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How to Teach Young Kids The Pre-K Basics

your baby can read

 (he was supposed to be sleeping. I check the monitor and caught him reading to his stuffed animals!)

Well, you guys sure showed up in full force with the questions! Keep em coming. I’ll get to them all.  (Even the triflin’ ones!)

One question I was asked was “How are you teaching Rohan? Are you using a curriculum?”

I’m assuming it’s someone I’m friends with on FB who saw homeschooling posts there but either way…. I was planning to write a post on my intent to home school eventually.

I teach Rohan through play. We have never done drills or flashcards or anything like that. (Tho I tried making them before, and that didn’t work out too well.) We talk a lot. We read a lot. A WHOLE LOT and from that he memorized his numbers and his alphabet. I honestly didn’t know he knew them by heart until my mom started asking him last thanksgiving and he was pointing them all out correctly.  Then one day John was wearing an army shirt and he pointed to each letter and made the sounds like he was trying to phonetically read A-R-M-Y.  I was like…oh…I guess I should start being more diligent with this kid. Clearly babies can learn through experience a lot earlier than I expect.

He learned his letters/numbers colors, shapes, animals and most of his words through books we’ve read too… and songs.  (kidztv123 on youtube is great!! He learned his letter sounds through their phonics song I think.) I don’t think we need to do anything more than educational play at this point. He is 2. I will ask him to run and find things that start with a certain letter and bring to me while I’m cooking, or we’ll play I spy something red or whatever…  (Sometimes he will bring me the phone for letter F…I just praise him all the same) But mostly it’s books.

baby reader

I don’t have a curriculum, but I did buy two pre-K books just to see what is in them and how I could incorporate the lessons into our playtime as he gets older.

This one is laminated and he writes in it, “reads” it on his own, and will just sit and stare at the trucks.

This one has perforated pages and is definitely more of a pre-school workbook, so we just look at it and I ask him questions about it or ask him to tell me what’s going on in the picture, and will ask him why, just to see what he says.  There’s a little girl in the rain with an umbrella in one of the pictures, so I asked him what she’s holding, he said “uhbella” I asked why and he goes “cuz her mommy gave her!” and started clapping like it was the right answer. 🙂 Eventually we will use it as it’s intended, maybe when he’s 3 or so.

We recently got (or Mousdacom as Roey calls it) and he’s doing the toddler/preschool “lessons” in it, which are just letter and number games and opportunities to color in pictures and hear songs. He likes it a lot and will tell me he’s “working.”

Outside of that it’s just playing with him and he learns his concepts through that, reading and a lot of detailed talking. I try to go by what he’s interested in. He likes letters a lot, he likes vehicles, puzzles, coloring/painting, magnets and he likes building. He just plays all day and will help me cook or clean up (kinda) so he learns through that as well.

But I plan on home schooling with a dedicated curriculum once he turns 4. By then I expect he’ll be ahead of the curve anyway since he seems to soak up and retain so much.  Til then I’m going to keep playing, keep reading, keep introducing new things to him, and keep scouring Pinterest for ideas.

 pinterest alphabet game toddlers okdani blog

We made an alphabet game so he could match his capital and lower case numbers…..The one on Pinterest looked a lot better than mine, but hey it still worked!

I also let him start watching TV about 8 months or so ago. Sesame St., Sid the Science Kid, Daniel Tiger, and a few shows on Sprout. I was very anti TV for babies, but he’s learned a lot from those shows. (I think Sid …and John… is how he got obsessed with magnets).

How do you teach your kids?

Any tips for me on how to teach reading and Spanish?

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Saturday 16th of August 2014

I'm a huge fan of flashcards for both of my children. With Addison we build daily. I use as just one of the sites to get her interested in reading and it is working. I supplement with other activities and I constantly ask them through out the day when we see things we've learned about in public to reinforce. I found sometimes they can give it back to you at home because of repetition but have a hard time applying outside of the house so that is another tactic that I use.

Dani Faust

Thursday 21st of August 2014

I love starfall! Good tactics!!! Glad Flashcards worked well for you too


Thursday 14th of August 2014

He's so cute & sounds like that is working great for him! And I love the pic with him reading to his stuffed animals

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