I can’t say enough good things about The Little Empress’ school. She loves it and her vocabulary and social skills are improving daily. But a huge downside is that I feel like I am losing precious time with her. Little ones are only little for such a short period of time and I feel like I need to do more to ensure that I take an active role in her schooling. I’ve debated homeschooling her before due to my unhappiness with our school district, class crowding and non-existent budget. But now that I’ve seen how well she does in a classroom setting, I am hesitant to homeschool as her primary form of education later on. I’ll have to make my decision later when she’s closer to school age.
For now, I’ve been poking around on the Internet for activities that she and I can do together. She seems to do well with the school’s semi-structured environment so that’s what I’m trying to mimic at home after school and on the weekends. On school days, after she wakes up from her nap and has a snack, I set out some sort of sensory game or object for us to play together as well as give her the option of playing outside in her sandbox. I’m getting a lot of ideas from seeing what’s available at her school as well as on homeschooling sites for toddlers and preschoolers.
At school, there’s a huge sensory table filled with a different object every week. I took this idea and am currently using a tupperware container filled with flaxseeds, smaller containers and colored pasta. This has been a big hit — she loves pouring the flaxseeds in and out of containers. It is a bit messy but I’m coming to terms with the fact that a fun learning experience is worth a bit of mess.
For some time now, I’ve been saving things like egg cartons (both cardboard and styrofoam), plastic strawberry baskets, yogurt containers, laundry detergent caps, empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls and the like. I also bought a huge container of miscellaneous craft supplies for kids — pompoms, chenille stems, letters, stickers, etc. Since she’s still too young to really do many art projects aside from scribble-coloring, I’m planning on using some of the odds and ends as more manipulatives for counting or just seeing how things move.
I hope I can keep this up. I really want to be a part of my daughter’s education and I definitely don’t want her to get the idea that learning is for school only.