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Saturday, October 10, 2020

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Homeschool Preschool: 9 Awesome Pre-K "Learning" Activities

This is our second How to Homeschool Preschool class! The topic for today is: 9 Awesome Pre-K "Learning" Activities! And, as you read through the "lesson," you will find a link to get this fantastic little printable reminder for free!


Homeschool Preschool


9 Awesome Preschool "Learning" Activities


A lot of people I know get stressed out about making sure their preschooler is "doing" enough "school." It turns out that there are TONS of educational "learning" activities that you should give you and your preschooler credit for!

As you consider the activities you plan into your preschoolers day, please remember the three "Big Picture" goals we talked about last time:

1- Help develop a love of learning.
2- Encourage a broad range of experiences.
3- Develop skills to learn more.

Amazingly, your child comes pre-programmed to explore, learn, and develop on their own! Preschoolers will naturally gravitate toward activities that they are ready to learn from and avoid activities that are too hard or too easy!

This is incredibly important to remember! I have met A LOT of parents who are stressed out that their 5-year old does not recognize all the letters of the alphabet or does not add and subtract. The simple fact is that just like walking and using the toilet, these are skills that our brains need to be ready to develop. There is a lot of development that needs to happen before we're ready, and our children will be drawn to the activities that they are ready for. If we try teaching them things that are truly too difficult or that they are truly not ready for, the stress from the experience produces hormones that block memory pathways in their brains, making it even more difficult to learn.

You should also know that I am a HUGE fan of learning through play and delight-directed activities. I consider preschoolers children 2-6 years old, or anybody who is not ready for "formal" education experiences. All of the things that preschoolers need to learn can be taught through play, fun adventures, and every-day activities. Tomorrow, we'll look more at formal lessons, but today, I want to go over some of the types of activities that you can provide for your children that are educational and meet the three Big Picture Goals

There are 9 activities that are common when you homeschool preschool, so I want to briefly go over each of them. They are listed in the image above, and you can download a printable copy of that HERE. It's not an exclusive list, but they are 9 wonderful activities!

It's also not in any particular order, but since you've hopefully printed a copy of it, I'll go over the activities starting in the top left:

#1: Arts and Crafts:  I have had some preschoolers who will do 3-5 art or craft projects every day, and others who will not do any! Like I mentioned before, children will gravitate toward the activities that are most helpful for them, so if your preschooler wants to do art all day, that's wonderful! If they don't want to do any art, that's okay too! I would still provide an opportunity to do some kind of art or craft that they might like at least once or twice a week, but I wouldn't force them to work on it any longer than they want to. I have two children relatively close in age, and when we did art projects together one of them would spend more than an hour on the project every time while the other would spend about six minutes. Literally! And that's okay! They were both getting different things out of the project.

Arts and crafts can help strengthen fine motor skills, develop math, reading, and science skills, and provide a visual outlet for children's creativity, emotions, feelings, and ideas. People have told me they have children who "just want to paint all day," and that's totally okay!

#2: Outside Play: Outside play strengthens large muscles, builds endurance, trains neurons in the brain to communicate across both halves of the brain, helps develop math, reading, and science skills, helps with emotional regulation, and strengthens immune systems. I actually feel like outside play is so beneficial that children need to be outdoors every day, even if it's not their favorite thing! It doesn't need to be long, and they can always find something to do outdoors that they like...even if it is coloring, playing with stickers, or another activity that actually could be done indoors too. ;) 

#3: Hands-on Experiments & Exploration: These activities can be done at a desk, a standing "station," outside, in the sink, in the tub, or dozens of other locations! 

Some examples of these activities include...
** A walk where you take the time to investigate cool pinecones, sticks, bugs, or other interesting things you child sees
** Playing in a sandbox or at the beach
** Experimenting with baking soda and vinegar
** Mixing, pouring, and squeezing water in different bowls, cups, or sponges
** Sensory bins
** Building a tower, castle, car garage, maze, or something else with magnetic blocks (or any other kind of stacking toy)
** MANY other experiments or explorations!

