When I started to troll the web in search of fun and educational activities with Anna, I was blown away with the number of great blogs I found. A lot of smart, crafty, spiritual women (sorry, I am yet to found even one blog on the topic written by a man :)) put a lot of thought and passion into decisions on how to raise and educate their children. I found a lot of those blogs by stumbling on Tot School - where many families contribute every week and describe how they raise and educate their children under 4 years old. I participate with my other blog, but, honestly, I don't have any method in my approach. Until very recently, I didn't do any prep work for any of our "learning sessions". I don't have any curriculum or any theme of the week. To be honest, I believe that this finesse is mostly for parents who need structure to their days than for children.Young children learn best through play and attention from adults, and I think that Anna gets enough attention from both parents. In my "teaching" approach I rely most on observing her and following her interests. If she wants to continue to play with Legos while "it's time to color", I'll let her. I am trying to pick books in the library on very different topics - animals, plants, travel, school life - to see what will catch her fancy. Again, it seems too early for her to have any real "passions" - everything is interesting to her.. for the first 10 minutes. The only continuing theme in her life is books - many-many-many books that she wants to read every day.
Unlike many of the blogging moms, I don't plan to homeschool. Anna already goes to preschool for 2 mornings a week. We will extend it to three once she turns 3 in October. This year she was in the class with 3-5 year olds because of the size of the school and her great language skills. Her teachers were blown away that she was consistently the best in class in all activities that involved "academic subjects" - phonics and math. When I was trying to find suitable software games for her, nothing under K-level caught her fancy - they were all too boring in their focus on shapes, colors, simple numbers and letters. The book that she is reading in the first picture is this post is Spectrum Math Grade K. I didn't bring it from the library for her. I wanted to see for myself what is taught on K-level. She grabbed the book, went to her room and said that she wants to play by herself and teach her favorite kitty some numbers. She cannot do all the exercises in this book, but she is frighteningly close to the end of K-level in what she knows in math and language. At the same time - she is completely not interested in writing. Her motor skills were always a little behind, and I am blown away seeing tots under two holding their pencils or even scissors correctly. Anna still cannot do it, even at 32 months. That's why we are focusing more on crafts now - while I will continue to encourage all her math and language activities (a lot of those are self-led nowadays), I want to bring out her artistic self more and let my intellectual curiosity combine with formidable creative thinking of my husband. Then she will be one very fine young lady indeed :)