Thursday, April 14, 2011

homeschool preschool

Kenzie is 5.

Here is her 5th birthday cake I frosted for her.

Yes, a pink princess cake.
Any 5 year old girl's dream cake, right?
Her words upon seeing it for the first time, "oh Mom, it's just perfect!"
I was suddenly not so worried the cake wasn't all flawless and fondant frilly. Children invite simpleness back to life...if we let them.

At least the cake tasted good, right? Oh blessed buttercream frosting, I promise to never replace you.

ok, Kenzie luckily "oh phew" luckily turned 5 in December- so I was the luckiest Mom in the world to be able to keep her home another year since she missed or made (however you look at it) the cut off date for Kindergarten...August 31st or whatever. She made the cut off in my book. She got to stay home one more year with me and most especially, she got to stay home with Julia.

So I know most mothers out there love the preschool thing...and I learned real fast its becoming the norm. Where have I been? I think preschool is exciting, cute, great and fun and whatever. But unless I change my mind down the road, preschool is at home- with me. Because that's the way we do it around these Clark parts.

Plus, who's to say being home with Mommy isn't as fun as preschool anyway? My Kenzie isn't missing out on ANYTHING if you want my opinion...not even on those darn "social skills"...

What, talking to Mom and sister all day doesn't cut it anymore for a 4 or 5 year old's social skills to develop?

So since preschool is suppose to prepare a child for Kindergarten...I have made it pretty challenging for Kenzie at home...

Maybe I'm being too demanding with my children's education. Here are some skills Kenzie has acquired since we started her on her extensive preschool regimen:

Placing carrot nose on face of a snowman...with precision. Art Skills

carefully inserting raisin in baby's mouth- eye-hand coordination

make believing with best friend for hours on end- creative thinking

licking sunbeams- who knew, right? The 5 senses

supervising Jasmine's treacherous climb up the cliffs of Shadow Mountain... with dental floss- recreational education

Mothering skills-

Resolving conflicts and communication skills with this Chica

Oh and let's see...what else are we learning at home for preschool

ABC's: "Girls, I need to pay the bills- go watch Leap Frog will ya?"

Fractions: Mom: "um...I can't seem to find my 1/2 cup measuring cup AGAIN...but guess what? 1/4 c. + 1/4 c. works too- so on we go to making cookies." (cooking & baking teaches children a lot of things)

Foreign Language: Dora the Explorer. Abra Abra la porta. and some gibberish in Portuguese from mommy and daddy

Social Studies "I pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day America, to one republic, under God, Amen." I kid you not, came directly out of Kenzie's mouth. A little confused...but we're working on that. Laughed all day about that one.

Physical Education: The ever so often "Duck Duck Goose" and Ballet performances in the front room in hand-me-down tutus that are dreadfully too small...

Zoology Field Trip: watching the river flow and talking about fish and why people kayak

Botany: collecting dandelions and putting them in mommy's hair, planting snap peas together, weeding the flowerbed (my girls think weeding is fun- we'll see how long that lasts)

You see, little kids are happy in the moment. They don't know what they're missing until they know what they're missing. The magical thing about little kids is their life is lived in the NOW. So reading a book together or making jello, or folding laundry- it doesn't matter, because it's fun and the child isn't dwelling on the fact "oh I wish I was singing the ABC's at some preschool right now." They just like life... for the most part. I learned real quick that it wasn't necessary for me to put the girls in dance class yet when I knew they were having just as much fun dancing around in the living room, in the backyard, at the park...for free!

They are still so young...what's the rush April?

The girls are learning what they're supposed to be learning, right? How to be a kid!

Now the usual preschool stuff like numbers, counting, seasons, shapes, ABC's, writing, reading...we do that fun stuff too obviously. But most of that kind of learning comes naturally from just living life and spending time together...

And I'm sure as the girls get older they will be more involved in extra thingys that require me to drive them around to places- but for now...for this little short time in their lives- they are hanging out with Mommy- ALL DAY LONG.

"Skip the drama Stay with mama" ~Thank you Mother Gothel (anyone else Tangled out?)

