Friday, January 31, 2014

a simple checklist for preschool learning at home



Am I doing enough? This is the question that constantly runs through my head at the end of the day.

My two boys are preschool ages, with varying interests, strengths and weaknesses.  In addition to those typical challenges, my three year old, Bugaboo, has developmental delays, and requires various therapies three afternoons a week. There are always things I need to be working on with him at home. But how do I know I am doing everything I can for him? In addition to that how do I make sure my four and a half year old is still having his needs (and interests) met, too?

I used to be a teacher, so I contemplated a lesson plan type form.  But honestly, that felt really restrictive at this phase of life. Our schedules are not typical due to the therapies, a couple of activities we choose to do, and The Hubs in the midst of nursing school.  Plus if lesson plans ended up being anything at all like my chore schedules I've tried in the past, they were likely to fail.

I wanted the freedom to go with some of my boys' interests each day, but also some self-accountability, too. It has been a long winter here, and so I never know from week to week which days I will be able to get out and run errands or take the boys out to do something fun. There are days we spend a lot of time on the couch reading book after book, and days when both boys are content to play for hours with Legos. And there are many days when I feel like nothing I plan goes as expected. 

So instead of a weekly lesson plan, I came up with a checklist.  


Activity checklist

Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat/Sun
read alouds






Math/Math-u-See/Counting






Five in a Row






HWT/”writing”/drwing






puzzles






sensory bins






jump/run/skip/balance






tricycle/bicycle






beads or other fine motor






Duplos/trains






pretend play






spoon or fork practice






cup/biting practice






5 W questions or yes practice






swinging/dragging/bouncing






brushing/face/mouth






play-doh/fingerpaint






watercolor/crayons/chalk






ABCs/phonics






music






swimming or library






outside time






Each week I print off this checklist (which I am constantly tweaking). The checklist includes individual activities for Bubby and Bugaboo, as well as things they do together. As we do an activity, I just make a check mark or a little note in the box describing what we have done.  Then I can look back over the week (or at several sheets for the month) to see what we have done a lot of and where we might be lacking.  It also shows me, yes indeed, I am doing a lot. I often need the reminder, "Relax, Mama, there are only 24 hours in a day."

2 comments:

  1. Amanda, you are amazing. That is all...

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    Replies
    1. Courtney - I was losing my mind and stressing out about G. There are still days (weeks) when little gets checked off (for instance we haven;t gone swimming all winter) - but this helps my sanity. :)

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