Friday, August 13, 2010

Learning with the Little Ones

I'll get back to the "why I homeschool" thing sooner or later, but right now I want to share some stuff I've been doing recently with my 4yo girl and almost 3yo girl.

I'm not one of those that is in a great hurry to have my little people reading from the encyclopedia before they turn 3 (though they do flip through it to look at pictures), and I'm not sitting there with flash cards trying to teach them words, letters or even colors the second they can focus their little eye balls. I don't parade the 18 month old out for friends and grandparents to show them how they know this or that 4 years before anyone else and can repeat ABC's, etc. Gag. Just live and enjoy and they learn plenty, you know?

But, I wanted something to do with the girls to make them feel included in the whole school thing and something that they could fiddle with at the table while I teach. They love hands on stuff and they ARE rather sponge-like when it comes to learning, so I've been making a few hands on things for my 4yo to do to reinforce some things she already knows or add to soem things she's already been accumulating in that little brain. And the 2yo...she, of course, just wants to be a part.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle is a favorite, read 1000 times, bed-time book for the little ladies. I found a template for some counting cards made from that book. The girls LOVE them! We count the pictures on each card and they work on putting them in order. The younger one doesn't much care what order they're in as long as no one else is touching them. Sweet, isn't it? Hm. It's also good for her to learn color names. They're all red in her opinion.

Something the 4yo particularly enjoys is our file folder game. It was supposed to be an
Even/Odd game for the older boys, but due to the fact that it would have the same numbers in the same place every time (and there are far more than 24 odd/even numbers, right?), I decided to just use blank hermit crabs and use a wet-erase marker so I could switch numbers. THEN I figured I could use it for the 4yo to identify numbers. THEN I figured I could also use it to help teach lower case letters. My kids always know the upper case letters and their sounds while still getting mixed up on which lower case letter goes to which upper case letter/sound. So, on one side are her numbers. I call out a number and she covers it. And on the other side are her letters where I give her a sound and she covers the letter that goes with the sound. And I can change it up once she gets those down. Or, I can use it for the even/odd practice that it was supposed to be for!

Both of these little things only take a few minutes but it seems to be enough to satisfy their desire for school work!

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