Friday, October 8, 2010

Preschool Week Four - Being Intentional

Being intentional. That's my goal for preschool with Isaac. It's so easy to let him run off and play contentedly by himself while I am working with the big(ger) boys. Last school year, I really took a hands off approach with Isaac and honestly, I had my hands full with a newborn and learning how to teach two other children at home. Maybe that was right, maybe that was wrong. Over the years, though, I've realized that play is more important than drilling ABCs and such when a child is three years old (unless they show a natural interest).

This year, though, I knew that I needed to be more intentional. This decision, in part, was due to the fact that Isaac needed to learn how to sit quietly doing something that someone else wanted him to do. He joins in with the older boys as much as he desires and often times I photo copy their worksheets for him to "do school." I started transcribing stories that he dictates to me...all about cowboys, superheros, war, and the good guys winning. So far, though, his favorite activity is reading time. Elijah, Luke, and I take turns reading to him. I love that he still wants to snuggle in close when I'm reading to him.

a few of this week's books

The other major reason I need to be intentional with Isaac is to help him with his speech. He, very much like Luke as a three and four year old, struggles with some sounds. When we isolate each sound, there are only a couple that he cannot say correctly and I believe that is age appropriate. But when certain sounds are in a word, he either drops them completely or substitutes them with another letter. A big accomplishment for him this month is saying, "Izzzzzick" instead of "Igick." I go back and forth about feeling guilty that I didn't help him more last year with his speech, but instead of worrying that I dropped the ball, I'm choosing to be intentional and stay positive. Plus I have the blessing of a sister-in-law who is a speech therapist and I can bounce all my questions off her!!!

I really appreciate the activities and ideas in the books above. Teach Me How to Say it Right:Helping Your Child with Articulation Problems by Dorothy P. Doughtery is highly readable and practical for the average parent with no background in speech therapy. The author lays out timelines for when certain speech sounds should be achieved, exercises to help learn troublesome sounds, potential causes of speech problems, and advice for when to seek professional help. This book would be useful to parents even if their children did not struggle with developmental speech delays.

The Three R's by Ruth Beechick is a new book I picked up this summer. I've only read one third of the book called "A Home Start in Reading." The other two sections are called "A Strong Start in Language" and "An Easy Start in Arithmatic." Beechick guides parents through five steps to helping your child learn how to read. I am finding new ideas and activities to use with Isaac from the Prereading and Beginning steps. This is definitely a book that will stay on my shelves until all our children are grown.

I am thankful that this particular week has gone well after a rough first three weeks. We're more familiar with our new curriculum and learning how to get each assignment done quickly and carefully. The boys have worked hard to get all their independent work done without too many reminders from me. I've chosen to stay home because it was the best decision for the day even though the other activities could have been good options as well. Chores and meals have been done with excellence. All the children's summer clothing was swapped out for fall/winter clothing and stored properly. And I've even used my time wisely in the evenings for creative interests. I'm thankful that the Lord is blessing my efforts to keep my priorities in line with what brings Him glory and honor, developing diligence in my work ethic and helping me to find joy in the mundane and unavoidable.

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