Princess P is pretty upset that she doesn’t have a school. She’s on the wait list for a “real” school but in the meantime I need to cram as much learning into that little head as I can muster. We’re really into our routine right now and I’m pretty jazzed about it (most days). Here’s some of what we’re up to:
1. Workbooks — man girls are kind of self equipped to WORK a workbook. I even put some of her crayons and coloring books in a kitchen drawer because she loves to color by me while we both “work”. I LOVE Costco’s workbooks. I really want to look through a workbook before I buy. There’s been a lot of great ones lately. I like full color and if it has stickers, well that’s just a huge bonus! I really think the main thing she learns from workbooks is following directions. Some days we circle one thing, some days our circle needs to be big enough for ALL the things, nothing big. I must admit I over-bought in the workbook area, we have this one and a few others that I’m rotating through this year.
2. Sound out words and sight words. We have a list of sound out words we plow through each day (usually 5 to 10 of them, usually within the same letter family or letter sound family) and we do sight words. I, being an idiot, thought I knew how all the sight words went, like which ones were used most often. Then, last week while perusing the Internet I found out I was totally wrong, so I have re-grouped them into frequency to hopefully help us with a our books a little bit more. Sounding out was leading us to a standstill late last school year, so I added sight words and it’s helped a lot.
3. Puzzles — I think puzzles incorporate so many skills, so I got a bunch of fun ones at the dollar store. Most are 24 pieces right now. We try to do the same one all week, so by the end of the week she can do it without any help.
4. Early readers — and I do mean REALLY early readers. Very few pages, and very few words on the page. She hopefully gets a few words each page, but we work on finding the sight words we know, and sounding out a few words. It can be really frustrating so I need these to be short. I found a cheap set at Barnes and Noble when Mr Middle was little and I have a few other sets from El Presidante — I kind of wish we had the bob books, but I sojourn on. 🙂 Anyone use BOB? they seem so smart… thoughts?
5. Books on tape — I got like 30 of these when Conner was a beginning reader. I love how I can turn the tape on and forget it. Sadly, some companies decided the “chime” wasn’t important so kids would know when to turn the page. Princess P is LOVING some of the princess ones I somehow have, lucky me! Most of the ones we have are the old school disney ones, remember those? Thank you ebay!
6. Little kid games are cheap and FUN! Well, mostly fun for them. Be it candyland, trouble, Hi Ho Cherry O, or Boggle Junior there is always stuff to be learned. Even learning to take turns is a big one. I’ve found a lot of fun Discovery Toys ones on garage sales. Keep your eyes open, they’re always out there!
7. Busy bags — some very fancy lades in our church organized a “busy bag swap” — they did one for toddlers and for bigger kids and it’s been SO great! I love how I can pull one out and she can enjoy it for a while and then ALSO learn to put it all back in the bag before we get a new one out. I’d highly recommend doing it!
Now, before you’re all rolling your eyeballs… let me just remind you that I have been given VAST amounts of time between children. El Presidante and Mr Middle are 3.5 years apart, and Princess P is over 5 years from them. That gives me a lot of quality one on one time with each child… and if I’m not careful it can be spend with me on the Internet and them watching TV. I think these first five years are an important time to get all the stuff I want in there. I don’t home school thereafter, but those first five are pretty darn important.
What do you do with your ones left at home?