Each month you will find:
- A seasonal round-up (toward the beginning of the month)
- A guest post featuring crafts, activities, tips, snack ideas or other early childhood topics. (toward the end of the month)
- Posts where I share what I have been up to with my preschoolers and/or early elementary children.
Each week, I will host a link up, where you can share either what you have been up to recently, or old posts that may go with the theme. Feel free to link up more than one post.
Each week I will continue to feature a couple of posts from those that have been linked up.
I hope you will continue to share your wonderful posts, and I hope you will find something new to try with your child.
It would be great for everyone to stop by and visit the other linked-up posts as well. Check them out, leave some comments, pin those that interest you. Let's make this a real party and socialize with each other.
Today I am excited to introduce you to Rebecca from Raventhreads
Rebecca is a 30-something wife, mother and follower of Jesus. She enjoys cross-stitching, homeschooling her four children and spending time in the Bible and in the fellowship of other Christian women. She blogs at Raventhreads
where she's trying to weave all the threads of her life together into a story. You can also find her on Facebook
where she shares snippets from her life and quotes from her favorite books.
In our house, we have a four and a five year old who are running around after the bigger kids, dying for me to assign them their own "schoolwork." If you have older children, you may be receiving that push from your younger children too! However, oftentimes, by the time I get my older two children settled into their school assignments or projects for the day, the younger two have found a game to play together or some toys to play with and legos to build and my opportunity for formal education has vanished for the day.
If you find that this is happening to you too, I want to give you five ways to ease your little one into a school routine, using some ideas that I have gleaned from my experience with easing my little ones into the idea of doing school.
1. Prepare the Night Before
If you have older children in the house, it is essential that you prepare their independent work for them the night before. I like to leave my 10 and 8 year old children a morning checklist of things they need to do after breakfast. This way, they are productive and not looking to me for direction first thing in the morning. If I get entangled in finding work for the older children or working on things that are not independent for them first thing in the morning, then I'll never get around to having school with my little kids.
2. Start with the Little Kids First
I like to start with the most important things that I want the little kids to do in the morning. They're perfectly capable of filling the rest of their day up with play and then my opportunity for Mommy-directed learning tends to go straight out the window. I usually start the little kids with their verses that I want them to memorize and a Bible story and prayer time. Then, they get to spend a little time on the computer playing with lessons like the Alphabet Song Game
, La La Logic
, or CTC Math.
(We tend to be an online directed family, and we heavily use computer programs for pieces of our curriculum.)
3. Have a Set Time of Day for Reading Aloud
On our days at home, I always make reading picture books aloud my first thing after lunch. We have a library afternoon every week or two where I allow the little ones to freely choose picture books, and they use those for me to read aloud to them in our after lunch routine. I also make sure that I read something that I have chosen aloud to them during that time as ear training for chapter books soon and to help build their love for literature. Many of the selections I read to them come from The Children's Book of Virtues
or other books in this genre.
4. Use a Literature Notebook for Building Literacy
I have a simple tool that I often use for building reading, writing, and storytelling ability. It's a notebook. In our house, little ones draw pictures of something I've read to them, and then they dictate sentences or a story for me to write in their notebooks. I also often write a sentence in their notebook for them to copy. It's a perfect low pressure way for us to talk about words and to help them build their sentence writing and beginning reading skills. It's also flexible because you can use it for any purpose that you like, and it's a fun writing and drawing time for your little ones.
5. Relax and Realize They Are Learning More Than You Think
There are many times when I think I don't do enough with my little ones because I compare them to what the kids their age are doing in their classrooms at school. Yet, I realize that each day I see them learning. I hear their laughter as they play. I see their budding desire to learn and their enthusiasm for both their play and their "schoolwork." I have those amazing moments where I also see what they're absorbing from listening to my older children's books and schoolwork too, and I realize that they're really learning a lot. Even on the days where it seems like the only educational thing I've done with them is to watch Wild Kratts.
So, in the end, don't worry about how much they're learning. Just realize that they are learning and growing each day. Try to form good habits for them to help them ease into schoolwork, but remember that they're little tykes who often really just need time to play.
Now It's Time For:
Littles Learning Link Up Features
On my last Littles Learning Link Up post, there were 12 wonderful posts linked up. I will be picking one randomly selected post to share, plus the top clicked-on post.
This week's randomly selected post is:
And here is this week's most clicked on post:
Join the Party!
I would love to have you join in this week! What sort of activities do you do with your young children? Do you have some favorite activities you would like to share? I invite you to link up below. I will be pinning posts on my Toddler Ideas
or other relevant board, and I would love to feature some of the activities each week from what is linked up.
Please know I may share a picture from your post and link back to it, along with sharing how we used your idea in our school time. By linking up you are giving me permission to use a picture from your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. Additionally, if you choose to try out any of the ideas with your child, please make sure you give credit where credit is due.
Linky will be open through Sunday night, to give me time to check out all the posts and get the Features organized. Please take the time to visit some of the other wonderful posts linked up.