Sunday, January 22, 2012

Creating Preschool Curriculum that's FUN!

My husband and I had discussed keeping my daughter home for her second year of preschool. Though I enjoy her being at school with friends and have noticed the great strides she's made in terms of letter recognition and sounding out letters, I have also noticed LOTS of other things she's began to pick up. 
For example:
YOU'RE not my friend anymore. 
This or that person is my boyfriend/girlfriend.
(insert name here) says/does that. 

Not to mention the day I heard the teacher ask them what word rhymed with door, only to hear a fellow 3 year old blurt out "WHORE!" 

With the new little one due early March, we were thinking her 4th birthday in May would be a great time to start her at home.  Then I realized last night that my due date is only 8 weeks away and once he's here, it would be awfully difficult to start planning what exactly I'd like to do with her. 

I'm such a planner, I truly can't help it. So today I spent the time during her nap to look at online resources, write ideas, and basically lay down a plan of how I want her days home to go. I'm all about flexibility and learning through experience. So, today I was finding ideas on how to facilitate learning without having rigid schedules or the boring cut and paste activities you see in a traditional preschool classroom. 

I found tons of cute stuff, but this one I just couldn't wait to try. I got the idea from here.  What I wasn't so excited about was that it expected the child to sit and work on a piece of paper. I'd rather have her up and moving to explore and learn. So I took the basic idea to put each letter of the alphabet onto a clothes pin, and I simply put them in a bag. Then when she woke up, we went on a hunt for things that started with different letters of the alphabet. SO fun. 

U: Umbrella 

P: Pencil and Pillow (below she had also placed a picture frame)

L: Lamp

Z: Zipper

M: Monkey 

K: Key

Did we use all of the letters? No. 

But it didn't matter. She played for as long as she chose to. Which I think was around 20 or 25 minutes? 

Also, the letters are done in different colors (green, blue, white, and orange) This was done at random just to make them fun. 
The first thing she wanted to do was sort them by color. Certainly not what I had planned for the activity, but again that didn't matter. It's all about her using them and enjoying, NOT about me dictating what needs to be done. 

I just had a blast with this and loved hearing her sound out the first letter of the word before hunting for the letter.
***Other ways to use these:
While reading a book, allow the child to clip it to the photos.
Clip them to photo flash cards. Or alphabet flash cards as matching.

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