Wednesday, February 04, 2009

How We do Preschool (Part 1 of 4)

I often wonder how other people get this "preschool" thing done with lots of little kids running around.

I see these pictures of fancy craft projects, creative math manipulatives, and smiling children. Then I listen to the cacaphony in my house and wonder how on earth anybody gets kids to do anything productive.

Of course, once I open my eyes, I notice all that they are learning and doing and experiencing all the time. Plus they have some academic skills:

  • The 2yo is starting to express thoughts in words and sentences. He loves to scribble, glue, and paint. His new trick is pointing at the letter chart and humming the tune of the alphabet song.

  • The 3yo can recognize letters, count to 15 and recognize numerals to 5. She knows her shapes and colors.

  • The 4yo can count and recognize numbers to 50, read short vowel words, and write family members' names.

Given my obvious success (pause for chuckle here) I decided to devote my Works for Me Wednesday blog posts this month to explaining how we do it.

First of all, I do not do it at all. My job is to shape the environment and set the routine. Otherwise, the kids run the show.

Routine is the key element. Our entire day has a routine, and preschool time has its own routine. Not only do we repeat the routine every day, it is posted on the wall for their review:

When I was sick last week, Agent 004 and Cousin F did an entire preschool session without any involvement from me. They knew what to do, when. Obviously there was no new material, but they got a great review just by running through the routine.

Preschool time has three components -- Circle Time, Table Time, and Mat Time. I will focus a post on each of these components on the next three Wednesdays.

Please drop a comment if there is anything specific that you would like to make sure I cover in this series of posts.


Kate in NJ said...

I love that you are doing this!!
Can I come for mat time today?

Mrs_Scotsman said...

Just wanted to say that I dropped by. I'm starting preschool homeschool next year.

Jenny said...

Thank you so much for doing this series. My challenge is trying to do preschool with just one 4-year-old, and now with a baby. I can use all the ideas I can get!