Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer Preschool Days

This week I have started re-organizing our homeschool/preschool plan (and consequently our whole household organization, you know how these things go). From what I have read it will always be a work in progress. That is OK.

Summer is here and for various reasons I have not gotten as much of my act together as I would like. I am practicing forgiveness for myself because of all of the life changes we have been through lately. Along with planning summer activities and projects, we are still unpacking and organizing our small space. It has been an AMAZING, unexpected blessing to have to downsize our stuff.

Last week we re-started potty training and in 2 days Blueberry was trained. We had tried last year (and struggled a lot and I could tell she did not have any awareness of her bladder though she has been "going #2" in the potty since then), then we tried again after the move, but it didn't go well. What changed is that she 1) was just now able to undress and dress herself and 2) she started to become aware of how the increasing spring/summer temperatures were making her pull-ups very uncomfortable. I talked with her about it and she decided she was ready. In over a week she has only had two "accidents" and one was because we were out and couldn't find a bathroom in time. She has even been dry all night. Deep down I knew that when she was ready it would be very easy, but I had many "voices" (people, blogs, etc.) telling me that she "should be" doing it sooner. She wasn't ready. She is now and it was so easy.

As far as preschool goes, I have taken a very relaxed approach because Blueberry is already so precocious. We do little things each day and I approach everything we do with an awareness of what may be a good teaching moment. Because the newest member of our family takes up so much of my attention, I make a daily effort to give my 3YO personal attention whenever the baby is down for a nap. I think she really likes those times. We play games that build different skills, we do craft projects together building hand-eye skills and we started a "cooperation chart" (a.k.a. "chore" or "responsibility" chart). She gets a nickel for every chore she does and there are two extra spaces per day for her to earn more at our discretion. Blueberry really surprised me this week when she cleaned up her breakfast plate without being asked.

One of the most important skills I am consciously trying to teach my children is how to get along. More accurately: how to relate to each other. When I explain to my preschooler how to interact with the baby she is very active and willing. She was a bit apprehensive at first but now she is his biggest fan. She can get him to giggle and smile more than any of us. She often brings him toys or just makes funny noises at him. When Blueberry asks to hold Bugaboo I make sure to take the time to let her do so.

A few of the activities we have done this week are:

  • going to see Daddy for lunch at work
  • making a card for Daddy's birthday. she traced with marker what I drew with pencil and then colored it in.
  • making an accordion book for a gift
  • making gluten-free bread
  • potty training
  • science: what happens when we drop this? (I have her guess what happens when I drop different things like a ball, a tissue, a piece of fabric, a helium balloon, etc. then we do it and see what happens)
  • went to the Science Factory
  • picked herbs and lettuce that we planted outside in pots
  • made "pirate monsters" out of toilet paper rolls (I suggested we make pirates, but she wanted to make monsters, so we compromised) 
  • practiced with scissors by cutting pictures out of magazines
"Pirate Monsters"

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