Preschool update

I was really excited to start preschool for Boston and his buddy this year, but also a little nervous.  I wasn’t sure if what I had planned would work, or if I would be the right teacher for the boys.  It’s been a relief to see that it has been going really well and I am much more confident.

Growth:
I’ve grown so much more confident in my ability to inspire and teach my child.  The boys have grown more confident over all because of the new skills they have learned and the knowledge they’ve gained.  My 2 year old knows the sounds of A-D.  He repeats the pledge of allegiance and articles of faith and he can recognize Van Gogh and Strauss in a picture and call them by name.  🙂 I can also tell he feels so big when he “counts”.  His counting usually starts and ends with the #2, but it’s so great to see how much even he’s absorbing when he only participates partly.

The big boys have learned how to spell their names and their writing skills and pencil grip has improved a ton from day one.  They also have the pledge of allegiance and Articles of faith 1-3 memorized. They love to point out when something reminds them of either our artist or composer of the month.  If we’re in a store and classical music is playing, Boston will point out that it sounds like Strauss.  The other day we were in a store with a bunch of famous art copies and Boston excitedly ran around pointing out the Van Goghs.  We’ve gotten through all of our zoo phonics flash cards and have moved on to the 2nd stage.

Where we’ve had success:
Our preschool schedule has been working great for the boys and myself.  We have the same routine every morning when they come in the door.  The end of our day is also the same, so I just come up with new lesson plans for the middle of preschool.  That has made things easy for me and it seems to be working for the boys.

Journal time didn’t seem to be exciting for the boys, so for the month of October I’ve cut that and replaced it with reading time while the boys eat or color.  They’ve loved reading time and after a half hour they are often still asking for more books.

Zoo phonics is a program I would recommend to anyone.  We love it and are finding a ton of success with it.  It’s inspiring Boston with reading and spelling.  He made up his own game where he starts saying a letter sound and then picks different words that start with this letter. Ie: “Puh, Puh, Puh, piano!”  He also can spell different words by sounding them out.  This is all due to zoo phonics (coupled with lots of story time).

Art day has been a highlight for the boys and a fun change of pace (at a different house).  We’ve also incorporated (at least last month) an exercise day with some other friends and that was a hit too!

The boys have amazing little memories and I’m always so impressed to see how much information they can retain.

My favorite resources and tips:
Chewing gum during writing time has been a successful little trick in helping the boys sit still at the table while they write, although their attention spans have been growing!

If we can turn any activity or lesson into something where we can move, then we do it.  These boys stay inspired and engaged when we incorporate a lot of movement!

The library is my best friend.  I have a constant rotation of about 40 books going through my house.  I order all the books online and our library is awesome and has a drive through that I can pick them up at.  So easy!  Each month I order every book I can find on our artist and composer for the next month and I read up on them.  Then when it comes time to teach the boys I know which books I want to read to them and I can filter out the really cool and preschool appropriate facts for them.

I have a planner that I write our schedule out in every preschool day as well as a calendar to mark what our basic lesson for the day will be.  I take notes in this planner on the boys progress, what worked that day, what didn’t and what to do to prepare for the next day.  That has been crucial to me not feeling overwhelmed.

Frog tape has saved me and my posters.  I use it to hang all of my heavy posters and we’ve been going off the same tape since the beginning of the year!

Overthebigmoon is one of my favorite websites to print out writing worksheets.

My preschool pinterest board is filled with some of my favorite preschool resources as well.

Well that’s about it on our update.  I’ve been relieved and excited that it’s gone so well.  Next year we’re moving to (3) 3 hour days a week (one day at another house) so that will be a new experience, but hopefully equally successful.  If you’re wanting to start your own preschool, my best advice is to ask for tips, advice, resources etc…  I’ve had so many friends contribute to our positive experience by sharing their best resources, experience and tips with me!

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