You can see there is a huge variety of things to explore and experiment with! Ironically, most of the messes preschoolers make deliberately come from a desire to experiment. ;)  Follow your children's interests in this category, but feel free to introduce new experiences. Seasonal sensory bins and experiments are some of my favorites! I also have a collection of things that pop, fizz, erupt, and explode here -- they're some of our personal favorite experiments!

Children can learn a TON from exploring and experimenting! You can tie in loads of different science and history lessons. They are also developing skills that will help them in math, reading, writing, science, and more. They are developing longer attention spans, solving problems, learning cause and effect, strengthening fine motor and writing muscles, developing observation and analysis skills, and much more.

#4: PE / Physical Movement: There are a lot of benefits to exercise, but that's not really the point of this article. I will briefly mention that high-energy movement for 20+ straight minutes a day will help regulate your children's energy, emotions, and more (even diet and cravings)! Aside from the physical benefits of high-energy movement, it also helps develop "academic" skills! 

For example, doing sommersaults (forward rolls), spinning on a tire swing, and flipping off your couch develop inner ear balance and the capacity to focus on many small objects quickly in a row -- these are necessary skills for reading! Large muscle exercise also strengthens children's core, which allows them to sit and focus on activities longer as they grow older. Preschoolers also experiment, learn cause and effect principles, and problem solve as they choose what parts of the couch are best to flip off of, predict where they will land, and feel the impact of using different amounts of force as they move.

There are TONS of different physical activities you can use! Here are a few:
** Dance parties
** Floor is Lava
** Couch flips
** Playing at the playground
** Tag
** Races
** Organized classes (like gymnastics, dance, karate, etc)
** Many more! (again, go with what your kids love!)

#5: Reading: There are only two activities in this list that I think you really need to include in every single day. The first one was outdoor play. Reading is the second. Read to your preschooler! Find the most fun, outrageous, serious, and engaging books! Look at fiction and non-fiction! Read picture books! If your child has the attention span, read novels! Look at the pictures. Talk about the pictures, the story line, the characters, and the ending. What might happen after the story? Who wrote the book? Who drew the pictures.

Engaging with books has so many benefits that thousands of books have been written about it. I will try to summarize by saying that when you read with your child you are helping them develop language skills, reading skills, writing skills, math skills, logic skills, science skills, and more. At the same time they are building relationships, learning stories, and discovering people and places around the world...and in other worlds!

Some preschoolers love books. They enjoy finding letters and analyzing pictures. They bring you books and ask you to stay up late looking at more. Reading with them is easy! 

Some preschoolers struggle to hold still long enough to listen to a whole book. This is okay! I have worked with several children like this, and I personally have one child who literally could not hold still for two minutes as a preschooler. This child was a "late" reader, but was reading on a typical grade level by the end of 3rd grade. Here are a few ways to read with children who don't hold still:

** Read to them while they play.
** Read to them while they eat.
** Read to them in a funny position (they find it a little irresistible)! For example, lay on the couch, but put the book on the floor. Lean your head and elbows down by the book, and just start reading. Your preschooler might lay down next to you, almost upside down, and look at a few pictures.
** Tell them stories while you play with them. Use cars, action figures, or other toys to act out the story you're making up. Or use the toys to act out a story you've already heard. ;) 

However you do it, reading to your preschoolers will benefit them!

#6: Music: Music helps children develop language, math, reading, science, and other skills. There are SO many ways to introduce music, especially with modern technology! Here are a few of my favorites:

** Dance parties (5-30 minutes long, depending on your kids!)
** Freeze Dance
** Watching music videos
** Singing songs or nursery rhymes
** Playing music while you clean or sort laundry
** Singing at bedtime
** Age appropriate music classes 

#7: Creative/Imaginative Play: This may just seem like your preschooler is playing with toys or dressing up, but it actually helps develop language and reasoning skills, communication skills, and processing skills that help with math and reading! Plus, it's loads of fun!

#8: Every-Day Activities & Field Trips: The daily activities and trips you go on lead to SO much brain development and skill strengthening that it would also be impossible to list them all! The shortened version of benefits includes math, reading, science, social studies, language, communication, problem solving, and more skills! And if you talk about what you are doing, the processes you are using, and what will happen next, you speed that development even more!

