Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Benny's Preschool Time

I have never run an actual "preschool" type program before this year. I think Jessie and Violet had both by ages 3 1/2 learned their letters, numbers, shapes, and colors just by reading books with me. Benny, however, prefers books that tell a story over alphabet, counting, shape, or color books. We used M&Ms to teach him several colors, and he has listened to sisters count enough that he can count fairly well (at least when no one is listening). So as I thought about some goals for him, I realized we needed to work on some basic preschool stuff this year.

Not having time to put together my own program, I went looking on the web and found Letter of the Week. Their preparatory program became the basis of our preschool time. It has only required a few changes and additions on my part.

For teaching letters, they suggest a letter coloring page, posting the letters on the wall, and tracing the letters in something like pudding, finger paint, or rice. Benny doesn't really like to color or hates getting his hands dirty in food or paint. We also don't have wall space for letters. I also wanted him to learn both the capital and lowercase letters. Instead of the wall, we put letter magnets up on the refrigerator each week. Since Benny likes puzzles, I thought that some way to match the capital letter to the lowercase letter might work well. I found an egg matching game at on the internet that I printed on card stock and cut out. (It doesn't seem to be available anymore, so I'll try to put my file up and link to it later this week.) We also start each time singing the alphabet song. Benny always wants to skip the song and just read but has resigned himself to sit and listen to mom sing (except for one day last week when he VERY quietly sang along parts of it).

For teaching numbers, I have a game I made last year from an Evan-Moor book I believe. It has 10 frogs with the numbers 1-10 and 10 lily pads with 1-10 flies on them. The first day Benny wanted to do more frogs than just the 1 and 2 so I put out the pieces up to 5. All I had to do was tell him what the number was for 3, 4, and 5, and he knew right away which lily pad it belonged on.

We also have and use whenever Benny is interested a few Kumon books. The titles are Let's Color!, Let's Cut!, and Let's Sticker & Paste! Benny loves the latter 2 and thinks the coloring book is just OK. It is the only coloring book he will actually use though. I find the books to be cute, colorful, easy to use, and thankfully not very expensive. These books say for ages 2 and up. I might try some of the books for the 3-5 age in the spring. Here are a couple of his cutting pages from our first week of preschool.

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