Questions!
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Thread: Questions!

  1. #1
    ChanH is offline Junior Member
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    Default Questions!

    I am very new to homeschooling. I have a 3 year old and I need some help on where to get started and tips on how to shake it up and make things interresting. I need things I can make that don't cost very much.

    Phonics, Reading, and Literature: For this we are currently reading the Teach your Child to read in 100 easy lessons. What kind of games can I add to supplement this. I have a very wiggly 3 year old and for everything except T4L sitting still for more than 3 mins is a challenge.

    Math: I have a basic bored and I right 4 numbers on it and ask him to point to one ( I got the idea from T4L). Everytime he picks a number we draw dots and count them to see if he picked the correct number. But, it seems like he's just picking random numbers because even if we have just done the number he will pick 2 wrong numbers before the right one. Are there any games or songs I can sing?

    History, Geography, Cultural Studies: How on earth do I make a 3year old care about historty? For this I was thinking maybe we would do a story time with a interresting history story, but I don't know of any that would be of interrest to a 3 year old. For Geography I'm thinking I can have him color the state of Texas, bake Texas shaped cookies etc. And for Curltural Studies I have a book of old African stories for kids so we may do that but if anyone else has any ideas that they would be willing to share I'd be open. Now that I'm writing this mabe we can play dress up and read a story about that culture.

    Science: I KNOW that this would be fun for him. HELLO! Making things explode? Mess, Chaos? My son is so there. But if anyone knows of any books or websites for his age that would be VERY helpful.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    fairylover's Avatar
    fairylover is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Chan. To me the most important thing you can do for a child this age is play. Play, play, and then play some more. Read a lot. Become regular visitors to your local library. Get to know the children's librarian well. Where we used to lie the children's librarian would put things aside for my son when they came in so he got to read them first. Take long walks in nature. Pick up rocks and leaves and little things to bring home. Then you can explore them in books or online to see where they come from. While you are walking point out numbers and letters on signs and buildings. Children learn by watching what you do and copying. Let him help you with cooking. Let him set the table and count out the plates. Count the silverware. Measure and count the number of cups of flour that go into the cookies you bake together.

    Learning Games For Kids
    is a great online resource for fun interactive games to play. I enjoy playing them myself. You might also want to try some of the games at Spelling City although they may be a bit old for your child. Starfall has a nice board game that is good for learning letters. As your child gets older you can turn it over and use it to learn words.

    I hope others will chime in with other suggestions here. Best wishes on your journey.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

  3. #3
    Mandy in TN is offline Senior Member
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    My typical response to having an itty bitty one is also play-play-play and read-read-read. However, my oldest is sitting next to me and says that I should be more compassionate and informative. He is probably right. So, here are some things that I used with my youngest. Take this with a grain of salt. All children are different. Follow your child's lead. I was not structured at that age. Really, the things I did I would either just call parenting or having things around because my little guy very much wanted to "do school" with his big brothers.

    Wedgits are good for little hands to use independently and they develop spatial awareness. Large dice and dominoes develop one-to-one correspondence. Playing cards are also fabulous. Lauri Toys Primer pack is something that we had. This pack has shoelaces for lacing and this builds fine muscle dexterity. Play-doh will also build the muscles in the hands. Edible peanut butter play-doh was a big hit here.

    The Lauri Primer Pack also contains alphabet letters to play with and introduce letters and sounds. Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD and the coordinating Leap Frog Letter Factory Phonics (the ones I had were also magnetic but it doesn't look like they are any more) are nice. The letters are tactile so the child can feel the shape of the letter. Letter factory was nice for me, because the little man could do these while I worked with my older kids. Baby Einstein DVDs and Baby Einstein discovery cards build vocabulary and were also good to keep my youngest entertained while I worked with the older two.

    Letter of the Week's 3yo curriculum is free. I did use some of their book suggestions. It also gives suggestions for integrating science, social studies, and art/ crafts into learning the alphabet. I didn't really do this part, but it is there. We kept a 3 ring binder where we kept a coloring page of each alphabet letter decorated with macaroni, cheerios, glitter glue, finger paint, etc. We also used Starfall some.

    There is an OOP book titled Picture Book Activities by Trish Kuffner that I used some. (it had the recipe for peanut butter play doh) I also liked Before Five in a Row by Jane Claire Lambert. B4FIAR is a Christian product, but we just skipped the two Christian book studies that are included. Eloise Wilkin's Poems to Read to the Very Young is my favorite poetry book for little people. Also, Mother Goose rhymes develop language awareness and build vocabulary. Richard Scarry's Please and Thank You Book is a nice book on manners.

    We had large geography floor puzzles, an alphabet floor puzzle, an animal floor puzzle, and some others that I just can't remember. Look at Waldorf materials. Even if you don't believe in Waldorf as an educational philosophy they have beautiful and high quality art supplies. Not that I used it much, but I did own Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready. Kumon makes some preschool workbooks (My First Book of) and we used a number of these.

    At that age I did try to introduce some geography with the floor puzzles, Kumon Mazes around the world, and story books, but I didn't use a history curriculum. For science we went to the zoo and the science museum and went on nature walks outside. Although I suppose the Baby Einstein stuff also contained some science through vocabulary building.

    The is a book titled Mudpies to Magnets that is science for preschoolers. I have never used it, but I know it is out there. There is also a book called Science Play! that I did use some, but I think he was older than 3yo.

    HTH-
    Mandy

    Last edited by Mandy in TN; 12-31-2012 at 04:25 PM.
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

  4. #4
    fairylover's Avatar
    fairylover is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks for all those great ideas Mandy. I will emphasize a gain, play, play, play. I think we push little ones to learn too much too soon. They need to stay babies for a while.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

  5. #5
    Mandy in TN is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fairylover View Post
    Thanks for all those great ideas Mandy. I will emphasize a gain, play, play, play. I think we push little ones to learn too much too soon. They need to stay babies for a while.
    As an attachment parent whose 3yo was still breastfeeding and co-sleeping, I wholeheartedly agree. My youngest was playing. He thought all these things were fun play and wanted to do them. He was in no way pushed.

    I wouldn't want to teach a classroom of PK-2nd graders in today's academic environment, due to the developmentally inappropriate push for more and more seat time at younger and younger ages. However, I do believe in lighting the fire whenever the kindling is ready. Some kids are ready and desirous to embark on their academic journey at 6 months (obviously not neurological-typical) and some are not yet ready at 6 years but will be by 8 (still within the realm of neurological-typical). On the other hand, even at 8yo, it isn't developmentally appropriate to sit at a desk for 6 to 7 hours a day. That just makes me sad.

    Mandy
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

  6. #6
    Mandy in TN is offline Senior Member
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    Plz ignore my typos. This iPad keeps autocorrecting and once I post I can't scroll down within a post to edit. That should read neuro-typical.
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

  7. #7
    Mandy in TN is offline Senior Member
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    Oh, and I actually came back to post that we also had foam magnetic pattern blocks and easy pattern block cards that he played with on a metal tv tray.

    Mandy
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

  8. #8
    fairylover's Avatar
    fairylover is offline Senior Member
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    Don't you just love autocorrect. It has caused all kinds of problems for me. Thanks for your input.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

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