What falls in this category? Here are a few examples:

** Sorting laundry 
** Doing dishes
** Grocery shopping
** Visiting museums
** Playing at a park
** Picking up toys
** Visiting the library
** Cooking
** Visiting fire or police stations
** Bird watching
** Getting dressed
** And so much more!

Yes, even getting dressed counts as part of a preschooler's education! During this simple, short process they are learning about sequence, larger/smaller size concepts, prediction, cause and effect, and communication. If you talk during the process you can tie in colors, numbers, left/right, time, and rhyming/phonics skills.

What might seem like a simple grocery store trip actually includes math, reading, communication, prediction, problem solving, social studies, science, and more!

I have met many people who feel like they "get nothing done" on grocery or doctor days, but the fact is your preschoolers learn just as much (and likely much more) during a trip to the doctor or grocery store as they do during a desk activity. Which actually brings me to...

#9: Desk Games & Activities: These are activities that can be done sitting down at a desk. I actually did put them last because they are my least favorite, partly because they are less effective than some of the others and partly because I have a short attention span (so it is hard for me to sit at a desk very long)!

There was a time when every single child I had worked with preferred any activity over a desk activity, but... that has changed. As I've worked with more children, I've discovered something: some children really love desk activities!

The first few kids I worked with who really liked worksheet-style activities made me think their parents had just taught them to like writing. Life has a way of humbling you, though, and I realized I was completely mistaken when one of my own children LOVED worksheet-style activities! To be honest, I was a little shocked! I had always given my kids room to pursue what interested them the most, so when I had a 2-year old who suddenly wanted to write (on paper!), I was definitely surprised! As the years went by, I actually had more than one child of my own who truly enjoys worksheets. If this is your child, let them do those worksheet activities!

If this is not your child, do NOT worry about it! Some preschoolers are not ready or interested in worksheet-style activities. Some are. Both are fine. Both end up reading and writing, and both are wonderful people! 

Just remember our original 3 Big Picture Goals:

1- Help develop a love of learning.
2- Encourage a broad range of experiences.
3- Develop skills to learn more.

 The best way to know what your preschoolers are ready for is by following their lead--what are they interested in? Remember we want to introduce a variety of experiences, but we need to pay attention to how our preschoolers respond to those activities.  If an experience is creating a lot of stress in our young children, we need to "shelve" it for a little while and try coming back to it after our preschoolers have had a chance to grow and develop a little more.  Interestingly, when we are stressed, we actually create hormones that literally make learning difficult! It is better to let our preschoolers learn and experience something different than to create a sense of dread and stress associated with school time.

I hope this list of activities and discussion about the different ways to teach our preschoolers has been helpful! Next week we will look at schedules, routines, and planning in this  How to Homeschool Preschool series!  Bookmark THIS PAGE to get links to all the lessons, and "join" THIS EVENT on Facebook to see me deliver everything "live" as it is ready!

As always, thank you for being here!

Let me know if you have any specific questions you'd like me to cover, and...

Happy Educating,
Carla


Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!



Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!! 



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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

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Homeschool Preschool: What Preschoolers Need to Know

This is our first How to Homeschool Preschool class! The topic for today is: What Preschoolers Need to Know! And, as you read through the "lesson," you will find a link to get this fantastic little checklist for free!


Homeschool Preschool


What Preschoolers Need to Know


Preschoolers are delightful in a way no other age group is! Their excitement and energy are contagious, so it's no wonder that parents want to make sure they are guiding them correctly when they decide to homeschool preschool.

The good news is that it is not nearly as complicated as we sometimes make it!

When you begin to make plans to homeschool preschool, there are 3 "big picture" goals that you should consider EVERY single day!

BIG GOALS for Preschool Homeschool Teachers:

#1: Grow a love of learning.

#2: Encourage a broad range of experiences for your preschoolers.

#3: Help your preschoolers develop the skills to learn more.

Let's look at these closer:

#1: Grow a love of learning.  Nothing you do will have a bigger, long-term impact on your child than helping them love to learn. If they see books as treasures and questions as great adventures to be solved, they will be motivated to learn to read, research, and so much more!  Can you imagine trying to teach a child to read who doesn't like books? Perhaps you've already tried to teach a child math who doesn't like numbers. Or science to a child who has already decided it's too hard.  

