I find myself in an interesting position this year. I have a four year old that really wants to ‘do school’. When my older children were his age I believed that earlier was better and that we needed a strong academic emphasis when they were young. However, over the last few years I’ve come to realize that less really is more when it comes to academics and young children. Children learn through play and exploration. However, I also want to support his desire to learn. To that end I’ve decided on a few academic activities that we will do each week as his ‘school work’. I will also provide him with plenty of opportunities for free play and exploration.
Math: In addition to working with numbers in everyday life we are going to use 1-2 lessons per week from the Schoolhouse Teachers Preschool Playground Numbers, Patterns, and Cognitive Skills class. These lessons are short and fun and will give him varied exposure to age appropriate topics. I am also going to do a calendar notebook that we can do together each day. In this notebook we will work on numbers as we talk about dates, months of the year, days of the week, weather and seasons. Some of the calendar printables are coming from Schoolhouse Teachers and I am adding in a few freebies. This will be a great chance to start this habit and next year I will build upon that with more concepts included in the calendar notebook.
Reading/Phonics: He has been interested in learning all of his letters (thanks Letter Factory) and so we are going to work on a different letter each week. I found the book Eating the Alphabet Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z to get us started. Each week we will do four activities with the letter of the week. One day we will work on tracing and writing the letter, one day we will have a snack with foods that start with that letter, another day we will put pictures of objects that start with that letter into our sensory bin to play with, and the fourth day will be making the letter with Play-Doh or some other sensory material. I am creating the sensory bin cards for each letter and will have the available to download from the blog each week as we get to that letter.
In addition to the letter of the week we will be reading lots and lots of books together. He loves reading and we will continue to read old favorites and introduce some new books. I am blessed that my older children also enjoy reading to him, so he gets extra reading time. If he wants a little more practice (or just to do a craft) we may do some of these free ABC Crafts from All About Learning.
Science: He really enjoyed the sensory science bins from Schoolhouse teachers last year so I may keep some of those on rotation. We love hiking and doing nature study and I am going to give him his own nature journal this year to draw and narrate to me.
Art: He loves doing chalk art pastel lessons with Nana at You Are an Artist and their Clubhouse Membership includes special preschool lessons that are a perfect fit for him. He also tries doing the lessons that the older children complete, but the preschool lessons give him his own special time.
Life Skills: He loves helping in the kitchen so we will continue to allow him to help and learn in the kitchen. He will be learning how to complete some new chores this year like making his bed.
This may seem like a long list but the ‘seat work’ portion of the list should not take more than about 30-40 minutes total four days a week. I believe this will be enough to keep him excited about school but still give him plenty of time for free play and exploring. As always I will see how this system is working and adjust it as needed.
Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure
When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.
This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.
Deals and Freebies!
You Are An Artist Clubhouse Memberships are now Open for enrollment!!
SchoolhouseTeachers.com is doing an amazing sale this month! Buy One year get One Year FREE! We use this for several of our courses and one price covers all the students in your home for as many of their over 400 courses and you would like to use.
Free ABC Mouse Trial: Looking for a little summer education for your children when it is too hot to play outside? ABC Mouse is offering a FREE 30 day trial. This is a great way to give it a try and see if it works for your child.
Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.
Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)
Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)
Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!
Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!