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Teaching preschoolers & kindergarteners at home takes planning, patience, praise

Hi! It’s just me again with more hints and ideas. Thank you for the many notes of appreciation I received for last month’s article.

These ideas are by no means meant to take the place of work sent home from school. However, you are your child’s first teacher and you can make learning fun and exciting, and something to look forward to.

Now that you know how to figure out the attention span and competency of your child (refer to article in The Alpena News on Jan. 22, 2021), now we can go on.

Prepare ahead of time. Make it doable.

A. Read the lesson by yourself. Sometimes, do the lesson ahead of time.

B. Don’t expect everything to always go exactly as planned. And that is okay. Just try to stay on track.

C. Keep in mind the child’s attention span and competency level.

D. Collect and store basic materials in a handy place.

1. Teacher’s manuals.

Call the library: Alpena — 989-356-6188; Alcona — 989-724-6796; Presque Isle — 989-734-2477; Oscoda — 989-826-3613.

Librarians are very helpful. Tell them what you are doing. They will suggest and find books for you. Never allow children to destroy or mutilate library books. They need to be returned after the allotted time.

Note: In front of the telephone book there is lots of useful information: telephone numbers for libraries, maps, etc. You could call your Chamber of Commerce for a free local telephone book.

2. Workbooks for children.

Dollar Tree on Ripley Boulevard in Alpena has many helpful, interesting children’s workbooks.

∫ Use one page at a time.

∫ Tear the page out.

∫ Help the child as much as needed.

∫ If you give the child a page that is below his/her grade level, they might feel successful.

∫ Oversee what the student is doing, and allow him/her to do as much as he/she can on their own.

St. Vincent dePaul Thrift Store often has children’s books for 10 cents each.

3. Paper of all kinds: writing, construction, tracing, and drawing. A white board or chalk board can be useful for teacher and student.

4. Pencils, erasers, crayons, paste, glue sticks, and protection for children and furniture — old shirt, newspapers.

5. Lesson plans.

6. Pennies or something small to use for adding, subtracting, multiplying, etc. Of course, fingers are always available.

7. Board games and playing cards.

8. The Alpena News, other newspapers and magazines.

Today we will focus on preschoolers and kindergarteners.

E. Select a comfortable time and place to homeschool.

1. No dangling legs. A small table and chair or the kitchen table and chair with something to put the child’s feet up on (a box or bench under his/her feet) and books to sit up on if needed to bring the child up to the table. You need to be comfy also. Always go to the same work place and time each weekday.

2. As for time:

Reading and math are best done in the morning after the child and yourself have had a good rest and breakfast.

Music, art, geography and science are afternoon subjects.

Children love to sing. Body movements with easy songs are fun.

Science and art work can be messy. Be prepared.

Geography is interesting. A walk or drive outside could be useful. Small children could draw a picture of that experience.

Sample lesson for a preschooler or kindergartener:

1. You are prepared.

∫ Have time and place ready.

∫ Have materials ready.

∫ Know what you are going to teach.

∫ Get the child in place.

∫ Be relaxed, pleasant, and in charge.

∫ Get the child’s attention.

2. Set up a few rules.

∫ Child must be quiet, listen, and pay attention.

∫ Child may ask questions or give comnents, but must raise his/her hand first.

∫ Teacher will always answer the child.

∫ But try to stay on track.

3. Introduce the lesson. Do the capital letter “A” or the first letter of the child’s name.

∫ Show how the letter is written.

∫ Give the child paper and pencil or crayon.

∫ Have the child write the letter three time.

∫ If time permits, do the number “1” or the child’s age.

∫ Praise the child’s work. Display it proudly on the fridge or wall.

∫ Dismiss the child to his/her regular day.

See you next month when we will think about grades one through three. Have fun.

Willieoma Roznowski is a retired schoolteacher who taught for 25 years in the Alpena Public Schools. She loves calling Alpena her home. To reach her, call 989-464-0417 and leave a message.

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