. . .all five of my children. For those of you who don’t know, I have a 3rd grader, a “sort of” 1st grader, and three preschoolers. Until recently, I had provided minimal instruction to the preschoolers mostly because I really feel strongly that they learn best through play. In fact I’ve written several articles on how I don’t do a specified curriculum with them and how I don’t believe in early childhood education (a formal one that is). However, my children don’t agree with me.
Up until yesterday, I called the older children to the table and my oldest began her DIY (which stands for do it yourself) while I began reading to my son. I have manipulatives and activities on the table for the younger children and generally they would grab one or two boxes. . .and go play. For awhile the counting teddy bears were in a serious battle for the imaginary castle that my four year old drew. . .but apparently they’ve resolved that peacefully.
So, yesterday when I called the oldest to the table. . .everyone came. My oldest daughter began her DIY and my son, my middle daughter and the twins all sat there staring at me expectantly. I stared back. Not even for dinner have I seen so many little faces peering at me expecting me to do or say something profound.
“Do you want to read with us?” I asked. They did and so we did. . .all of us all around the table. We read about dragons, and trees, and how people lived when there were castles (which prompted one of the twins to grab the teddy bear counters). But the point is that they all listened intensely.
Granted the three younger ones didn’t last through all of the lessons and that’s okay. I can’t say that it will happen again this way, but I am happy to say that today we’re going to work on our lapbooks and the twins and Meghan, for the very first time will get their very own stuff to glue, cut and talk about. All three will work on an alphabet lapbook. I still don’t feel like preschoolers have to have organized, rigidly formatted learning. But if they’re willing–so am I. Look for future blogs on how I manage teaching 3 preschoolers, one gifted child, and one regular child that won’t stop reading!