The Bat has started preschool!
At home, of course.
He's only three right now, but he's eager to learn and to head in the general direction of literacy.
He's also in desperate need of structured activity.
I decided to start doing preschool now while we have some time to figure out how to work together and to learn how to communicate effectively while the academics are light and the pressure is low. I also need to start working on developing his attention span.
But it's spring break for everyone else! Why start now?
DH and I agreed that we would have our homeschool year (which we plan to be a year-round affair) start during Passover. Since we want to homeschool independent of any school district, the beginning of the school year being in September is entirely arbitrary.
In California, homeschoolers either work through a resource center (hosted by a district or a charter school) or file an affadavit to become their own private school. We intend to do the latter.
For our particular religious group, the religious year starts two weeks before Passover (which is just as much a new year's festival as it is a remembrance), as outlined in Exodus, rather than at Rosh Hoshana, and we want the religious new year to relevant to our daily lives. Bsides, beginning the school year in August or September would coincide with three religious holidays that would all interrupt school, making the traditional school year more than a little inconvenient.
When the Bat turned three, it was also pretty obvious that he would be ready to start preschool in a few months.
So what are we doing?
We're working on counting, the alphabet, and listening ;)
For numbers, we have a couple counting books and puzzles. Our favorite counting book is The Water Hole, by Graham Base (the Bat recognizes all the digits because of reading this book).
Right now, though, we're enjoying a number puzzle (a gift from my dad), and I'm working on the idea of counting things by combining the puzzle with different things (counting coins, beans, fruit, and the like). He also has a foam floor puzzle with all the digits. As discussed in another post, learning about numbers also includes reading P.O. box numbers, and later will include a deck of playing cards.
Later this year, I'll also pull out a tangram set I have, and we'll work on learning the names of shapes.
For the alphabet, we have a couple alphabet books that are much loved, including Animalia (again, by Graham Base--I love that guy!), and an alphabet puzzle.
As for listening, I'm reading aloud. The main issue is that the Bat associates stories with bedtime, and I'm trying to get away from that. While I read, I'm having him draw or color, using a Bible coloring book a friend gave us. We're also going to story time at the library, which happens twice a week. We immediately follow story time at the library with time at the playground next door.
Of course, we're also singing songs in the car, and doing all the other stuff that we normally do. The new part is having half an hour or so of dedicated time at the kitchen table immediately after breakfast. So far, the Bat is loving it (we'll see once this routine is old hat), and he's started asking for stories throughout the day. I'm also loving that the day is having a much more relaxed start now that I'm planning to schedule time with the boys above time with the dishes :)
Starting my homeschool is really working for me! Check out more tips, tricks, and ideas for Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family. This post has also been linked to Big Family Friday at Holy Spirit-led Homeschooling.
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