This post is an expansion of my Teaching Your Toddler series. The educating of your child is a lifestyle, something that is happening (whether we like it or not) each and every moment of our day. In this series I’m planning on zooming in on the different parts of my toddler’s day and sharing what we’ve been doing together and why. I’ll be sharing my results and then asking what you other mothers have been doing. I’m sure we have a lot we can learn from each other!
Alrighty… *insert a little virtual rubbing of my hands together* I’ve been looking forward to this post for a while now. Let me start with a little disclaimer.
My child is just almost three. I acknowledge that it’s quite early to introduce schooling, but I seriously can’t contain myself. Gabriel is my oldest and, as a work-at-home Mom, I have the privilege of having plenty of time to spend with him. So if your three year old is the fourth child in your household and you have a gazillion other things to worry about, this post may not be for you. But for my family… why shouldn’t I start teaching him alphabet and numbers now if he’s ready for it and we have the time?
The guiding principles are these: Recognize that this is an introduction to learning, not a strict 8-hour school day. If your child’s getting bored, then stop. If you’re getting frustrated, then stop. Have fun and keep things in perspective.
That being said, here’s the first part of my homemade toddler teaching ‘curriculum’. In my next post, I’ll take these goals and show you the actual methods of my madness. We don’t go through every subject every day, of course. Instead, I usually pick one or two things to work on that day. Using the traditional school subjects as a guide, I wrote up most of these goals when Gabriel turned two. I love the sense of direction it gives me as I work with him.
Be able to name all capital and lowercase letters
Know letter sounds
Develop a Love of Reading
Become familiar with the foundational Bible stories (Creation, Noah, Jonah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Jesus’ birth and death/resurrection)
Introduce the love of Music (and listen to good stuff around the house regularly!)
Learn the liturgical (always repeated) songs we sing every Sunday
Learn the names of basic colors
Beginning Pen Control
Learn the names of common shapes
Learn to color between the lines
Common Animals and their Sounds
Basic habitats (farm, jungle, desert)
Basic Plant info (flowers, grass, trees, needing water and sunshine)
Human growth concepts (starting in Mommy’s tummy, growing from baby to child to adult)
Be Able to Count to 10
Recognize numbers 1-10
Count fingers or objects in a row
(Faith –I actually think this should permeate all the subjects, but it helps to have a time to focus on only that as well.)
Memorize The Lord’s Prayer, Psalm 23, and commonly used verses (a joyful heart is good medicine, children obey your parents in the Lord, etc)
Have a basic understanding of baptism and communion
Be Potty-Trained during awake periods
Learn to sit through church quietly
Be able to play alone in bedroom for ½ hr
Excuse himself from the table before leaving
Bring dishes to the side of the sink
Speak clearly without whining even when frustrated
Treat the baby (and pets) gently
Help with basic house chores or meal prep
Yes sir/Yes mam’s and obeying quickly
Staying in his toddler bed until Mom comes to get him
Straighten the blanket on his bed after waking
Like I said, many of these he’s learned already, and some of them we still have a long way to go on, but it’s a good place to start. Stay tuned for my next post when I’ll share my methods of achieving these goals.
Until then, did you see anything I missed? I’d LOVE to hear from you.