Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Preschool at Home

**I'm so excited to announce that I've started a youtube channel discussing everything home making. My channel name is Surviving As Mom.  Check it out!! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmrj6ilyMI5G2hnraXRWpEQ

Let me start by saying that I'm NOT a teacher.  I also don't plan to "homeschool" my children in the sense that I will replace actual schooling with my teachings.  My plan is simply to try to expose my children to "preschool" learning on my own since actual preschool is out of my budget.  My children are smart and I want to take advantage of their desire and ability to learn.  I also don't want them to be behind when they enter kindergarten because I couldn't pay for preschool.

I decided to make the commitment to teach my children because I feel terrible that I can't put them in preschool.  Where I live, all preschools are paid for by parents.  I feel like I am hurting them or holding them back, so I made the decision to do something about it.

To be fair, I have to admit that I only just started doing this last week.  I'm still feeling it out and making adjustments, but I'm working on it.  I'm not sure if I can keep it up for a whole year, but I will try.

Most of my material and lesson plans come from other "homeschool" websites.  I take bits and pieces from different sources and make my own plan.  I will list some sources at the bottom of this page.  I also use "preschool" workbooks that are a great practice tool for writing.

I've purchased many material at Target (in the $1 section) and at Dollar Tree.  They have a good variety of teacher and student supplies that are very useful.

Youtube is another good resource for teaching.  I've studied videos that have teaching techniques for me.  Youtube also has a wide variety of teaching videos for kids.  I like the "sight words" videos and "alphabet" videos.  I will expand eventually, but we are just beginning so I don't want to overwhelm my 4 year olds.

My children LOVE their iPad and so do I.  At first I was resistant to it, but then I realized that I can download learning apps and the kids will play and not realize they are learning.  I'm ashamed to admit it, but the iPad also buys me hours of peace when necessary, though I do TRY not to abuse it.  Hey, no one is perfect :-).  I've discovered that there is a whole world of learning apps for kids that are all very useful.  I can't begin to tell you how many useful things my boys have learned from these games.  Even the games that don't seem like obvious learning games have a benefit.  For example, Angry Birds, Bad Piggies and Cut the Rope.  I've watched my boys negotiate angles, timing, planning, physics and engineering.  These games really make them think and it amazes me to watch them try over and over again to clear a board and see their little brains working to figure things out.  In addition to these games, we have actual "educational" games that teach them everything from reading and writing, math, cleaning, weather, cooking, emotions, and just about everything else out there.  There are even games that teach them social standards, manners, taking turns, and general appropriate behavior.  Many of these games are free or will allow for free play with locked items that require a payment to unlock the full version.  It is also great that I can buy an app once and share it between both iPads.  I can't list every single game they have because they probably have about 150 games, but I will mention a few.    Games made by: Bamba, Duck Duck Moose, Toca Boca.  Just search for "preschool" games and you'll see and endless supply of suggestions.

If you want to know more about this subject, let me know and I will try to give more details.