This last week was a total dozy of emotions for me, not because I had a child start or go back to school but because all of you did and you posted about it (which you can and should because you’re proud of your kiddos and they are all so crazy adorable)! You see, my son is three, preschool age, but he’s born in August meaning he can begin kindergarten either in 2017 or 2018. If we decide to put him into school in 2017 this year would have been his year of preschool followed by pre-k but if we put him into school in 2018 this year is just another normal year. We have yet to decide whether we’ll put Gabriel in school in 2017 or 2018 and though we feel like we don’t need to make that decisions until spring of 2017 seeing all these kiddos about Gabriel’s age (a few younger but most within 6 months older than him) starting school this week, sent me into a spiraling panic of feeling like a complete failure on my end for not getting him registered. Keep in mind with all of this that in 2.5 months we’ll be leaving the country for roughly 5-6 months so being put into school doesn’t make much sense anyways. Unfortunately all that logic slips you at 11:30pm at night as you sit wide awake in your dark bedroom frantically sending pointless and embarrassing e-mails to preschools in the area hoping that there is a spot open despite school already starting.
Rather than fixating on the fact that I haven’t found peace in Gabriel not being enrolled in preschool right now, I’m going to move forward and work more on homeschool-preschool. Because of my educator background (I have a degree in elementary education with a focus on special education) I’ve tried to make a conscious effort to incorporate learning into every aspect of his play up until this point, typically being more of a Montessori approach on my end. Just like adults, children learn through repetition and getting to see, touch, and hear material that needs to be learned in many different ways. For example, we’ve been counting with Gabriel since he was born but now I’d like him to start learning to identify numbers and associate numbers with grouping. Rather than sitting him down with a formal lesson (which isn’t age appropriate and would most likely result in a lot of pushback on his end) he has sandpaper cards, dominos, number puzzles, books, and manipulative to interact with.
This week trying to take another approach I made some counting stones. We took a trip to the beach to collect our rocks which lead to outdoor learning about sea life, education is seriously all around you! When we got home I painted numbers 1-20 on the top then traced those numbers with black sharpie. I chose 1-20 because this span of numbers tends to be the most challenging for kiddos. Why rocks? Well they engage a tactile dynamic to learning- remember the more ways a person can tap into their senses differently to absorb the same information the better.
I think they will be a fun addition to our learning-through-play tools and if this project isn’t your thing but you love the idea of it I took the liberty of finding a few shops on Etsy that sell them, links below! 1 / 2 / 3 / 4