One of my favorite quotes from my IDOL forever: Marjorie Hinckley

"Find joy in your children. Don't overschedule them or yourself. You may not be able to take them on exotic vacations. It doesn't matter. When the day dawns bright and sunny, take an excursion to the canyon or the park. When it's cloudy and wet, read a book together or make something good to eat. Give them time to explore and learn about the feel of grass and the wiggliness of worms." -Marjorie Hinckley

See why she's my idol?

Oh to be more like Marjorie...

So, anyone else out there do "preschool" at home? Why?


Solveig said...

I love the Marjorie quote. I've been trying to enjoy every minute of Henry lately even when he drives me crazy...I'm just so glad I can be at home with him. I think you're doing the right thing by keeping the kiddos at home for as long as you can. Love the photos of your girls...and that Xander...he is SUCH a Tomblin!

Mothership said...

I'm with ya', Babe! My pre-schooler is now (suddenly) 12 and will likely be living away from me so he can continue his ballet studies. Is he worse off having been so close to me and the rest of his family for so long? Who knows, but on the edge of this painful decision, I'm so glad I didn't send him away! You never know . . .

Heather said...

well - i think you're awesome to do preschool at home. That is what my mom did and look how awesome I turned out. :)

Now... I always thought I would be a fun preschool mom... going on adventures with the little tots. But now in reality, I realize it takes so much energy and effort... (and that sometimes the baby screams the entire outing). So I don't do as well as I'd like. I'm putting my Maxwell in a fun neighborhood preschool this next year. I hate the $$, but I feel good about it so we'll see.

Anyhooo... you're such a good mom who does what is right!!! Plus, I LOVE that Marjorie Hinckley quote. So perfect and good. That is how I try and make my summers with all my kids.

Oh - and no worries about the food storage stuff. I was feeling bad that I dropped the ball. We'll pick it up when it works for us (and fits into my smashed budget).

Levi and Cynthia Wilde said...

Holy Moly April! I taught pre-school for a summer and we did the ABC's, and art time and reading time, and all that other stuff...but by far your "pre-school" for Kenzie is million times better!!
Besides, after doing pre-school I've realized there is nothing taught there that can't be taught at home and there is so much more that can be taught at home that can't be taught at pre-school.
So I salute you for keeping Kenzie home and teaching her all those wonderful things!

Me~Kelly said...

she is learning exactly what she ought to be learning. the more time with momma the better in my opinion.

i LOVE the picture of you and the girls on the bench - it better be in a frame somewhere :)

The Wright Stuff said...

Can you be my mom? I'm sure my kids would much rather have YOU!

The Wright Stuff said...

I hope you make this post into a book {is Joette still doing Heritage Makers?!} I would buy a copy of this book! You are amazing April! I wish we lived by each other so your awesome mommy skills would rub off on me!

April said...

oh Please Jaynee- I am not a perfect mother- far far from it- this post was supposed to be funny- admitting that I actually don't really do pre-school- but play.

Trust me, I have thrown dishes before.

Rachel said...

I agree on the preschool. I'm not anti-other people doing it, I just don't want to pay for it, we do lots of teaching at home, AND have my kids gone more than they need to be. Life goes to fast and once they go to kindergarten everything is different, and I just don't want to rush that.

Elissa said...
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Elissa said...

yes. He's only one, but we do bubbles and make rubber band musical instruments and I park his high chair in front of the piano and let him pound to his heart's content and we go on walks and talk about what sound the dogs make and we read books and try to color with crayons without eating the crayons and we go outside and find leaves and flowers and just try to have as much time to discover the world as possible. I believe children need to play. They'll be busy busy soon enough. :) by the way, I love the pic of you and your girls by the stream.

Calie said...

AMEN April! I love you. You are a very wise mommy.

Lisa said...

What a great post April! So glad I have your blog now. That is one thing I always admire about you is your open and honest heart. This post gave me some things to think about. Marjorie is a woman I too look up to... oh, to be like her! You have a beautiful family!

jabbott said...

your blog is lovely