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A Nice Surprise

Daddy's a big help, too!
Okay, so, almost since Shelby was born we had been making plans to homeschool her. And even though I knew at some point I would have to make some sort of commitment and stick to it, I put it off. Shelby turns three in November, so I thought it's about time to be serious about this. September 1st was our first official school day.
I had been putting this off, because I was afraid that if she didn't learn something, it would be my fault or that I would never get anything else done or that I would get sidetracked and not be able to stick with it everyday. I know, I know, this is preschool stuff. It shouldn't be so hard, right?
Well, here's the best surprise as of late! It's really not been that hard. I've still managed to get housework done and even incorporated it into our learning. So far we've studied three different colors, two shapes, and the season of fall.
Our kitchen is transforming into a classroom.
(The words are only backwards on my camera)
She seems to be a really quick learner, and I know that a lot of these things she already knew, but I'm still surprised at what she can retain with just a little effort on my part.
My mom is a retired elementary school teacher who taught preschool as well and that's been a huge help. The big thing is to focus only on a couple of things at a time and to stay with those things for about a week with lots of reviewing afterwards. Think of math and reading each day, just like they would in school, only right now (at 2) math is shape recognition and colors are reading.
We're studying yellow right now. Mmmm.
As you go throughout your day, whatever you're doing make everything relate to what you're studying. For example: colors in the laundry, counting dishes for setting the table, pick out clothes with the colors you're studying, and the grocery store is full of shapes, colors, letters, and numbers.
Our orange bag for collecting orange objects and then sorting them by size and/texture. (We have a bag for each color, because they are my reusable shopping bags that I already had in various colors.)
Since we're in fall and studying fall the first three colors we are learning are red, orange, and yellow. Fall decorating is now a structured learning time :)
My goal so far is Monday through Friday we do a morning activity and/or review (preferably both) right after breakfast. Then I try to have something she can do on her own to reinforce what we are learning (this can be as simple as a puzzle or a card matching game or even some of her toys). Preschool kids need play time, so I try to limit the structured learning to a couple things a day. After lunch (if we're not ready to nap, and she's usually not) we do something else to continue the lessons.
These are lacing shapes that I made out of different colored foam sheets. All you need is foam sheets in assorted colors, scissors, a hole punch, and cord for lacing. I didn't use a pattern for cutting them out, but they would probably look better if I had. Shelby loves these and calls it her "sewing".  Learning to thread things through holes is a preschool skill. I would suggest investing in at least one good book that outlines and defines the skills for preschool kids entering kindergarten as well as something that defines their developmental skills. Teacher supply stores are full of these with great ways to incorporate these things. 
A couple key things that have helped us so far is to stay with some sort of schedule (nothing too strict though), for me to constantly be aware and thinking of ways to incorporate what we're doing with the lessons, and to remember that even if she seems to be understanding things well we still need constant reviewing and reinforcement (remember how many times you went over colors and shapes in school).
I know we've not been doing it for long, but I've been very pleasantly surprised with it so far. Hope it continues this well :) So far, we've only hit one snag. As the school bus passes by in the morning, she wants to get her backpack and go on the school but to school with all the others kids she sees getting on it, but I'm sure she'll get past that.

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