Monday, September 04, 2006

Baby school.

OK, It isn't school it is play. My idea of teaching might not agree with everyone but it works for us. I like to introduce my children to school stuff in a fun way. I feel my job as a teacher is to open of the love of learning in my children. I feel if I make learning fun they will want to learn more. If I can have fun with reading, writing, and math and lay a good foundation they will want to keep going with it when they are older. I DO NOT PUSH! I DO let them learn at a rate they are ready for! My DD is 14 months old. I started what in my house we call her school time. We never called it "school" when my son was this young but he does "school time" now that he is 6. Everyone in my house now calls his work "school". I decided everyone in our house would know this is important baby time if we call it school.

We read the story of Jonah and worked on the verse Obey God. We also clapped to the music. All of that was all from HOH for a 2 year old. I know she isn't 2 but I already had the program and did it with my son when he was 18 months old.

She wanted to color with markers (she can't use crayons well yet). She did draw on her face. I made up some of what I call HOP MATS for her. Today we did the number one. My mats for her are about 12in X 12in. When anyone in our family walks from the kitchen to the living room we have to hop on and shout ONE. My DD thinks this is FUN!

I used the grip type of shelf liner and sharpie to make them up. I will add 1 or 2 at a time.

Square and circle.

LETTERS! This is my take on letters. You need sounds of the letters not names to read. Most of our reading and writing is lower case. I will show her both but I am only looking to "teach" the lower case (I feel that will be done in the next 3-4 years). I will teach sounds over names of letters. My goal is to help her read later on not sing the ABC song. We do say our ABC's but it isn't as important as the sounds for me. Below you will see my "a" mat we will say "aaaaaah" DH and DS might say "A goes aaaaah" That will be OK. I do hope everyone does the aaaaah part when walking on the a. I will use blue for a,e,i,o,u and red for all other letters. I do like Montessori way of teaching reading but I don't follow it exactly. KWIM? I don't think children hop and shout letter sounds in a Montessori classroom. I am just doing what "fits" for my family.

Some of the ways we use the hop mats are hop and shout. Run to the "circle". Toss a bean bags on them. Set up hopscotch with them. Sit on them. Put an apple on the letter a. Put one toy on the number one, two on the 2 and so on. Spelling words and lots of other silly games. I will try to post how we are using them as we get going. I came up with the idea for my son when he was young. He was older than 14 months. He learned very quickly and they didn't get a lot of use our of his letter, number, skip counting sets. I still use this style of teaching with him. His mats are a LOT smaller and he walks on his hands with me holding his feet to do drills. He has a multiplication set I don't think I ever posted. I will do that this week. I have a hop mat grammar sets posted .... My DD is trying to help me type this so I will have to write more later. We are going to read some books. She likes me to read I'm a little tea pot over and over. Hmmm.... I think I need to make up a felt set for that song.

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