I am into my second month homeschooling Georgia and it has been fun AND tiring too! I am slowly getting the hang of it and should be ready for more action in the next month! I started out drafting a schedule in the beginning and eventually find that it was too difficult for me to keep to it. Why? Because there are always unexpected events interrupting us and I would end up doing something else. In fact, I am not really bothered about us not keeping to the schedule and have chucked it aside! I do not subscribe to any particular style of homeschooling method and so would teach according to what comes to my mind each day. As long as by the end of this year, Georgia should be able to fulfill what is listed here. In fact she has fulfilled all the 'specifications' of a preschooler!
I bought some workbooks for Georgia to work on and she loves doing them. We would usually spend about 15 mins completing them. Sometimes if she doesn't want to work on them anymore, I'll just stop and switch to something else. Either reading or playing with her. In fact, it is not recommended that we give workbooks to preschooler at all especially if parents or teachers give them pressure to answer the questions correctly. We treat it as an activity book where she would do them in a fun way.
Children at this age needs to play a lot. According to the book 'Einstein never used flash cards', play=learning. And it's very true. Georgia loves to play with her stuff toys and would always enact scenes of our everyday life such as cooking for them, going to the supermarket to do grocery (she'll push her toys in her princess trolley!) or simply taking a book and pretend to read to them. She would use cereal boxes and asks me to cut windows and doors so that she can used it as a doll house for her tiny dolls. Or she would create countless of things like camera, cash register or car with the blocks. Through play, children learn to be creative and as parents we should encourage them and not inhibit their growth by telling them what to play and when to play. Play should come spontaneously. And so you can expect that we definitely have a lot of playing in our household!
The other activity that we should be doing with preschoolers is reading. Children enjoy hearing stories and enjoying having parents read to them. Be sure to buy them lots of different catergories of books suitable for their age. Otherwise if you have only two or three books, you'll be getting bored real soon while your kid will always request you to read the same book over and over again! Anyway, children loves to hear the same stories over and over again. Although it is a dread to us, children loves to play a part in reading. For example, Georgia knows and remembers the stories to all her books (she has an amazing memory and she has close to 50 books!). She will participate in my storytelling. She will sometimes say the next sentence or the next word. It is very engaging to them and we can engage them even more by asking them what the characters will do next or how does the character feel. Georgia has been learning her phonics and she is doing quite well for a preschooler but I am not expecting her to read by the end of this year. Most children will start to read by age 6 and I am not rushing Georgia. I am letting nature takes its course. Although she has yet to learn to read, her spoken words are pretty articulate for her age. So reading (a lot!) to them has its benefits.
Georgia has also started to create stories of her own and most of them are very random and sometimes illogical stories. Here are two stories she made up to tell her stuff toys the other day.
Once upon a time, there is an elephant swimming about. He's going to find the way. And he saw a baboon and ran away. The baboon is afraid of the elephant. Then afternoon the koala bear went for a walk. THE END.
The witch and the bread are running fast. The witch ran and ran (she was doing the running motion!). Then afternoon the Gorilla is brave and shout at the witch. The witch wanted to eat the Gorilla and bread. THE END.
Upon hearing her stories, I had a really good laugh! Those were really funny and certainly weird stories! I must say it certainly is a very good attempt at composing stories. And Georgia did it all in her barely four year old brain. Good effort Georgia! ^_^