So today your preschooler begins her formal adventure in learning. It will be an exciting, challenging and completely satisfying experience. And it will be fun.
Mom, always remember to have fun and be relaxed. I know that moms worry, and I can’t say that I never worried when I was raising my sons, but I can honestly say that worrying was a useless, negative activity.
Of all the things that I worried about, few every came to pass, and the small problems that I did encounter could not have been prevented by worry.
I can see that clearly now. My sons are 21, 19, and 17. If you are a nervous parent, your child will be nervous. Why? Because they are always watching you. They love you, and you are the one who shows them what is important in the world.
If you need a little more assurance, read this excellent article (I browsed four articles, but this is the best.) about the nature and consequences of worry. I placed this link because worry and motherhood just seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly.
“Worry is the secret weapon perpetrated upon us by the dark forces of the world
that lurk in the shape of fear, uncertainty, confusion, and loss.
We, on the other hand, have our own secret weapon against these incorporeal fiends.
It is laughter.”
A year from now, your preschool child will know all of her letters, she will be able to say most of their pronunciations, she may be able to print them all quite neatly, and she will be able to say her numbers 1-10 probably.
Keep your eyes on the prize, and patiently work the preschool curriculum goals this year. Your child will learn many other things as well.
Your child has many gifts and is especially talented in a few of them, so now’s the time to watch for them and encourage them over the upcoming 12 years. You can learn about their multiple intelligences too and begin to build on them.
You want to get your child started on the right foot, so whenever she begins to work, always let her know that she is working on something that will open the door to more wonderful adventures for her.
You should consider this as part of the preschool curriculum too; that is to establish the difference between work and play. This will help her to respect the time that you spend together and to learn the importance of self-discipline.
It also will help you to avoid problems when your child is a teenager. If your child doesn't do what she is asked to do now, do you think it will get better as she gets older? But remember to be patient; firm, but patient.
Here is a book that has more than 400 worksheets for your preschooler. Use them as a guide and keep it fun.
Here the goal is --if your child is ready-- to be able to recognize, to say correctly, and to print all the letters of the alphabet.
This is a good place to listen and learn the short vowel pronunciation and consonant letters. You can reinforce this learning by playing "I Spy" in a spontaneous manner, such as when you are driving. Let's say that you see a cat, and then spell C-A-T.
Then, ask your child to spell it. Later, your child may play the “I Spy” game with you and spell C-A-T herself. This is what life is about: seeing the great big world out there and learning all about it. You can find the sight words here for preschool .
Here the goal is to recognize, to say, and to write the numbers 1-10. Remember in these lessons, all children mature at different rates, but on average these are achievable goals before your child begins Kindergarten.
If your child doesn't learn it right away, she will probably learn the lesson in another month or two.
“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is
such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If
it's not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in
― Dalai Lama XIV
Preschool art encompasses the visual arts, drama, and music.
Art activities should include freestyle drawing, painting and coloring, creating things with clay and clay type products, cutting and gluing construction paper and creating things with fabric.
Here's a site that offers a free downloadable drawing book your child may enjoy (drawbooks.com).
Drama activities can be as simple as playing dress up for part of a day and adopting a role. Listening and singing along with music is a common, practical and beneficial way to learn; that's why there's an every popular ABC song.
Setting vocabulary to music allows the mind to absorb information in a completely immersed, relaxed way. Performing and even creating songs will help your child to acquire more knowledge.
There are many websites where you can download and print your child’s favorite cartoon characters and color them. There also are coloring books on different subjects that will give you an opportunity to reinforce your values.
For example, I’m sure you can find a Bible coloring book that will allow you to teach them about Old Testament heroes like Joseph, Samson, Abraham, and Moses.
These are doorways to reading the Bible stories about faith, trust, and obedience. Other coloring opportunities should teach them about holidays and customs that are celebrated.
That's right! Or any other small snack your child likes. An important lesson will be to teach your child to “delay gratification or learn self-control.”
The marshmallow game goes like this: At an opportune moment, offer your child a snack of perhaps one marshmallow –that’s right, one big, soft puffy marshmallow. However, if she will wait two minutes while you “put a load of dishes away” when you return, you will bring her a second marshmallow.
(Offer her something that it’s okay to have two of and that she will obviously want to have a second one.)
Then, while the marshmallow sits on a small plate nearby, leave her alone to finish her coloring while you go off to go off to do your “chore”. When you return if she has eaten the marshmallow after she finished her work, that is all right.
You told her she could have it after she finished her work.
If she fails in the task, she got her one marshmallow and don’t make an issue over it, but later in a week or the next day when the moment or conditions are better, offer the same lesson to your child.
When your child is older and has to wait to receive something, the task will be a non-issue As a high school teacher, it was always easy to identify the teenagers who never learned this simple lesson of waiting and self-control.
They are very frustrated and childish, and it’s almost impossible to teach it to them because now they can always reach in the cabinet and get their own “marshmallows” when you are not looking. You can read more about the origin of the Stanford Marshmallow experiment,
Articles about the dangers of flouride have become more common everyday, but there's no reason for your child to use those toothpastes with some of the natural recipes available. Here's one with a cinnamon nutmeg flavor.