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 Post subject: Preschool activities
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:22 pm 
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Posts: 3520
Location: Central TX
I'm trying to figure out what I should be doing with Xavier. I've never had to do "preschool" before. He turns 3 next month and I know there is no rush to do "school", yet he seems to want to. He is pretty obsessed with letters right now. Several times a day, he goes around singing the ABC song. Well, his version of it. Which is more like "OPA.....". Yes, it's the OPA song, not the ABC song, lol. But I constantly see him pointing to the letters/words in books and naming off letter names. He is also finally starting to have an interest in sitting and listening to books, thanks to Dr. Seuss.

I'm wondering if I should start having him really learn some letters? Like, where he starts learning the sounds they make and how to trace them with his hand and stuff? I feel like it's too early, but he seems so interested in letters. One thing I'm planning on getting for his birthday, is the fridge magnet thing, with all the letters. This one:

http://www.amazon.com/LeapFrog-Fridge-P ... ge+magnets

He also loves to sort and count, so I was thinking about these

http://www.amazon.com/50-Counting-Bears ... =preschool

In the reviews, people say they even use them for language development, vocabulary, etc. so I think that would be an added bonus.

We already do other things, like art. He loves to color/paint and he doesn't just doodle around, he sits there with furrowed eyebrows and pursed lips and puts exactly what he wants to, where he wants to on that paper, lol. He even "talks" about it as he's doing it, like he's painting a story. It's too cute.

We have a couple educational games that he likes to do, but I think he's starting to get bored with them, so I'm wondering what are some good preschool games?

I want to do the right balance of not too much or too little this year. When he's 4 I will get a little more serious and start working on phonemic awareness and stuff, but he's still so young. It's just that he wants to do this stuff and seems so interested in it. And knowing that he's struggling with spoken language, the first building block of reading, I feel like it can't hurt to start early if he wants to.

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 Post subject: Re: Preschool activities
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:49 pm 
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Posts: 7068
This is what worked for us:

THe BEST preschool resource (IMO) is "The Beginner's Bible for Toddlers" read it every day.

THIS ONE (not look-alikes : )

http://www.amazon.com/Beginners-Bible-T ... r+Toddlers

He's not too young for phonemic awareness. With DD, I got a stack of books of different brands (from the thrift store) that were on a "my first alphabet" theme. Then we'd read "A says /ah/ "Apple" or "A says /ay/ Airplane" (that's the best I can represent the phonetic sound without proper symbols) for each letter. Since each book had different pictures, she got the concept that a could start many words and could have more than one sound, and she learned the name, the sound and an example all together.

I also got Meet the PHonics video series from the library (probably worth buying!) They were a big help : )

This really helped with her speech, too. Because I could say things like, "no, not "firsty" with an f - THIRSTY with a TH." And, she would understand and fix her speech : )

I had the leapfrog alphabet thing you mentioned - it was okay but not great. It is sometimes hard to tell what sound Tad is saying, which REALLY doesn't help with phonics. WE got ours cheap from the thrift store - I don't regret it - but I didn't find it that all helpful.

I also read number books. "Baby has 9 trucks" "Let's count the trucks" (this involves counting each number from 1-10 a million times for him. He probably won't count along with you for a long time. Your big kids could do this one for you ; )

Youtube vidoes for playlist from Sesame street & other sources that teach sound concepts - like the TH sound or SH sound, etc.

Coloring & cutting are great for motor skills - as is play-dough and even helping you cook!

When you get to the point that you can say "What sound does "fan" start with" "what sound does "bus" end with?" and he can answer this sort of question well - he is ready to start phonics.

Flannelgraph Bible Stories are great for both teaching Bible and for word-reality connection.

DD LOVED using a microscope for science when she was 3 - it was VERY exciting (once again, a cheapo from the thrift store)

Songs to teach memory things. We did stuff like Like Jesus Loves Me, 12 Disciples songs, planets songs, books of the Bible songs, etc - these teach music, enunciation, memory, and literary skills : )

Anyway - that's probably enuf for now : )

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 Post subject: Re: Preschool activities
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:19 pm 
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Posts: 5706
With the magnet letters be sure he's beyond the age of putting things in his mouth. Those things have tiny magnets on the back to hold them onto the refrigerator.
That said, I had them and my kids loved them.
I do think I started way too early with the boys, but I was excited to get started, lol!

