Emma’s preschool

Just a bit more thoughts off the whole toy-sorting paragraph below.

We’re not using a formal preschool program for Emma. We don’t think she needs one. I admit, I haven’t done early grades without a packaged curriculum before, so I have knee-jerk reactions to things I think we should be doing, but at the same time knowing it’s not necessary.

When I sorted the toys, I dumped everything that had no lasting play value, things she had multiples of, and things she was too old for or had conquered. I told her the stuff was going to kids who had no toys, and she was fine with that. She only pulled out a couple of things.

So on Emma’s bookshelf of toys, nicely sorted and boxed like a preschool, she has:

– a play oven (her play kitchen is still outside)
– a play sewing machine
– a small dollhouse
– a cash register complete with money (and real money in her purse)
– a set of tools (probably more like two sets)
– a doctor kit
– a dress-up box of accesories, including wings
– a tote bag of costumes (wanted: one tickle trunk)
– her Power Touch with extra books (Mom, get her more for Christmas)
– a bin of small dishes
– a bin of pretend food
– colored wooden blocks that used to be mine
– a bin of Polly Pocket toys (yeah, okay… but I boxed up the barbies!)
– a box of people
– a box of animals and dinosaurs (plus army men? Addison sorted that one.)
– a box of cars and a play mat
– a garage for the cars
– a box of playdough cutters and thingies
– a doll stroller
– one bucket of lego, one of duplo
– Cuisinaire rods, wood blocks 1cm wide by however many cms up to 10, one color for each size
– Patternables, wooden shapes in hexagons and trapezoids, including a set of colored sticks
– a box of fraction manipulatives, a set of animal flash cards, fish cards and a set of Pooh cards (another set of Pooh cards upstairs). I got rid of almost all the other sets of flashcards we had. She either knew them all, or we weren’t going to use them.

On top of that, there is another bookshelf in the room with two of the three shelves full of children’s books, plus a bin of books under her bed for bedtime stories. I cleaned out some kid’s books too. She also has at her desk, a box of crayons, and another box of pencils, pencil crayons and markers that need to be sorted, plus her own paper, her own scissors (yes, I let her use scissors) and access to a dizzying array of craft supplies still to be sorted.

I just remembered she has a bin of puzzles here in the dining room, where the game cabinet resides.

The best containers were from the Dollar Store. Smaller boxes with lids, shoebox-sized boxes and dishpans, oh how I love dishpans. The older kids use a dishpan each to keep their current schookwork in.

My mom bought Emma an activity book last week, which she found fascinating. I bought her a couple more at the Dollar Store, just to play with. Note: the Barbie ones were crappy. Pictures were too small to color effectively for preschoolers, and the writing areas were also too small. I got her a write on/wipe off book of letters to copy, but I had to hunt through the selection to find a decent one. I got a Fisher Price Little People workbook that she thought was cool. She finds dot-to-dots fascinating, and loves the matching questions. We do them whenever she wants to, however long she likes.

Emma wants to write letters neatly and gets really frustrated when she can’t do it. She has almost got her name down pat. We had a hurdle trying to get a small “a”, but she figured out on her own that a large “A” was easier for her to write. We were drawing one day, and I asked her to do a circle so I could show her how to make a happy face. She drew a lopsided one, and wasn’t happy. “That’s not a circle!” she wailed, “That’s a oval!.” I tried to tell her it was okay, but no go. But she can draw pretty good oval fish.

You know, when I list it all out like that, it seems like a lot. Especially when you count how we let her help with housework and cooking. That’s not counting tv, movies and computer games. What is she doing now? Using a large box as a kitty house.

(she typed the above for you)

Meaghan is playing with a bag of elastics, and Sarah has her nose in a book. Again.