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Pre-school home ed- have I lost the plot?!

(21 Posts)
Lexiejack Fri 22-Jul-11 09:07:36

Just had a look online at ks1 and early yrs curriculum and have planned a few activities each day for DS 2.5 and SDD 4.3 to do during summer. Nothing majorly taxing but feel like iv gone insane!! DS is at nursery but they don't do any proper learning that annoys me so decided to take it into my own hands and see how we do!

happystory Fri 22-Jul-11 09:11:56

Interested to know what you mean by 'proper learning'? Nurseries should be following the Early Years Foundation Stage....different settings interprete it in their own way but it's founded on the same principles...

cjbartlett Fri 22-Jul-11 09:14:59

Yes you've lost the plot
All they need is to muck about in the park with you, splash in muddy puddles, have books read to them, play with whatever toys they like best, have fun with you with no pressure

CareyHunt Fri 22-Jul-11 09:18:25

I home-ed all 3 of mine ( have done all the way through), and , to be honest, we never really plan anything. We certainly didn't at that age, and all of mine are doing well, are keen readers, and most importantly are happy and self-motivated learners. I would be inclined to not worry too much about the planning in advance and just see where the day takes you. At that age we would have read lots of stories, baked, painted, played with water, threaded beads or pasta, sewed ( in foam sheets with holes already made). Some days, one of them might have decided to write a shopping list (with varying degrees of success) or a card/ letter but I would always let them lead what we did.
Imo, it's best to stand back a bit and just be on hand to make sure they have what they need to do the things they want to do. They don't need you to judge or improve on it, children instinctively know what and how they need to learn...honestly! smile

happystory Fri 22-Jul-11 09:20:15

Well said, carey. Nice to have a few craft bits in or new puzzles etc for rainy days...

Lexiejack Fri 22-Jul-11 09:41:21

It's only things like finding what floats, using different art materials, collecting bits outside for nature collages or finding things that start with a letter. Oh and making shakers and shaking slowly, fast etc. They're not being sat at a desk and told not to move lol!! DS needs structure or he goes completely loopy (waiting on ASD assessment process) and at nursery he's in the youngest group where if one of them doesn't eat the playdough it's a good day smile lol

mychildrenarebarmy Fri 22-Jul-11 10:51:42

Not at all. If that is what suits them then go for it.

monkoray Fri 22-Jul-11 20:37:57

I think you are very sensible to have some activities planned. I often spend my evenings searching Home Ed Blogs for new ideas to try with my DS. Sometimes he will be interested and sometimes he won't but if i don't have anything new planned the whole day can slip by without doing much at all (and when i'm tired that usually means way too much TV). As long as you aren't going to be upset if they aren't interested I say go for it.

JazminKennedy Fri 22-Jul-11 20:56:35

Its great that you want to take on their education. I was frowned upon because my kids were reading and writing at an early age, pple kept telling me i was putting too much pressure on them and that i wasn't letting them 'play' and just be kids!! angry My daughter was reading and writing at age 2! Everybodys children learn differently and everybody has different opinions on teaching! My kids go to the park regularly, they are obsessed with mud and bubbles but they also love reading and writing, so i cater for both. Your children sound like mine Lexie, they also need structure grin We do a lot of science, all through play, just did an erupting volcano with baking soda and vinegar, last week we dug for fossils in the park, we covered life cycle of butterflies and frogs because its the perfect season to actually find them lurking around around. Have look at my group, everything we do is through play and art:

Good luck on your journey, i'm sure you'll have a great time!smile

Lexiejack Fri 22-Jul-11 21:36:31

I started DS on Peter and Jane books last week and we have word cards stuck to most of the house!! DP was most offended when he thought I felt it necessary to clearly label the oven!! I figure it's not pushing them it's ensuring they can pay for me to go into a good nursing home!!! grin

Tarenath Sat 23-Jul-11 17:31:52

I would say go for it if you think they'll enjoy it. I happen to have two children, both under 5 who both love active learning and my 4 year old in particular loves to do workbooks. We have loads of stuff planned for the holidays. Most of it is going to be outings and craft activities but I expect they'll still be wanting to do more academic stuff too. I don't push them to do it. It's totally child-led.

greenbananas Sun 24-Jul-11 01:47:11

This thread is making me feel slightly guilty. My DS is nearly 3, and I'm hoping he will be home educated, but I'm horribly slack about planning activities.

DS (only child) likes books, but shows no interest in actually learning to read. He can recognise a few letters ('W' is his favourite) but I have not yet made any effort to push him. He spends his time pottering about with his many friends or playing with me / on his own, doing with whatever seems good to him at the time, and I rarely direct him into 'meaningful' activity.

Do I need to be more 'pushy' with DS? I feel like I have something to prove if we opt for home education... like we should be achieving more than he would achieve in school...

I don't think DS is particularly academic. He seems reasonably bright, but is certainly not a genius. (If I'm honest, this is a bit disappointing for me, because I went to grammar school / university and have been raised to think that being 'clever' is really important.)

