Thursday, September 23, 2010


Last winter Glenn and I decided not to enroll Beanie in preschool. It was pretty much cost-prohibitive at the time (and likely still is) and we wondered why there was any need to send Beanie to preschool when we could teach her at home. We decided that we would devote time to teach her at home. Fast forward to having a baby and a colicky baby nonetheless and that has never really materialized.

We have recently picked up some Kumon books and other activity books to work with, but my thinking on learning has evolved too. Teaching and learning isn't something we do for an hour three times a week. It's a constant activity in our house. We talk about things we see and why things are the way they are; we learn about colors, letters and numbers at the grocery store; we cook and bake together; we go outside and explore nature.

Teaching Beanie isn't something that starts and stops. It's a daily, hourly, constant process.

Sure, I would like to set up some dedicated time to working on certain things. Activities that she enjoys and chooses. Right now, she's really interested in letters, spelling and reading so we've been doing a lot of that. She is very excited to start art class again. I am too because this mommy is more of a logical, analytical thinker so letting someone else help with the creative part is great.

What sort of activities do you do with your children to foster constant learning?


  1. We talk ALL the time - in the car, at the store, etc. - about what we see, and if Alex shows a particular interest in something, I try to reinforce it with toys or books that he has. Right now he's hugely into fire trucks, so we took him to a fire safety day where he got to sit in trucks, see and talk about a real fire, and learn how to crawl out in the event of a fire. All free. :-)

  2. Oooh, I really want to do a fire station tour. I've been thinking about trying to organize one with my mom's group.

  3. A lot of it is just taking advantage of the opportunities that come during everyday life. But you have to look for them! Ethan loves to help me cook. So we do a lot of counting ;-) He loves to smell and taste the ingredients when he can. He even asks to smell the rice milk LOL But he's also learning things like how to use kitchen appliances safely (he's burned himself twice lately on my wafflemaker/griddle!), that raw meat and dirty dishes are "yucky" to touch and can make you sick, things that are steaming are hot, etc. He watches Sprout and I'm amazed what he learns from the shows! I really try to find what he's interested in at the moment and run with it! Google "unschooling" for some great ideas. I will be homeschooling with a traditional curriculum once Ethan's a little older, but for now unschooling is a good thing :-)

  4. Yes Yes Yes....little ones don't need a formal education shoved down their throat, but do need parents to be active partners in constant learning and discovery! We roll over logs and look for worms, pill bugs, and centipedes, we count the spilled beans as we pick them up from the floor, we see how high we can stack the books...I'm convinced it makes a bigger difference than anything that happens in a lecture at a desk.

  5. My son will be turning two in Oct abd is so curious about the world around him. He helps me mix up things to cook, we explore outside (I even overcome my dislike of any and all bugs to point them out to him) he tries any food we ask him too (he ate liver the other day and loved it. He is not talking yet, which is gaining me all kinds of unwanted advice from others. We are seeing progress though. Just yesterday I yelled my husband's name to get him to come upstairs and Sam repeated his Dad's name. Then grandma asked him where Michelle was (me) and I was suprised that he pointed right at me. I didn't really think he knew me as anything other than Mama.

  6. I've been trying to focus more on this again, doing one on one activities with Kenton. It's hard when I feel like most of the day I'm just doing damage control lately! We did bake banana bread the other day, and he loved it. He helped count the eggs and dump the flour into the bowl and mush the bananas! I think it also taught him how some things are made. We have been going to the library and getting several new books every week. They vary (this was a bad week, his Dad picked most of them out), but often I'll pick out one or two on things I think it'd be good to learn about, like emotions or animal babies.

  7. I want to do a fire station tour too, please do set one up with the group!
    We do a lot of talking, and I'm starting to ask her a lot of questions about the world and what she thinks. We also read a ton.


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