I’ve been asked to share my daily educational programs with the boys. Well, I don’t really have one. The whole idea of early childhood education is to teach whenever the children are happy and willing to learn so a lot depends on the boys. If they’re tired or cranky, then there’s really not much point trying to teach them anything. But here’s what we do when they’re interested:
What We’re Reading
Everyday, I try to read to them at least three books from a variety of sources. Currently, we’re reading from:
- Chicken Soup for the Child’s Soul
- Tell Me Why: Answers to Hundreds of Questions
- Chapman’s Homer: The Iliad and The Odyssey
I also try to include at least one book on character building from our newly acquired series: Help Me Be Good, A First Look at, or Let’s Talk About. The good thing is that Gavin enjoys the stories from these books and is often keen to read more than one story about character development. To encourage Gavin to want to hear more, I usually round up the reading session with a few Thomas books. These days, Gavin is much more open to reading books other than Thomas but Thomas gets his attention every time. Although I’m usually reading to Gavin, Gareth listens in by being present. These days it is too difficult to get him to sit still so I let him play while we read.
What We’re Flashing
We do a lot of flashcards. I try to come up with new sets everyday but it is tough to keep ahead of the kids because it usually means staying up every night after the kids have gone to bed. I usually try to cover Math, Reading and General Knowledge. These may be the Math, Reading, and Bits of Intelligence cards I bought from Doman, or it maybe the ones I made on the computer. Gareth learns Maths from the red dot cards. Gavin is learning Maths using characters from Thomas and Friends as counters. For reading, we flash both words and pictures, although we sometimes only show words.
For my own Bits of Intelligence cards, I usually take the subjects that we read about from “Tell Me Why” and try to expand on them with pictures. For instance, for the subject on blood we covered red corpuscles, white blood cells – neutrophils, basophiles, eosinophiles, granulocytes, and monocytes – platelets, fibrinogen, etc.
What We’re Doing
These activities vary from day to day according to Gavin’s preference but here is a list of stuff we get around to:
- Pretend cooking
- Cooking – this is usually with my SIL and they’ll make batches of Thomas cookies
- Water play
- Fun Thinkers
- Logico: Piccolo
- Activity books – Kumon, Thomas and Friends.
- Linking Memory
- Memory Games
- Activities on the computer – we were learning languages using EuroTalk but we’ve had to stop because there’s a problem with my sound card.
I intend to incorporate more right brain activities but for now, linking memory, wink, memory games, and flashcards are about the extent of the right brain activities that we do at home.
What We’re Watching
Yes, we also watch TV. It is usually Thomas and Friends or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I’ve tried to reduce the Play House Disney Channel since I don’t have time to screen what he’s watching these days and there appears to be quite a number of new programs showing these days that I am not familiar with.
Gavin is at school in the mornings up until lunch. Despite having cut back his schedule to half day, it is still a real challenge to do as many of these activities with him as I can.