Monday, September 5, 2011

Preschool with Jadon

As we jumped back into the school routine last week, I was reminded how much my boys thrive on structure. It makes sense. I mean, I like things to be organized and well-planned. And my life has allowed me to generally expect that things are going to work out okay. In contrast, my boys--due, I believe, in large part to some hard early life experiences--have developed a certain hypervigilance. They can put a lot of effort in to making sure things are lined up in a way that is going to work out okay.

As much as I tried throughout the summer to lay out the individual schedule for each day, my efforts simply did not compare to the repetitive nature of school days. Andrew and Ethan appreciate the unmistakable structure of the school year.

Of course, this year, Jadon remains at home while all three of his siblings engage in the public school system. I believe that, like his brothers, Jadon will flourish in an environment that is structured, predictable, intentional. Last year, I borrowed from this site to establish a weekly preschool plan. Jadon (and Abby) and I had a great year, studying weekly themes from moon phases to sheep to trains. We also covered the whole alphabet plus several digraphs, emphasized every color and shape I could think of, and learned lots of new vocabulary words. I am not sure who had more fun with our "preschool" -- was it the kids, as they learned and discovered, or this mom, as she facilitated their learning and enjoyed the daily connection encouraged by library books, letter worksheets, or fingerplays?!?

After last year's successful preschool experience, I was really looking forward to another year with Jadon. My only problem was that he had mastered all the concepts from last year! What could I do now? At first, I thought that I would try to follow a similar theme-centered program, but incorporate more French language in order to increase his readiness for French immersion kindergarten next year. However, I began to worry that our somewhat mischievous, bright little boy might actually need the challenge of language acquisition in kindergarten.

Instead, I've decided to focus more on character formation. I have chosen 34 character traits (courageous, servant-hearted, gentle, content, diligent, etc.) to emphasize throughout the year. For each focus trait, we will discuss a story from the Bible and learn an appropriate memory verse. I will try to come up with activities, crafts, games, etc. to reiterate the weekly theme throughout the week. While I plan to cover some language arts and math concepts as well, the character issues will be prominent. I am really excited about how this year will go!

This week, we will be highlighting the characteristic of attentiveness, telling the story of young Samuel, and learning Psalm 85:8. I hope to play some Simon Says, give lots of praise for listening and obeying, and incorporate some musical activities that require careful listening. Feel free to share any ideas you may have with me! Also, if you are interested in my whole plan for the year, feel free to email me or leave me a comment with your email address, and I will be glad to share what I have come up with.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Kristy - thanks for your note on my blog. Guess what just came in the mail today? I ordered another Nudred sponge to use on my 3rd grader (Jayden). I bought one last year on your advice and we wore it out. I love your Andrew's dreads and I have been growing my Jsyden's hair out all summer so we can start with the Nudred twists and hopefully achieve those cute dreads like Andrew!!! Thanks for the boar's brush tip - I will definitely be trying that too! Hugs - Karen Wistrom