Sunday, May 18, 2014

The awesome part about teaching your kids when you’re not their teacher

I decided to step up my game and start doing more at-home instruction with the girls. It is way easier than I thought. I think I was sort of intimidated because I was a high school person and they aren’t high schoolers. But preschool stuff is really not that bad. So I’ve broken it down for anyone else that was intimidated like I was.

The awesome part about teaching the girls?

1. I don’t really need a plan. I just need to do something. Anything is better than nothing, you know? What I’m saying is, the bar is super low. Like supplemental instruction is hard to mess up. I mean, you’re not Sponge Bob Square pants, right? Then high five, you’re not making the kids dumber. #winning.

For example, I got some manipulatives to practice patterns, counting/one-to-one correspondence, stuff like that. But if the girls want to make pictures with them or throw them up in the air like confetti or something? That’s cool too. I mean, imaginative play is important. And now they think learning is fun. Or something. It’s not like I have a classroom to manage. Who cares?! 

2. Differentiating instruction for just two kids is hella easy. 
Maggie likes glue. We had, until today, only used gluestick. Can you tell? This ladybug might be dry in a few more days. And she didn’t want antennas. She wanted to stick with the “three” theme. And the glue theme.

Hannah experimented with different dots. I think it worked for this lady bug.
3. So for some reason I was really stressed out about Hannah learning to read. And then I realized she kind of already could. I mean, she is mostly is memorizing and using pictures for cues. But she is definitely decoding. All the same, I’m mostly outsourcing the whole learning to read thing to my genius sister and sister-in-law, but I did Google how to teach your kid to read. SO THERE IS THAT. Since Hannah and I had so much success with Hop on Pop, I found some books like that on Amazon. And we started working on rhyming and phonetic families (or whatever they are called). And we got the Bob Books. (I’m not gonna lie, we color in them, they look like they need to be colored in. anyway, I try to be really laid back about this stuff and give them as much control as possible; the more autonomy they have, the less frustrated they’ll feel and the longer they’ll probably want to stick it out). And I got some low level readers that I can read to Hannah (and Maggie) until she gets a little more comfortable and can read them herself. Anyway, it is pretty cool watching her read. And my poor neglected second child gets the benefit of tagging along. (plus, I do give her a few things of her own.)
Mat is part of the Bob Books series. The Frail Snail Snail on the Trail is part of a series of awesome books that reminded me of Hop on Pop because of all the phonetic family rhyming. And we got some leveled readers like Fancy Nancy.

This is Maggie’s.

This is Hannah’s.
Anyway, between Google, Pinterest, and and my decision to lower the bar to somewhere slightly above Sponge Bob and not making my kids dumber, I’ve decided working with my kids on pre-literacy and numeracy skills is super not that intimidating.

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