Lynnette Webb January 31, 2021 Preschool Worksheet
Do not be concerned if you have never taught. Most of preschool is not formally taught but taught through example, conversation, and experiences. By providing your child with an environment rich in opportunities to explore and develop at his own speed rather than the speed of the group at preschool, he will be happier and so will you. Child develop in different areas at different speeds. Where my son was physically advanced, climbing, jumping, and running at an early age, my niece, who is seven weeks younger than my son, said her first word at 6 months and crawled at 14 months. My son could count at 2 years old to 14, my niece could write the first letter of her name by age 3. Every child is different and will progress differently. There are many great sites on the internet to help you gather materials to teach your preschooler. Try not to overwhelm them with worksheets or busy work. Try to work in many different areas of learning including music, art, math, science, field trips, and logical thinking.
Children enjoy using pencils, charcoal, pastels and chalk. Using these encourages them to vary the intensity or depth of colors. Markers have a place but they are not my first choice. Two of my favorites are charcoal on white card stock paper (so that it can withstand the intensity of the interaction and not tear) and finger paint. Worthy of note here is use of paint smocks for either activity. If your preschooler has to stop and worry about getting dirty or messy, it interferes with the discovery process. Charcoal and Pastel Drawings Lets start with charcoal. Set your kids up with large sheets of white cardstock. I have even bought poster board and cut it in sections so that everyone has canvas to work on. Give your kids charcoal pieces and encourage them to draw whatever they want. Show them that they can use their fingers and hands to smudge the designs, thus creating different effects. They can even put a handprint on it. Ask them to discover what happens when they use different pressure or use an entire side of the charcoal rather than the tip.
Sorting is another basic skill that is perfect for your preschooler to start learning. Of course you can sort anything you want or have, but building blocks, magnetic mazes, and stacking toys are a great way to keep the learning fun and keep the work from looking like work! There are so many different ways to sort things- color, size, shape, smell, touch (soft, rough, smooth, wet, dry, cold, hot, etc.) However, I would recommend that you only use one concept of sorting at a time for your preschooler. For example, if you are having your child pick out the blue blocks do not also ask them to pick out the blue square blocks. This is a concept meant for older children. If a young child is given a task that is too difficult or complex they are more likely to give up and not want to try again. Magnetic mazes are a great toy that gives your child a clear goal, allows them to practice visual tracking, hand-eye coordination, and of course sorting. Dont forget to allow your child to use their independence when sorting as well. For example, give them a small pile of buttons of different colors, shapes, sizes, materials, etc. and ask them to sort them. Different children will sort them differently, one child might sort them by color and another child might sort all of the plastic buttons on one pile and all of the metal in another. The important part is that they sorted correctly according to their own method and can tell you what they did.
Math concepts can also be reinforced for the children throughout the day on a regular basis. Try placing an enlarged number 12 above the 12 on the clock and label it "lunch time". Label your clock with as many of these types of labels that you can. This will help the children to recognize the way the clock looks when it is on the hour. Make sure to point out the clock when it is time for lunch by saying, "Look at the clock, it is time for lunch. See the little hand is on the 12". You can also incorporate math through songs. If you are learning about monkeys, make it a point to sing, "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed". The same concept can also be used when you are reading books to preschoolers. There are plenty of books that incorporate counting into their story and will follow the theme you are teaching. Math is a concept that children will have to use for the rest of their lives and that will be continuously taught in school. By starting off their education with fun math activities, you can get them started with math the right way.
I was offended that she viewed the school I loved so much that way. But what could I do? Meanwhile, I ran into a neighbor who had sent her daughter to a fancy uptown traditional nursery school. She was applying her daughter to the same girls school. So I said to her, "Guess what! The kids are going to have to draw circles, squares, triangles and rectangles to get in." My neighbor said, "Oh, Erica can do that. They spent a whole month on a shape unit at her school." In fact, Erica had produced an entire shape book for every major shape (including diamonds!) during that unit. So, when you choose a nursery school for your child, whichever type of school you choose, remember that at the end, there is a test if you want private school or a gifted program. Even if you send your child to a regular ol public kindergarten, she will still be tested in the very early days for placement in slow, average and advanced ability groups. Some schools prepare kids for these tests and others dont. Frankly, I probably would have chosen the same progressive school I chose no matter what because we loved it. But I wish I had understood from the beginning that there would be an important test at the end and if the nursery school didnt prepare my child, I would have to.
One activity that is a wonderful math lesson for preschoolers is called "A New Kind of Basket Ball". For this activity, line up five baskets or bins in front of the children and label them with the numbers one through five. These number labels should not only have the written number digit, it should also have dots that represent the corresponding number. Place fifteen balls in front of the children as well. Ask them to put the right amount of balls into each basket; one ball should be in the basket with the number one on it and so on. This activity teaches math appropriately to preschoolers. Children not only need to experience math with concrete objects but also visually and symbolically through abstract activities. The concrete objects in this activity are the balls. The balls represent materials that the children can see and touch and use to visualize and verbalize their thoughts. The number labels on the baskets represent visualization. The children should be given illustrations or pictures that represent the concept you are teaching them. The dot on the number one card, two dots on the number two card, and so on, illustrates each number for the children. The dots also represent the symbol of the numbers they are working with.
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