Early Childcare Education is extremely important for this day and age. Schools these days expect so much from our kids. Kids need an early start to succeed in school.
This is one of the main reasons I chose my childcare provider for my own daughter.
My oldest son struggled at a very young age. I was a young mother with little experience with dealing with learning disabilities. My son did not talk until he was 3.5 years old. He had speech therapy, but no other disorders were diagnosed at that time.
I believe it was about 1st grade when the disabilities started to show. His attention was short and he would get up in class and bother other kids, couldn’t sit still and had a hard time in a classroom setting. After lots of testing and tutoring, he was diagnosed with ADHD and labeled mentally challenged. He was put on medication for his ADHD and put on an IEP at school. I was told he would never catch up to his peers and he would be about 5-10 years behind his peers in mental development. This broke my heart as you can imagine. We weren’t lucky enough to have had a childcare provider who offered curriculum. The resources they have now, like First Steps, was not even known about.
We ended up taking him off his medication because it turned him in to a zombie and not our sweet little boy. The whole process was a struggle, dealing with pediatricians, ADHD medications, speech therapy, tutoring, and all the IEP meeting, and the worst thing was watching my baby getting teased and feeling heartbroken he wasn’t like the other kids.
When my daughter was born, I was determined to find a provider who made learning apart of their program. I was lucky I found the best daycare lady ever. She was a retired school teacher who homeschooled her own children. My daughter learned so much from her and was beyond ready for kindergarten. This inspired my own preschool program.
I was nervous in the beginning because I really wasn’t sure how to teach or if I was even qualified to teach. What I found out is anyone can be a teacher. When I saw the kids actually learning, I knew I was doing something right.
I started out using Mother Goose time. It was a monthly kit that came with everything you needed for a lesson. It was a little pricy, but was well worth it. I used this for a couple of years until I got familiar with what the curriculum was made up of. Thanks to Mother Goose Time, I learned to make my own curriculum for free.
You don’t really need much time to do curriculum with any age. I take about 20-30 minutes a day doing curriculum with the kids. The rest of the time is learning through play.
I found a free curriculum that you could download with lots of printables for my preschoolers. I am not even sure where I got it. It is called “Look What I Can Do”. I was impressed with how my 3 and 4 year olds learned so much from this. I also use a Scholastic magazine called Clifford’s Big World. This is very reasonable. It is a short lesson and the the kids get to take a magazine home to keep. The kids absolutely love this.
Basically, I think of a theme for the month. I pick a letter, number, color and shape for the month. I pick a few sign language and Spanish words that corresponds to the theme. I print songs to sing, books to read, crafts to do and music that also corresponds with the theme.
All ages from age 1-5 can participate, you just need to adjust the activity per the child’s age.
I take pride that all my kids are kindergarten ready. I have had people compliment my program. I’ve had a few go to their kindergarten screening and have had the observer ask what preschool the child went to. I love when parents respond with “My child didn’t go to a preschool, they went to an in-home childcare provider”. Love it.
If you are struggling at all with curriculum, I’d be happy to help.
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Stay tuned for my next post…….