(Read through what this is all about or scroll on by to the good stuff at the bottom of the page!)
After teaching for 16 years, 14 of those in an elementary school with a focus on Kindergarten, I knew that I wanted to apply all my teaching methods to a preschool model for my littles. Throughout the Preschool section, I will go into detail on every part of our day. Some posts are very specific to just our official preschool time and others will flow around with how our day works out. I try to be fluidly structured (ha, that phrase has just been coined by me).
Barrett is 3.5 years old and is, as many kiddos his age are, headstrong. He knows what he wants and usually that is to be in charge! His quick quips and antics will most likely be included for your reading pleasure. As I go through this process I’ll be sharing our progress, mine as a preschool teacher and his as a big kid student with Teacher Mommy!
The number one key is to keep it fun at this age. I want to encourage and build a love of learning. Learning classroom skills is a huge part of what we’re doing. All of my interactions with him during this time are led by him. If he’s really struggling or not interested I need to change it up to pull him back in…or even leave the lesson for the time being.
If he’s not able in the moment to meet learning behaviors and expectations then that is my signal to switch gears and come back to it. An example is learning to write his name. If he has his head down and is pretend sleeping, refusing to sit up with prompts, then I’d rather leave the activity than have him write with his head down. This is an excellent example of child-led learning. He wasn’t excited at this point for writing his name so we have paused on that practice for the time being.
I’m aware that for 3 years old play-based learning is huge and important. I know that having “learning” based learning is a topic of conflict for many people. I’m not here to debate it. I am Direct Instruction based in my interactions and how I have modeled our preschool time. If this isn’t your jam I encourage you to keep reading to get insight into this approach.