The Mom Tribe: After School Learning for Toddlers
Every day with a three year old is a challenge. It is such a fun age, but definitely a lot of work. This time in their lives seems like such a sensitive time, because so many important building blocks need to be placed in the right way. This also causes a lot of stress for parents, since we don't want to make any mistakes.
I have, personally, had a rough 6 months. From being in a very difficult pregnancy, to having a pregnancy loss at 18 weeks, I have not been on my game for work, as a wife, or as a parent. This became very clear to me when I realized that my son had forgotten the ABC's. Grant had been doing the ABC's for so long that I didn't even think about the fact that I should be doing them with him every day. Along with the emotional issues I had been dealing with, I realized that even though I was there for Grant to clean up after him, make him food, make sure he had everything he needed, and had attention, that I really needed to be more hands-on when it came to school and his education! After realizing he had his ABC's all mixed up, I spend the next 48 hours practicing with him over and over, and he picked it back up right away. It really was the slap in the face that I needed to realize that I need to be there for him even more than I thought I had been.
With that said, I think all moms go through this at some point, so I wanted to share with you some of the things I have been doing to make sure that Grant is at the level he needs to be for his education.
Since we have our ABC's mastered, again, I know that he is at the age where they are working on writing properly, site words, tracing, and numbers. I found a great website called totschooling.net, and they have so many great FREE printables that you can print out and use at home. This website has a number of really great activities you can do with your little ones to get them interested in learning. These printables have been a perfect tool for us to use to get Grant to spend some time tracing lines and writing letters.
Another tool that I found online is a Wipe Clean Workbook. This is a great way to practice letters without having to print up a bunch of papers. This is nice for going out to dinner, since I am always looking for things that Grant can do at a restaurant without having to give him my cellphone for entertainment.
Site words are also very important when it comes to the reading/spelling process for kids. If they can see a word without having to sound it out, it allows them to read better and faster. I found these site word flashcards that can be used to teach kids how to recognize these important words, what they mean, and how to spell them.
Here are some samples of what I printed on totschooling.net
Since we are big "screen time" people, we have found that we can allow Grant screen time if it is educational. ABC Mouse is a really cute program that allows kids to have fun learning, practice reading, practice numbers, and also learn about spending their tickets to buy things. We have really liked this program, and my son LOVES it!