I'm been trying to introduce Liam to a few preschool activities, especially those that involve outdoor fun.
A friend recommended a web site that has a free preschool curriculum from age two to age five. It's called, ABC Jesus Loves Me. I've been trying the 2 Year Curriculum with Liam. Well, we've done two days, and not all of the activities. I'm not sure wether or not I'll continue with it, though.
I had grand plans, being a teacher, of doing the recommended activities throughout the day, and engaging him in learning the different elements. The Bible story, the verse, the Bible related art project, the poem, the song, the color, number, abc activities. It's all good stuff.
But, I've found I don't have the time. One, to plan it. And, two to implement it with any consistency. There's always something else I'd rather do. I suppose I'd be more diligent if I knew that I could stay home full-time. But, as it is, I go back to work in a couple weeks (only for two weeks before summer break) and I have to work in full-time next year, too.
I'm also torn. Being a teacher, I have a strong background in direct instruction and teaching with a purpose. What that basically means is having objectives that you want the child to learn and teaching them those objectives. It involved a lot of instruction and a lot of repetition. The above web site gives you ideas for that type of instruction and they're all fun activities that would engage almost any two-year-old.
However, I'm not sure it's a good use of time. Liam is two. I'd rather he learn about the world through exploring it and just being "in" it, rather than learning about it through school-type activities. I'd like him to "decide" what he wants to learn and be engaged in learning, instead of just learning facts. I want there to be a purpose to him learning something.
For example, we've been working on colors. Colors come up in the books we read, the markers we play with, and the playdough we create. He needs to know his colors to tell us which "one" of something he wants. We repeat and work on the colors throughout the day as the necessity arrises. There's a purpose to him knowing the colors and the learning comes from all different places.
I really like the philosophy of unschooling. Google it and you'll get an idea of what it's all about. We waste so much time in school and in classrooms. Being a classroom teacher, I see and experience it all the time. Think back to your time in K-12 education. How much of what you learned do you use today? You use things specific to your job, definitely. But, general education skills?
The one thing that I've learned how to do is "find out" what I don't know. I know how to figure out how to do what I want to do, whether it be how to fix something at home, how to quilt, knit, how to grow vegetables, or how to use some piece of technology. Part of that is my personality (always a learner), but it is what I want to instill in my children: the ability to learn. I don't want them to know a lot. I want them to know how to learn what they don't know.
Including how to clean up from a messy activity!