Thursday, November 12, 2009

Preschool Corner- Changes & Holiday Traditions

Over the last couples of months I have been trying to use The Hubbard's Cupboard curriculum for 3-year-olds with R-Man but have been realizing more and more that it just doesn't work for us.  I think it is a wonderful curriculum and a well outlined map, however it just isn't really jiving with R-Man's style of learning or even my teaching style. 

So, that has left me to searching- again- for something that works for us.  I decided to skip a curriculum (nearly) altogether this month and just focus on Thanksgiving.  There is so much to this holiday, from the history to the concept of being thankful to the food, that I was sure we would have no shortage of material to cover of fun ways to learn!  We are currently working on a lapbook that I will be posting more about in the coming weeks, but so far it has been a lot more fun and held both R-Man's and my attention much better!

I place of our weekly bible-themes we have been focusing on our own family Bible and Catechism time each night after dinner and have been choosing our own verses to memorize as a family.  We are currently working on 1 Chronicles 16:34:
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

I try to work in our scripture memory all throughout the day and in lots of different formats (song, repetition, explanation, etc...) so that R-Man gets used to using scripture anytime of day for all varieties of reasons.  Soon we will also be starting advent with The Jesse Tree, which will give us a map for our Bible time for the month of December.  To learn more about The Jesse Tree and how to start this tradition with your family, head over to Tired, Need Sleep for an EXCELLENT post by Nicole!  She even has a full 13-page print-out with scripture cards, ornaments and the works (Thank you Nicole!)!

In my quest for the learning process that will best work for us I have been doing a lot of reading on a variety of teaching methods, and although I think that ultimately I will end up using a mixed-bag approach as we more fully head into our homeschool years, I am significantly leaning towards many of Charlotte Mason's methods.  I found this terrific site called Simply Charlotte Mason that has wonderful articles, books and DVDs, especially about early learners.  Charlotte Mason places a large emphasis on establishing habits in ourselves and our children and I think that our whole family could benefit from implementing her ideas!  I am hoping to receive some of the books and DVDs from that site for Christmas, so I will definitely keep you all up to date on how our little journey is going!

Well, with all that said, we have been doing a little bit of "structured" preschool learning.  We continue to work on a letter a week- this week Jj was for Jet.

He loved cutting out the letters (almost all by himself) and gluing on the jets!

We have even started the very early stages of copywork.  R-Man has never been much of a drawer/colorer, but after reading Harold and the Purple Crayon I discovered that he really enjoys copying a picture that I am drawing at the same time.  I got out a large sketchbook we have and drew a line down the middle.  We then went step by step to create a picture- just like Harold in the book!  R-Man loved it!  He was so proud that he posted his pictures on the fridge right away!  We have also been doing letter tracing, particularly with his name.

All in all, I'm feeling better about how things are going.  I don't feel like I am rigidly stuck to someone else's schedule, trying to accomplish more tasks than either of us feel like doing or are interested in.  The way R-Man we are learning right now feels much more natural.  We read good books, do interesting projects, sing goofy songs and just have fun- exactly the way it should be at this age!
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