We have two girls who are 3 & 4. We are getting two more kids ages 5 & 6. A boy and a girl. Wow. That's a lot of kids for me. I teach preschoolers, but 4 kids all day, every day is a little daunting. I let my kids watch TV, but I don't want couch potatoes. They like to do crafts and my 4 year old has been asking me to teach her to read. So, I figured I'd come up with some educational activities to keep little hands and minds busy and to help me keep my sanity.
Since my 4 year old, AB, is wanting to learn to read, I've decided to focus on letters and sounds. I think sight reading is okay, but I really want to teach phonics so they can sound out words, not just recognize words they have memorized. Anyway, I'm not an expert on teaching children to read, but this worked for me and I love to read. I want my kids to loving reading as well. So, we are starting with basic letter recognition and the sound(s) they make. I also decided that I'm not going in alphabetical order. Our first set of letters are D, O, G. This way when we are done, they can recognize those letters, their sounds and will be able to sound out the word dog. I've seen this on other blogs and teaching websites and it just makes sense to me. Besides, my daughter has A, B, & C down.
When I decided to do this, I decided to do a new set of letters each week, but with Grammy and PawPaw visiting, I wasn't able to focus on this like I wanted to. So we are repeating D, O, & G this week. But their visit was more important than us learning our letters so we had fun with the grandparents and it was great.
Last week we made letter crafts, color sheets, and letter practice sheets. I went over the letter sounds and we also did a letter matching game. We mainly focused on D last week, so we will focus more on O and G this week. But to start off we are reviewing D today. I made up a basket of items that start with the letter D for the girls to look at and play with. It has a doll, dog, duck, dishcloth, dimes, dumbbell, a disk, and some D's in it. I also put some cornmeal in some pie tins and had the girls trace letters in it using flashcards as examples. This was messy and JB lost interest in the letter tracing so I put it in a bigger pan and gave her some measuring cups and that kept her busy for a long time. AB moved on to coloring the dinosaur coloring sheets (she loves the PBS cartoon Dinosaur Train) and convinced me that they should watch the show since it would show they what colors to use for the dinosaurs. Pretty smart. We also cut out a dinosaurs and glued it to construction paper to make a picture.
Overall, our little preschool program is going well for only doing this for a week. I'm enjoying teaching them things and they love the attention and the crafts. The more I do with them, the more I want to add. I'm finding that I need some more basic craft supplies like shapes, beads, paper (lots of paper). I'm trying to use household items, but sometimes you just have to buy the things you need :) The Dollar Store and dollar section of Target are the places I like to look for inexpensive things we can use.
I'm also going to get this organized and post my curriculum once I get it sorted out and have the time to write it up.