Maybe I’m foolish to celebrate, since I’ve been gradually introducing preschool lessons to Plegmund as we go, but last week was our first “official” week of preschool. I put official into quotes because I don’t have to answer to any state powers, thankfully. I simply choose what will work best for my son’s learning style, establish a schedule that works for him and for our family as a whole, put it together, and rock it out.
We ended up schooling 4 days last week. Yes, I know that most preschoolers only go 2-3 days a week, but their days are longer. I know that at this stage, Pleggy won’t tolerate longer lessons, nor should he have to … he’s not even 3. A 2o-minute lesson is more than enough. Perhaps you are wondering why I started him so early, if his attention span isn’t quite there yet?
Simple answer: he’s bored. He loveslovesloves to learn. He is eager and proud to show off all of his new creations and to recount each and every thing he learns. The Summer Reading Program at the library was a big hit with him (nb: love the theme this summer!), and he responded well to more formalized settings for playtime, craft time, and reading. I figured that he would be ready for our fun lessons, and that seems to have been a good call.
We are using Catholic ABC’s as our central curriculum. See the awesome angel Pleggy made? He loves the crafts that are themed with the letter of the week. Really, this curriculum works very well to prepare children for more formal, structured learning times. I’ve adapted their lesson plans to suite Pleggy’s attention span and our goals for his development. Here is how a typical day tends to go:
- Sing our opening song together, and end with a big hug.
- Sit together, put a cross sticker on his right hand, and begin our prayers.
- Introduce the letter of the week, and let him play with the letter bin (a sensory bin full of things themed with whatever letter we’re working on).
- Recitation … Pleggy repeats after me while we read a one-sentence Bible verse together.
- Read the short blurb about angels or the Divine Mercy or whatever we’re learning about that week.
- Work on the craft together.
The next day, we’ll work on a science project or a hands-on math activity together. It’s very important to save the craft or project for last because it helps me to keep him focused on the lessons at-hand.
Once we’ve been through the alphabet, we will do more advanced preschool work. I feel that this curriculum works to reinforce what many children already know, inspiring confidence as they work on social and emotional milestones, such as waiting patiently, listening carefully, or following directions.
To supplement the science (since Catholic ABC’s provides none), we are using the activities from Science is Simple, a wonderful book of activities and suggested stories to read. So far, we’ve enjoyed working with our container garden, playing with magnets, and we’ll soon begin to focus on the seasons of the year. I’ll share one of the seasons projects in my next post. It will be very easy for you to adapt at home, whether or not you homeschool!
So excited, and so enjoying the beginning of our journey. I know that everyday won’t be easy and full of fun energy. Some days, I may threaten him with mainstream schooling (hahahaha) if he doesn’t complete his phonics rightthisverysecond. But I hope to remember, always, these initial weeks … my amazement that it has all come together, that I am, indeed, teaching my preschooler and that he is (*gasp*) learning.