I place a lot of emphasizes on school and homework with Emery. She may only be three but this is the age when children’s minds are sponges and soak up EVERYTHING. I never had that push, and at an early age I hated school. Without even realizing it I was pushing Emery to be something different that I was. Emery saw her older brother going to school and started saying how she went to school, and had homework. Her imagination sprouted having actual “homework” everyday. She sees her brother, Father and Grandmother all doing homework. The idea of doing homework seems (to her) like something everyone has to do.
At the age of one years old she was counting to ten in English and Spanish. She knew some sign language, her alphabet and spoke well. At two years old Emery knew colors, shapes (ones like oval and diamond) and how to count to twenty and alphabet recognition. Its been three months since she turned three and she knows the sounds each letter makes, shes doing sight cards and is learning to write letters and numbers (0-100 with some assistance), she knows days of the week and months of the year, how to spell her first name and last name. Sounds like a lot? It really couldn’t be easier! The key is to take the time and spend it wisely.
Emery isn’t allowed to watch what I like to call, “dumb shows”. Not only do I think they are dumb but they don’t teach anything (with the exception of Disney cartoons). Once in awhile I will put on Power Puff Girls on for her but other than the few random shows here and there shes on educational television. Her favorite program is, Baby First (its, its own channel if you’ve never heard of it), Leap Frog (it really helped enforce certain things while being fun), Nick J.r. (one of her fun programs ,but Dora & Diego have really helped with Spanish and the learning of animals) and what ever learning movies her Father and I have purchased for her.
Target dollar aisle is my weak spot, anytime I go in I NEED to see whats new. Maybe its scrap-book paper? Maybe stickers or cute little socks? If its school supplies I will probably walk away with something. During August and September when the children go back to school and teacher supplies are out is the best time to shop. Emery has a little box full of flash cards, crayons that are made for dry erase boards (so that she doesn’t have to use markers and get ink everywhere), and learning books. Not only will it be used for her but but also for her little brother. Michael’s also has teaching supplies (such as the alphabet or clocks) during the back to school season. I have reward stickers for her when her homework is completed and done correctly. Just a little sticker can make her feel special. I put it up on the fridge for her Father to see when he gets home and send pictures to her Grandmothers.
Now here’s the trick. Getting them to learn isn’t always easy. There are days when she doesn’t want to sit still for 5 minutes but I force her (err, I mean ask her) for her attention and then her homework is done. I only do 10 minutes a day. If its something like a learning movie or song she can watch or listen to it as many times as she wants. I know Pinterest has some great ideas from other people.
Learning the days of the week and months of the year was a song from the same group on Youtube. I put my laptop in her room and as we played we sang along. It took a week before she could sing the songs correctly without the music or help. The days of the week song was a little slow for us. We learn better with things that are more up beat so I sang it with the same beat as the months of the year.
I put letters on a white sheet of paper and had her circle and cross out certain letters I asked her to.
Now this is the one thing I’m really geeking out on! I’ve bought Emery writing paper and dry erase boards to practice her writing. I found this website so you can put a single word, multiple word, small sentence or paragraph on a sheet. This way you can teach your child or whom ever a certain word. This site will also help you practice your cursive! I’ve had many discussions online about the lack or cursive being taught and how its a dying art. Most of the United States have stopped the practice or cursive (this not including California ,yet). Many people believe that its a dying art form and the curriculum is to teach kids typing to keep up with the technological age. I can’t argue with that, computers are the future, however a beautiful hand written note to say, “Thank You” or to simply WRITE should not be lost with our grandparents. Cursive is also a faster way to write. I wont be teaching my three year old cursive any time soon but I’ve been worried about her not picking it up. I would have taught her anyways, but my cursive is not as elegant as the older generation. This site will help teach her the right way to write. This can also be a good homework for summer, when they arn’t in school but to keep them active and learning.
Each day just a little practice of anything can go a long way. Teaching doesn’t have to be mundane. Singing a song on how to spell your child’s name while in the car, teaching about traffic lights or counting on the way to the grocery store. It all adds up to one smart child.