We didn’t have much “school” done this week. It was mostly Thanksgiving crafts and books (books post will come on Saturday). I am writing it on Tuesday evening, because I am hoping to enjoy some couple time with my husband while my parents are visiting us. I am sure that Anna will have a lot of fun with grandparents and will learn simply from interacting with them. I also want to evaluate what works and what doesn’t work in what we do.
Phonics. Obviously, Progressive Phonics works great for us, and at her 3 years one month Anna reads at least at the kindergarten level. But I don’t want to continue to push it. Lately, it became more of a chore – read two pages, then you can watch Sid the Science Kid. Read two pages, then I will read you one extra book before bed. I don’t want to create association that reading is hard work, so I am going to stop Progressive Phonics completely and wait for Anna to want to come back to it. I think she will, since she does enjoy the program and proud of her successes.
Math. I was all excited about Beginnings of Mathematical Reasoning book, but Anna is not in the mood for worksheets lately. She refuses them completely, and our school doesn’t have fixed times and defined program. We do what she wants, and mostly she just wants to play – with puzzles, Lego blocks, sometimes with her ruler and measuring tape. She plays board games, plays shopping, counts for fun. I really don’t think that she needs more formal math at this point – she seems naturally inclined to it anyway.
Fine Motor Skills/Prewriting. Anna doesn’t seem close to being able to form letters. She gets frustrated with any kind of tracing exercises and doesn’t really try to do them well. Again – my intention is not to offer her any worksheets in December, but concentrate instead on crafts, lacing, cutting, playing with clothespins – anything that would strengthen her fingers. I am pretty sure that as her fine motor skill mature she will find writing enjoyable (or at least not frustrating).
Arts and Crafts. Arts and crafts are hit-or-miss in our house. First of all, Anna does a lot of arts in her preschool (this is one of her preschool creations). At home she enjoys guided crafts best and sometimes loses interest in the middle of the project. No matter how hard I try to introduce more open-ended activities, she is only mildly interested in them. I really like Open-Ended Art idea, but somehow it’s always a struggle in our house. I will still try to join Open-Ended Art, but only if I have a good idea and Anna really wants to do it. I am still shooting for doing something creative a few days a week, but I have to face the reality – arts and crafts are not something that Anna really passionate about, and that’s OK too.
Lacking: Gross Motor Activities. Luckily, we still have decent weather, but we don’t spend enough time outside. By the time I come home it’s getting dark, and in the morning of non-school days my husband and Anna have playdates or run errands. After New Year I am going to sign daughter up for dance classes to give some outlet to her energy. We will also play more physical games at home – she enjoys chasing and playing with balloons. And lately Anna rediscovered yoga – time to get out those yoga DVDs again.
Lacking: Science. I want to try and do more hands-on science. Ticia hosts a Science Sunday linky at Adventures in Mommydom, and she has some great ideas. Another awesome place for science ideas (geared to slightly older kids) is The Exploration Station. I just need to get more organized to actually try my own ideas and learn from others – same way I do with crafts.
Lacking: Cooking. It’s not that we don’t cook at all, but one of us usually cooks while another does something with Anna. I have a couple of books about cooking with toddlers, and a lot of ideas are floating in blogosphere. I want to allocate a day when Anna and I will make something together. She loves pretend cooking and always eager to help in real cooking. It’s hard to pass up on such an enthusiasm.
To see what others did this Thanksgiving week, visit Preschool Corner.