I've finally come up with a more formal long-term plan for Little Pink Girl's preschool. I'm incorporating things for Little Boy Blue as well since he's involved most of the time.
Last fall (or summer, I can't remember which) I read a book by Richard and Linda Eyre called Teaching Children Joy. I loved it. I feel as though is more of a program for boosting E.Q. (emotional quotient) rather than I.Q. Recent studies have shown that the real indicator for success is E.Q. rather than I.Q. It has 13 "joys" to focus on.
The authors suggest that you put together a co-op school with other mothers, and they even have a whole curriculum all prepared that you can use (find it at valuesparenting.com). It costs $100 per family ($150 the first time), and it sounded great. It really is a lot cheaper than any other private school, and I like the idea of Little Pink Girl having some time with friends a couple of times a week. She thrives on social interaction.
But we just didn't have the money to do something like that. But when I re-read the introduction to the book (which, by the way, you can get for free on valuesparenting.com) I realized that I could still do it all at home. We'd have to work a little harder to provide the social interaction Little Pink Girl needs, but I could do everything else.
So, as the book suggested, I am focusing on one "joy" each month and planning our school time around it. I am also using Sandi Queen's Language Lessons for Little Ones since Helen is ready for it. We do that three days a week.
Then two days a week we are focusing on Shapes and/or colors for Little Boy Blue until he has both down. Both of them do whatever activity we are working on, so it's a good review for Little Pink Girl and a good preview for Little Boy Blue.
We started in April this year. This first month has been very informal as I've been figuring out exactly what it is we need to do. The joy for this month is "spontaneous delight." That really means to me just having fun. :) So it's been a good start to preschool. We've blown bubbles, had tickle sessions, read fun books, popped popcorn and watched it fly, played with play dough and made cookies.
We also used a Shapes discovery kit from the library, and I've been pointing colors out to Little Boy Blue all over the place. We did a color dot hide-and-seek, which actually didn't go so well. They didn't want me to hide the dots; they just wanted to play with them. At the end of the month we got Language Lessons for Little Ones and started it. Helen was most interested in learning the letters and not so much the art and poetry. I had her narrate one book back to me, and she did ok for the first time. But we need to do it more.
I'm afraid I didn't take any pictures, but this month I have a plan for every day and I'll take pictures to share with you next month. I'm also writing it all down in journal so I can remember more of what we did.
Until next month ...