Mommy Preschool

Monday, June 3, 2013

A few months ago, we were debating on sending Jack to preschool or not. The idea quickly became a "heck no" when I took him into a preschool center for the day (that was close to our house) so we could get to know the teachers and other students. Jack is not ready for it. Emotionally, he was a hot mess. He was confused and was not comfortable at all in the enviroment. He clung to me and I to him. Deep down, I don't think I'm ready for it. He gets plenty of social interaction between play dates, his music class, the park, family, etc. He also learns a lot with me, Jon and our relatives constantly teaching him about the world around us.

Jack is a smart cookie. I'm not biased either. The kid is smart. So at this time, we felt like we could hold off on preschool since he is not behind and has plenty of interaction with others.

Not to mention, he is currently in a phase I like to call "Jackzilla meets Grizzly bear meets Dragon." Recently there has been a LOT of hitting, smacking kids for no reason and over all craziness. I don't know if it is the change to a new home or what. But the terrible twos have entered the Ricci household. I think I need to put a sign on the door that reads: CAUTION: A TWO-YEAR-OLD LIVES HERE.

It will help warn the neighbors ;-)

But, I really want Jack to soak up all of the knowledge he can during his time home with me. Once he is off to Pre-K a little bit over a YEAR AND A HALF (holy cow) , I want him to be ready. But I also believe that you shouldn't pressure children into learning.We work entirely at his own pace. I never push him. Generally it is a half hour in the morning and a half hour at night (sometimes less if he is not in the mood and some days we don't do anything)

I have recently been asked what we do for Jack's "lessons" by a few friends, so I figured I would share on here as well. First, we signed up for I searched the site and it gives you FREE printables to use off of the computer. So, this week, we are going to teach Jack more about the alphabet, numbers and shapes.

As you can see below, he learns the letter and what the picture is on the page as well.

He learns "A" is for "apple" or "B" is for "bell"

I think having a picture on the page not only helps with the letter, but it helps him learn new words as well.

With numbers, Jack knows up to 27 (with help after 20). But he still doesn't know what the numbers look like (except 2). So this week, I'm trying to help him just learn what the numbers look like. I ask him to point out a certain number and he loves when he gets it right!

Lastly, we have shapes. He knows a few: a star, heart and a circle. But still needs work on rectangles, triangles and squares. So I have a chart that we use to try and learn them. Then, we go around the house or outside and look for those shapes in real life. Like a circular plate, a rectangular door or a ball at the playground.

Overall we have had a lot of success with ABCmouse (which can be hard because he mostly wants to bang on the keyboard),  free printables online (using google or pinterest) and we will also start doing more crafts at home as well. Jack has never been a big craft kid. He actually hates when he has paint all over his hands, so we will stick to paper crafts!

I was thinking of having him do an american flag for the 4th of July coming up or fun fireworks. Stuff like that.

Some other things we do:

- Memory Cards
- Sing songs/dance (wheels on the bus/Ring around the rosie/etc
- Color/Write
- Play "what car was that?" while driving
- Look and find books like from Barnes and Noble

You see, simple stuff, nothing crazy.

Here are my tips for "Mommy Preschool"

  1. Keep it simple. Don't go overboard on the lesson patrol. Don't get upset if you saw something better on Pinterest. This is not about you. It is about your child. Keep it simple and tailor it to their age. I would never have Jack try and learn the Capital of every State or Presiden'ts names. Keep it to their age group and what they NEED to be learning right now.
  2. Don't pressure them. If they're not in the mood: STOP. Keep learning fun! Don't make it like they have homework at age 3. If they are not ready to learn or you see that they get frustrated, slow down the lesson. Work at their pace.
  3. Bring it outside. Go explore the woods and learn about rocks, leaves, grass, trees, etc. I brought Jack to the garden Nursery down the road from us and we just looked at the different colors of every flower. Teach them about texture, smells, etc. You can always go to a pond or a beach and teach them about the sand, water, etc. Again, make it fun!
  4. Make a craft at the end of each week. What did you learn this week? Was it the alphabet? Numbers? Smells? Make a craft at the end representing the lesson that week. Make a letter "A" out of macaroni noodles or find pine tree needles and make a tree on paper. You get what I'm saying!
  5. Switch up the days. Do the alphabet one day and numbers the next. Switch it up so it doesn't get boring for your child AND for you!
  6. Use real life objects. If it is a "nature" week, use real things you would find outside. Get your hands dirty (which I may have a hard time if it involves bugs)
  7. Have fun. The most important thing is that your child is enjoying this time. Makre sure they love to learn. Make sure they look forward to this time! It should be fun afterall. Once they hit their last semester of Senior year is when they should dread school. I had that sickness...senioritis.
Trust me, there have been days in between our "lessons" and sometimes we don't do anything all week. But I have noticed his vocabulary grow by doing little lessons at home! Their brains are a giant sponge. Let them soak up the good stuff :-)
What do you do for your little tot? Do they like preschool? Did you also cry like a baby/have makeup running down your face when you dropped them off? Share below :-)

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