Posts Tagged ‘reading’

Teaching Preschoolers is Not A Sin

Thursday, October 21st, 2010


I am so fed up by people who say that if you teach a toddler or preschooler anything academic, you are abusing them. This is complete bunk. All of my children loved being empowered to learn to read. I spent five minutes a day on it, and they were never upset; they always loved it.

The same with any other academic skill. They gobble it up. They love it, if it is done when they are well-rested and want to do something new. I’m not talking about workbooks. I’m talking about teaching something for five or ten minutes, maybe about an animal, maybe about numbers. Counting some frogs in a picture book takes a few seconds. It is interesting to the child. To call this abuse is ridiculous.

Studies have been done (What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child by Glenn Doman) where babies with half their brain missing were given infant stimulation exercises and taught to read. By age two these babies were reading. They were not vegetables like the doctors said they would be. I’m sure their parents were so grateful, they had tears streaming down their face. Because the babies’ minds were stimulated, they thrived.

One reason toddlers cry all day and pitch fits is because they’re so bored. Their parents think that they can’t learn anything. The young children are just blobs that need to be fed and clothed. I wonder what they do all day. Watch TV while they’re waiting for their kid to grow up?

One statement that was made today in a workshop on preschoolers was that when all kids turn 18, they are the same. Not so. She said that someone who read at age 4 and someone else at age 7 (or even age 10) would be equal by 18. This might or might not be true depending on the personality of each of the children. But for me, my own children learned to read as toddlers. All my kids were reading independently (easy books) in their preschool years. By age 7, my oldest two sons were reading on a high school level. They’ve read so many classics in their free time. You can’t tell me kids can catch up on all the years they didn’t know how to read. They are not equals by 18. The kids that started earlier have a deeper knowledge of the world around them because they are well-read. They can pick up and read a book about any subject at any age and teach themselves from the vast treasure troves of knowledge.

Young children absolutely love learning, and their days are long, stretching out before them. They have nothing to do, except for what you do with them, and what you give to them. You can choose what will go into their minds. I taught my children the Word of God at young ages, too, and my children have such hearts for God now. They draw spiritual conclusions that are way beyond their years.

It’s worth teaching your young children.

Jady A interviewed me about Homeschooling in Early Childhood.

These were my responses to her questions:

For more information, check out the video workshop Early Childhood Education.

A Typical Homeschool Day

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

What does a typical homeschool day look like? This video shows you exactly what we did during one school day while doing a unit study on Ancient Egypt.

First thing in the morning, the kids wake up and start doing their math. My oldest two kids switched from Saxon to Teaching Textbooks. That has cut their time in half because they do a workbook, so they don’t have to write out all of their math problems. Plus, it’s self-correcting. It’s expensive, though.

They’re in separate rooms to work on their math. My younger two children are working on Horizon math. They usually get their math done before breakfast, which is really nice.

As you can see, we use headphones so that if one of our kids wakes up earlier than the others, it doesn’t affect the other kids waking up.

Here we are eating breakfast. We listen to Scripture while we’re eating breakfast. (Audio of the book of Exodus playing in the background, which relates to our unit study on Ancient Egypt.)

Here’s my 5-year-old. She’s reading from a McGuffey book. My 7-year-old and my 5-year-old read to me after they finish their math and after they eat breakfast (with Bible).

My 8-year-old son is practicing guitar.

So we’ve done math first thing in the morning. Then we did Bible as we were eating breakfast. Then we did reading. Now we have our writing. This is my 5-year-old’s writing about mummies after studying mummies for about a week and doing a lot of hands-on activities about mummies. And this is my 7-year-old’s writing about mummies. My 8-year-old hasn’t decorated his page yet. This is from our notebooks on Ancient Egypt, which the kids were able to decorate. We also have my 10-year-old, who has just finished putting on some stickers to write the title of his writing assignment about mummies. He has decorated his page. So he’s just finished with his writing assignment.

a-typical-homeschool-dayWe just read from Story of the World and Pyramid by David Macauley. We’ve also been talking about tombs, and now we’re making some treasure. We have a treasure chest, and in that treasure chest, we are going to put some treasure. We made some treasure out of clay, and we are painting it with metallic colors now. Those treasures we’ll end up putting in the treasure chest. We looked at the treasure of King Tut and his tomb. The pharaohs had tombs that were made for them as well as pyramids. So we’re changing our treasure chest into an Egyptian treasure chest because it looked just like the treasures we saw in the book about King Tut. Look at all the lovely treasures in King Tut’s tomb. We are thinking about what we want to put into our treasure chest. That is our history class today. I read the lesson while the kids are eating lunch so that it’s nice and quiet.

During their free time, my kids often work on their electronics kits. It’s just something they enjoy doing. They look at the instructions and do it on their own. Right now we’re doing Ancient Egypt only. We are not doing any science. Over the summer we did a nature journal, and we studied insects. So you don’t have to do both science and history at the same time.

Right now it’s after lunch. This is reading time. This is my oldest son, and he’s reading a book. He also reads the Bible, and he colors in one square for each chapter that he reads. He just finished Exodus. So he reads during this hour and a half. That’s when he does his assigned reading. We’re finished with our homeschool day by noon.


Are You My Mother? Unit Study

Saturday, August 28th, 2010


My daughter’s favorite book when she was little was Are You My Mother? by Dr. Seuss. It is the story of a bird that hatches when its mother is away, and he goes on a journey to find his mother. Young children love the book because of the absurdity of a cow or an airplane being the mother of a bird. My daughter always laughed delightfully as we turned the pages.

Here she is at 4 years old, doing a dramatic reading of the book. She points upward, squeals, and really gets into it!

If you want to do a unit study on Are You My Mother?, you can start by doing some bird watching. Imitate some of the bird sounds. Talk about the characteristics of a bird. A great website for identifying birds is All About Birds. You can set up a bird feeder right outside your window and see which birds show up!

Here is a free lapbook for the book Are You My Mother? You will need some colorful file folders, scissors, crayons, and glue to complete the lapbook with your young child.

You can watch an egg hatch by getting an inexpensive incubator. Borrow an egg from a farmer, and give back the chick after it’s hatched. My children loved this activity so much. They called our chick Pepito and chased it around the backyard.


You can make a cute and easy nest with a paper bag, small twigs, and glue. Scrunch down the bag, pour glue on the outside, and stick the twigs on the bag. I give you a demonstration on how to make this easy craft in my free Easter Ideas video.

You can also make a next with natural materials from outdoors. Here is a blog post describing how:

I hope you enjoyed our Are You My Mother? unit study!