GETTING STARTED

To start your preschool, there are a few things you must have: children, a place to move, color, sing, dance, eat, play, and work, lots of paper and crayons, and a good format.

Here is a format you can follow (the other things you will have to come up with on your own).

Prayer-Welcome

Start with the same beginning each day; a prayer, a welcome song, the pledge of allegiance or whatever else you feel comfortable with. This should just be something to signal the beginning of your preschool. It lets the kids know that we are starting now.

Calendar

You can use any kind of a calendar to talk about what day it is. Something big that they can manipulate and help out with works well to teach them days of the week, months, etc. We also sing a song to go along with putting up the date for each day.

"Today is Monday,
Today is Monday,
Monday all day long,
Yesterday was Sunday,
And tomorrow will be Tuesday,
But today, today is Monday."

Weather

Next talk about what the weather is like and after the children decide, have them show it on a weather chart. Also if your children are older, it is fun to keep a graph and mark how many day of snow or sunshine or rain you have been having. You can also talk about what kind of clouds or precipitation you are having or what temperature it is.

Write the "Letter of the Week"

Now comes the "Letter of the Week" part. Get a large piece of paper (newspaper roll ends, purchased at most local newspaper offices, work great for this). Hang up the paper and write the letter of the week (uppercase) larger than life in marker right in the middle. If the kids are older or have already learned upper-case letters, draw both the upper and lower-case letters.

Talk about the letter

Depending on how advanced they are, ask or tell them what the letter is, what it says (its sound), and then practice it together a few times.

Pictionary

On your big paper, draw pictures of words that begin with the letter and have the children guess. Use colorful, washable markers and let the kids have a turn or two drawing a picture for everyone to guess. You can suggest a word for them to draw or sometimes (as in the case with my 2 year old) let them draw what they want and then give it a name that begins with the letter of the week. For L week, we called Rachel's picture "litter". For I week, it was "insect". For B week we drew a string on it and called it a "balloon". You get the idea.

Activities

Finally, break up the rest of the time with learning activities. Emphasize the word that goes with each activity and the sound that the letter makes in the word. Have a good mix of activities. You can do them in the same order each day (for example, science, then art, then physical, then stories, then music, then food) or shuffle the different activities each day, depending on the mood of your children. Not every day will include an activity from each area, due to time restraints or attention spans, but include a good mix (don't forget the important ones, like food and physical) each day.


READ TO YOUR KIDS!
 
Few things in life are more fun and rewarding than curling up on the couch with your kids and a good book. If you truly want your kids to learn to read well, then READ TO THEM EVERY DAY! There is no better way to teach your kids that reading is fun and interesting.
Click here to see a list of ALL the books we have read to our children.

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