**Keep up with the progress on the labor and delivery of my 8th baby.
This week the 4 Moms are blogging about teaching little kids, meaning preschool to early elementary age.
Be sure to visit the other moms to see what their thoughts are on this topic.
The way we do preschool and early elementary is very relaxed. I do not use an official curriculum until around second grade, but instead focus on reading and simple math concepts.
I have successfully used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with five of our children so far.
Some of those children were ready to begin their daily lessons at the age of barely 4 years old. This was the case with our first, so I naturally assumed the same would be true for all the rest. This did not hold true for all of them, though, and we learned the hard way that it is better to wait until the child shows readiness than to struggle through and have to start over from the beginning after much frustration.
After the child is able to read, I listen to them read aloud daily from simple readers. I then copy a sentence or two from their reading and have them write it in their best handwriting.
I do a lot of reading aloud to them from great works of literature like The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh. We memorize poetry together, not as an assignment, but in a casual way because we read over it so many times. A Child's Garden of Verses is one of our very favorite books of poetry. They ask me to read it again and again, and I don't mind at all.
I also like to let the older kids read aloud to the littles while I am working one on one with another child.
For math, I use generic workbooks and lots of counting, help with baking, and identifying everyday shapes. Starting in second grade, I begin using a math curriculum. This year has been our first time with Saxon math, which I am pleased with.
The little kids are always included in Bible lessons, memory work, and discussions, literature read alouds, and casual discussions on history, science, and politics.
One thing I love about homeschooling is that there is a lot of relating to people of varying ages. Our little kids spend their days interacting with children and adults of all ages. They are able to discuss thoughts and listen to ideas from people who are older, wiser, and more experienced than they are.
I don't spend a lot of time stressing them out with loads of paper work. I always have lined paper, crayons, glue, and scissors available and they are constantly creating on their own. They also have train tracks, dolls, a doll house, bikes and trikes, a trampoline, and plenty of books to look at. (See my post on "Homeschooling With Preschoolers".)
This relaxed method has worked well for us and we are happy with the progress the little kids make with their schooling once they move into more formal school work.
What about you? How do you handle teaching little kids?
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