On this website and our blog, you will find ideas on how to teach different objectives, discipline suggestions, specific toys to have in your home, and so much more. Here is a list of hints that don't necessarily fit into another topic but yet I feel are important for you and your child to be successful while using the curriculum.
• There is a very fine line between under and over planning your day. It is my hope that in using the ABCJLM Curriculum and worksheets you will find the majority of work done for you (especially if you order the worksheets printed). Some of you - especially those who have an education degree - may want to create elaborate lesson plans. And after so many questions, I have shown you how to do this on the example pages listed on the left. But I can not caution you enough not to over plan. Be intentional with the objectives. Include your child in the gathering of supplies. But I encourage you not to spend hours of time away from your children just to prepare weeks and months in advance.
• The Objective Checklist is a great place to start. In education, teachers use pretests to determine what needs to be learned and post-test to evaluate whether the concept was learned. The Pre-checklists can be used to determine what your child knows. Both are based upon the curriculum's objectives.
• When working on any writing or art project either sit at a table designed for a child so that their feet can touch the floor or stand with the paper on a vertical surface. This is best for development and learning.
I realized something this morning. There is nothing that my children HAVE to learn from the ABCJesusLovesMe Curriculum. Yes, there are goals and it would be great for them to retain it all, but it's not a test to see how much they know and how much you can make them retain. They will learn what they learn and probably enjoy spending time with you more than anything. Do what you can and don't stress the rest. - Cindy
To help you get started with the curriculum, here are example conversations that I have had with my children while working on the curriculum.
*Adult: We are going to work on your numbers in five minutes. Would you like me to set the time so you know when we will start?
*Adult: We are going to work on your numbers. Would you like to begin now or play for five more minutes?
*Adult: Tell me how to spell your name. Before you begin, I want you to think and not be silly.
*(Playing Go Fish on a number that I know the child knows)
Adult: Do you have any cards with the number "one" on them?
Child: I don’t know.
Adult: I know that you know the number "one" because you are very smart. Draw the number one in the air for me please.
*(Playing Go Fish on a number that I know the child struggles with)
Adult: Do you have any cards with the number seven on them?
Child: I don’t know.
Adult: Across the sky, down from heaven, that’s the way to make a...
Adult: That’s correct. Let me help you draw that number in the air. (Draw large seven) Okay, now look at your cards. Do you have any cards with the number seven on them?
• Use "fat" writing utensils to aid in better control when writing.
• Encourage crayons and pencils over markers as markers do not require as much motor coordination to use.
• When the child loses interest in school time, figure out if you are dealing with a heart issue of disobedience or a stage that the child is going through. The difference will show you how to handle the situation.
• Do not join with other parents in the comparison game. All children have strengths and weaknesses and each child develops at his or her own pace even if the child is being exposed to wonderful situations. Unless there is concern about a developmental delay, being consistent and intentional will help your child learn what he or she needs to know for Kindergarten.
• Model correct phonetic sounds and correct formation of letters and numbers. (i.e. Make sure your child does not add a vowel to the end of /k/ as in /kuh/)
• Encourage the child to use adjectives and nouns to describe and object instead of using the word “that,” "this," or simply pointing. This increases the child's vocabulary as well as helps the child learning how to explain his/her desires - especially during frustrating situations.
• Don't skip important steps. Much learning occurs in a sequence. For example, recognizing shapes is a prerequisite for learning letters and numbers. And, a child must be able to break up compound words before they can separate each sound in a word. Skipping over the "little stuff" won't help your child read sooner. It may do the opposite.
One of the biggest suggestions that I can give to you while using the ABCJesusLovesMe curriculum is to have fun. The preschool years are quick, and a child deserves the right to be a little boy or little girl during these years. Here are tips to keep the laughter in the learning.
• I believe fully that learning should be fun, active, and age-appropriate. Secondly, everyone involved should be successful. Any stress from the parent or guardian due to preparation or feeling overwhelmed will filter down to the child.
• A child's attention span increase as he or she grows. A typical two year old is only able to focus for three to four minutes during formal instruction while a five-year-old has a five to ten consecutive minute attention span. Break up the learning and include fun and play.
• Remember that five minutes of learning time every day is better than 30 minutes once a week.
• In doing focused learning time with the child, changes need to be made if tears, frustration, and stress are encountered. Continuing in this manner could have devastating consequences on the child's formal education.
• As much as possible to keep sitting time to a minimum and space the learning throughout the day.
• Always watch for signs that the child needs a break. It is always better to come back to a concept than push too far. Look for signs of tiredness, frustration, or impatience. Always use positive reinforcement and never belittle the child for not knowing something. Be patient. When patience is running thin for you or the child, it is time to take a break.
• Don’t forget to verbally praise the child for his/her hard work and a job well done. A high five or a hug can go a long way when learning new items.
• Do not get anxious or stressed over how fast the child is learning a concept. All of the items take time. While one concept will take two weeks, others will take one day. This will vary between children.
• Get the whole family involved. A preschool child loves to demonstrate to Daddy, Grandma, or siblings what he or she is learning.
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