Saturday, July 15, 2017

Pre-K Plans 2017

I can't believe my little girl will be in Pre-K (Year 0) this year!  Eleanor is four years old and a bit more precocious than my big kids.  She will still be 4 when the year starts, so my only intention with her is to continue to expose her to good books, encourage a love of learning, and let her develop her skills as her interests and developmental needs dictate.  She is the child that asks, begs, pleads and demands to do school like her big brothers.  We do need some structure, so I'm carving out a spot in the mornings to fill her love tank and her imagination through gentle learning opportunities.

Additionally, I have Eloise, who will turn 3 about halfway through the year.  My hope is that she will want to join in and get her little love tank full first thing too.  If not, that is okay too, and we will adjust as we go, but she is always welcome to participate.  

Before Five in a Row
This will be our primary "curriculum" for the year. It covers quality literature, but also gives us the opportunity to explore early literacy, introductory science, math concepts, art, and more. It's such a gentle and lovely introduction to the world, and although she has done a row here and there, my plan is to (hopefully) row them all this year. If not, I'll just roll some over into her K year. I am fully aware that Before is not meant to be "rowed" in the same sense as FIAR, but we just do what works for us, one book at a time. We actually still have 16 books we haven't done yet, and she probably doesn't remember the earliest rows, so we're basically starting fresh!

I have been slowly collecting the books, and now own all except two out of print books, and I hope to grab those last two by the end of the year.  I am hoping to go through them all, so I'm kind of starting over, but doing the few easiest ones early on--Yellow Ball, My Blue Boat, Goodnight Moon all come to mind--since Eloise will probably want to sit with us, but can still have a short attention span for books sometimes.  Then we'll do others based on seasons and interests.  There are a few that are lengthier, and I'll probably save those for the end of the year to give Eloise time to mature and be able to sit through them.

The Real Mother Goose Coloring Book
Eleanor loves to color, so when I saw this coloring book, I just knew it would be a fun go-along for my favorite nursery rhyme book.  There are 30 coloring pages, so an average of one page a week will last us all year!

(I think we'll do this with the fairy tale coloring book for Kindergarten!)

Art Appreciation
I have had these I Spy . . . Art books for years, and they're great for this age.  One or two pages a week is great for beginning art appreciation and attention to detail.  There are several in this series, and we've picked up some from the library before too.

I know you can see several little workbooks in the first picture, so let me explain.  This child loves them.  I'm not going to lie.  I keep them available because I simply cannot give her all the "school" that she wants some days.  Developmentally appropriate workbooks are not parent-intensive and often satiate her desire for more.  I actually keep a variety of them available, more than what's in the picture, so that she has different "subjects" to allow her to explore different things as she's interested.  I listed these last though, because they're completely unnecessary, but are an easy go-to in a pinch.  

Finally . . . 
We do a lot of family style subjects during meals and snacks, and she's often present for their poetry, art, Bible, literature and more, just absorbing everything like a little sponge.  (I'll be sharing more specifics on these subjects later.)  She will return to Cubbies, continue in her Preschool Sunday School class, go to co-op (Before Five in a Row and Gym), and she's interested in taking dance.  So there are lots of opportunities for her to learn and grow outside of the home too.

All of these resources are just that - only resources.  They are meant to be used in an informal, exploratory way.  She has access to these learning aids with my guidance, but first and foremost, we want her to have tons of free time to play, explore, imagine and create on her own terms!  

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