Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Okay, homeschooling moms, what do I do...

with my 3 almost 4 year old daughter while Doc Brown and I are doing school?

I've bought Obi Wan-da her own preschool workbooks to do and invite her to participate in our read aloud time, but I think like she's still feeling a bit left out of the mix.  

Yesterday she asked me to teach her to read so I sat down to work with her and then she freaked out.  I think she assumed it would be too hard.  Anyway, I didn't push it.  I just kissed her head, told her that she didn't have to learn to read this week and that we would work on it when she's ready.

I don't think it helps her any that PB, Doc Brown and I are learning how to play chess.  We try to include Obi Wan-da, but she's only nearly 4 - it's not like she has (or should have) the attention span to focus on what piece goes where.  (Yes, I know the 2 year old on Oprah can, but I'm not interested in raising a circus show!) She does like the fact that both players get a queen:)

I'm of the opinion that she should get to enjoy playing like a preschooler while she still can because the day is coming when the math is getting done sweetie whether you feel like it or not. So I guess my concern is this: Am I scarring my precious daughter for life and risking her resenting education because she can't do every single subject just like her older brother does?  

Is this normal? 

Please help me.  I'd rather not ruin my child this week.  Thank you.


chewhi said...

Ann is a year behind the boys and when I started with them, I had school books for her too. But you're right, you don't want to push it. Partly she'll learn that "this is time for..." and it's time for her to wait (good training for waiting on the Lord!). Another thing we'd do is have a couple things for her to play with that was only played with at that time. She'd be able to join in with the boys when she wanted, wait, or choose one of those "only time" things. This was during the year Rod was in Korea too... LONG year!!

Kris said...

My only thought is this....she isn't old enough to be able to do some of the things doc brown can...but she doesn't understand that. If she continues to try to do what he does and doesn't succeed, what will that do to her self image and will she want to "give up" on school because she can't succeed like doc brown?

I'd find her something else to do that is at her own level, is very interesting to her and that she can succeed at. Include her in story time and such but during actual reading lessons, etc maybe find her a new activity.

In addition, if you did some of Doc Brown's reading lessons in the afternoon, I could occasionally have little miss over here for a playdate.

Tiffany said...

I wish I had some wonderful advice for you. I keep trying to think of something wise to share with you but guess what? I'm coming up empty. This is a problem that has plagued homeschoolers as long as I've been talking to homeschoolers. Here's some advice--do something with her first. Read a story, play a learning game, do a simple workbook, do a craft--whatever she likes. Give her time first and then make it clear that it is now Doc Brown's turn and she must find something to do quietly on her own--watch tv (woohoo for PBS), play in her room, listen to books on tape, etc. Lay down the law and discipline her but be sure to give her some undivided attention first so that she doesn't have a reason to feel left out.

Benny said...

I agree with tiffany that starting the day out with yur preschooler may avoid many of her frustrations. If she is getting you fresh and excited first thing each day at her level with her interests, you may just "fill her up" enough that she's ready to go be independent for a bit.

I have only done boys so far in the preK range, but my boys always love things like playdough, or a tray of dry rice with diggers or other toys in it (animals or "guys" or just scoops, cups and spoons are fun) or magnets, or dry erase boards. Just some fun independent activity ideas for teh 3/4 age range.

And even if you don't do readign or math with her, you can just read her own special books adn do a craft, or draw together, or make a simple snack relating to the story... simple ideas like that for her school time might really inspire her.

Anyway, I still have not found teh magic combo for my kiddos. But those are some of the thigns that work around here more of teh time than not. Good luck.

And you won't ruin her. ;o)


Tree Climbing Mom said...

Thanks everybody! There's a lot of good stuff in there. I think I just need to be more intentional with Obi Wan-da and not just assume everything will fall into place. We had a much better week this week.

Reese said...

I've only been homeschooling my 10 and 8 year old DC for 2 years (this will be the third), but I do have a thought or two... It does fall into place. My now 5yo son has not "done school" at all, yet he has picked up on quite a lot from the older kids. I just required him to play quietly in the same room we were in (mostly so I could avoid ER trips. We are THAT family too). I also bought clay, markers, white board and dry erase pens, things like that which he could only play with while I needed quiet. I also allow him to watch 1 hour of Nick Jr. or PBS or Noggin while I taught the more difficult concepts. I think though, that you know what you are doing. It's hard to be confident when it comes to the kidlets' education!

moneysaver3 said...

I had this same issue with my youngest. The bottom line with a child who WANTS to "do school" (even if they're really too young) is to make them FEEL like they're "doing school".

Here's what I did for the various subjects my kids were doing.

**For "LA", we did the vowel sheets that came with Sonlight K (I modified it so that he was studying the letter listed and practicing writing only THAT letter that week. You could do the same with Expode the Code (ETC). They both just serve as a guide for which letter to use that week.

**I had someone recommend www.starfall.com. My son LOVES it to this day. (He started using it when he was 4.) It helps him with learning to read. This was HUGE as he REALLY wanted to learn to read...at 3, but was NOT ready yet.)

**Although we now use a combo of Horizons & Math-U-See (MUS), we started out using Saxon. When I bought that, I got the manipulatives that went with it. My son LOVED using those for math. He sorted, practiced counting, practiced counting by 2's, 5's, & 10's. With help from me on that harder part, but the rest he could do on his own.

**I got several dry-erase boards on clearance after the "Back-to-School" season. Those were a GREAT buy. I had no idea whether he'd like them or not, but he did. I got several, but his favorite was the ones with all of the upper & lower-case letters, numbers, basic adding (with pictures for counting), and a "doodle" space. When he was done doing whatever he wanted to practice with the other stuff, he'd doodle...and LOVED it!

**I got a folder and put blank sheets of paper in there. I told my son it was time for "art" and he'd draw. He loved this so much, that eventually we purcased Usborne's "How to Draw Animals" & "How to Draw People" as well as "How to Draw Cartoons". He wants to be a cartoonist when he grows up. (And a pilot, race car driver, radio guy like his daddy, a vet, and to open his own organic, gluten-free restaurant for his sister...but who's counting?) This "art" time started all that.

**My MIL gave us some "Signing Time" videos when my kids were younger. When I needed something for my son to do for foreign language, "Signing Time" came in handy. He watches that or I help him with some Spanish words...depending on how much time I have that day for helping him. (He still does this...and has a HUGE sign vocabulary.) They now play "Signing Time" locally on our PBS station. A friend records them for us on her DVR so he can watch them later.

**As part of our reading time with Sonlight, I always added in a Pre-K book for him. Now we add in K books. He LOVES reading time whether it's "his" book or his sisters'.

**I have a group of educational videos that he could choose from if he was just really restless. We don't do TV here, but these are allowed. Some are from Alpha Omega, we have Calvert's "Come Read With Me", and the Sonlight science DVDs (which he loves), and several various other educational videos. We got them all at the local thrift store, a used book sale, or on Ebay.

There's more, but those are the things that he liked best. I didn't have him do everything every day. It varied so he didn't get bored and stayed interested.

He also had the option of bringing a small bin of toys from his room into the school room to play with. That kept him busy for a bit just to find the toys and then he'd play with them.

I didn't use this when my son was younger, but I would think the primer for MUS would be something she would like. It's totally appropriate for her age. We started using it when my daughter got stuck on division and LOVE it!

If you have any more questions, feel free to e-mail me. I haven't moved over to blogspot yet completely. I posted this under my e-mail, but my current blog is at www.myspace.com/amythompson5.

Tree Climbing Mom said...

Wow! Thanks for the ideas. That's the second time in 2 days someone has recommended starfall.com. I think I should go check it out.

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