This is more important than ANY other bit of information your preschooler might learn! There is SO much time for your child to learn little things like phonemes and addition. There is very little time to help them develop an attitude of excitement toward learning!

Since this is the #1 most important goal for teaching preschoolers, we want to avoid making learning feel like a chore or something that must be rewarded if they stick it out. Choose fun books that are rewarding just to be read! Do science experiments that make them laugh and get them excited about trying! If they love letters and numbers, practice writing and spelling! But if they burst into tears every time you pull out a reading curriculum, be willing to put that curriculum on the shelf for a few months or years, and pull out an exciting picture book (or chapter book) to read TO your preschooler.

#2: Encourage a broad range of experiences for your preschoolers.  Young children (like older children), learn new information best if they have already learned something related to the new information, and can make the connection between the new and the old. (Read this article for lots of details on how preschoolers' minds work!)  What you will discover is that the more life experiences and things that your children know, the easier and more exciting it is for them to learn new things.

I like to imagine "closets" in my kids' minds. Preschoolers' minds are not designed to learn separate, little pieces of information (like the sound "d" makes). But if you give them "closets" to "hang" that information in, they remember it better (like if you associate the letter "d" with "dogs," they might "hang" the "d" sound in a closet with "dogs," or "animals I like." The more "closets" you help them build as a preschooler, the more places you help them create to store new information! Eventually they might hang "homeostasis" with "dogs" too, since they know that dogs pant when they are hot and grow extra hair for the winter!

#3: Help your preschoolers develop the skills to learn more as they grow.  We know that you cannot learn to read before you know that letters represent sounds, and you cannot learn to add before you know how to count. Preschool is a great time to develop these "first" skills, mostly through play and hands-on activities!

==> Since I have had MANY parents ask me what those basic skills are that preschoolers need, I have developed this checklist. It is based on my observations of children in group settings (in schools, churches, and community classes), state standards from Texas and Virginia, and NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) recommendations. Please take note of the four points (marked by arrows) below!

==> All these "goals" can be accomplished through play and every-day activities! Be sure to read the next article in this series for more details about preschool activities!

==> I encourage parents homeschooling preschool to achieve these skills BEFORE beginning a formal math or reading curriculum. Usually this is either by the time your child turns six years old OR (if you plan to enroll them in a public or private kindergarten) before they begin kindergarten.

==> I know 3-year olds who know and can do everything on this list. That's great! If that's your preschooler, then just keep learning what is most interesting to your child. Remember that there are two other BIG PICTURE goals during these years, and the world is full of things that they can learn!

==> There are some children who will NOT be able to do all the pre-reading skills before they are six. If your doctor has confirmed that there are no developmental delays or learning disorders that need addressing, DO NOT stress about this! Notice that pre-reading skills account for less than 1/4 of all the skills that your preschooler can be working on! Like walking and learning to use the bathroom, the physical and neural development needed for reading happens at different ages for everyone. (And like walking and using the bathroom, parents of early readers usually let everybody else know just how early it happened--do not let this overshadow the #1 goal {love of learning} for the preschool years!!)  Studies actually show that most children's reading skills equalize around 3rd or 4th grade, and if you take a classroom of 4th graders, you generally cannot tell which children learned to read when they were 4 and which learned when they were 7. Interestingly, Finnish teenagers generally outperform American teenagers in reading, math, and science...and children in Finland do not start formal reading lessons until they are 7. In fact, they engage in play-based preschool from 3-6 years old!  

SOooooo... would you like this checklist?

If so, just CLICK HERE! You can print, save, or download it!

I hope it is helpful to you!

NOW that you have the checklist in hand, let's point out a few things on it:

#1: You can "teach" everything on the list through play. There is no need for formal lessons during preschool (2-6 years old). Part 2 in this series includes nine common activities that "teach" these skills for preschoolers! 

