|Foil fish idea from 50 Rainy Day Activities|
Once I was sure we didn't need to enroll him in any official preschool programs, I began to wonder whether I should be "doing preschool" with him at home, now that he's reached "that age." Things like...I don't know... formal cutting practice with scissors? Drills in the ABC's? Whatever it is that kids are "supposed" to learn in preschool??
Part of this worry was the age-old parental concern about my kid falling behind his peers. But truthfully, a lot of it was coming from the fact that I'm just excited to start teaching him so many things! I was a teacher, afterall, before I was a mom. And I love learning. I kinda can't wait to join the "cool club" of homeschooling moms who go out and do fun educational activities together with their kids.
But I'm trying to hold myself back from pushing Sly into anything too soon. He's not even three. He'll be old enough for all that stuff before I know it, and then I'll just feel sad that he's growing up so fast. I need to let him - and myself - enjoy his toddler-hood. So basically I plan to just follow his lead for now, and delve into topics as he develops interest in them (oh no! I'm starting to sound like an "unschooler" here! haha).
As I write this, I'm realizing how much Sly has already learned without us teaching it intentionally. After receiving a dinosaur poster this Christmas from my dad, Sly began talking about dinosaurs a bit. So I picked up a dinosaur book next time we were at Goodwill. We read it to him, the dinosaur interest grew, and he started learning all their names. Then I got more books. Then the grandparents gave him toys. Then he started wanting to pretend to be dinosaurs. Now he requests that Tom read to him from an adult-level encylopedia about extinct animals every night, and he's actually learning from it. And so on and so on. And Sly even knows most of the alphabet now, simply because he wanted to know about it. He points to letters in books or on the computer keyboard, and asks what they are. He likes to type his own name or other words that I spell out for him in e-mails to Daddy. And when he wants to learn to use scissors - and I'm crazy enough to trust him with them - he'll learn that too!
Wow. It's actually somewhat freeing to know that I don't have to create lesson plans, or sit down with him for formal teaching sessions - at least for a few years now - and he will still be learning a ton. And once he's old enough, I don't need to sign him up for every free activity or educational program at the library or the park just because it's an opportunity to learn something. Because everything is an opportunity for him to learn something.
So playing outside, trips to the library, playdates, baking with Mommy, making crafts at home...that can be "school" for Sly for awhile longer.
Sly is still ALL about crafts. I went to Michael's the other day, and picked up some supplies to round out the stash in my craft cabinet: tempera paints, watercolors, pop beads, pony beads, beading lace, some little compartmentalized boxes for storage. I'm excited to have more options now for doing crafts with Sly. I justified the purchase by considering that instead of paying to send him to preschool, we'll save lots of money by just doing fun activities with him at home.
|I really need a bigger cabinet from all this stuff|
One thing I still need is some oak tag. Does anyone remember that from elementary school? Construction paper does not hold up to art projects. The guy at Michael's said they don't sell anything like that, and suggested I cut up poster board instead. There's gotta be a better answer! I found that Amazon actually sells some oak tag, but it seems excessively expensive. Ugh. Anyone have a suggestion for sturdy paper for crafting?