Learning: Ages 3-4


IMG_8086Cutting basil she picked for pasta

 I’m still dipping my feet into this whole “homeschooling” thing.  I really don’t like the term “homeschooling,” since I don’t like what comes to mind when I think of “school.”  As a ten year veteran elementary and middle school teacher, I have seen lots of flaws and learned a lot about how we all naturally learn.

I like the idea of “unschooling,” “delight-driven learning”, and “child-led learning.”  All fancy ways of just explaining how everyone from a baby to a senior citizen learns.  So, for the last couple years, I’ve been studying and trying to implement what I’ve learned.  Finding what my daughter is interested in and letting her delve into it has been fun to watch.  As has been thinking of ways to create themed activities for her interests. (See Tot School for more info.)  I’ve started collecting all the articles I’ve shared with my husband about natural learning on a Pinterest board: Deschooling and Natural Learning

I love to plan, and I know she’s learning whether I do or not. Since everything we do is based on her interests not an outside curriculum, I found it hard to call what we do “preschool” or any other term other than learning.  That’s what we’re doing, all the time!  That’s what we’ll be doing.  Yes, it’ll be at home.  Yes, it’ll be organized (sometimes).  Yes, it won’t be organized (most of the time).  But, it will be interest led…her interests.  Fortunately for me, she’s interested in everything. 🙂

3 Year Old

I became pregnant when my daughter was 2 1/2.  I was sick.  Really sick.  So, any kind of planning on my part flew out the window. As I hit the middle of my second trimester and started to feel better, I started planning again.  But, I knew this year was going to be hard enough without trying to think up new themes and spend time finding activities.  With a new baby coming soon, I decided the easiest thing for me was to do letter of the week activities whenever it was possible.

What She Learned This Year

Activities, Units and Themes

  1. Camping Theme (3 Years old and one week)
  2. Letter of the Week (26 weeks of activities)
  3. Butterfly Study (3 years old and 10 months)

Social Activities!

  1. Butterfly Life Cycle Party (3 and 11 months)

4 Year Old

We’re starting to return to normal this year, but are still at the mercy of the baby’s nap schedule.  We’re still finishing the Letter of the Week.  If you looked at the post on it, you’ll see that doing it every week burned us out, so I started doing it every other week.  So, we’ll be finishing R-Z.  Then we’ll be moving onto themes again based on her interests.  And since one of her interests is reading, we’ll probably do some days here and there of letter combinations and their sounds.  We talked about things she’d like to learn about this year.  I’m hoping to make it a yearly ritual.  And I’m assuming each year will be a little more accurate, considering she just started looking around the room for ideas when I asked her what she wanted to learn this year.  🙂

What She Learned This Year

Activities, Books, Units and Themes

  1. Letter of the Week (26 weeks of activities)
  2. Dr. Seuss
  3. Little Pear and China
  4. George Washington
  5. Math Month
  6. Winnie the Pooh

Social Activities!

  1. Book Club: Dr. Seuss
  2. Book Club: Little Pear
  3. Book Club: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  4. Book Club: The Boxcar Children
  5. Book Club: The Overall Boys in Switzerland
  6. Book Club: Milly  Molly Mandy

Next Year: Learning Age 5

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