#2: Notice that pre-reading skills account for less than 1/4 of the entire list. Please do not become so pre-occupied with pre-reading and writing skills that you miss out on othere fun adventures of the preschool years. If your child especially loves letters and numbers, definitely spend more time with them! But if your child loves being outside, digging in dirt, building train tracks, or mixing vinegar and baking soda over and over and over... do those things too!

#3: I separated the skills into categories because it is easier for our minds to process things that are "chunked" or broken into groups, but the fact is that each item in every group actually helps develop skills in other groups. For example, I listed "skipping" and "rolling" in the "Physical Skills" category. These two physical skills also train your brain to send neural impulses across both hemispheres, which helps develop Reading and Math skills. These activities also require the eyes to focus on a quick succession of objects, which prepares them to read fluently. These same activities help develop a sense of spatial awareness that helps develop observation and prediction skills ("Science & Reasoning" category). These same activities strengthen core muscles, which allow children to sit longer and develop "Material Skills." And, if they are doing these skills at your suggestion and with siblings, they are working on following instructions, working with others, taking turns, solving problems, and other "Personal & Social Skills." Similarly, other skills overlap in different categories!

#4: Remember that children develop different skills at different times. Do not get stressed out if your child isn't ready for all these skills when you are! Review the fourth arrow point above. The best way to know what your preschoolers are ready for is by following their lead--what are they interested in? Remember we want to introduce a variety of experiences, but we need to pay attention to how our preschoolers respond to those activities.  If an experience is creating a lot of stress in our young children, we need to "shelve" it for a little while and try coming back to it after our preschoolers have had a chance to grow and develop a little more.  Interestingly, when we are stressed, we actually create hormones that literally make learning difficult! It is better to let our preschoolers learn and experience something different than to create a sense of dread and stress associated with school time.

#5: Finally, working through this list one topic at a time is a very boring way to set up preschool!  Play is the best way to "teach" these skills! During the next few lessons in this How to Homeschool Preschool series, I will be sharing fun ways to learn and engage your preschoolers as well as ideas for organizing your lessons, days, units, and more! Bookmark THIS PAGE to get links to all the lessons, and "join" THIS EVENT on Facebook to see me deliver everything "live" as it is ready!

As always, thank you for being here!

Let me know if you have any specific questions you'd like me to cover, and...

Happy Educating,
Carla


Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!



Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!! 



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Tuesday, October 6, 2020

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Homeschool Preschool

Do you want to homeschool preschool? I would love to help you!


I am going to run a 7-day Homeschool Preschool event for anyone who is homeschooling young children (or considering it)!

This event is going to have two big components:

1- Posts here on the Preschool Powol Packets blog


Homeschool Preschool Event


Let's look at these two components one at a time:

1- Between on October 7th and 14th, I will have 5 new posts going up here (at Preschool Powol Packets) that cover things like...


** Schedules & Routines 
(What a typical day might look like)

** Organizing Lessons, Units, and the Year!

Each blog post will be linked here, so you can just bookmark this page and come back to read them at your own pace.

2- Facebook Event! If you're on Facebook, hop over to this event, and click "Going!"  I will be sharing the blog posts there and discussing each topic during the week! I also have several freebies and giveaways lined up for anyone there!

This event is perfect if you are homeschooling preschoolers, toddlers, in a bigger pre-k setting, or even kindergarten and 1st grade!

It is also perfect if you are considering homeschool, just want more information, or want to see how "real" moms are "doing it."

While you wait for the series, here are some more resources to help you get started homeschooling preschool:


1000's of pages of activities, science, letters, numbers, and more!





I am super excited to begin this Homeschool Preschool series, and I hope that it is very helpful to you!

Feel free to send me an email, a message on Facebook, or leave a comment letting me know if there is anything in particular you would like me to cover!


Happy Educating,
Carla


Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!



Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!



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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

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Homeschool Preschool - PreK Writing Activities

I've seen a lot of people new to homeschool preschool asking about how to teach writing lately, which makes a lot of sense because writing is a super important skill that we all want our kids to have! The answer to teaching preschoolers how to write though, is a little bit longer!