I know this is a cliche, but I just want DS to be happy. I want to let him learn what he needs to learn in his own time, without any pressure from me.

JazminKennedy Sun 24-Jul-11 02:52:05

I know this is a cliche, but I just want DS to be happy. I want to let him learn what he needs to learn in his own time, without any pressure from me.

Then don't pressure him, everybodys children are different, some want/crave structure and others just want to play, both is fine. There is no set rules in how we home ed our children, i do planning because of my teaching background, others don't. You go with what your child wants and what your child is interested

Saracen Sun 24-Jul-11 09:09:13

I always felt that the only thing I had to "prove" with respect to home education was that it would make my children happy. That is pretty much the only thing to which I ever turn my attention.

(Well, of course their short-term happiness does have to fit with other routine responsibilities and the rest of the family: they do have to get hauled round the supermarket and queue at the bank sometimes instead of being in the park. They get sent upstairs early one evening a week while I have a "date" with their dad.)

This has made for a fairly simple life, and an excellent education. There is a truism which goes, "when children are happy, they are learning; and when they are learning, they are happy." This suggests that children's happiness can be used as a sort of barometer to show the effectiveness of the education they are getting. It also makes for a very straightforward educational technique: I just aim to keep them happy and the education happens automatically as a result.

Saracen Sun 24-Jul-11 09:23:41

"I don't think DS is particularly academic. He seems reasonably bright, but is certainly not a genius. (If I'm honest, this is a bit disappointing for me, because I went to grammar school / university and have been raised to think that being 'clever' is really important.)"

I feel the same. When my older daughter was four, she showed a slight interest in reading. I pounced on it and pushed it, with the result that I put her off reading altogether for several years. I could see that my ambitions for her were not in her best interests, and eventually managed to suppress them somewhat. Rather to my surprise, she has shown some academic inclinations in more recent years. She wasn't a fluent reader until the age of nine, but now she's a regular bookworm. At eleven she doesn't know all of her times tables, but does understand the basic concepts of calculus.

Your two year old may not be doing academic things now, but that doesn't mean he won't spontaneously decide to do so when he is twelve or fourteen, so long as he isn't put off the idea in the meantime. Most of my daughter's home educated friends have also shown little inclination to get stuck into sustained academic study until after the age of ten. Perhaps they needed a certain amount of life experience before more abstract ideas could interest them much. If you wait long enough, it could happen. And moreover, while you are waiting to see whether he'll turn out to be academic after all, you may be able to accept that it might not happen, and notice the value in all the things which he is doing.

greenbananas Mon 25-Jul-11 07:54:16

Saracen, thank you, that's exactly what I needed to hear!

I think that wanting DS to make 'showy' educational strides (like early reading) is more about me being a competitive parent than it is about DS's happiness and long-term wellbeing. You're right, he will do much more real and useful learning if he is allowed to take things at his own pace.

I also agree that children are much more likely to choose academic things in the future if they are not put off by too much pressure early on. For a few years I worked in reception and Year 1 classrooms as a teaching assistant, and I cannot imagine my DS being able to sit still on the carpet for the whole of literacy hour! I would hate him to become demotivated while he is still so young, and/or get labelled as a mischief maker simply because he doesn't like that style of learning.

It's good to hear that I should not be feeling guilty and what you have said confirms what I already know in my saner moments. I'm already learning to value all the things DS does well, and am very proud of the happy little individual he is becoming. Again, thank you for your wise words smile

Lexie, I don't mean to disagree with your plan for structured activities over the holidays - good luck and hope your children enjoy themselves.

Lexiejack Mon 25-Jul-11 08:02:05

That's ok it's only 1 or 2 little things a day and it's things that amuse him. Today we've been making up silly stories and later we're collecting twigs and other bits to make a nature collage. Nothing too taxing, my brain couldn't cope with that lol grin

Nagini Mon 25-Jul-11 08:08:09

I wouldn't have even thought too hard about it. Are you not just planning fun stuff to to with your DCs?

It's a good idea to look at HE blogs for activity plans though smile

Can anyone recommend a place to start?

exoticfruits Mon 25-Jul-11 08:10:18

You have lost the plot! The nursery are learning through play. The last thing they need is formal learning.
Enjoy your DCs, have a lovely summer, get outdoors as much as possible.
There is no such thing as pre school home ed-every family is doing it-as the norm-even if they have to use childcare for some of the time.

Saracen Tue 26-Jul-11 00:08:50

greenbananas: Oh good, I'm glad it helped! When my dd was little, I had opportunities to see older HE children and teens and talk to them and their parents about the paths which had led them to where they now were. That reassured me a great deal.

notatschool Sun 31-Jul-11 20:07:32

Nagani I have a home Ed blog The Overflowing Cup. Not sure how many good ideas you'll find on it blush but I do have lots of links to other HE UK and US blogs, some of them are excellent smile

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