Saturday, June 22, 2013

How we play (our curriculum)

So many people have asked lately what curriculum I am using for my homeschooling. I can honestly say, play is my curriculum! not the kind of "play" where they sit in front of the TV or iPad or other electronic devices (we limit these and use them sparingly so they feel like BIG TREATS when they get to use them)

But rather the kind of play that uses their imagination, life skills such as sharing and talking things out when someone hurts you. I find myself encouraging my children to "tell it to them" instead of "telling on them" when they are upset at someone for taking a toy. I'm right there encouraging them but they are using their words, not mine.

So how can play actually be a good foundation for a curriculum for my 2 yr old and 4 yr old?---all you preschool teachers might be wondering. Well, here's how:

When they do free play I am involved to either observe, encourage or interact.

They have free unlimited access to creative tools such as crayons, markets, scissors, paper, blocks, cars, trains, balls, stuffed animals, and books.

I read to them and with them OFTEN throughout the day. At least 3 times of me sitting down reading Bible stories, library books, hi-five magazines etc!

I answer every question they have. EVERY QUESTION! If I don't know the answer I look it up.

We play music in the background, we sing, we have dance parties, we play instruments LOUDLY, and we make instruments too!

We do crafts together...cutting, coloring, gluing.

We pretend to be race cars with our paper plate steering wheels, trains pushing our kid chairs lined up, trucks hauling each other in laundry baskets, etc.

We creat obstacle courses where we jump on the mini tramp, roll down the wedge mat, crawl through the tunnel, slide down our mini slide, crawl like animals, racing down our hallway!

We go on letter hunts and word hunts around the house.

We count forwards when we are waiting our turn, we count backwards when we play with our blast off space shuttle. We skip count going up the stairs. We count balloons after tossing them all over the house.

We collect and name the shape of the blocks as we put them away. We cut out, trace and color shapes. We are shape detectives with our magnifying glasses.

We learn our colors as we find the lost crayons and cap less markers

We sweep up our messes, sharing the coveted mini broom and dustpan.

We learn responsibility and work ethic by doing chores like feeding the fish and cat, getting dressed, and vacuuming/mopping the floor.

We build forts, we snuggle, we have tickle time, laughing like no one is listening!

90% of the play is child led. Meaning that they draw, build, color, create, explore what they want and I help build upon their learning with those teachable moments.

Yes I have worksheets that roman does...even Brooklyn has a school binder. But the attitude for learning is so great in our house that when I bring out the "school binder" filled with dry erase pages for them to practice tracing, counting, opposites, rhyming, connect the dots, writing letters and numbers, etc...they yell with excitement! And they always have the option at this age to keep free playing and come over in a few mins for the binder work. I keep in mind their attention span and don't expect them to do every page, just whatever their little brain wants to learn that day. I observe, encourage, and sit down with them on the floor "oohing and aweing" at their work.

This is our curriculum. They love learning and I love THAT!!!

Here are some pictures of our play

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