So I have decided that with the new school year approaching that Evie is ready to go to school as well. At 2.5 I feel she is ready to learn some of her early learning concepts in a more formal way. She has already done excellently learning in an informal play-based way, but there are some skills which need to be nurtured in a more standardized setting.
I am a big fan of the play to learn movement and am happy to let her learn in her own way most of the day, but I have decided that her nature requires that we being to learn in a formal manner as well. While learning her early learning material she is also learning to follow instructions and to practice focusing on one thing for an appropriate amount of time. She is a very physical, very busy girl and it is a great exercise for her to be still for a short amount of time. She is of course all over and under her chair the entire time, but as her ability to focus her brain grows so will her ability to focus her body. I feel the biggest thing at this stage is not to push it or cause any negative associations. We work when she is in a good mood and stop when she is done.
For now we are not looking at a large curriculum, basically we are learning letters, numbers, colours and shapes. I have downloaded and purchased several workbooks which look fun and useful, but I would love some suggestions of curriculums that have worked for any of my readers as well.
Now maybe my post is premature as we have only been working on our program for 2 days, but I am
kind of excited about it! Everyday Evie chooses a book and we choose one page for the day. Yesterday she chose the Letters book and we started our work on "A". We traced the letter twice together and I asked her to make one herself. To my surprise she then made a very passable (though backwards) "a". Maybe I am overly excited, but draw great encouragement from that. After her success she was done. Our lesson lasted all of 5 minutes, but it was a good start to me.
Todays lesson was a little different, she chose her "Colours and Shapes" book. She was fairly focused for a surprising half hour, I think most of that was enjoying changing her art mediums in the designated colours. Therein lay her greatest challenge of the day, she very much enjoys free art and would have preferred to go crazy on her pages. This was an excellent moment of learning for her, she needs to work on following instructions from others. Fortunately it only took some gentle reminders to keep her on task. When we were down we got out her colouring books and she got to express her creativity unharnessed.
I am also hoping that once the new baby gets here this will be something just for us. Hopefully while this baby naps (fingers crossed he does!) or even if we have to wait until Daddy gets home, I will be able to stop and give her all my attention for even a short time everyday.
I am just getting my feet wet in this program, but I am really excited about it. Not only to get Evie a head start on her learning concepts, but also to help her work on self-control and focus, skills upon which all of us could use a little work! So fingers crossed it works out and please send me any suggestions with what has worked for you.