it without your kids ever seeing the books.

 

So for math look over today's lesson, and then find a way you can teach it with both of them. Jumping down the side walk to add, or throwing snowballs, or eating pretzals, if it is apples divided- divide a real apple and see what you find.

 

Do the same for Language arts. Write in the snow or the sidewalk. Make sticks or draw in the dirt.

 

Then for the times she wants to do workbooks, get a pile that you don't care how she does- mazes, adding, whatever, but cheap ones that she can do for fun, and you aren't worried about. And let her do those when ever she wants, how ever she wants- even let ds if he wants to.

 

The 3yo won't be a problem, the 4yo won't be stressed, you'll feel like school was done. And some day when she is 8 or 10 or 16 and some part of school work really needs to be done this semester, she will have these first few years of school as a really fun thing ingrained into her.

 

 

Hmm. Maybe I did not word it correctly in my other thread, if it came across as my saying she doesn't work hard. She does work hard. It's a matter of getting her started - and one day she could not remember all of the steps in a math problem, and I was getting frustrated with her. (Apple on worksheet divided in half, draw seeds on each side, write the number of seeds beneath each side, then add them and write the total. She was just writing the total and forgetting to write the seeds beneath each side. Silly of me to get so worked up over it, I now know, but back then I was so terrified that she would need to know how to do this on the state test and would forget and fail and then the state would make me send her to public schools! :tongue_smilie:) Anyway, she did not give up and she kept on and on doing it. She is not lazy and she is a hard worker; my question in the other thread was how hardI should push her to keep trying something until she gets it perfect - or if I should let it go and come back to it later. Does this make sense? Again, she is not lazy. :)

 

One hard thing about waiting is this: I do not want her to be around other 4.5 year olds who know more than she - not because I am vain, though, but because of fairness. The way I see it is, if other 4.5 year olds are learning things, then why shouldn't she get to? Just because she has a younger brother, she should not learn? That does not seem right.

 

I hope I've clarified myself with regards to my earlier thread....

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