Our girls are really excited about the concepts they understand of school. We hear of every school bus (and city bus) we see while out and about. And when we are home the girls will often take the time to pack their own lunches with pretend food and then announce they are off to school. We dutifully play along and tell them to have a nice day and “Have Fun!” They also understand the concept of “school work” being about learning because G has had “school work” from a book we bought at Costco (or Sam’s Club) a while back. But they have no real experience with what school is. And we are still in the process of deciding how they will actually be schooled. But in the mean time, we are embarking on official “School” for them this week!
Our “school” will be an extension of what I have done in the past with the girls with One Year Old Preschool and Tot School for Twos, along with informal things we haven’t really shared on the blog. Our “school” will cover basic preschool units with the hopes of keeping them active and learning throughout this busy time in their lives.
So, I thought I would share the goals of our “school” and share how we are introducing it to the girls.
1. To teach them about God (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit).
2. To engage their minds and challenge them to become problem solvers.
3. To keep them active throughout the day (including indoor and outdoor activities and field trips).
4. To teach them to be good listeners.
5. To have fun and create LOTS of memories!
Did you notice that it is not our goal to make them great readers, to teach them their ABCs, or to make sure they can count to 100? I think that is in part because we stand in awe of how much they learn and how quickly – G is already doing all of these things! And W is not far behind! It is also due to the fact that I want to develop their whole person rather than the academic part of them. The academics will be a natural outgrowth of what we do. And if we accomplish specific academic goals, we will be left sitting and thinking, “What next?” I really want to develop the “why” behind our instruction of them. It is a daunting task, but I am trusting God will lead, guide, and direct our steps together.
We are kind of throwing a large wrench into the whole “school” mix by the introduction of baby #3 in November. I am hoping to establish a routine with the girls that will be easily adaptable to the needs of our newest family member, as well. So, this is how I envision our day going:
8:00 AM Wake up and get ready for the day
Getting ready for the day is defined as having clothes on, hair brushed, bathroom things taken care of AND cleaning their room from the night before. They only have to put their stuffed “friends” in their beds and make sure all books are picked up off the floor.
9:00-9:30 Either independent play or cleaning up their “school” space.
I want the space to transition away from simply a play space into a learning space by the time we start “school” at 9:30. All toys will be returned to their proper places before we begin “school.”
9:30 – 12:30 “SCHOOL”
The days will be structured a bit different each day, but I am hoping to hit some specific things each day:
Story Time – a combination of me reading and them reading
Independent “School” Play/Reading
12:30 LUNCH time
I go look at this list thinking it is kind of an overwhelming amount to get done in each day, but I have been observing the attention spans of our girls and I think having a mix of lots of activities in our day will help to keep them engaged. And I like that our “school” will only take us halfway through the day, leaving room for LOTS of options in the afternoon after nap/rest time for the girls.
Have you started your own preschool at home? What are your goals and what does your schedule look like?