Preschooler hands are not nearly as developed as school-aged children or adults. Check out these x-rays:


Look especially close at the wrists and joints. The wrist bones in a 3-year old are not nearly formed! Many of them are still cartilage! Also notice the spaces where muscle and connective tissues will grow. 

And just like learning to use the toilet or walk, children's bones do not all develop at the exact same time. Some preschoolers are truly not ready to write a lot. Others love it, and write happily (even as young toddlers). Your preschoolers will let you know if they want to write or not!

If they are not ready to write, you can still develop those bones, muscles, and joints with "writing" activities that don't actually require writing during your homeschool preschool. These activities strengthen the same parts of the hand that children use for writing, so encouraging them to engage in these activities actually counts as "school" work! It also prepares them so that they are physically ready to begin writing.

Homeschool Preschool Writing


And what are these activities? Here is an awesome list I've put together for you! Below the list is a link to a printable version -- it's totally free, and doesn't even require signing up or anything! (Though if you want to sign up for my VIP Newsletter, you can do that HERE. Then you'll be sure to get any future printables and resources!)

* Painting, drawing, and coloring! You can use blank paper, coloring books, butcher paper, or more! Paint cardboard boxes, egg cartons, paper towel or toilet paper rolls, or anything else! Crafts and art projects fit in this category too!

* Playdough play is wonderful fine-motor exercise! Just think about all that squeezing, pinching, and rolling those little hand muscles do when they use playdough!

* Tearing and cutting -- let them use their fingers, hands, and scissors! Tear strips and cut lines! Shred newspapers, junk mail, or anything else that you don't need! Kids can do amazing things with scissors!

* Poking holes in things! Offer to let your child make "stars" on a piece of construction paper by poking it with a toothpick. Notice how they have to pinch the toothpick--just like holding a pencil. This is actually an incredible fine-motor exercise!

* Digging in dirt! Again, we're strengthening the muscles, bones, and connective tissues in the hands. Dig with a shovel, without a shovel, with gloves, and without gloves! Hide "treasures," find them, make holes to plant flowers, or dig "fairy homes!"

* Squeezing! You can squeeze water with a sponge -- give your preschooler a few bowls and put water in one of them. Add in some pipettes, spoons, and food coloring bottles. Now you have fine motor exercise, writing skills, a science experiment, and STEM discovery! 

* Building! Try building with LEGOS, and notice the way the muscles in your fingers have to work! You can use other interlocking blocks, marble runs, wooden blocks, foam blocks, or any other small object that can be stacked or built with!

* Playing with toys!  It might seem like it's just imaginary play, but when your kids are picking up marbles, action figures, cars, train tracks, or any other small toy they are strengthening the muscles in their hands. And they are having a great time doing it too!

* Beading, puzzles, and gluing all accomplish the same thing: exercising the small muscles and connective tissues in hands that need to be strong enough to write letters, words, and sentences. It might seem like a game or craft, but skills important for writing are being built! 

Finally, actually writing! I know I told you this was a list of things that didn't require writing, but it never hurts to have paper and pencils out and available. I've especially noticed that my preschoolers like writing more when I am writing. ;)  They also like to write with fancy pens more than boring pencils. Of course, I can't really blame them for that because I love to write with fancy pens too!

Anyway, it happens soon (oh, so soon!)...  suddenly, those little hands will be ready to grab a pencil and write for 5 minutes. Then 10 minutes, and then more.


Also I would love to invite you to join me next week for a 5-day series all about How to Homeschool Preschool! Sign up for my VIP Newsletter HERE to get all the updates! It's going to be awesome!!



Happy Educating,
Carla


Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!



Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!



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Wednesday, September 2, 2020

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Printable Pumpkin PreK Puzzles - Preschool Pumpkin Activity

These cute printable pumpkin preschool puzzles are perfect for a math station, quiet activity, or just fun puzzle time! (wow, that was a lot of words that started with P, lol!)


These fun puzzles fit in perfectly with fall, pumpkin, and thanksgiving themes!

They reinforce number recognition, counting, and a concept of one-to-one association!

I suggest reading a fun pumpkin picture book and then doing a puzzle or two with your preschooler.

If you're doing a whole pumpkin theme, I have more than 30 preschool pumpkin activities HERE! There are more printables and activities for math, science, literacy, and more!

