Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On preschool and soldiers...


This post today is going in two completely different directions.


First off...a really sweet Facebook friend of mine (who's brother is one of the fallen 11-05-09 Fort Hood heroes) entrusted me with some important information. She knows three wonderful soldiers who are deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan right now. I'm not sure if they are close to their families or what the deal is but basically no one is sending them care packages or letters. As you can imagine they are feeling discouraged. I know there must be other soldiers like this out there now and I wish we could do something for everyone of them but right now I have 3 addresses. I can't give those addresses out but if you all feel so moved and want to write a soldier a letter or send them a card leave me a comment here. I'll then give you an address to send letters. I would LOVE to get a BIG envelope together stuffed with letters for each of them. So leave a comment, and be sure to put down your email address if your reply settings are on "no-reply."

Okay, this other thing is a question for mommies. If you aren't putting your child in a preschool what are you doing to get them ready for kindergarten? When I went to K-5 we went there to learn how to read and write, but it seems like these days kids are supposed to already know how, even if they haven't mastered those things. So, are you doing anything each day? Using flash cards?

Lucy has object flash cards that she's great with and she knows most colors. She can identify the numbers 1 and 2 but nothing past that yet. I don't want to push her at all, but once she's two I'd like to start working more on the alphabet and stuff like that (and I'm only talking like 10 minutes a day, I'm not a "my baby can read" type of parent). She's smart as a tack already so I'm not super worried about anything...I just want her to have a good foundation for when she does start school.



25 comments:

Mrs. Doc Handsome said...

We're not quite to the stage wher preschool and kindergarden has even entered our mind seeing as Mini DH is only 8 months. But I did want to just say in a side note, I'm not a "My baby can read" parent either!

The Mrs. said...

I've adopted a Marine through Ryan Rust's adopt a hero website. I also have a soldier through AAUSS. You could always sign them up through that so they get a person to adopt them. I've been emailing with my marine for a couple weeks and he is just amazing. I haven't heard from my soldier, but thats because I have to regular mail him!!

Mrs. G.I. Joe said...

Yeah I know there are lists they can be put on, and I'm pretty sure someone did. But while they're waiting to be adopted and we're sending them cards and letters I figured it would be nice to see if anyone else wanted to. :)

Jessica said...

I would love to do something...
mine is home safe and I feel like I should pay a little gratitude forward and support someone who is still there.

jessica_minson@yahoo.com

Sarah said...

I'd love to help and send a card or something! I always wondered how many soldiers (and other military personnel) weren't receiving any packages from home. I just think that's so sad. Shoot me an email! =)

The Neffs said...

Thanks for sharing the information about the Fort Hood unit. So sad... You are right on those guys need encouragement and support!

I do flash cards with my daughter, Lillian 3, everyday and it is neat to see how she catches on so quickly and improves. Good for you!

Glad I found your blog. I am a new follower.

mrs.wood said...

we would love to send all 3 letters and group(for the 3 of them) care packages! i'd also love some wisdom and advice regarding transtioning from Guard to AD if you don't mind me asking a million questions:)

Blessing said...

I'd love to do something....

Also on the preschooler note, i just bought my daughter some things to color, we sings alphabet songs every day, and she knows her nose, mouth, arm, shoulder, toes, tongue, etc. Although we did get some hand me down your baby can read dvd, they helped a bit as well. She knows too much for a 15month old already...those flash cards dont work for her but she follows the dvd well.

Alia said...

I would love to send these guys some letters, it makes me so sad to hear about our soldiers over there not getting anything.

Oh and I picked up MSM and your article was great!! SO COOL!

Meg said...

I'm not a parent yet, but I am a kindergarten teacher, so I thought I'd share. I'd look for puzzles and toys that have to do with letters, numbers or colors. Also, look for songs or CD's that you could listen to with her. I use Dr. Jean in my classroom to teach lots of things, including letters and sounds. The kids love them. And last, Leap Frog makes wonderful videos to help your child learn, and my kinder kids LOVED those. The two that I'd recomend are Letter Factory and Number Circus (or something like that). There's also a back to school one, but I haven't used it as it seemed a little to young for my kids. And most importantly...read to her and get books in her hand!!!!

lmc said...

lmcallaway@gmail.com

ACU's and ABC's said...

I wanted to give my opinion as a teacher. In my state, the kindergarten curriculum includes the alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors, etc...so she doesn't HAVE to know it before she enters but she will definitely be more successful if she does, or if she at least has been exposed to it. She doesn't have to know every single letter to have a good kindergarten year. I would make sure you read to her every day. A good foundation for reading is just hearing books read aloud, knowing how you hold a book, etc. But I also wouldn't worry too much since she's only two. She has plenty of time.

Kelli said...

When my son was about 3 I also got a workbook that you can buy just at Walmart and we worked on some activities in that too, a little bit every week, shapes, letters, numbers, opposites, that type of thing. He was writing his name before he went to pre-k. Then we actually homeschooled him for Kindergarten, so I was the one who taught him to read. Reading to them is an excellent way to teach them things, also.

Mary Beth said...

I would love to send a letter or card! :)

melindstone@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

superchic2o3@yahoo.com

Jenn said...

Hey Hey Sorry for the textbook!


I'm not a mom yet but I am a teacher for early childhood and childhood. Basically birth through grade 6. The best advice I will say anything is better then nothing. But here is what I tell most of my friends and family when they ask me this.

Doing flash cards with colors, numbers, alphabet and simple animal, actions (jump, sit, etc) are all fantastic to start. Make sure to incorporate the correct sounds of the letters. (it's early/pre reading skills) along with other I'll get to in a minute.

