7.25.2011

Stay at home mom... in need of a curriculum?

I am proud of my education.  I know a lot of things, but mostly I know how to learn, how to study, how to find my own answers.  Most of you have supported me as I've weighed my options between working at staying-at-home.  I am the child of a stay-at-home mom... until we both went back to school (me as a student, mom as the teacher).  Of course I don't remember those early years, but my mom has lots of stories of crafts/activities/groups/baking bread.  So I'm absolutely positive that my early years were full of creatively rich experiences.  Full of love, books and healthy foods.  I've never thanked my mom for those years... I never even thought about it.  However, now it seems so important!  So, THANKS MOM (and Dad for working really hard in order to put food on the table and raise a family on one income!)!  I don't know what differences those early years made on my life, but I'm so thankful that you gave me the best start you could provide.

So now I'm in those shoes.  Hazel is old enough to start doing crafts, learning the difference between bees and flies, picking berries, stirring batter...  I don't want to spend this time ignoring her while I blog, clean, cook or read novels (ok, I kind of just want to read novels).  So this article written on a homeschooling blog really caught my attention!  I had no idea that there are curriculum for the pre-K crowd!  (To clear up any questions:  I have NO INTENTION of homeschooling my kids.  I read that blog for the other content:  photography, farm life, cooking, etc.  Three cheers for public education!!!)

The Oak Meadow curriculum caught my eye and I just read the sample pages.  You can read them here.  The last page of the introduction to the curriculum discusses the idea of socialization of preschoolers.  A topic I think about A LOT!  I was encouraged and surprised to read their view on socialization...

This is an excerpt regarding the number of children your kid should play with:

A good rule of thumb
to follow in the early years is not to allow children to interact simultaneously
with more children than the number of years in their age (1st year - one playmate,
2nd year - two playmates, etc.). This ensures that they will never be
exposed to more children than they can handle comfortably.

And the impact that a large day care center can have on your child's development:
children in the kibbutz (ie day care) “do not even have a time or place
to cry alone without the other children looking on and possibly making fun. So
they accommodate. And they grow up, more and more dependent upon their
peers in all social and emotional respects. Initiative and creativity are stifled. By
adolescence the experience of making decisions on their own, without group
approval, becomes traumatic, or they cannot make such decisions at all. Indeed,
they make very good soldiers.”

Certainly, day care is a necessity for many families and I wholly believe that children can attend day care and still develop positively when that is paired with quality parenting.  However, the article/curriculum does strike a chord with me.  As a former Junior High School Counselor, I have puzzled upon the dependency kids have on group approval and wondered why some kids are more affected.  Now I want to do my own study to see if in fact those kids were placed in large day cares... the parenting piece is obvious!

What do you think about a pre-K curriculum?  Do you have any good resources that have been helpful in your toddler-filled house?

4 comments:

  1. Talk and sing, a LOT. and Play, play, play. Make everything about playing and the learning will come. I believe I have 3 very bright, talented, creative girls and that's what we did. The oldest 2 went to a couple days a week of preschool for the social interaction. It was a co-op so I worked there a lot with other moms. With Cali, there were 5 of us that rotated weeks and houses. We did themes, crafts and played, a lot! it was perfect and I'm thinking she's got a great handle on school. Kindergarten was awesome for us last year. Good luck. Whatever you choose, you'll make it great and that's all that matters! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am an early childhood special education teacher and while I would love to talk curriculum and the importance of quality early experiences, I can already tell that your kids will flourish regardless of curriculum choices or socialization techniques. You sound like a mother who spends quality time with your little loves, and that is what is going to make the difference for them. So many kiddos just do not get that and, sadly, it is very obvious. Kudos to you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This isn't a curriculum, but there are some AWESOME ideas here for fun projects to do with your kiddos:)! I especially like the balloon painting.

    http://www.childcareland.com/teach3.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. Try www.lovenlearnathome.com very helpful site for stay at home moms

    ReplyDelete

Oh how I L.O.V.E. comments! Thanks for taking a walk on the (koskersidle)WILD side :)