Wooden building blocks are great for his age, too. Stacking, sorting, etc are great for eye hand coordination. If your library has a story time for pre schoolers, try to take him to that.
You want to make reading and books fun and exciting.

Izzy just started this week bringing me board books to read to her, and then she started "reading" them to her dolls!
(her favorite right now is "Baby ant has stinky pants" ) :lol:

I put my finger on the words as I read them. Gosh I wish we lived closer to you! These two would have such a good time together!


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 Post subject: Re: Preschool activities
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:37 pm 
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Beware of Library Story Time. We used to go - only to encounter a Children's book being read that was a hard-sell for Gay "Marriage" in the preschool story hour one day. DD was 4.

It was not an isolated incident. I've since had a friend tell me that her family member - who lives far from here - had the same experience.

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 Post subject: Re: Preschool activities
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:16 pm
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Location: Sunshine State
Lisa said:
"We already do other things, like art. He loves to color/paint and he doesn't just doodle around, he sits there with furrowed eyebrows and pursed lips and puts exactly what he wants to, where he wants to on that paper, lol. He even "talks" about it as he's doing it, like he's painting a story. It's too cute."

It's never too early, all kids are different. I quoted this because it shows he can focus on things. A lot of what Tory and Anna suggested is in a booklet by Ruth Beechick called Language and Thinking for Young Children, and lots of activities you can do to help them start thinking (knowing parents name and address if they get lost for example). It has some sample stories to read aloud, games to play, manipulative ideas. It has ideas for pre-k through 1st grade learning.

http://www.mottmedia.com/pages/publicat ... ngChildren

Edited to add, the book is not consummable, it has ideas for learning activities to use with stuff you have at home.

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 Post subject: Re: Preschool activities
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:10 pm 
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OOh I forgot about Ruth Beechick!
She has several books that are small yet loaded with great ideas for the younger student.
Good call, Briva!! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Preschool activities
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:55 pm 
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LisaTX wrote:

I want to do the right balance of not too much or too little this year. When he's 4 I will get a little more serious and start working on phonemic awareness and stuff, but he's still so young. It's just that he wants to do this stuff and seems so interested in it. And knowing that he's struggling with spoken language, the first building block of reading, I feel like it can't hurt to start early if he wants to.



My son was speech delayed because everyone around him, including myself, was talking for him. :) At any rate, when he turned 3 years old, he suddenly opened up and talked non stop. That was the time I really started teaching him his letters and numbers. However, it just was not "clicking" with him. Someone got me to try out the Dvd's on Leap Frog and it was like his world exploded! So I am a big fan of the Leap Frog Dvd's on the alphabet and numbers, and even their beginning math. Pinterest has a ton of ideas, too. Too many, in fact, but you will never run out of ideas. You already know what he likes, so use that to really draw him in. Matching socks in the laundry basket is a great way to teach the same/different concept. M&M's can teach colors and counting. Again, there are just so many ideas out there.

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 Post subject: Re: Preschool activities
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:41 am 
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Here's a nice blog post with preschool math ideas
http://classicallyhomeschooling.com/top ... math-tips/

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 Post subject: Re: Preschool activities
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:44 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:05 pm
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Location: Central TX
Thank you for all these ideas! It's good to know it's not too early to start. I just always hear you shouldn't do much when they're this age and I think "What is much?" So, I just want to make sure I'm not holding him back or doing too much. But it definitely helps that he wants to learn and seems naturally drawn to letters/numbers right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Preschool activities
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:59 am 
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Well, I'm not much of a conformist on this stuff. I don't believe in the "not too much at this age" theory.

I think it's a huge blessing for a child to be good at reading and math early - and practice is usually what makes that happen.

If they're old enough to look around at their peers and think "I'm the only one who cannot read/multiply/whatever" then it is very hard for them to gain confidence in those areas later. I'm just now (as I successfully teach dd math) catching on that I COULD have been good at math if I had had good early math instruction. Instead, I lived all my life thinking I didn't have a gene for it or whatever.

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