Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Activity Time/Preschool Schedule: How to Plan Time with your Kids

Last fall I enrolled my three year old in a preschool class at an arts academy that included piano and sign language in its curriculum. I was excited for her to get the "classroom experience" and learn from someone other than myself. After a few weeks, I felt disappointed about a few things:

1. After several requests, I was denied a copy of the songs they were teaching in her class (copyright). She was learning some songs I didn't know, so it was impossible to practice them at home.
2. Since I didn't know what my daughter was learning in each class, except for the letter and book of the week, I couldn't reinforce those lessons at home.
3. I didn't know any of the kids in her class or their parents.
4. I just felt plain jealous that someone else was watching my daughter learn new things for the first time. I have to hand her over to a teacher at some point--I'm pretty sure that homeschooling is not for me--but I want to keep her as long as I can. I knew I could handle preschool at home, so I pulled her out and we've incorporated some preschool lessons into our activity time.

I wanted to share my schedule with you because I think it's always helpful to see what other moms are doing. I'd love to hear about your routine as well. Here goes:

Monday: We visit our local children's museum called the Treehouse where they have "Toddler Time" which includes stories and crafts. This replaces activity time at home.

Tuesday: We attend our local library's "Discovery Time." We check out books for the week and play on the computer.

Wednesday: Activity Time/Preschool at home. For more info on this click here.

Thursday: We participate in a local preschool co-op with other mom's in the neighborhood, where five of us rotate teaching. In the fall I'll be joining/creating a Joy School group.

Friday: Activity Time/Preschool at home (review).

That's it. I love doing the co-op preschool because my kids get the social interaction they would at a public preschool, but with kids we know and play with anyway. I also know what the mom's are teaching so I can reinforce those lessons at home. I want to do Joy School in the fall for a more organized curriculum and music.

I think the key is finding what works for you and your kids. I felt so overwhelmed last fall as I considered my options for preschool. Then I realized that we enjoy our activity time at home together and I can prepare her for kindergarten competently. So far, it's working.

Any thoughts on this?
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  1. Janelle, I have been enjoying following your blog. I miss seeing you and your girls at the library. I think it's wonderful that you are making choices that work best for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your schedule. It seems like you have worked out a plan that will create a lot of quality time with your kids and activities to promote their learning. You are my inspiration for making sure to include activity time with my kids and not take that time for granted. Thank you!

  2. i have been following your blog and love getting ideas to do with my two boys. i love how you spend so much time teaching and doing fun activities with your girls. as moms, i feel like it is our job to teach our kids. i'm all for the preschool co-op. some friends and i are starting Joy School in the fall and I can't wait because I'll know what my boy will be learning and I'll be able to see him learn and interact with other kids before i send him off to school forever. sometimes i feel like moms rush their kids into growing up by outsourcing activities when they are so young. we only have a few years of our kids out home before they are in school for the next 15 + years. i love that you are so proactive in doing educating your family. i would LOVE to hear more about your Joy School experience so I can get ideas and see what works and what doesn't work. thanks for all the posts! keep it up :)

  3. Janelle, I wasn't certain if you knew that Saren Loosli in our ward has developed a Joy school curriculum and if you haven't visited her website "Power of Moms". I think you might really enjoy it.