A few weeks ago I noticed I was having a hard time with Ladybug. It felt like I was constantly having to speak with her about bad behavior, discipline her, correct her, remind her of bible verses she knows about obedience… Oh. my. word. Isn’t being a mother exhausting sometimes?!
I realized that Ladybug was probably bored.
She’s two and half. She full of energy and life. She’s always ready for an adventure.
And because of the winter doldrums, we’ve been mostly cooped up in the house.
I decided to start some pre-schooling at home. I am starting small, so as not to overwhelm myself– I have a tendency to jump into a new thing too deeply, get overwhelmed at the enormity of the bite I bit off, and quit.
Mondays, Wednesday, and Friday mornings are our preschool time. Fortunately for me, Stinkbug still naps in the morning, allowing us time for preschool work without having to occupy the little guy.
We only work for about thirty minutes, and then Olivia has thirty minutes of “quiet time” in her room while listening to praise and worship music. Honestly, she’s not very good at the thirty minutes of occupying herself with books, and puzzles yet, so the quiet time is still a work in progress!
So, how do I design a preschool time for me and my child?
1. Keep it simple. Each Monday we learn about a theme– our first week the theme was cows. We looked at pictures of cows, talked about where cows live, and what they eat. We read a fiction book about cows. And Ladybug colored a picture of cows, and then cut them out and pasted them on a picture of a farm. Nothing fancy, nothing difficult. And she loves it– she cheers when I announce it’s time for preschool! (My theme ideas come from Brightly Beaming Resources.)
2. Keep it fun. I try to mix up the activities so we’re always doing something different. Each week I try to do a gross motor activity (during the cow week, we turned on music and moved around the living room like cows) to get us up and moving. It’s also fun to branch out– cooking, creating, singing, writing, playing, cutting, gluing, tracing, painting, watching videos together– keep the activities varied each week. This helps to keep your child’s attention, and also helps them learn much more (fractions in cooking, scissor safety in cutting, etc.)
3. Use what’s already out there. You don’t have to pay a lot of money, or spend a lot of time planning to have pre-school at home. There is so much free stuff out there that’s ready for you to print and use! Here are some places to look for resources:
- Brightly Beaming Resources (free)
- Coloring Pages (free)
- Sesame Street (free)
- Starfall- Letter Print Outs (free)
- Number Coloring Pages (free)
- My ABC Bible Verses by Susan Hunt