We started doing preschool this week and so far we are off to a good start. Caroline is excited each morning to come down and see what is planned.
I have to say that none of these ideas are original to me. I’ve done a lot of surfing, looking for ideas that I thought would work well for us. And I am keeping it pretty low-key to start with. My main goal is to get off to a fun start with this. Yes, Caroline will be learning as well. But given her personality, my biggest goal is to get her hooked on learning and find it enjoyable.
So here is what we are doing…
Setting Up a Learning Area
We set up a corner in the dining room for our school area. There is absolutely nowhere else in the house to do it. I would dearly love to have a separate room, but that just isn’t meant to be. I have literally an entire room’s worth of stuff in our basement from my teaching days and since having Caroline. It’s frustrating, but I’m just trying to make the best of the situation.
So we purchased a table and chairs which we love. (That’s Caroline above sitting at it the first day we bought it, trying it out with a coloring page.) Bought it at Toys ‘R Us and it is great! It should fit Caroline for at least a few years. We also purchased a small bookcase. (We already had twelve in various sizes in the house, but they were all being used…) And a palm tree. (More on that later.)
The rolling cart is an idea I got from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I am also using her Letter of the Week Preschoool Curriculum. It was only $10 and it is worth every penny just for how it has so many ideas I can quickly use and print off. The curriculum is written to be used with one new letter a week. We’ll probably do two a week only because one a week will be dragging it out too much for Caroline. Some of the activities are too easy for Caroline, but there is plenty there to give me a good foundation on which to plan around. (Please read my follow-up post!)
So the rolling cart. If you go to her post The Workbox System, you will see some examples of how she organizes her children’s work each day. Since Caroline and I are both a sucker for anything organizational I knew this would totally appeal to both of us. I wish I had had the video camera on when we set up the rolling cart (before it was even filled). Her eyes got big and she could hardly wait to start pulling the drawers open and rolling it around. Now the first thing she does every morning when we come downstairs is open all the drawers to see what is in there!
Ok, so the palm tree now residing in my formal dining room… Yes, it is a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree. We’ll be adding a letter each time we learn about it. Caroline and David made coconuts and Caroline was more than proud of them.
We’ll be using Chicka Chicka Boom Boom along with the Letter of the Week Curriculum. We’re making a lapbook and I’ll post about that shortly as well.
Let’s see… What else…
Oh, we are making these adorable little foam letters. This is where I am really grateful for David. I could never cut these out and make them look anything remotely like the picture. I just gather the supplies, print out the picture from the internet, hand the stuff to him, and he cuts all the pieces that I need. Gotta love being married to an artist!
Well, there are a number of other neat little ideas I plan on sharing, but work is calling me so I should stop here. I definitely won’t be posting pictures of everything we do, but I will share some of the ideas I find in case anyone else would like to use them.
So far I’m pleased with how things have gone. One thing I know for sure. Anything that uses a dry erase marker or scissors and glue will be a big hit. She loves them both. And I’m also pretty sure that Caroline is going to be a lefty. She goes back and forth, but she almost always writes with her left hand now and cuts with her right. So I’ll have the added challenge of trying to teach a southpaw how to write!