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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Play School 2010

I've been working on our Play School curriculum for this fall and winter all week and I'm excited to get started in a few weeks!
{Last year I called it Joy School--this year I am calling it Play School, because Joy School is an actual organization that sells their own curriculum and I would rather write my own--I will be changing all my Joy School entries to Play School}
This year we will be doing Play School just as a family, due to baby #3's arrival midway through the fall. My primary goals for Play School this year are:
1) Have fun and encourage learning
Children at this age have a thirst for learning that, unfortunately, is often squashed as they get older and start "real" school. I want to take advantage of their natural curiosity by exploring the things they are interested in, and by doing so, show them the joy that comes from learning.
2) Improve fine motor skills
I've noticed that Tempe's fine motor skills (holding a pencil correctly, cutting with scissors, etc) are a little behind for her age, so each lesson will have at least one activity that incorporates fine motor skills.
3) Letter recognition and pre-reading skills
I really don't believe that kids need to be able to read before kindergarten. I've found that trying to push children into doing something they're just not developmentally ready for (be it reading or going to the potty or something else) just makes it a harder and longer process than if you wait until they are ready. If Tempe or Helena are ready to learn to read before kindergarten, they will. If they're not ready, they won't.
What I do want them to be able to do before kindergarten is recognize the letters and the sounds they make, be able to write their own names, and understand the process of reading (letters form words, words form sentences; we read from left to right, top to bottom, etc). This part of Play School will be mostly geared towards Tempe, although I'm sure Helena will want to participate.

To meet my three goals, we will be doing Play School twice a week: one day we will be learning about our "fun" topics and doing projects and activities related to that; the other day, we will be focusing on a letter of the week.
There are so many wonderful resources out there for teaching your children at home! Some of my favorites are No Time For Flash Cards, Not Just Cute, and Family Fun. If you teach your children at home, I would love to hear about it!

1 comment:

The Mommy Teacher said...

I am excited to see what you come up with....I am going to do a letter a week with my girls, and there is a fabulous book that does crafts with paper plates to make letters... Each letter is made with something that begins with that letter, like M with macaroni glued to it.... anyway, I was thinking that I could hang each letter up in order on the wall so by the end of 26 weeks, we have all the letters. The first one will be A is for Apples. You cut out the letter form the plate (that way they are all the same size) and you can make an apple stamp out of a carrot...just dip it into red paint and then add a green stem... it comes out really cute. Since I have 2 girls too, I think I'll have Lily (older) do the Upper case, and Claire (younger_ do the lower case...or maybe the other way around...:)