If you see me wandering around muttering to myself, kicking rocks, and generally unhappy with the world, Katie’s schooling is the reason. Why? Well, because she’s a very different child from her brother and I’m having trouble figuring out what works for her and what doesn’t. She is 3 1/2 years old, so firmly in preK3, except that she doesn’t like the kinds of things we did with Ben for preK3. She doesn’t like story based learning the way that he does. She wants work sheets. Lots of worksheets. She wants to do the same things that Ben is doing, even if she doesn’t have the skill to keep up. She wants to be reading NOW and views me as the only obstacle between her and her goal. So, I’m floundering a bit trying to find the right fit for her.
We have Raising RockStars Preschool to help her get a biblical foundation under her, but she’s not been interested in it. We have some Kumon workbooks for tracing and so forth and she likes those, but doesn’t love them. We have Get Ready for the Code which she likes, but which is somewhat behind where she is, though ETC1 is too far ahead of her. We have Core Knowledge 3-4 What you’re preschooler should know but again, a lot of it is behind her. We have the AlphaTales to help her learn alphabet sounds, and she enjoys listening to them, but she seems to know almost all of her alphabet sounds already (x is a sticking point). She counts well and can do some basic addition thanks to listening in on her brother’s Life of Fred lessons. She even kind of understands set theory.
My problem is that I don’t want to push her and yet I don’t want to hold her back either. Finding balance with this kid is really, really hard. But it’s also easy to let her slip through the cracks because her brother needs focused attention to learn while she’s seemingly learning via osmosis at the moment, so I really don’t have much of a plan for her. Add to that, technically, she wouldn’t be eligible to START preK3 until this fall and you can see where I’m running into trouble. She has two more years before she’s a kindergartener according to the state of Florida. By then, I fully expect her to be completing first grade work if she continues on her current path. So, I’m traversing this territory carefully and trying to figure out how to make it all work. Lord help me.
For Katie we have resources:
Raising Rock Starts Preschool
Core Knowledge Preschool 3-4
What You’re Preschooler Should Know
Kumon My First Book of Tracing
Get Ready, Get Set, and Go for the Code (I have ETC 1 and 2, which Ben rejected waiting in the wings)
She listens in on Ben’s read alouds for bible, science, history, and geography. I copy coloring pages for her when she’s interested in doing them (not often).
She’s started with Book A of Pianamals (aka Phonics for Piano).
For art, she fingerpaints, paints with brushes, glues, etc. A typical range of preschool art projects, I think.
Outside Activities: Right now, she doesn’t do as many outside things as her brother does. She has a dance class, which we’ll continue at the new studio Ben will go to in the fall. She needs this because she has some coordination and balance issues that are “residue” of her surgery. Dance was her doctor’s recommendation, so she’ll dance until he says she can stop (and she can continue after that if she wants, but until he says stop, much like her mommy at that age, she goes whether she wants to or not). She also does a preschool science class at MOSI. She was a little young this year, but she seems to be “getting it” so we’ll continue with it next year. I’m also considering getting her into the little kid zoo classes at the zoo, but they’re not ideal when you’re also dealing with her brother. She’s going to take swimming lessons starting this summer. In Florida, swimming is a matter of survival not choice. You have to know how to swim, so swim she shall.
I guess you could say that I’m not as organized with Katie as I am with Ben. I don’t believe it will always be this way, but it is this way for now.