Along with my “second grader” I am also “schooling” an active 4 year old. If we were public schooling, she would have started JK this fall which is now full day, every day school. But that’s not how we roll around here 😉
At the beginning of September, this fun loving, free spirited gal could only identify a handful of letters of the alphabet. In contrast, her big sis at this age new all of her letters and “what they say”. I wasn’t exactly worried, but I did feel a little uncertain. I felt a little guilt that this sweet gal of mine doesn’t get near the amount of attention and one on one time that big sister did. She didn’t get half the read aloud time. To my dismay, she often gets just one little story from Mama a day. Big sister has loved books from birth and we read HOURS a day. So I was wondering if this slower start to reading and less voracious appetite for books was due to my neglect or if it is just a difference in development or preference.
I am so pleased however, and encouraged, that within the span of 3 short months my little gal has almost perfected letter recognition and sounds! Did we start a phonics program? Buy some boxed curriculum? Nope! All that has changed in our day to day around here is once a week she helps me give baby sister a bath while big sister is at piano lessons. And while baby splashes to her heart’s content, she plays with the foam alphabet letters putting them into alphabetical order and telling me what sounds they make. She also watches Leap Frog Letter Factory while I put baby sister to bed. Ahem. Carry on.
So what do we do for preschool around here?
Not much. When Big Sister was preschool age we were reading A LOT. I used booklists from Ambleside online, Sonlight and Five in a Row/Before Five in a Row. We spent hours a day reading. Once she had her letter sounds all figured out, we started in with Bob Books, but that’s as intense as it got. My current preschooler is not getting all that attention from Mommy due to my needing to work with her older sister and take care of her ever wakeful baby sister. Although she would love nothing more than to play all day (which would be OK with me) she doesn’t like being alone so she joins her big sister at the table for all of her school time. We call this “Table Time”. Here she works on worksheets, makes puzzles, colours, plays with play-dough, or uses some of the lovely learning kits/busy bags I have put together using the help of Pinterest.
Don’t you just love Pinterest?!
Here are the links to the preschool/kinder booklists we have used. I continue to use the Classical Education Loop’s list of 1000 Good Books for my second grader as well as the books listed in the Ambleside online curriculum:
Also invaluable resources for helping you find good quality literature for your children are the following books:
Honey for a Child’s Heart By Gladys Hunt.
The Read Aloud Handbook By Jim Trelease
What to Read When By Pam Allyn