Thursday, 28 October 2010

Before Five in a Row

I admit to having some suburban mom guilt. Recently, someone informed me that it was time for me to start looking into preschools, in order to insure that the one I enrolled Tommy in was excellent. I felt a little guilty. I didn't bother telling her that I probably won't be sending Tommy to preschool next year. Maybe I will, but probably not.

It isn't that I don't think Tommy will like it, because he probably would. It is partly because it is so expensive, well more than partly. But it is mostly because I dislike the idea of having to drive him 15 minutes each way for him to spend 2 hours someplace while I have to figure out things to do in that "wasted" space. I don't spend much time shopping, and I'm sure neither Jeff nor our bank account would appreciate it if I started creating errands to fill four to six hours a week. Also, with number two on the way (officially), I would be toting around another child during these errands, and I have found that kids seem to have a limited tolerance for shopping. Thus, I think the cost to benefit ratio is a bit too heavy on the cost side. I know, sacrifice, children, love, blah blah blah.

My solution has been to find activities where we all get something. I go to bible study, Tommy plays with his friends in the nursery. We go to the library together for storytime and picking out books. I go to MOPS and he goes to Moppets. Soon, we hope to get in to BSF, which has an actual program for the kids (come on, extra teacher for the two year olds). We are out three to four mornings a week with this schedule, not to mention Sunday brings Sunday School, so Tommy is getting plenty of socializing in (plus more at play dates, the arboretum, and the park, but that will be on hiatus for the winter).

The second part of my solution, and the alleviation of my "my child will be so far behind when they start kindergarten" suburban mom guilt, is Before Five in a Row. On it forces me to make up craft projects for Tommy. I have felt particularly bad about our lack of crafts because I actually liked crafts when I was younger and I always had to seek them out for myself. We have some craft supplies, but since Tommy doesn't ask for crafts I never remember to get them out.

The point of BFIAR is to read the same book everyday for a week, and do a little project that relates to the book.

I let Tommy pick the first book, and he chose Corduroy.

We did various activities that tied into the book:

We learned a bible verse about friendship, talked about what family and friends are, and had a discussion on polite manners in a store.

He made a button box, and has been having a blast sorting buttons (well supervised, I assure you).

He made a bank, and received some money to save. Six whole pennies!

We acted out the dramatic scenes. Tommy particularly enjoyed pretending to fall off the bed and crash into a lamp.

On the last day, we took a field trip (this was my idea, not the book's) to a "department store" (Ikea), so Tommy could do things like Corduroy did. We brought the book and started the story downstairs, then went up the escalator when Corduroy did, then Tommy chose a bed to sit on, just like Corduroy for reading the rest of the story and pretending to hide from the night watchman. Tommy had a blast, and I got to stock up on frozen meatballs. Win-win.

I thought the Corduroy ideas were pretty good. This week we are doing Good Night Moon, and it has been less inspiring. However, at least it is getting me thinking about activities for Tommy other than pulling out the cars or the trains, again.


Cuppa Jo said...

The only reason both my kids went to pre-school so young because we got 50% off and it was up the street.

He'll be fine.

I now have suburban mommy guilt looking at the activities you are doing with Tommy!

mary said...

You didn't go to pre-school either and I think you turned out just fine :). You are a good Mommy too!

susie lavender said...

Amy. it sounds like you have the situation under control. Not every child needs pre-school. we read and played with our daughter and labeled everything with easy to read words. K was reading by age 3. Every now and then we find something that we had labeled (and she's now 16). We also visited the library, went to church and the local museums. Thanks for the prayer card. We're sending lots of prayers and love for Mtoto.

thecurryseven said...

The Five in a Row series is great, but once you get the hang of what they're doing, you can do it with just about any book you read. I, myself, call it a "Literature based unit studies approach" to learning. :-)

Everything sounds more impressive if you use the right words, huh?


Hannah said...

AMAZING. Unit studies for preschool - I love it! (and I love picturing Tommy crashing off the couch). Hope you all are well and now that I am updated, I will definitely be praying for the adoption!