In the perfect world Cassidy would still be attending her Montessori school. However, with all of the uncertainty, I plan to keep her at home as long as possible.
Cassidy is very much used to the Montessori way of instruction. She will be 4 in September, so this is a trial run of preschool. That is what I keep telling myself when the doubt rolls in.
Her dad and I have been focusing on toys that inspire learning through play. We have accumulated quite the collection so I wanted to share my tried and true with you all here!
Dry erase workbooks – Not only do they save paper, she can easily erase any mistakes she makes. Cassidy thinks it is fun and seems to get more excited about writing with markers. We have books with numbers, letters and shapes that she can choose from.
Worksheets – This summer I have been finding all kinds of free worksheets through Pinterest. See my favorite pins here. Cassidy did a lot of worksheets at her school and she loves to show us her “work” when she is finished. We display our favorites on the fridge.
Puzzles/Flash Cards – We have implemented a lot of matching activities. Target and Amazon are my favorite places to find fun and age appropriate learning games. We have even started playing Memory with her recently which has been a blast. Games like Guess Who are perfect for taking a break from school work and avoiding the never ending spiral into Youtube toy unboxing videos.
Stem Toys – Darrin recently purchased a stem set from Amazon that is incredible and affordable. It comes with multiple color and variations of pipe that you build into your own inventions. Great for fine motor skills, team work and the good old imagination!
Books – Sounds simple, and it is, but jazzing up your child’s book collection and rotating through titles is a great way to help them learn. They gain exposure to countless topics, vocabulary and story lines. We generally read at least two books of her choice before bed, however I plan on introducing some books to be used as lessons. I will link to a selection from her book collection here, but I plan on using bios about historical people, animals, weather and science to create themed activities.
**TIP** buy used books or borrow books to keep them interested without breaking the bank.
Music – Cassidy has been a huge fan of music since she was born. Dance parties are a great way to break up the day and burn off energy! Being quarantined has us all stir crazy. I’ll share Cassidy’s playlist here.
New Ideas to Implement
Mixed Media Learning Activities – The more interactive the better! We are currently looking into a program called Square Panda that we can use right alongside her tablet to making learning fun.
Bible Study – The church that I have been attending virtually for the last 6 months has great children’s services that focus on bible stories and virtues online. I’ll provide a link to their channel here. I want to introduce these to her consistently to replace some of her screen time. I haven’t found a great book that I love, so if you have any suggestions let me know!
Chores – This cannot begin soon enough. We have recently started having Cassidy help with chores. Honestly, some days she is for it and others she wants nothing to do with it. One of my major goals is to get it scheduled into her day.
My Game Plan
I do not plan on throwing this all at my newly 4 year old and expecting her to succeed. My plan is to be gentle and to encourage her to explore activities that will inspire learning. Nobody has the perfect solution to homeschooling for the first time. It is very much like becoming a new parent, having faith and taking it one day at a time.
Something that I highly recommend is cycling activities and not presenting them all at once. This helps reduce over-stimulation and peaks more interest in an activity. You will get more bang for your buck this way as well. Also, have fun! Incorporate themes to go with the month and/or season. Make your homeschool schedule fit your needs.
Please be gentle with yourself and know that this is only my plan. I will share my experience as I go along. Feel free to share yours, I love hearing new ideas!
More Posts Like This
I’ve connected with some amazing Bloggers to share some Back To School themed blogs with you. Head to each of their blogs to check out what they are sharing.