Preschool themes 2015-2016

Today I am sharing some major plans and ideas for our homeschool/pre-school year! Mr. Toddler is turning 3 in September and I really want to get some stability and rhythm into our days when it comes to learning activities and trays. This year, we are again continuing with a Montessori inspired approach.   

That means a bit more of a system to how I plan, a bit more organisation on my part, and more of a logic behind it. I call him Mr. Toddler, but he’s really starting to become a ‘big boy’ in how he talks, carries himself, and can really understand more challenging concepts. For us, it is time to purchase some traditional Montessori materials and see how we do with them. Items like sandpaper letters and our homemade sandpaper numbers have been absolutely fascinating for him and I can see his desire to learn constantly. 
Even though I will be far more intentional with my planning of works, I have to point out that I still fully intend to follow the child. This is perhaps THE most important concept I have really taken to heart from the Montessori method. I will be observing my son, seeing what sparks his interest, and then presenting more opportunities for him to practice these skills until he masters them or is no longer interested in them. 
This is the beauty and the ‘magic’ of applying a Montessori inspired technique – we have the opportunity to spark a love of learning in our children, to watch them become interested and invested in learning a skill or concept because they want and not because we said so. I feel truly blessed to be able to create trays for my son, and then to watch him approach our shelving unit, search for an interesting work, carefully set it on his table or mat, and to watch him practice, learn, and concentrate. It’s truly beautiful. 
Now, all of that being said, I do want to get back onto the organisational bit of this post. I want to explain that we do not ‘officially’ homeschool as Y (my son) is too young to even go to public school here. We simply do learning activities at home, which I base significantly on the Montessori method. 
This year, I have given myself a means of remaining organised by planning topics or themes that I will use as inspiration for our trays throughout the school year. This is a guide and will also help for me to plan my blog (wink wink) so you can more or less see what you can expect. Also, not each topic will per se last one week or two weeks or two days so there are months with seemingly many topics and some with seemingly few. The gaps will be made up with time. 
However, don’t get stuck on it. I certainly won’t! My idea with this plan is that I can get printables made and materials purchased ahead of time but if I see Y expressing particular interest in a certain topic or theme, I will certainly change our ‘schedule’, plans, add topics etc. This is more of a tool for me based on what I have seen my own child enjoying, based on what I think he would enjoy, and eeeven what I enjoy making activities for. 
On top of the specific themes that we will be covering, we will also be working on learning letters and will continue with practical life works. For this blog specifically, I will attempt to cover 1 post a month with a description of our practical life trays for the month. 
In addition to monthly practical life posts, I will also cover monthly continent or country themes. While some continents I will cover generally, there are other countries that we will discuss in depth. These are countries to which we have a specific connection – such as the Netherlands (where we live), Russia (where I am from), the US (where I lived), etc. 
Also, look out for some letter of the week activities (but more information will come on this later!). 

Themes and Topics 


August 

September

  • Dentist/teeth   
  • Birthday (Y and I share a birthday in September so I will definitely include some fun birthday works!) 
  • Construction vehicles/general transportation theme (the theme of his [and mine by default] party is construction vehicles. And yes, I picked it out about six months before his birthday. I’m like that)
  • My country – Netherlands
  • Fall and seasons 
October 

  • All about Russia 
  • Introduction to weather
  • Amphibians and reptiles
  • Bugs, insects, arachnids (Halloween theme)  
November – Thanksgiving and helpfulness

  • Community helpers
  • Kindness and manners
  • Native Americans (North America continued)/Thanksgiving
  • Introduction to winter  
December – Kindness and family 

  • Healthy eating/food groups
  • Holidays 
  • Religions of the world (instead of continent theme) 
  • New Year 
January

  • All about the Antarctica
  • Asia theme 
  • Dinosaurs
  • Weather II – extreme weather 

 

February – Valentine’s Day and Romance theme 

  • Africa theme II
  • Emotions 
  • Musical instruments
  • Art 
  • My body

 

March
  • Australia/Oceania 
  • Easter
  • Spring theme (topic ideas: gardening, rain, water cycle) 
  • Types of birds  


April 
  • All about the Earth
  • Recycling and pollution
  • Seasons/times of the year review
  • Trees
  • Plants/gardening emphasis 


May 

  • Europe 
  • Introduction to summer 
  • Rocks 
  • Space/solar system


June, July, August 

  • Ocean/sea theme
  • Summer theme – beach theme
  • Fun activities we see fit/plan as the time comes 
  • Catch up 

Goals


This is a collection of concepts and topics that I really intent to touch on during the year. These are more concrete items that will be covered as we discuss the specific units above. For example, counting activities will be covered in all of our themes, whether it will be counting in a study of oceans or counting in a farm theme. 

Language

  • Recognise all letter sounds in Russian (and start beginning reading?)
  • Work on Russian vocabulary and pronounciation
  • Daddy will start informally teaching letter sounds in Dutch 
  • Sand/salt trays for starting to practice writing

Math

  • Count to 50
  • Learn colours and numbers in Daddy’s language
  • Measuring and weight
  • Patterning 
  • Start skip counting

Practical life/skills

  • Cut (using scissors) in straight line
  • Cut (using scissors) following curves and zig zags
  • Continue cooking and cleaning together
  • Folding
  • Pour into multiple cups evenly 
  • Tweezing
  • Work on pencil grip

Science

  • Living versus non-living
  • Color mixing
  • Light
  • Gravity
  • Nature exploration
  • Sink or float
  • Sound
  • Water cycle
  • Maybe – vertebrates versus invertebrates 

Please note: all of this is specifically designed for my son, who will be turning 3 in September. This is based on his interests and skills. It is up to you to decide what works for your family.

Questions 

  • Have you started planning and organising for the next academic year? 
  • What would you like to see on this blog from our activities? 
  • Do you speak more than 1 language at home? 

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By | 2017-04-01T13:15:27+00:00 July 30th, 2015|Home management|0 Comments

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