How much difference can one little three year old make in a homeschool day? I’ll just say that ever since Carmen started talking (soon after she turned one, it seems!), she’s been quite skilled at inserting herself into our school day. And I’ve been spinning in circles trying to come up with ways to keep her occupied while all the rest of us do school.
My “circles” have included trying to do school during her nap time, but the big kids just didn’t take to that well at all. They had about 1/4 of the motivation they usually have in the morning. So I kept spinning, and I juggled and I sighed and tried to remember to take one day at a time.
After many of those “one day at a times,” Carmen is now three, and she’s just a little more interested in doing school right along with the rest of us. The most challenging part of school life with a three year old right now is just how unpredictable she can be. Some days she’s eager to participate in the activities I’ve prepared for her, and some days she’s just. . . we’ll, she’s just a grump and nothing suits her — at ALL!
And then there are the days that this mother finds the most beautiful (and rare) of all: the days she happily keeps herself entertained with her dolls, coloring books, picture books and what not.
Follow me for a tour of Carmen’s pre-school:
Making Play-Doh cupcakes complete with birthday candles (in anticipation of her 3rd birthday).
Spooning marbles into a glass bottle. They make such a nice plinking sound! She soon got tired of using the spoon and just used her fingers instead.
Learning when to STOP pouring water into teacups so they don’t overflow, 🙂
and serving some to her big brother.
Tape resist painting with her crafty big sister. When she pulled the tape off, there was a white C in the middle of her watercolor painting. Cute!
Sorting googly eyes by size.
Helping Mommy with the laundry.
Finding a feather on a nature walk.
Learning how to set the table with her cute little dishes from Grammy and Grandaddy.
This “Learn-How-to-Set-the-Table” place mat is available at Parents.com.
And, finally, ABCs.
We’ve had this Fridge Phonics gizmo by LeapFrog since Megan was three (six years now). Carmen is the third one of our kids to learn with it, and my sister borrowed it for her boys, so it’s gotten good use. It’s still a great learning tool, and I’d still recommend it, even with all the other YouTube videos, free online games, and apps out there. It’s magnetic, so it can hang on your fridge for your little ones to go to anytime they like. And the little ditty, “S says ‘S-s-s,’ S says ‘S-s-s, every letter makes a sound, S says ‘S-s-s,’ catches on quite easily. (Those of you who have this can hear it right now, can’t you?!)
I found this neat idea on Pinterest. You velcro one letter of the alphabet along with five pictures that begin with that letter on to a paint stick. The free printable can be found here.
Two other of my current favorites for alphabet/phonics learning are:
A compilation of You Tube clips that can be found here, and
Endless Alphabet, a free app.