Sep 13, 2011

Proud Mama!

Today marked our first day of more formalized learning for our little Ella Bella. I'm going to write and show what I've done so that, should some other overwhelmed mother of a toddler stumble across this blog, it might be of some help!

It doesn't matter that I have a good college education and graduated Summa Cum Laude. The thought of educating my toddler still terrified me! SURE, I know my ABC's, colors, shapes and numbers...but how do I best teach that to a two year old? How do I make that fun? How do I choose which method to use? I want to lay a foundation that won't need to be ripped up and redone by someone else!

But thanks to a lot of prayer, some good research, awesome creative inspiration from Pinterest, and some great friends, the weighty responsibility of educating my toddler is becoming less stressful by the second. Here's what I'm doing:
Mondays and Fridays are preschool story time at local libraries. Great for literacy, motor skills with crafts, and socialization.
Tuesdays and Thursday mornings will have learning time at the table where we'll focus on one letter a week as well as some colors, shapes, drawing, sorting, matchin, organizing etc.
Wednesdays I will go to Bible study so she'll get more socialization and practice with separation in child care.
Oh how I love routines and stability! So important for kids...and my sanity as well!

So today we introduced "A". I started by putting her letter A flag in her mailbox for her to find in the morning. Oh she was so excited! We went downstairs and hung her A flag on her banner. We'll put up a new letter each week and at the end have a beautiful alphabet banner to display anywhere! (See THIS post for a tutorial on how to make this frugal, no-sew fabulousness)Then at the table after breakfast we colored an A page, all the while talking about the different things on the page that start with A and saying our A sounds over and over. We continued our A sounds while making an A out of apple prints! Next we had fun making our "tracing goo". Dollar store hair gel, food coloring, and glitter in a plastic bag, and they have tons of fun finger tracing their letters. (Thanks Angie) She finger traced A three times! Later we read her letter A book that grandma got her for just this occasion! We will continue reviewing A in these ways throughout the week. Here are some other things we'll do to keep things lively...trace the letters I made in page protectors with dry erase markers. Finger trace letters in a box of salt. Use our flash cards...hunt for the A and then say the sound when she finds it. Draw the letter on paper and shape playdough over it or put stickers over it. Cut the letter our of playdough or cookie dough with our letter cookie cutters. Go on scavenger hunts to find things that start with A.
Ella won't turn three until Dec. Which means if she went into preschool this year, she'd be in preschool for 3 years before she's old enough to enter kindergarden. That's way to much preschool. But she's super smart and we could tell she needed a little more intellectual stimulation. We knew we needed to do something and boy were we right. So how did today go? Ella LOVED it! She was engaged. She was less mischevious throughout the day because she wasn't bored and we had a routine. She kept saying, "I want to learn my ABCD's." May aim will continue to be to just expose her to these things and have fun. But she is proving, once again, to be smart as a whip. She can now identify the letter A and what sound it makes! I'm one proud mama!

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Hooray! Sounds like it's going well. I especially liked the "recipe" for tracing goo. Very clever, and I bet it's fun to use!