Thursday, August 25, 2016
Preschool in Our House Right Now
I am loving the way school works for our family at this season in life. Soon, I'm sure, Katie's schedule will change and then "when" of our school activities will have to change - but the how and the why will remain the same!!
Each morning (when we don't have a heat advisory or rain), Meghan and I go outside for 45-75 minutes while Katie is taking her morning nap. During this time Meghan engages in a whole lot of completely free play time. She becomes engrossed in her own play, occasionally inviting me in to tell me what she is doing. She also spends a good bit of this time in "nature study" - she engages with the environment in our backyard, she explores it, and she asks me to join her in enjoying and engaging the natural world. During this time I will often work on garden work tasks, read a book I am currently reading, or work on my Bible study.
When Katie goes down for her second nap of the day, Meghan and I spend time doing a few things. First, we do some type of art - coloring, painting, cutting/pasting, or play-doh. During this time I will often work on my Bible study if I didn't do it outside (and, if she's not painting or cutting/pasting - she gets all of my attention if doing those!).
Then, we go to the couch and read a stack of books. We have a small (intentionally!), excellent collection of books in the bookshelf in the family room - she picks a few books and I pick a few books and we read. We read for 15-45 minutes depending on how long we spent doing art.
After reading, we go up to her room and rock in her rocking chair. We practice catechism questions, sing the ABC's, and sing a few Bible or nursery rhyme songs. When this is done, I turn on her cd player (she listens to Wee Sing Bible Songs, Wee Sing Mother Goose, or Songs for Saplings) and get out her toys for roomtime (this is our alternative to forced napping at her age - she can play with toys, read books, or take a nap).
Somewhere during the day, she will usually work on a workbox - in these are learning puzzles and activities that she can do independently. She often chooses to work on them while I feed baby Katie so I can be involved in talking with her while she works. We also try to work on flashcards at some point during the day - we play a short game with them or just flip through and name words, instruments, etc (whatever we are working on at the time).
And, that's it. It's not super formal at all. There is never a point where we sit down to "do school" - it's just a natural part of the rhythm and flow of our days. And in between those activities, there is LOTS and LOTS of free play and exploration time - because play is the work of childhood!
This post is linked to the Tot School Gathering Place at 1+1+1=1.