As I mentioned in my New Year’s post, I’m planning to be a little better focused on our preschooling efforts. I don’t want to expect too much from Liam as he is only 3 and a half, but, I figure I should set some quality groundwork if we are going to be successful when the time comes to do our official homeschooling. Lest you think I’m over-thinking this, I’d like to remind you that this is the very same reason why most families send their children to a preschool before launching them into the great unknown of formal schooling. So we do the same… just at the kitchen table… or the floor… or the backyard.
Today, we worked on colors. I love color. My favorite way to teach color and get some activity is to use this DK book and have the kids find things from the pages to match the colors. We also have this puzzle from Crocodile Creek, so depending on the attention span, we can make categories and have a pile of cars or food from the play kitchen under each puzzle. Sylvi needs a lot of help with that puzzle to make the matches, although she does enjoy doing a “big” puzzle, I usually set her up with this one from Melissa and Doug.
Sylvi doesn’t know her colors, but Liam does and so this is a great way for me to do something with them together. We read our color books and do matching puzzles or games. We color hunt through the house and recently, I added a version of ISpy to keep them moving. Plus, having them work together, they get some practice at cooperating and treating each other kindly while doing so.
While Sylvi naps in the afternoon, Liam and I work on “school”. Typically speaking, our focused time is less than half an hour. We do a variety of things choosing activities from my Pinterest board or we read and do a craft. Sometimes, we’ll even read, do a craft AND watch a show that corresponds with the topic. Liam likes to play with play dough this year, so I made a large batch of plain play dough and he’ll mold or color on it with markers.
I’m fortunate enough that I have my library card number memorized so when Liam mentions a topic he’s interested in, I can sit down, look up books and add them to my reserve cart at the library branch my aunt works at in a matter of minutes. Working on topics and skills this way, Liam and I get to be relaxed… he doesn’t have to leave his house (he usually asks if we can “just stay home” instead of going out and about) and I get to watch his face light up with realization with new concepts. Please don’t read this post and think we have it all down pat, though. Today started out perfectly and we all had a great time reading and collecting the items, but while Sylvi napped, Liam broke all the crayons I gave him and then threw a fit when I asked him to pick up the magnet letters.
So you know… life with preschoolers, right? Learning color is a difficult concept since there are so many shades of each color, but it is still very fun to teach. Of course, Sylvi is more interested in the colors pink, purple and red. Liam loves red and blue. Neither child thinks orange (my favorite color) is all that special. To each his own, right?
What is your favorite thing to teach your preschoolers?