03 February 2012

Of Skills Practice

A few months ago, I realized that if I planned to homeschool my children in the future (which I do, currently), there would be no official enrollment date or schedule handed to me.  It would be entirely up to me to establish a curriculum and routine for our family.  And Micaiah's pre-school days are getting closer every moment.

This terrified me.  I am not so good with keeping us on a schedule here at home; other than when we eat and sleep, our time is fairly unstructured.

The night these thoughts occurred to me, I declared to Philip that I was going to start now so when pre-school was upon us, the idea of following a schedule at home would not be entirely foreign.  I had seen some toddler learning activities on Pinterest and decided Mondays would be our structured "learning" days - or "learning practice" days.  We would focus on letters or different themes and incorporate them into our daily lives - such as choosing an "apple" theme and eating various appley foods and performing apple-based activities.  This was going to be great!

I'd like to tell you I stuck with the plan.  Heck, I'd even like to tell you I made it so far as a week, even a day, before falling off the wagon.  But I would have had to actually jump on the wagon, in more than just theory, for that to be true.  Yeah, we never took even one step in that direction.

Until today.  Kind of.

While I may not be ready for the commitment of a set schedule, I encountered a link to a Valentine's Tot Kit with printable activities on a blog I follow and just knew we could do it.

This morning was the day.  I printed the few activities I found interesting and prepared them for Micaiah.

She was thrilled!

And so we spent about 45 minutes (what I discovered to be my limit) of our morning counting, coloring, cutting and lacing.  She loved every moment of it.  And I thoroughly enjoyed sitting next to her, guiding her fingers into the scissors and gently instructing her on proper positioning ("Remember to turn your hand, Baby.").  I held my own lacing card and showed her how to thread the yarn through each hole.  I helped her count the hearts on the cards, reminding her not to forget "6" as she is known to do, and asked her to match that to the printed number on the paper.

With nearly every activity, she would have impressed the socks off me, if I'd been wearing any.  She actually recognized her numbers when she saw them (I knew she could count, but I did not know if she had yet picked up on the printed variety); her cutting stayed, mostly, on the dotted line; she lined the varied-sized boxes up accurately by size without even a hesitation; she even traced some of the letters on her coloring sheet (before she decided flat-out coloring would be more interesting).

This child of ours is a genius!  I look forward to continuing to watch her little brain develop.

 Coloring - if you look closely, you may be able to see her traced letters.

 Just look at that concentration.  She totally rocks at cutting.

 Getting her ducks in a row.

So proud!

Meanwhile, Emmett's great achievement of the morning was finding himself a helmet (which, of course, he desperately needs) to protect his own brain so he'll be prepared for those learnin' days, too (not that he's not already learning a ton everyday).  Unfortunately, I'm not sure how effective a helmet with such a large hole in the back would be, but at least he's trying.

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