Another blog topic change- let's see if this one sticks. For those who don't know, I decided to start a home summer preschool program for my daughter with special needs (Addie). I invited several of her typical peers to attend so that she can learn in cooperation with other little ones her age, and my hope is that she can make some developmental gains by interacting with children who are demonstrating age-appropriate behavior and cognitive skills. The preschool is aimed at kids ages 3-5, and the curriculum is not specifically designed for special needs children. However, the small class size gives me the chance to give Addie one on one attention, keep her on task, and give her hand-over-hand assistance when needed. I'd like to share lessons and projects with other preschool parents in the off-chance that someone else might find the information useful.
So, a typical day at our home school will begin with a devotion from Dr. Mary Manz Simon's Little Visits With Jesus. (Available at cph.org) We then look at the calendar and discuss the date, month, and day of the week, as well as any special holidays coming up. Next, we take a look outside and talk about the weather and relate it to the current month and season.
We then head to our desks to discuss the letter of the day. We go over the ASL sign, the different sounds the letter makes, and the shape of the letter. Students brainstorm different words that begin with the letter of the day and get a chance to practice tracing over the letter printed on the whiteboard. Students then are given a worksheet with a series of letters and are instructed to either circle the letter of the day, or cross out any letter that is NOT the letter of the day.
We usually break for snack at this point and take a bathroom break. We return for learning center time and craft. The centers and crafts are related to the unit theme. The centers change as the unit changes- approximately every two weeks, and the craft will also relate to the letter of the day. Before we head out for recess, we read the story of the day.
We then either head outside to the swing set or to the playroom for about fifteen minutes, and after we wear out the kiddos a bit, we come back inside for our final circle time. The final time includes reflection and sharing about what we've learned, a few songs related to the unit theme, and then a concluding prayer.
I hold preschool either two or three days a week, depending on my youngest son's therapy schedule. (We have a developmental First Steps therapist come to the house every other week to work with him.) We have 26 classes set up for the summer corresponding with the alphabet letters. My main objectives for the course are that the kids would be able to recognize all of the uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet and name the sound(s) the letter can make. We are also working on numbers, colors, shapes, fine motor and gross motor skills. Our first unit is a fairy tale theme, so in my next post I plan on providing more detailed information about the unit's learning centers, books, and crafts.
Miss Adaliah loves her preschool time! (Photo by Sara Carter)