Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Can I Really Do This?

I am having one of those days. You know, where you have these great plans and projects and ideas for the kids and then they just won't comply.

I try to start each day with some preschool lessons for Madeline. After breakfast is over we usually work for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. It is not all at once, I work with her throughout the morning. And today she just was not having any of it. I was trying to do a letter and picture matching review with her and all she wanted to do was play dress up. Then we were trying to do numbers (which she is not getting the hang of) and she wanted to watch tv. I am trying to get her to make a number book and an abc book that we add to each week but getting her to color the pages is like pulling teeth.

I know she is 3 1/2. And normally I am fine with her choosing what activities to do. In fact normally I like that I don't need to find tons of things for her to do, she can open her toy box and find something to play with. She is also getting really good at directing Owen and I in her games, our dog oftens gets parts and directions as well.

But when it comes to working on homeschool lessons I want her to be able to follow directions and do what she is asked to do at that time, not only when she feels like it. I know that if she were in school there would be some times when she had choices on what she would do, and other times where there were things she needs to do. That is the balance I am looking for at home as well. I want her to spend some time in ABC's and 123's in the morning, and when i can give her choices on waht activities we do or what order we do them in. I try to get the "academic" stuff out of the way early because I KNOW that is when she works better and it is when I can have some uninterrupted time. As we get later into the day we have more things to do and often places to go as well. And as Madeline gets more and more tired her focus isn't as great. I have tried doing some activities after nap, but often she just wants to be outside. I would love to do handwriting after nap, but she hasn't been a willing participant yet.
I am trying to follow a schedule each day as well. That way we do things in the same order and she gets used to what will come next. Each day we start with calendar and a morning song. Then we read our letter book and do some letter activities-crafts and games as well as some worksheets. Then it is break and free play time. After that we come back and do a few number activities- file folder games, matching games and counting items. Then break and snack time. After that it is fine motor skills- handwriting and scissors are out two favorites at the moment. And all that is done over a period of 1 1/2 or 2 hours. Some days we do less than others.

I am not sure what I am doing wrong. Some days go really well and others just don't like today. I don't want learning to be a miserable experience for any of us and I really want to do preschool at home this year. It has been a month and I don't feel like I am making a whole lot of progress. Added to it I have a very active 16 month old who would like my attention at the same time.
I don't want to give up, but obviously I need to make some changes. Are my expectations to high? Am I trying to cram to much into to short of a time period? Should I spread it out thorugh the day more? Should I do less "academic" things each day? I do try to change the activities every few minutes and bring singing and movement into anything I can.

Okay, I am writing in circles here so I will end this post with a request:
If anyone has any suggestions or ideas please share them!!

1 comment:

2 Toddlers and Me said...

My daughter is the exact same age. She attends preschool 3 days a week for 2 hours a day. That two hours also covers taking off coats, hanging up bookbags and getting eveyrthing back on when it's time to go. They also have a snack as well. So even though she is in school two hours, she's definitely not learning academic things in that time, but more social skills (proper table manners, waiting your turn to hang up your bookbag etc.). Also, the things she enjoys most and has the easiet time remembering involve songs. She has already learned a number of new songs this year and they have educational value.

So maybe shorten up your day a bit and incorporate some songs or music? Anyway, just a suggestion. I'm interested to read what others have to say too.