A Little About Me....

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Like many of you I am a busy mom...a SAHM. I certainly keep busy with my 101 hobbies. I plan to start preschool at home this fall with my daughter. I taught elementary school and have a Master's degree in Reading. I miss teaching, but look forward to homeschool.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


What are you thankful for? I have so much to be thankful for...... and I am.

Being a mom...... (what an honor!)


little smiles......

pretty curls......


my girl..............

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Just Play!

Katie has grown up a lot in the past 5 months. Yes, it has been about 5 months since my last post in eduKatie. Katie and I have done a lot since my last blog post. Honestly, I wasn't able to keep up with my ABC projects. I began leadership in a local Bible study. And then the holidays completely overwhelmed my time. Katie and I still cooked together and read a bazillion (if that's a word) books!

I am still going to homeschool Katie. We recently started getting into reading, phonics, math skills (number sense), and handwriting. This past week Katie did some amazing things that make her momma proud. It also proves to me that I CAN do this. Homeschooling seems overwhelming when you feel that you are alone in the process for 13 years. But the truth is we are not alone. There are SO many resources available to us either on the internet or in our communities. I am planning on getting involved with a local Homeschool group. Having people around is a great support system. Especially when those moms are going through the same challenges that I am.

Last week a friend of mine contacted me and asked me what she should do with a 3 year old for homeschool curriculum. I had to giggle a bit because I feel like, "why ask me? I didn't even accomplish my first preschool plan." But then it dawned on me that I learned something that didn't work and now have a better perspective on this thing.

I have been reading a lot lately in the area of child development and learning. I have a wealth of research under my belt from years past, but current research is even better. So much of what I learned in my Master's program was about the power of play and how profoundly it impacts kids. Much of my reading this past month has reinforced this fact. Play is a powerful tool in learning. Do not underestimate or undervalue play!

With Katie I am focusing on the areas where I feel that she is ready to be challenged. We started tracing letters and shapes again and she is truly ready for it now. So we will work on the alphabet letters each week just a few letters at a time. We work right up to the level of frustration. I do not want her to be frustrated, but I do want her to be challenged. This week she wrote her name! Now it was huge (literally), but she did it! I didn't hold the pen at all. I was so shocked that she could do it. Just a little practice, lots of love and motivation is all she needed. She's 3 by the way! Another thing she has been doing that caught my eye was sounding out letters. She has known her letter sounds for some time now, but she is now starting to put words together. When she sees letters on a sign, t-shirt, or T.V. she is often making the letter sounds out loud and trying to solve the words. This is a clear indication to me that she is ready to try putting small words together. I pulled out some teaching resources on farm animals. I had the animal cut-outs and word that match each animal. We sounded them out together and matched the words with the pictures. By the end of it she could independently sound out the 3 letter words and tell me the words. Again, I am beaming, but what mother wouldn't??? I am a teacher and this is the stuff that really gets me excited. I loved seeing my students grow. Especially my first graders who came in not reading and by the end of the year they were reading above grade level.

So, do I have a plan for homeschooling a 3 year old? Yes. It is curriculum based? Not really. My curriculum is Katie based. We read, play, watch shows repeatedly (because repetition builds knowledge), play, do crafts, go places, play, and talk a lot.

So my advice to my friend and anyone else who has a young child is this; do what is best for your child. If your kiddo is not interested in learning how to read then read to them because they will start to learn print concepts just by watching you model. A year from now they will learn more about reading just because you read to them. Find their strengths and build on that. If your child loves arts and crafts then have them count the beads or measure the string. Find a book about what they like. Then let them play! Playing builds the imagination and their problem solving skills. And remember that they don't need "smart" toys. Perhaps the more simple the better.

Have fun playing!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Happy Girl!

My happy little girl! She had just gotten a sticker after her ballet class. She was so excited. It still amazes me the little things that make her happy. I think she is also learning about being proud of her accomplishments.

This little 3 year old is just like most; she pushes boundaries, tests her mommy (daily), and requires much correction with love. However, she is still perfect in my eyes! It seems that as much as I teach her....she teaches me as well.

Lately, like the last month we have been completely out of routine. And now I find myself in an interesting place. I have a format established and although I wish to continue in the same routine I don't think that my new schedule will permit. So we have a new schedule in order to accomplish the same tasks. It seems that I am daily learning how to be more and more flexible.

Monday: day off
Tuesday: Reading and Language
Wednesday: Bible
Thursday: Art
Friday: Ballet

It seems that every week Katie cooks with me so my recipe will not be given a specific day or time, but we will make a recipe based on the letter that week. I will be incorporating science into our reading and art activities. Part of being a good educator is knowing your student's limits, weaknesses, and strengths. Katie is 3. I have some big goals for her this year, but I refuse to cause big stress for her or I. I am fully committed to teaching her and helping her learn. I also want her to discover and grow a LOVE for learning. If learning is burdensome she will not enjoy it. Right now her favorite way to learn is by playing. Through my professional experience and much research on how children learn, play is a huge factor. This helps children learn from the world around them. I have written about this before. If your children are playing they are learning! Encourage play by surrounding them with toys that allow them to pretend and use their imagination.

Stepping off my soap box of educational know-how, I am a mom like you and know how busy life is. My life has suddenly exploded with "busy". Part of my preschool plan for this year was for me. I need to learn how to balance and organize my time so when she is 4, 5, and 6 I can really do this homeschool thing. Otherwise she will be in a school. You may be in the same position with your young children. I hope this helps someone.

This week for the letter "H" we are reading and learning "H" words. Our art activity is handprints (Thanks Hollie). Our recipe is Honey Buns.

Memory Verse: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words will never pass away." Matthew 24:35

Have a great week!