Summer is winding down and we have to get back to real life this week. It has been an awesome summer with lots of events and family time. However, our schedule has been so out of whack. As much as I’m sad to end this summer, I’m looking forward to getting back into a good routine. I’m also crossing my fingers that Little S stops teething soon so we can all go back to getting good sleep!
We’ve opted to wait until next year to put Little A into preschool, so for this year both kids and I will continue to take Parent Education classes through Pasadena City College. I feel like it’s a great balance because the kids get socialization and structure through the program and we work on other skills at home.
At home I follow a loose curriculum based on a book or outing, with activities to accompany it. Some weeks we follow it closely and other weeks we don’t. I like the follow the kids’ leads. If they are enjoying an activity then we do it, and if it isn’t something they enjoy we shift gears, or stop altogether.
I’ve used curriculums from Teachers Pay Teachers that are pre-made and I’ve also created my own. For example, last week we went to the aquarium. It was a somewhat spontaneous decision, so I didn’t get a chance to gather activities beforehand. Ideally, I would have prepped before and created a scavenger sheet to do during our visit and found a book or short video clip to introduce some of the animals to provide a stronger background knowledge for our trip.
For the rest of the week I used activities I found on Pinterest to extend learning at home. Little A loved the labeling activity, while Little S preferred the little book because he could scribble and move onto the next thing. I don’t focus on perfection and sometimes we work together so it’s enjoyable. This is also a great way to encourage conversation. The kids and I colored and I asked questions such as: “What color is a whale?” “Do you remember seeing a seahorse at the aquarium?” “How did it feel to touch the jellyfish?”
I also like to include at least one song or rhyme to focus on during the week. This week we sang “Slippery Fish” and “Baby Shark” of course. Sensory bins are also a fun way to incorporate themes into daily activities.