Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Analysis After 1 Week of Preschool

As we are working on week 2 of preschool at home I wanted to take the time to reflect on the first week. We had a dinner get-together Friday night and I got a lot of "so...how's it going at home?". So here is the rundown...

Fun is Messy!

The messier the projects are for the day the more fun the kids have - figures. I literally have to keep a jug of clorox wipes upstairs in our preschool area to wipe down their tables from all the markers, crayons, stamps, do-a-dots, glue, etc. Thank goodness everything we use is WASHABLE but we do end up with a lot of dirty elbows and clothes.
They Learn Fast! 

After 1 week of being at home I have Reese writing the "S" in her name the correct direction (instead of backwards like she had been doing for quite some time). Reese has also memorized the sight word Zoo, which was not part of our lessons - but just kinda happened when reading stories.

Scarlett is now saying "I did it!" which is her first 3 word sentence! I'm not really sure what it is that she did - but she thinks she accomplished something :) She has also learned the motions of "jumping". She now squats down and pops back up (but never comes off the ground) thinking she has just jumped!

Emma had never traced before in her previous daycare. After just 1 week of working on pre-write tracers, Emma is now tracing! Dry erase is proving a bit difficult with her being left-handed because she drags her hand across what she just did but she needs so much practice that I want her to be able to reuse the pages.
This was Emma's reaction today when she wrote the bottom row of 9's without any tracing dots!
Don't Underestimate!

I had not planned on incorporating math into Reese's learning this summer but then I heard her adding on her fingers. We can ask her what 6+1 is and she will count on her fingers until she figures out 7. She already has 5+5=10 memorized. So I started finding math worksheets. This was our first one and is pretty simple with just pictures. We have upgraded to numerical math worksheets and she simply amazes me!

More Work Needed!

"Can I have something else?" is what I heard a lot of on days 1-3. I thought I had a lot of material for each day and I needed more! The girls actually ask for more worksheets. I quickly learned how long the prep works takes me and how FAST they finish something! I have been filling in a lot of extra material that I didn't have on my original calendar. Now I know how to better plan for June.

Organized Play!

The girls get "centers" as part of their free play time each day. After we finish a section of our work they get to pick a "center" (i.e., the dollhouse, art table, library books, kitchen, etc). I don't know how else to explain it but when the girls have "center" time they play AWESOME together! They interact, role play, play with each other, don't fight, and basically have more organized play than they ever did before. I honestly don't know what is causing this - but I like it! It is so fun to watch them play house. Emma will get a purse and high heals and push the baby stroller to Reese's door and knock to go in.


Kids will do anything for a stamp! I am not kidding. There are days when they have 4 or 5 of them going up their arm! Emma has learned that if she can sit still, listen, and participate during the morning opening time (calendar - months and days, weather, color, nursery rhyme & pledges), then she will get a stamp! Although Emma is still young to learn the pledge of allegiance and pledge to the cross she now holds her flag and puts her hand over her heart and tries to repeat the words.

Wake Up Before They Do!

Although I value sleep as much as anyone - getting up to an alarm to allow myself to wake up makes for a better day! I have time to wash my face, put on a light layer of make up, get dressed and brew a cup of coffee before they start in with their daily "chaos" :) My girls are on a wake up schedule of 7-7:30am just from having to go to Concordia for so long. So I get up btwn 6:45 and 7am to prepare myself for the day. It is my quiet time.

Yes, we are doing preschool!

I have gotten different reactions about pre-schooling them at home. Although we have complete support on our decision for me to stay home with them, I don't think most understood that involved actually teaching them while they are home. Most responses involved just letting them play, they will have time to learn, etc.

However, Cody and I agree that if we were pulling them out of a educational environment, then we would continue that to our best ability at home. I don't want my girls "falling behind" and someone still has to prep them for kindergarden - meaning me. I don't want them to lose the information they have already learned by not reinforcing it at home.

We do have playtime, including 2 separate outside play times each day. Listening to Bible songs usually involves marching around the game room in a line singing along - and the girls love it!

Spanish so far has involved a game I found called "Busca, Busca" (Search, Search). They think it is hysterical and I've caught Reese reenacting it herself when she was role playing. I chant "Busca, Busca algo (fill in a color in Spanish)" while holding up the coordinating bean bag. The girls run around upstairs looking for an item to bring me that is the same color and my Spanish word. It is crazy, silly time but they are learning their Spanish colors in a fun way. (I found this idea on someone's blog but can't seem to find it again).

I Value This Time

Although there were tears on day 1 and several learning curves to this process, I value this time with my girls! I can be the one to praise them and make them feel special and smart when they learn something new! I get to watch them grow as sisters. I know exactly what they accomplished that day and the best part is - they can repeat it. Reese will ask me what we are learning about tomorrow with this curious look of excitement and it makes me smile!

My girls are learning & playing together. I know it will get even better with time and this week is already so much better than last week. Emma is having some of her best attention spans and participation this week. Overall, I feel like it was a crazy but very rewarding week!


Holly said...

I can't remember how I originally found your blog, but I have read it since before you had Scarlett! Your girls are probably going to surprise you by learning so much more at home than in the preschool setting. Good for you!!! If you haven't read the book " The Well-Trained Mind: A guide to Classical Education at Home" get your hands on a copy and read the part about pre-K! :-)

Tonya said...

Thank you so much for following along and commenting! I immediately searched that book on amazon and read the preview. Of course they had the preK part left out but ill try and get a hold of it!

Tonya said...

Thank you so much for following along and commenting! I immediately searched that book on amazon and read the preview. Of course they had the preK part left out but ill try and get a hold of it!