Train up a Child

1-Dad & Kids 071512.2

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Parents in their highest function

“Parents in their highest function – as revealers of God to their children.”  Parents’ Review Vol 2 “Parents and Children: Parents as Inspirers” by Charlotte Mason 1891/92 pgs 221-227

In the midst of all our responsibility, it is a great thing to be reminded of our foremost responsibility: to lead our children to God.

The Parents’ Review article goes on to say:

“To bring the human race, family by family, child by child, out of the savage and inhuman desolation where He is not, into the light and warmth and comfort of the presence of God, is, no doubt, the chief thing we have to do in the world.”

This article was truly inspirational.  If you’d like to read further, you can find it here.

An article on Narration posted on the AO Advisory blog

The AO Advisory Blog “ArchipelagO”  posted a terrific article on Narration and it’s use in ancient times.

It includes this great quote by Erasmus:

“The master must not omit to set as an exercise the reproduction of what he has given to the class. It involves time and trouble to the teacher, I know well but it is essential. A literal reproduction of the matter taught is, of course, not required – but the substance of it presented in the pupil’s own way.”

Hope you enjoy the article!

Year 0 – Preschool

For preschool (for us that was older 3 young 4), I purchased a calendar from Books A Million.  It looks a lot like this one (click on the link for an example through our Amazon affiliate link):

Each day, we would begin by singing the days of the week to the tune of the Addams Family.

Followed by the months of the year to the tune of Ten Little Indians.

Once we did that, we would put it all together and say for example, “Today is Thursday, May 1, 2014.”

Afterwards, we would look out the window and talk about the weather.  I would ask them, “What’s the weather look like today?” Initially, they needed prompting, so I would go back to their calendar and point to cloudy, sunny, rainy, etc.  and ask, “Does it look like this?”

Once they identified the weather, we would talk about the seasons.  I found a picture of the seasons by “Googling “seasons” and then clicking images.  The result took me to an array of images representing the seasons.  I picked the one I liked best, printed it and laminated it.  Each day we would just say the season we were in and over time they were able to remember it.   Another great trick, is going to pinterest and typing in “preschool seasons craft”.  There were lots of fun ideas.

Once we covered the days of the week, months of the year, weather and seasons, we would move on to singing the ABC’s.  I found an ABC chart at the dollar store and posted it on the wall.  I would point while they sang.

From there, we would move on to counting using a wall chart that I found at the dollar store.  We practiced each day counting while I pointed to the the number.  We counted to twenty each day: I would say, they would repeat.

We also incorporated the book: ABC’s of Bible Verses.  We loved this book! It has a bible verse for each letter with a story to accompany it.  Here’s a look at it (click on it to see it on Amazon):

We would read one letter every day for a week.  I would make up my own hand gestures to accompany the verse, which helped them to retain the verse better.  It’s amazing how quick they pick things up at that age.

We would follow that with our little book of colors that you can find at any book store.  It was very simple and had a variety of items all the same color.  I would point to an item and say it’s name and color.  For instance, I would say “orange pail” and then they would repeat.

Finally, we would read books.  I made a list of books I wanted to cover during the semester.  Some were taken from the Ambleside Online Year 0 Book List, some were from “Before Five in a Row” and some were my old favorites.  From my list, I read the same book each day for a week.  (At that age, they love going though a book over and over again.)  Then I let them pick whichever book they wanted to read for the day.  I only allowed them to read books that were not twaddle.  I firmly believe what Charlotte Mason has to say about twaddle, and I have seen the benefit of quality books!

All of that usually took an 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours at the most.  Because we were singing and moving around, it didn’t feel like “school”. If there was a day when they weren’t into it, we just skipped it.  I felt like it was better for them to enjoy it than seem burdened by it.

The rest of the day was spent playing out doors, coloring, and whatever else took our fancy.

It was hard to fight the desire to do more! I encourage you to take it easy and keep it simple.

When others asked me what we were doing from preschool or quizzed the kids themselves (and, yes, this did happen!) I just kept my answers short and changed the subject.  Another idea, is to think of a polite reply before this happens, so you are prepared.  Try to keep an open heart and try not to feel judged.  Hopefully, they are just interested in seeing your child be successful and not judging you personally.  Pray that God will give you patience 🙂

I hope this helps you as you prepare to home school your preschooler.  I have another one  entering this age group by year end.  I would love to hear what you do for preschool.  I’m always looking for new ideas 🙂

May God Bless you on your walk!

 

Learning From a Textbook? Try LIVING with pages from a real Book.

Great idea for getting to know your state…

1 Rad Home school Dad

Image

. . . how colorfully and scientifically our generation talks down to the little child! What insipid, stupid, dull stories are trotted out! And we don’t stop there. We don’t respect the children’s thinking or let them come to any conclusions themselves! We ply them with endless questions, the ones we’ve thought up, instead of being silent and letting the child’s questions bubble up with interest. We tire them with workbooks that would squeeze out the last drop of anybody’s patience. We remove interesting books and squander time on ‘reading skill testing,’ using idiotic isolated paragraphs which no one would dream of taking home to read.5 

After reading this quote today, I am reminded of the wonderful opportunity we have to teach our children. We get to share with them how to react to bullies. How to love others. How to show the Love of Christ. We get…

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