Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Teaching the Tot

We made a conscious decision to not send Olivia to preschool this year.  (Little did we know that we'd be in Ohio and traditional preschool doesn't start here until age 3 anyway.)  She looks like she's 3, she speaks like she's 3, and she sometimes acts like she's 3.  It's hard to remember sometimes that she is just a few short months past her second birthday!  She is 2, and we want her to have all the fun and rest that a two year old needs.  However, as you well know, I am a firm believer in "the parents are the first teacher".  That covers many areas, but for me personally as a stay at home mom, it not only means watching my child all day every day but also giving her engaging, age/developmentally appropriate learning experiences.  I take my role pretty seriously.

Don't get me wrong.  I am not scheduling our days down to the minute and buying two year old preschool curriculum.  Although, the teacher/type A personality in me would really love to write out lesson plans at this point. :)  I resist.  Instead, I looked through curriculum ideas, blogs, and other resources to try to find what kind of things I want to work on.

Long before I became a mom, I envisioned my days with my toddler based around a letter of the week activities.  You know--like we all see in blogland and on pinterest.  The problem (although a good one) is that my child taught herself her alphabet at age 19 months and knew all the sounds by 20 months.  Talk about a wrench in my plans! :)  She has also known her colors, shapes, and animals for quite some time now.  Those are the things that you learn at preschool, and we are past that.

Since most of the two year old goals are things we have already passed, I glanced at 3 year old goals.  They seemed so far advanced at this point, so I tried to come up with a happy medium.

These are goals that I have for our school year--or basically until she turns 3 in June.  I tried to keep it simple and not too overwhelming.  If we reach them all, we will for sure move on.  If something is a huge struggle and we don't have down by age 3, then we move on and try at a later time. This is not a list of things I want my child to do so that I can check them off a list, or brag, or push her past her limits.  It's just for me, so that when we are having a day at home and need something to fill our time I have somewhat of a plan.

Because of our current situation and schedule, the best time for us to do these things is in the morning and on a morning that we are staying home all day.  Sometimes that is twice a week.  Sometimes it might just be once a week.  I am not blocking out two hours a morning to work on things.  It's just a ten minute activity here, a twenty minute activity there... whatever fits into our week.

Immediate goals
(Listed are goals and/or ideas of how to accomplish a goal)

Social--I believe Olivia is learning with each outing and adventure we take.  There are so many things to take in and experience!  My goal is to get out of the house 3 time during the week (Monday-Friday).  This isn't particularly hard with things like story time, metro parks programs, the Zoo, the Science Museum and so much more to choose from!  Personally, I would love to stay home and be comfy, but I stretch myself because I know it is what is best for Olivia. :)

Phonics/reading--lower case letter recognition, beginning sounds, basic rhyming, spell her name, continue reading daily and fostering her love of reading, weekly trips to the library
(Some of this she has already started doing on her own.  She likes to pick out beginning sounds.  She has a limited understanding of rhyming.  She use to be *this close* to spelling her own name, but then lost interest.)

Writing-- using play doh to strengthen her hand muscles, color, draw, trace a straight line--first with finger, then marker and move on to smaller writing utensils

 Math--sort by color/size/shape (she can sort of do this already), count to 20, recognize numbers 1-10

Science--reinforce God made everything, explore and spend time outdoors, have fun with the seasons, sensory boxes, talk about senses, COSI play and classes

Social studies-- holiday activities, name places around town, introduce community helpers

Physical--little gym, playgrounds  (This is by far the most important to us.  Not because we want her to be some star athlete.  But because she is behind.  She has always struggled in this area and has been behind.  Her having a struggle/weakness doesn't worry us.  However, we are aware of the fact that at some point it could me other types of intervention, ie physical therapy, if it doesn't work itself out.)

Art--offer a variety of different mediums/methods and create!

Music--listen to, dance to, sing! :), play instruments, attend toddler theater, library "music on the move" classes

Personal care--undressing/dressing, potty training


  1. Creepside huh ? LOL (That's what your title says :) )

    1. Ha ha! Yes. I guess I should have clarified. The event was AT Creekside, but since it was a Halloween thing it was called the Creepside Festival. :)