05 May 2011

One Room School~Involving preschoolers

For my 2nd post in my One Room Homeschool series I would like to talk about pre-schoolers. Not so much in 'formally' schooling them (a little on that later) but more of including them in and keeping them busy while schooling older children. I chose this particular photo for this post because it was then, when my twins were babies, and my boys were preschoolers that I learned the most!! Of course through trial and error.

In my last post I spoke about homeschooling with babies and toddlers. With that in mind, and while exercising those ideas here is what I found to be helpful with the preschoolers. One thing I found is that a 4-6 year old child really loves being "in the loop" with the older kids. But as we all know they aren't quite there yet!! Again, same as with the toddlers I would have a treasure box. Only the contents were a bit different than the one for the toddlers and babies. A preschool treasure box may look contain the following:

markers-washable ones
coloring books-they are now ready for the more advanced type coloring books. Books that have short descriptions that go along with the coloring page. Birds, animals, numbers, letters, bible story coloring pages, and even maps of states and countries. You will find short bursts of time in between schooling the older children in which these descriptions and explanations can be read to them before they begin to color. Our all time favorites were and still are Rod and Staff books for the preschoolers. I have gone through so many of these I think I have them memorized.
scissors and glue-if you have a young child then I don't need to tell you how invaluable these 2 items are. I sit my little ones right up to the table with the rest of us so I can watch those hands and scissors. Of course, I had to learn the hard way because more than once a child would play barber on another! There are many preschool workbooks on the market that are wonderful for cutting and pasting and coloring. Children love these little books and feel a great satisfaction in completing their simple academic pages.
Laurie Puzzles-I mention Laurie because they have so much to offer. I have used my basket of Laurie products for at least 7 of my children. I use them to teach colors, add, subtract, tracing, classifying, and so much more.

Playdough-homemade or store bought. And you can never go wrong with the little molds that you can get to use with the playdough.
Board books-I have several of these in my preschool box. Ones with beautiful pictures of the Savior, gardens, flowers, etc. If kept in the box and brought out only for "those" desperate times they should stay nice and last for a long time.
Toy dishes, pretend tea-set
Snacks-you know your child best here. Try to keep on hand some of his favorites for that special time when you need him to be settled.
A new sippy-or anything new for that matter. Something magical happens when a young child gets to drink from a new cup, eat snacks from a new little bowl and keeps them occupied while they are eating/drinking.
Toy soldiers, dinosaurs, match box cars, jacks, flash cards, (laminated ones) are all some ideas of what can be placed in the preschool box and will keep a little happy, hopefully, for the duration that you need him to be!!

Naps of course are another tool we can utilize with children this age. Again, try to save your more complicated, time consuming teaching for these times of the day. When babies, toddlers, and preschoolers are all sleeping at the same time it is amazing what you can accomplish!! We like to sit outdoors on a blanket during spring and fall to do some of our lessons and that also is a nice time to do some teaching while the little one is preoccupied with the swing or playing nearby. I would put my portable crib outside on nice days for the baby who is beginning to get around.

Again. As in my babies and toddlers post I welcome all your ideas and suggestions. I'm sure there are many I've not thought of and some I've not remembered so feel free to share away!!

Up next in my One Room School series-Keeping lessons going through difficult pregnancies.


Jennifer said...

Cool ideas, and helpful too. Thanks for posting this. I sent you an email from a friend. Hope that's okay!!

Chad and Jessica's Family: said...

I love this. Thank you!!!! Had to laugh about the scissors and barber shop thing! AHHHHH!!!! Gracie did that to her long beautiful locks and I was so upset!!!! Ah well it grows back!!! :)

The Munck Family said...

Wonderful post and so helpful to those with littles. I too love Rod and Staff, simple yet keeps those little minds thinking!

Kim said...

Great ideas! I have learned much this last two years with all my "littles" underfoot! It is tough at times, but "school" can be done with them around...lol...

Becca said...

I think it's so great that you're using your experiences to help others! And it almost makes me want to have another preschooler! :)

blessedmom's simple home said...

Such great advice. Often during those years, it seemed like we would never get through it, but here we are, and now I miss them :-)
Have a wonderful Mother's Day!!