3-year olds - When to start homeschooling

Using MFW Preschool & Pre-K Packages, as well as occupying babies and toddlers while teaching
Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Re: 3 y.o. boy -- need advice about what to purchase

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:54 pm

oooh -- I just remembered a really cool resource we used. Boz's Big Book of Bible Fun. We used Jesus & Me, but I see that there are other titles such as God's World & Me and God's People & Me. It's kind of like a Prechool Sunday School lesson with several supporting pages that include activities like counting, mazes, coloring. You could easily do one lesson per week and do as many workbook pages as your child wants to without thinking they "have to do it." The MFW PreK materials are fantastic for building dexterity and developing reasoning, etc., so if you added those to a fun workbook that you only used when the inspiration hit, you'd have more than enough to do for a child of that age.

eta: I'm talking about informal, only do it when the dc is interested in it kind of stuff. A 3yo is going to learn a lot more by exploring and building and imagining and playing than they will by doing a worksheet. ;)
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: 3 y.o. boy -- need advice about what to purchase

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:23 pm

bookwrm06 wrote:That said, he is a very sweet and tender-hearted child who I think could get his feelings hurt if he was presented with material he couldn't master right away.
That made me smile. I remember one of my reasons for waiting until age 6 for K with my oldest was that I didn't think he could handle someone taking his crayons (public school). Those reasons do matter :)

Good idea on developing character at this age. Academics, too, with the preschool & preK kits, yes. But also character. Stories are good for that purpose. I was just commenting to my dh last night that the series How Does A Dinosaur Say Good-Night and the rest of those are really character training in disguise :) First they ask if the dino does mean, naughty things; then they say no, he does these nice, sweet things ;) But it takes time together to explore those lessons and not just let them pass out of mind. Gradually he will be ready for more complex story lines of good character.

And doing things like the preschool activities is also a part of character training. Things like accepting a structure in our day, following directions, and listening carefully to increasingly complex instructions are good training methods. So is playing board games and following the rules a little more each time ;)

I think the thing that our young ones benefit from most is having mom time set aside in a routine way. Homeschooling gave that to us, but you get to start even younger than we did at our house! Moms have a way of getting kids to slow down and notice things they might have rushed past, such as how a tent pole fits into its base or how an ant is actually carrying a load. Last night, I realized my 5yo grandson didn't realize we read lines in a book from left-to-right; what fun to see him slowly growing from a little boy clowning around and shouting out while I read, to watching with a new interest as I ran my finger under the text.

And I admit, I'm a better-late-than-early gal on academics. If you decide to wait on the abstract symbols of letters and numbers, rest assured that waiting didn't hurt my kids. My oldest son is 27 now. He was a super-active, inquisitive little kid. He started K at 6 and was just ready to sit down with fascination -- I think because he wasn't tired of it, plus he had enough background by then that it all just made sense. My oldest had another gap year after high school (Army Reserves) and started college at 19. He's now a working engineer. I don't look at it like he was "held back" but that he "had a longer foundation."

But if you want some more specific activities in the meanwhile, I'm glad this thread has some great ideas and you'll probably get more after the weekend. I also wanted to mention that I've read a lot of good stuff on the preschool/preK board here, too:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewforum.php?f=2

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

bookwrm06
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:48 pm

Re: 3 y.o. boy -- need advice about what to purchase

Unread post by bookwrm06 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:24 pm

Thank you all so much for your advice! It sounds like I should definitely wait until fall when he's 4 or even next spring or fall to start the K program. I'm really looking forward to it -- the activities and lessons look great. In the meantime I think I'll order the Lauri toys and maybe supplement with a workbook here and there. He loves doing workbook pages for some reason, so I can let him do that whenever we need some variation in routine.

cbollin - I really appreciate the encouragement and also the suggestions of a general plan for each day. I think I will start with that goal in mind, using with the Bible songs and then picking a story and activity every day, then an activity card with a toy. I think he would really like the structure and it gives me a concrete goal to plan for each day. I don't know why it never occurred to me to use his Sunday school or Wednesday night catechism lesson at home for Bible. This is definitely a good and easy idea!

cindy - we did get Boz's Big Book of Bible Fun from a relative and he enjoyed working those pages at the time. I need to pull that out and put it with our other materials.

julie - thanks for the encouragement! I never thought about the fact that just setting aside some structured school time and following directions are important goals. I have a hard time providing that "structure" as I'm pretty distractable and tend to just go off on whatever is most interesting at the time, so that is something good for me to keep in mind.

Thank you all again so much for taking your time to offer your ideas! Starting out homeschooling is a bit disconcerting since you can't rely on the school/teacher to choose the curriculum and do the planning for you, and it is so nice to hear what others are doing and get encouragement from those who have been through this phase.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Question about Preschool Curriculum

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:04 pm

courtney1978 wrote:
Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:01 pm
I am considering buying All Aboard the Animal Train for my 3 year old. He just turned three last week and, being the youngest, we may just keep him home for preschool. He is SO ready to do some more one on one and this is one curriculum that looks right at his level and something he could really enjoy. I'm thinking of starting in January and stretching it for a full calendar year.

He is wanting to learn letters, so we have been working on that. I do wonder how much opportunity there is to do that in the curriculum though. I see something about optional "alphabet art" in the lesson plans. Can somebody tell me more about that? Of course I can keep doing my own thing, but having some structure may be nice as well. Thanks so much!!
Hello and welcome!

The preschool manual does include hands-on alphabet activities which you can include in your pre-K day, but they are optional. Many kids love feeling grown-up by understanding those mysterious symbols we call letters, but often they tire quickly because their brains are still very concrete, while letters that represent sounds are pretty abstract. So you can feel free to let go of those letter activities if he loses interest, and he will learn the same skills just as quickly when he's a year older. (Okay, I admit, I'm a better-late-than-early gal. My youngest learned to read before K but I spent even more time with him, unlearning his memorization method and re-introducing phonics.)

And you're right that MFW preschool will give him the one-on-one that young ones crave and will be just at his level -- reading stories, talking together about them, doing hands-on activities, learning a well-rounded daily routine, and training in important Godly character traits that will help him in the years ahead. I predict a fun year!

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

MFW-Lucy

Re: Question about Preschool Curriculum

Unread post by MFW-Lucy » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:47 am

Hi Courtney,

A great way to feed that interest with letters and numbers is also with great books. When my kids were preschool age we would pick up a different letter and number book each week at the library. This is a fun way to lightly introduce letters and numbers through great art and stories.

One of my favorite pieces of research is the impact that reading aloud to children has on their eventual success in reading. (this is actually shared in the Preschool Teacher's Manual:)). The books in the curriculum (and the list in the appendix if you want to add more books or just use your library) will give you one of the best loved times together as well as laying a foundation for reading!

Blessings,
Lucy

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