My Honey Girl is now in 2nd grade. She didn’t attend preschool until age 4. That was her only year in public school. I was convinced with E-Man that I wouldn’t do anything structured until kindergarten. (With slight introduction at age 4). Since last year he has been insisting on “doing school” with us. We’ve found a great program that gently introduces each letter and is easily adjustable to suit the needs of your child. No, I didn’t plan on doing anything structured for my 3 year old this year but as we all know… things don’t always go as we plan.
I use the word “structured” loosely. While we do have a “curriculum”. we don’t spend our days drilling it. In fact some days we don’t do it all. We follow his pace. He had been insisting on sitting with us and wasn’t happy with coloring anymore. I started looking for something that would gently introduce his letters and not require him to sit for longs periods of time doing “busy work”.
The Peaceful Preschool: A friend sent me a link to this sweet curriculum. I was immediately drawn to it. It’s simple and laid out nicely. Each week focuses on a new letter.With each letter there are craft ideas, baking ideas, and book suggestions. We’ve purchased some of these books that we had wanted to add to our library anyway. For the books we didn’t want to purchase we switch out for what we already own or we make a trip to the library.
One thing I noticed right away and liked about the program is that there is no handwriting. I knew my son wasn’t quite ready for this yet. Peaceful Preschool encourages learning through reading and sensory activities of tracing letters. Even with no “formal” handwriting, he has started to form those letters on his own! (If you are looking for handwriting I’d highly recommend Handwriting Without Tears. )
If you’re looking for a little extra or some inspiration, Kaitlyn from Simply Learning has created these wonderful supplements to go along with each letter unit. I don’t do them all but chose which ones I know my E-Man will enjoy. Best of all they are FREE!
Kumon Workbooks: These we have to put up high or he’ll have them done in one sitting! These are fun and help with fine motor skills to prepare for writing later on. There are so many of these to chose frome. Here are the ones we’ve been using:
I want to emphasize that we only do these if he wants to. Most days he begs to “do school” with us. There are days where he just doesn’t want to. That’s OK! He is only 3! If you are trying to decide if you should begin at age 3, I want to encourage you to let them be little! If they are showing interest then go for it, but gently. If they aren’t ready that’s more than OK! If they are ready, take it slow.
- Spend lots of time outside
- Read aloud to them. A lot!
- Read good books. With great vocabulary and beautiful pictures. These little ones can handle more than you’d think!
- Play games. Think Candy Land or Hi Ho Cherry-o!
- Take trips. Get out to the state parks or nature centers. We really have come to enjoy our local nature center especially during the winter!
- Let them help! Let them be in the kitchen when it’s safe, clean the table, sweep the floor, and make their bed.
I love this age. They are curious and always wanting to know the answer (we hear “why?” a lot in this house). Constantly learning, observing, and taking in the world around them. Well, here we go!