Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wow, you are doing a lot...

I get that statement a lot where mummy friends would say that to me constantly. It usually would follow on with that they wish that they are doing more with their kids after seeing some of the facebook updates I have.

I just wanted to say that I seem to be doing loads because these would be some of the things your child would learn from their preschools. Just that in this case, the teacher is a separate being from the parent so as a parent, you do not need to do so much. For my case, I am both the parent and from 7.45 / 8pm, I am the teacher. I guess most of you who comment on that only see my role as a mum and not a teacher and hence there is the comparison.

Since Dumpling is being sent to a daily pure mandarin playgroup class, if I do not homelearn with her, she would have 0% exposure to English, reading, math concepts, etc. Hence we do what we do at home. I guess the point of this post is, there is no need to compare / feel guilty about the "lack" of activities. Added to the fact that Dumpling depends on me for the exposure, it also is to do with individual personalities. As you probably can tell, I have an immense interest in Early Childhood Education and so, it is "easier" for me to continue on with the homeschooling path. Added to the fact that Dumpling has a strong sense of inquisitiveness, I guess we keep each other on our toes with our homeschooling. :)

It is perfectly alright to start with reading / pockets of activities. With children this young, I find that reading a book and then extending it to craft / a physical activity helps a lot to break the monotony. Also, when you first start, it would be unrealistic to think you can get your child to sit down for a full hour! So, start small with pockets of activities.

Where and how do you start? Here's some resources:
Lapbooking resources:

If you are reading books from the BFIAR list, she has a whole list of resources which you can print absolutely free of charge from the site

This site has great bibilical themes too

Some great homelearning websites for cool and fun ideas:

1) Confessions of a Homeschooler
this is one of my absolutely favourite sites with great ideas and links

2) A to Z teacher stuff

3) PBS
fun online games and interactive stuff though some stuff are limited to only in the US

this is jointly developed by Pauline and Rachel, 2 very unselfish and encouraging ladies whom I reach out to constantly for ideas, resources and advice. They even have homeschooling exercises on Chinese!

For crafts:

this is a superb site if you are doing thematic stuff as their crafts ideas can be filtered via themes, alphabetical order, etc. So, if you were for e.g. reading "The Gruffalo", you can extend this to include the various animals mentioned in the book mainly: fox, owl and snake. So you can search under themes->amphibians-> snake.

2) First School Preschool Activities

3) DLTK Kids
Even for kids as young as 1, you can start letting them play around with paints through craft. The idea is to start small and do small pockets of activities.

Even when your child is very young, they are still able to just play with finger paint. Dumpling started doing craft word when she was about 8+ months old. I realise that helped her in being less fussy about her fingers being dirty and she is more adventurous when it comes to tactile play.

These are some old pictures of Dumpling when she just turned 1.

Me guiding her to dab the various colours onto the paper plate

Thereafter, she did it on her own

The finished product. You can download the template here.

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