And if you'd like to try these free printable pumpkin puzzles, just click HERE!

I hope you love them!

Happy Educating,
Carla


Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!



Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!



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Monday, August 24, 2020

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Preschool Pumpkin Crown Craft

What is it about a preschool craft that you can put on your head that makes it so much fun?? I wonder this every year! Whatever the reason, these pumpkin crowns are adorable, and I have both a pre-colored one AND a coloring-book style version that you can use!


You can make these little headbands in advance to use with pumpkin activities (how fun would counting "pumpkins" be if the pumpkins were your kids?!) or use the coloring book version so that your kids can color their own pumpkin (ANY color!) and practice cutting. Doing the entire project as a pumpkin craft lets your preschoolers strengthen fine motor skills that they will need for writing too!

Or, if your preschoolers really love to design, you can just use the idea -- give them a "blank" pumpkin by cutting a circle out of white construction paper and let them design the entire project! There really are tons of options for this!

I also have LOADS of pumpkin themed preschool science, art, literacy, and other projects that you are perfect for planning your pumpkin theme HERE!




Happy Educating,
Carla


Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!



Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!



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Monday, August 10, 2020

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Safety Practices for Child Care in the Face of Covid-19: a new course from ChildCare Education Institute

Are you considering providing childcare during this unusual era of COVID-19? If so, you will want to check out the course Safety Practices for Child Care in the Face of Covid-19 (HLTH 111) from ChildCare Education Institute!


This course is a 1-hour beginner level course that teaches child care providers the critical safety practices you need during this pandemic. It's not just for professionals though -- anyone who works with children would benefit from this course!
The course begins by introducing what causes COVID-19, and then moves through important safety practices that are unique to childcare

A few of the topics covered in detail include:


* How to social distance in a child care setting (and when it isn't appropriate).

* How to screen children who arrive each day.


* How to keep a clean, safe environment.

* How to teach children about hand-washing.

* How to handle diapers.

* How to recognize when a child should not be allowed to participate.

* What to do if someone becomes sick during the day.

* How to clean, sanitize, and disinfect (and the difference in the three)!

* How to talk to children about the pandemic.
* And more!

The course comes with a handout with room for taking notes, and at the end of the course is a short exam to make sure you remember important points. 
After you pass the final, you can download a certificate showing you completed the course at any point from the dashboard.

The chemistry teacher in me was impressed that this course even included little details like how you should pour bleach into water (and not water into bleach), and that you should dilute the bleach with cool (instead of hot) water.

They also pointed out common childcare practices that should be avoided during COVID-19 (like rinsing out soiled clothes).

The course even includes answers to questions that I would not have thought to ask, like how often bedding should be changed and how to handle social distancing with infants.

Like all the other ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI) courses, this one is available 24-7, every day, all day, every week, every month, all year!

This is one of my favorite features of CCEI: their courses are extremely convenient! I can learn at my kitchen table, in my office, or even on the couch! They are web-based and accessible on any device, so as long as you have an internet connection, you can take their courses!

My other favorite features are that their courses are based on educational research and are accredited! They are accredited by both the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and they are an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). They're also a CDA Gold Standard Comprehensive Training Provider!

Here are a few other very popular features of ChildCare Education Institute:


* Their high-quality, online training courses and programs are perfect for any adults who work with children, whether they're in a center-based care facility, a head start program, a home day care, a preschool classroom, etc.!

* They have over 150 English AND Spanish training courses available!

* More than 18,000 professionals have graduated from their CDA and other certificate programs...and 99% students say they would recommend CCEI!


I've actually taken several courses from ChildCare Education Institute, and I highly recommend each of them!

Other Courses I Love at ChildCare Education Institute:

Here are my reviews of several other courses at CCEI:



I would love to know what your 2020 fall plans are! If you are starting a childcare program, heading back to one, or teaching your own kids at home, I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to send me an email, leave a comment, or visit me on Facebook or Instagram! <3  

Happy Educating,
Carla

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by ChildCare Education Institute. As always, all opinions are my own and I only recommend companies that I love and am willing to use myself!


Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!



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