I have a confession.
I don’t like to play with my kids.
Well, at least not ALL of the time. My patience doesn’t last long enough to read the same book 9,000 times and kick the soccer ball in the kitchen for hours at a time. So, my solution to this momma failure is “preschool.”
I kind of hate to call it preschool because it’s not super formal or consistent. I just choose a letter to focus on for a week(ish) and then center our playtime, snacks and meals around the letter of the week. It’s helping me spend more quality momma time with the boys and making our meal/snack times a little more creative. I’ve found that having a theme for things that I don’t like doing (like cooking!!) suddenly makes the tasks so much easier. Maybe it’s my obsession with having to organize everything that makes themes so motivating for me. I don’t know. But it’s working. So I thought I’d share what we’re doing.
At the beginning of the week I like to let Isaac watch the letter of the day playlists on Sesame Street while I get ready. Besides the videos, the playlists have little games to test the kids’ recognition of the letter and words that start with the letter. The games are a little advanced for Isaac so it makes me interact with him whenever he needs help (which I never do if I just sit him down in front of a whole episode).
I also found an app for the iPad called Little Writers that helps kids learn to write the letters of the alphabet, numbers, words and draw shapes. You can turn “on/off” each letter/number/word so that it tests the kids on just a couple of or all of them. I am really excited that Isaac is starting to figure it out. He gets so excited after he does every letter. Another plus is I can add in additional letters like ñ for Spanish days and I can even record my own voice saying the letters. So this week I had him practice writing letters H, I and J. He had gotten really good at the straight lines of H and I and had a hard time with the J at first but he’s caught on!
One note about the iPad: I am taking a class (Teaching and Learning using the iPad) from UEN right now and found out something so amazing! If you open the settings app and go down to accessibility, you can turn on “guided access.” This means that once you are in any given app, you can control what your kid does in that app. They won’t even be able to exit it and get into other things! So awesome. Why did I not know this before now? All you have to do is turn it on in settings (don’t forget to set a passcode here too) and then open an app for your kid. Once inside the app, triple click the home button and a guided access menu screen pops up. Then you can choose the amount of control your child has as he’s using it. Brilliant.
This week we are learning about the letter J. The twins are really into jumping with both feet right now so the first thing we did this week was jump, jump, jump in the kitchen. Carter likes to jump as many times in a row as he can until he falls on his bum. Cooper concentrates really hard on not falling down. He’s getting pretty good!
We had J shaped pancakes on Spanish day with JUGO de naranja.
We made J shaped JELLO JIGGLERS (yes with green jello…we are Mormon after all) inspired by this mommy blogger. Only Carter liked to eat them. Cooper wouldn’t even touch his. Isaac was pretty hesitant but held his long enough for me to get a picture. So Carter ate all three letter Js…plus an extra.