Both my daughters have November birthdays. With a late birthday comes a choice to make, start them in Kindergarten at age 4 turning 5 or wait another year. When my oldest daughter started approaching age 4 my husband and I knew we had to make a choice, either she could start Kindergarten at age 4 right before she turned 5 or wait one more year. Would she be ready? We both knew she was super hyper and had a short attention span, I pondered the choice for awhile, my husband on the other hand had his mind made up quickly he wanted to wait another year. He was right she needed another year to settle down and strengthen her listening skills.
Once we made the decision to wait another year brought up the next choice. Do we send her to preschool? After I pondered the question for some time my husband and I made the conscience decision to spare her an extra year of school and instead we turned to a homeschool approach for preschool. Was I capable of teaching her what she needed to know before Kindergarten? I wasn’t sure, the only degree I had was an associates in liberal arts. It’s been over a year since I’ve started to create a learning environment at home. Mostly filled with pretend play in the beginning and in time with much trial and error we’ve been able to create a more structured environment to prepare her for Kindergarten.
Although I don’t always have an abundant amounts of patience I’ve been able to stick through it long enough to see a change in my daughter. Watching her develop a love of learning that at times comes and goes. I allow her to grow at her pace, if she’s not interested I can tell by her cues, and we stop there for the day. I try to mix a structure approach with lots of different games throughout the day to reinforce whatever we’re working on at the time.
This blog is place for me to share with other parents like myself ideas to help teach their children. Ideas in the form of printables I’ver created and use with my duaghters, and or toys, games, etc. I use to carry out our preschool lessons. All awhile trying to stay honest, pretending that perfection is possible doens’t help anyone push through difficult times. Trying to create a fun effective learning evironment although difficult it is possible. There are days I can get my oldest to sit down and read a book, and actively show interest in learning, and other days when I hear the words “mom were playing right now this isn’t about letters.” I’ve noticed with my oldest the best thing I can do is keep trying, new ideas, reusing old ideas, and sometimes letting her navigate the play as I try and create a pretend play space that incorporates as much educational value as possible.
Photos above are from my daughters upstairs playroom-game room space they share with my husband. Trying to create a functional space in a small home although challenging is possible. It’s their favorite room in the house, especially my youngest loves the play kitchen where she can grab everything out and throw it all over the floor, till she gets bored and moves on to the next thing. Pictures taken after all toys cleaned up for the day and everything went back to it’s correct spot. That’s important to me everything having a spot, and that the spot makes some sort of sense. Being a small space I work with what I have. My daughters pretend doctor area isn’t as cool as I’d like because space is limited therefore it’s stuffed inside the playhouse. The pretend teacher play area where I can talk my daughter into doing worksheets is stuffed in the middle of building block storage tote and a pretend play washer/dryer. My oldest wanted a grocery store for her birthday, it’s a great addition to the space because it allows my husband and I to incorporate the concept of money into play, and reinforces counting, counting change bills whatever. The apple tree on the door my daughters love taking off the apples to go apple picking and sell at the grocery store. I do not have an actual template to share for the apple tree because I hand drew the tree on 6 sheets of paper laminated each sheet and taped them together on the back. Not my best work, it is functional though. For the apples I hand drew them laminated the sheets cut them out and placed Velcro circles on the back of each apple.
Photos above are my daughters playroom-game room after they finished playing for the day, before everything went back in it’s place. It really is their favorite room in the house, because its a place where they can play hands on with just about everything in there. Although cleaning up after is a chore for us all, half time well most the time I end up finishing the cleaning process myself.
Items listed above are some of my favorite toys to use to help incorporate learning into pretend play. The house is neat because it allows my daughter to create her own house desgin whenever she feels like it. (I am a part of amazon affiliates and make a commission on links above.)