As a stay at home mom I wear many hats. I am a short order cook, a housekeeper, a teacher, a nurse/doctor, and so many it would take all day to list them. Since I am home with my 3 1/2 year old and 1 1/2 year old I want to make sure that what we are doing is preparing them for school and not just sticking them in front of the TV all day. Let me tell you that would make my day much easier! I know that there are many of you out there that are trying to get your kids ready for school just like me and I wanted to share some of the things that I have been doing and also get some ideas from you as well.
I first started by hitting the web trying to find some great resources for me and for my preschooler. One of the first pages I came a across was Fishing for Ideas for Preschoolers. This page was great. It not only tells you what things your preschooler should be able to do by Kindergarten but it has tons of printable games, books, flash cards, holiday ideas, and much more. There Ideas for Preschoolers blog goes along with the website as well.
Before I became a stay at home mom I was a teacher of 4th graders. While I have lots of great curriculum and ideas it has been hard for me to figure out what to do with my preschooler. I always got kids that had some knowledge of reading and not usually kids who were just learning. A resource that our 1st grade teachers used was Starfall. This website walks kids through their ABC’s all the way up to reading. My daughter loves it because it is so interactive. A great way to reinforce there letters and sounds and give you that break when you need it.
Another thing that has really made a difference is making sure there is a routine to our day. This way my kids know what to expect and it helps the days run smoother. Trust me on the days when things are a bit off our day is not as much fun for me or the kids. Lots of temper tantrums! Not only does this structure help you day run smoother it also helps get your kids ready for the structure that school brings as well. Here is an example of a typical day for my family.
7-8:30 wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed, independent play
8:30-10:00 Gym for mom and play time for the kids (or in the case of my daughter TV time)
10-11:30 practice writing letters, practice sight words, play letter games, work on numbers,
12-2 independent play time
This schedule has to be tweaked a bit now and then based on all sorts of things but hopefully gives you an idea.
Remember that your preschool has the attention to focus on a task for all of like 2 minutes so keep it fun and short. You don’t want them to burn out but rather enjoy the fun of learning. I also try and do the not so fun things first and the games second to try and use it as a reward for the job well done. Keep checking back to see what activities we do to build our skills.