I received this great comment/question on a past post:
Hello! I just found your blog today as I was looking for some good materials to use for my 5 and 4 year old boys. They’ve been to preschool in the past, but now I am staying home with them. I’m not a “natural” at this whole preschool mom thing (not a fan of crafts, cheezy kid songs, etc.), but I want to be what my kids need me to be! Found the abcjesuslovesme.com website and loved the materials!
This is my struggle, though…what kind of daily schedule do you use – balancing fun playtime with teaching/learning/activity times, etc. I know I need to reinstitute more structure into our days (used to be great at this, but went back to work for a season and haven’t picked up the ball yet since being back home), and I feel a little stuck in developing a good schedule again. Any suggestions or direction to resources? I would appreciate it!
Thanks for your ministry and sharing with other moms! 🙂
This is a question that I get a lot. It is a struggle for every mom, if they are honest. It is that balance thing again. I wrote about this in a week of blogs – Keeping It Between the Ditches – back in October. A constant battle. A constant matter of prayer.
Example Schedule: ABCJLM contains an example daily schedule. Use this to create your own. I do think it is very important for kids to have quiet/rest time in the afternoon for a set amount of times. Depending on the age of the children, sleeping might not be involved so books, legos, drawing, etc. would need to be available. This time allows you to clean, do laundry, take a nap or read a book – whatever you are needing at that time.
Teaching Time: A child learns throughout the day in millions of different situations. The only difference is that organized teaching time and activities allow you to focus on a particular learning topic. For example, playing with playdough works fine motor skills and imagination. Singing a song and doing the actions teaches rhythm, gross motor skills, rhyming (on some songs), and musical skills. Cooking with your child works fine motor skills, numbers, taking turns (some things only Mommy can do). Reading opens up the world of language, rhyme, and imagination.
If these activities are out of your comfort zone try to figure out why. Do you stay away from crafts because of the mess or do you struggle to give control to your child even if the end result is not what you would have done? Do you see the educational value in kid stuff? Do you understand the learning building blocks that are required for children? Is it a control issue of some kind? Pray about this. Try to figure out if there is a hidden reason.
Remember that teaching time occurs any time your child is with you. The key is using the teachable moment!