Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How We do Preschool (Posts 3+4 of 4)

Two weeks ago I left you with a description of Circle Time. Rereading my own post it sounds like a rigid and monotonous routine. In all honesty, though, that is the only formal school we do, and it really isn't all that formal! I 'm pretty sure that my troop of toddlers is incapable of formal, rigid, or monotonous anyway.

Circle Time is followed by Table Time. While Cousin F sings the alphabet, Agent 004 sits down at the table to complete the weather chart. I watch that F points to each letter as she sings, then set her up with a number or letter task. Today she worked on the clothing number matching cards on her mat.

As soon as Agent 004 completes the weather chart she starts the task that I have set out in her cubby. Recently this has included her sound mat, a maze, or a file folder game.

When the girls complete their assigned task, they move onto "Mat Time," which is a Montessori-ish child led activity period. It isn't so much preschool time as it is time to play with small and messy things that would otherwise drive Mama bonkers.

In practice the only differentiation between Table Time and Mat Time is that I choose the first activity for each child (Table Time) and from that point forth the children choose their own activities (Mat Time).

Here are a few snapshots of Mat Time this week:

Cousin P is gluing a collage while Agent 004 uses a workbook and Cousin F plays a number matching game.
Agent 002 pours split peas while Cousin F, Cousin P, and Agent 004 watercolor.

All four children drawing on the windows with Crayola markers.

And that is how we make preschool time Work for Us.


Gottfredsen said...

Great ideas!

steadymom said...

Love the markers on the windows idea - and that comes off easily? My three would go crazy for that!

Hadley Coble said...

looks like great fun to me. I'm going to have to read the other posts on your preschool time. You may want to check out my blog...I'm doing a preschool activity swap that you may be interested in!

phoenix said...

Great information! I want a homeschool in the future but I never knew how to get started...thanks!

Kate in NJ said...

I never thought of your school as "rigid"..that's why I still want to come join

reprehriestless warillever said...


The marker comes off easily with a dish towel or paper towel.

I have been told by an OT that large motion vertical writing is better for small children. I will try to see if I can find that information later.

Homemade Happenings said...

I too love the marker drwing on windows idea! Do youuse regular marker or dry-erase? Preschool time looks like fun at your house!