Great questions!mtnmama wrote:We are probably going to do a year round school schedule and our soon to be Kindergartener is ready to start now. What should I do to prepare him for structured learning? I want to impress upon him that this is something that we need to do regularly (whether he feels like it or not) but I don't want to intimidate him or turn him off to the experience. Any ideas on how to prepare the child and the environment?
1. There's the how can mom be prepared to start school too!
Be ready to ignore the phone during school, or be incredibly selective on the caller id. I have found that on some days if the phone rings and I see it is someone that I might need to talk to (like the archery teacher calling back), then I'll answer quickly. Otherwise, it can go to voice mail. Here's a neat thing -- answer professionally "Good Afternoon! This is the "insert school name". How may I help you today?" I tell, you... even with the national do not call lists don't work, that line works to get my number off those telemarketing lists.
1a. realize that even with the best schedules. life happens. it's ok. hug the baby. rock the baby. put baby in high chair with ice cube on tray....
2. helping the kid.... get ready.
Set aside specific time of day that you will be in "school time now honey!" That is going to depend and you might have trial and error while you find the best time fit (8 or 830 start. 9, or some families have other real life schedules that mean other times). Help them to transition if needed. There are certain things we have to do before we do school. I am not a clock watcher except to get to appointments outside of the house. So, many ways to do it all. But they really benefit from knowing when to start and when they can be done.
plan for a fun "night before" -- almost like a here's our school event.
Postby cbollin » Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:18 am
there's lots of ways to get them ready.
During their prior to Kindy years, we're always preparing and working with our children to get them to listen and do what we say. They are always working with us to get us to play with them. so, when we homeschool, it all comes together. School in the early years can be time to spend with our children and enjoy fun learning together and playing too.
so in some ways, I'm transition from not having to do school, to having to do school, was a natural transition. That doesn't mean it was easy to establish new routines in the day. And when my oldest was Kindy age, I had 2 other younger children (both with various special needs).
So, I'd do things like say "bring me that book and sit with me, while I read to you"
and that was school.
I'd say "bring me the can of soup" and stir this pot..... and that was getting school done too. Why? It was getting her ready to follow my instruction and be part of a team.
I said earlier that I'm not a "rigid clock watcher". There are people who function much better with having a more fixed schedule to their days than I did. Mine was "ok... it's close to 8 am, let's get something started" and opened the books and went with it. That way, there was this expectation that certain things were done at certain points in the day.
With my oldest child's personality, I had to learn to not let her get started on long projects first. She gets very into them.
So, while I don't have a checklist of things to do, I have these memories of getting ready for structured activities:
*I got me ready with the materials on hand, so that I wasn't running around looking for stuff. No, I don't have a perfectly clean and organized house, but the stuff was nearby and I could find it fast
*I played with my kid
*I read books to her -- so that is part of the day
*I helped her to have other stuff to do when I needed to change a bottom, or other life things....
so... try to look around your daily life routines and see when you have a really good 45-60 minutes or so to be able to do some focused worked while still keeping an eye on the toddlers. I found it helpful for a while to do my 60 minutes in shorter blocks because I had special needs kids that really needed my attention all day. I couldn't give my oldest my completed undivided attention during school work those years. But all kids get older
I didn't make a visual schedule for my kids for a while. But sometimes that helps if they can see what they are expected to go along with.
but in my case, I'm looking back many years ago and it just seems like a blur. It didn't happen overnight. It was gradual and a natural progression. Other children will need more structure to help them focus. It's funny -- how to get a Kindy kid ready for school really isn't about letters and numbers....