Kids are truly like sponges. They soak up everything! Currently, I have a 5-year-old and a 3-year-old. I started homeschool with them when they were around 6 months old. Both of them were reading at 2 years old. Here is a post I wrote about my daughter reading at 2 years old.
I’m going to share with you my secrets to having a smart kid. lol I don’t have any secrets, this is what worked for my family and of course, I think my kids are smart. Doesn’t every mom??
Learning tools we use:
- Preschool Prep Company
- Writing and coloring
Preschool Prep Company (Preschool Prep)
We LOVE Preschool Prep Company!! I discovered Preschool Prep from a good friend who lived across the hall from me in our apartment building YEARS ago. She talked so highly about the program and how it helped her children. She gave me one of the DVDs (Colors) to watch. My son and I watched the DVD and he actually sat there and watched it! We watched it every day for a week. He was catching on. He couldn’t talk but if I asked him to pick up something red, blue, green, etc. he did! Back then I was into Groupon. Groupon had a deal to get the complete DVD set with a percentage off. I bought the DVD set and when it arrived we got to work!
I decided that we would watch a DVD every day (Monday-Friday) for a month. After the month was over I moved on to the next DVD. I didn’t pick a particular order. I followed the order that the DVDs were in on the box. We did that until we got through all 10 of the DVDs.
After we were done with the DVDs I purchased Preschool Prep Sight Word books from Amazon. We started with Level 1 and moved up to Level 2. With the books, I had my son read the same book to me every day (Monday-Friday) for a week. He was reading by the age of 2! This worked so well for him, once I had my daughter I decided to try it out with her as well. Worked great! It’s still working great!
I also purchased some of Preschool Prep workbooks. I have my daughter working on them every day. We both enjoy doing the workbooks. I can see the excitement from her when she has to complete an assignment. She knows what she’s doing and she is excited to get the answer right. Sometimes she tries to go ahead of me and I have to slow her down. I love her excitement for learning! I pray it stays this way as she gets older.
Preschool Prep Company has some free videos on YouTube if you want to check it out before purchasing the 10 DVD set. I purchased Math Facts also to help my kids with math and they enjoy watching that together.
Writing and Coloring
Every day I have my daughter practice writing her name. I write out her name and she has to trace the letters. I write out her name multiple times leaving out a letter each time until she is writing all the letters herself. She has trouble with the “y” and gets frustrated. I keep telling her “Practice makes perfect”. This week she’s done so much better with here “y”.
We color for fun but it’s also a teaching moment. We talk about the colors and read/sound out the color of the crayons. She is doing well staying in the lines when she colors. I don’t want want to say she’s been staying in the lines since she was 2 years old but she’s been doing it for a while now. I think watching and doing things with her brother has motivated her to try to be just as good as him.
We love doing puzzles together! Doing puzzles is good for your brain! Did you know that when you are putting together a puzzle you are using both sides of your brain? The left brain hemisphere, our analytical side, sees all of the puzzle pieces and attempts to sort them out logically. The right brain hemisphere, our creative side, sees the “big picture” and gets to work. Completing a puzzle encourages the production of dopamine, a brain chemical that increases learning and memory.
Seems to me like doing a puzzle every day has nothing but GREAT benefits and it’s quality time spent with your child.
I’m into board games and I’ve passed that on to my children. YES!! We play board games, memory games, etc. Board games help with logical skills, reasoning skills and they boost critical thinking. Another activity that is good for your brain! Board games help build the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, which are responsible for complex functions. Board games also teach important social skills such as communicating verbally, sharing, waiting, taking turns, and enjoying the interaction with others.
That’s a wrap
Learning doesn’t have to be structured all the time. Make it fun! Both you and your child will enjoy it more! Now that my son is in Kindergarten I have more one-on-one time with my daughter. I had the one-on-one time with my son before my daughter was born and he excelled. It’s fun to see her going down the same path.
You don’t have to wait until your child is in school, for them to start learning. You are their first teacher. Start at home. Don’t make it stressful for yourself. If you are a planner, start by setting aside 10-15 mins of structured learning and then do fun learning throughout the day. You won’t even realize that you are “teaching” you’ll just be having fun!
What are some homeschool tools that you use with your child/children? I would love to hear!