Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Joy School/ Home Preschool Ideas

Due to my work schedule, money, and a variety of personal reasons, my daughters aren't in a formal preschool. Last year we had a neighborhood preschool and this year I just work with my girls on my own. We call our "preschool" time "Theme of the Week". I bought some cheap supplies at the school supply store and the dollar store.
Each week we focus on: a letter, a number, and a theme
The letter and number can easily be incorporated with the theme. We start off each "Theme of the week" session with our version of "circle time". Circle time always has the same order, which helps them to know what comes next and what to expect. Here is our order:

#1-Name recognition
They have to pick which card has their name on it. We then sing a welcome song and when their name is said, they have to raise their name card. We then sing a made up song for each of their names that spells out their name (this helped my 2 year old to know how to spell her name already)


We review what season, month, day, date, and year it is. (I love this calendar I bought at Target that has these magnets for different events. My girls love to look at it and know what is coming up later in the month).
We then sing "The Addams Family" theme song but plugging in the days of the week instead to help teach the days. It goes like this "Days of the week. (clap, clap) Days of the week (clap, clap). There's Sunday and there's Monday, there's Tuesday and there's Wednesdays, there's Thursday and there's Friday, and then there's Saturday. Days of the week (clap, clap)" etc. When we say the current day during the song, they are to raise their hand.

We look out the window and decide what the weather is like.

#4-The Pledge of Allegiance
I hold the big flag and they take turns getting to hold the little flag as we recite the pledge. (They always get really excited if it is their turn to hold the flag.)

#5-Colors and Shapes review
My girls mostly know all their shapes and colors, so don't spend too much time on them, but we do flash card review with them.

#6-Letter of the week and number of the week
We practice recognizing the number and counting. We talk about the lower case and upper case letter and what sound it makes. I bought this whole set of letter books and I really like this Leap frog letter sound toy. This is also when we practice pre-writing skills (like mazes) and eventually writing the names or the first letter of their name.

The theme activities are spread out through the week. I usually have a coloring page related to the theme. I get out all the toys related to the theme, books, activities, food activities related to the theme, a movie related to the theme, and crafts.

My girls have loved our "theme of the week" time and I like feeling like I am teaching them something. The number, letter, and theme picture stays on their bedroom door for the week.
For some theme ideas, here are some we did with my neighborhood last year (it is a little different from what I do now, but still a good place to start):


Lettie said...

Oh, this just made me sad that I am so bad at doing this now. It was so fun!
At our little co-op preschool we sing the same songs for the days of the week.
Good work, Rachel.

Room Mom 101 said...

I just came across your blog and love all your fun ideas. I just did a post about making a water/sand table and want to feature your rice bin idea. I will be checking back on all your ideas!

Heather Anderson said...

YOu really do have some great ideas I wish I was in Joy school with you! I wanted to respond to the post on my blog... I would love to arrange family photos with you! I book about tow months out... so next time you plan to come to SO CAl let me know and we will schedule a beach shoot. I will also be doing photos in Ut this year on May 1st... you are in UT, right??? Just let me know ;)

Anonymous said...

Cute blog! Check out more preschool at home ideas on my blog,
Homeschooling Mom of 4
Author, Homepreschool and Beyond

Kate said...

I really love that weather station. Is that something you made yourself or bought? I was wonder what was holding the pieces together when they are not used as that days weather. Really great ideas! Thank you!