When it comes to teaching the alphabet most people start at "a" and continue on. It doesn't work that way in schools though. Some letters are easier then others "C" is easier for kids to learn then "p, b, q, d" These letter in lower case are more abstract ideas for kids to grasp. IE a circle with a line on the right makes a "q" but on the left its a "p". Try holding a foam letter of that and flip it around it a difficult concept to pick up. Also start with capital letters then lowercase With that said Go to the library and somewhere in the children's section will be teacher guide books. It's a what your child should know at each grade book. The librarian should know what I'm taking about. A quick search on the internet will give you the list of letters in the order it is taught in schools. You can also contact your local schools. Most will be willing to give you a list of expected skills that should be known before kindergarten if not they can direct you to where to get them.

Ok now back to the skills. Doing flash cards is great and your child will pick them up eventually. Don't be afraid to be creative with it too. Coloring a picture with their name printed on for example is better then just letting them scribble all the time. I like to start with the first letter of the child's name and do a large letter on the table and let the child color inside the letter.

With the flash cards as well use real life examples. When your showing them blue ask them to find something blue in the room, repeat what it is, hold up two colors and ask them to point to the blue one. Matching the two identical objects is always good. as well as two similar objects. Heck let them only paint in blue that day or make blue eggs.


Overall just remember it won't be perfect at first but try to praise them as much as you can. I'm sure your doing this already anyway. Make it creative for them with different modes of learning. If it's fun they will learn it even if they don't think they want to. My favorite memory was when my dad would play "I spy" with me. If i said something with the wrong color it was obvious i didn't know it then but I got there. This is an older example but it works. So don't feel you need to stick with just the flash cards. They are great to start with though.

The only other thing that as a teacher makes a world of difference in the classroom is self help skill. With 25 kindergartners zipping everyone's coat or buttoning everyone's pants is time that's taken away from teaching. It seems like such a simple thing but it can eat up time quickly when you multiply it.

Ok i've gone on long enough... if you need anything else you can contact me.

Blog: www.chancesimtaking.blogspot.com

Email: chancesimtaking@yahoo.com

Jenn

Caitlin said...

This might be way out of date, but I didn't go to preschool, and my mom used Hooked on Phonics, and I was reading by 4.

I don't know if they do anything like that now, but it worked for me. :P

addicted2shius said...

I would totally love to help out! I was just talking to my husband about that for when he goes.

As far as preparing Lucy, I bought my kids these little preschool books at Wal-mart and those seemed to help a lot! Good luck :)

butterfly11780 said...

I make sure my kids always see me read and when they ask I always read them book. My youngest will be 2 in a couple months. During the day we will count, or draw shapes but I am not trying to get her to memorize them all right now. We just do some fun stuff and if she learns it she learns it. I am going to make my own flash cards soon for her. The one things my little on is good with is naming animals and the sounds they make.

Mateya said...

I would love to send a letter!

Amanda said...

I'm not a "your baby can read" parent, and I know my kids watch too much TV thanks to asthma and allergies and being stuck indoors a lot. You'd be amazed at what they pick up from shows like Dora. My 3yo started picking up Spanish, so we built on it since I have a working knowledge of the language. I think he picked up counting and the alphabet mostly through singing the alphabet song to him and reading his letter and number books over and over ad nauseum because they were his favorites.

What I saw when my oldest was in preschool was many of the kids had academic knowledge (letters, numbers, etc.) but their fine motor skills were lacking. I've made sure we make time for coloring, cutting paper, etc. to work on those skills. They really spent a lot of time on scissor skills when my oldest was in preschool since so many kids were never allowed to use them at home. It'll all come together. My oldest also was in kindergarten with kids who couldn't read or write. Even in 1st grade kids still couldn't read. Writing has gone by the wayside. They don't even teach cursive until 3rd grade now, but at the same time they introduce the kids to algebra.

As long as you love Lucy, read to her, and interact with her, she'll be fine.

Brianna Renee said...

I'd also love to send some letters out.

As for the pre-school thing, we're in the same boat...our son will be two next week and since we haven't decided if we're home-schooling or sending him to private school, pre-school's on us for sure. I've started just doing some flash cards in the evening (that's the time I found works best with us-he's not a morning person and neither am I). I'm using alphabet, animal and colors flashcards...I also go over colors every day when he colors...I just bought a big sketch pad and a pack of crayons. Like you, I'm not a Your Baby Can Read type of mom...I don't want the boy to get burned out before Kindergarten but I also don't want him behind the other kids.

PS>I left an award for you on my blog

http://adventuresofanewmilwife.blogspot.com/

Lauren Elizabeth said...

I'd love to be able to get some cards and letters together here. I've also got an FRG group that I am sure would like to do some as well. :) ~Lauren

ABW said...

I'm a teacher too, and I have a son who is about to turn 4. We do puzzles, matching (using cars, trucks, buses or rubber bugs, etc). We also count things that we line up. We play I-spy for colors. I read to him A LOT.

We color, rarely from coloring books. I might draw a picture or he will help me draw a picture. Sometimes I might draw a line, and he will turn it into something. We play playdough, not with those cute little kits, but just the plain stuff, far more imaginative that way. We take walks, pick up sticks, etc. If you want to teach letters, let them write them in shaving cream on the table or in the dirt with a stick.

I'm not a fan of rote memorization, they learn far more from experiences.

Lauren Elizabeth said...

Lauren Elizabeth~ leworcester@gmail.com