Joanna Anastasia

Homeschool

Teaching kids about the months of the year with art

Teach your kid about the months of the year with this one easy trick! #homeschool #preschool # education

I find that now, at four years old, my daughter is more than ever eager to learn and comprehend. She’s a very creative little creature, full of energy and enthusiasm who claims to know it all too. But obviously she doesn’t. And I’ve been trying to teach her about the months of the year for a while now, with no success. But recently I got an idea that changed it all.

It all started with Tuta&Coco, an online service that transforms children’s drawings and paintings in to beautiful, high-quality art objects. As soon as I found out about them, I knew that I want to finally reuse all of my daughters creations from the past months! Because really, how do you display it all? I have no place left on my fridge!

So I’ve set my heart on a calendar. And that was the best choice I could have possibly made because I managed to get rid of the clutter of old drawings and paintings, and I got a great tool to teach Lili about the months of the year!

Teach kids about months

First we laid all of the months down. Because Tuta&Coco’s calendars are printed on separate, thick and beautiful paper sheets, kids can manipulate them and change months on their own (talking about a great design!)

I was really surprised to see that she remembered the meaning of each of her painting and drawing, and she even remembered which ones were made by her sister.

So I realized, that its not just a calendar for her: its a collection of memories and stories that she imagined. A collection that helped her finally gasp the notion of time.(Because kids learn best when their emotions and imagination is involved. And this is obviously what happened here.)

I helped her count the months and we separated them it to the seasons of the year. We talked about how seasons change, and how many months are in a season.

Preschool activity

Then we where looking for important events, like Christmas and Easter and birthdays. She remembered a couple, and was surprised to see that her drawings where matching with some events, like valentines day or summer visits at the lake.

Here's a great trick to teach preschoolers about the months of the year

I really wanted Lili to understand that a calendar is used as a planning tool too, so we took a crayon and started marking days of the week, the play dates, the family visits, the days in her part-time daycare. And just like that she understood what a calendar is all about.

Finally she said that she knows why we need calendars: to know when things are going to happen! And I could tell that she was really proud of herself, naming the months and the seasons!

Simple ways to teach kids about the months of the year

And I couldn’t be happier knowing that I managed to do two things that I was struggling with at a time: I organised my kids art, and I thought Lili about the months of the year using her own art!

Teach kids about the months of the year with art #preschool

For more ideas for reusing kids art, check Tuta&Coco Instagram account!

Disclosure: I got this product for a review, all opinions remain my own.

Easy homeschooling with kindergarten toolkit

This is the best method for homeschooling!

For a while now I was looking for a complete method to homeschool my daughter Lili. Unlike many homeschooling parents, I teach her only half time. Our situation is quite special, with me raising my kids bilingually, and them being at daycare only halt time. But whatever is the reason for parents to homeschool, whether full or part-time, for sure it’s all about good preparation.

I know for myself, that preparing different kind of activities isn’t always easy. They need to be educative, that’s for sure. Yet kids learn through play, so they should be playful. Also, we shouldn’t rush things, as kids learn at their own speed. But activities shouldn’t be repetitive neither, because boredom is as bad as overstimulation. While teaching letters and numbers it’s easy to overwhelm kids, so we should be careful not to do so..

If you were never a teacher, and you didn’t study education or pedagogy, then you probably know how I felt. A bit lost at times. That’s why I was looking for an overall method on homeschooling preschoolers. A method easy to follow, flexible and useful. And that’s how I found the Kindergarten Toolkit.

Kindergarten toolkit

It’s a method created by a former kindergarten teacher, turned WAHM of three boys. I think it’s a perfect tool for any homeschooling parent. I can’t even stress enough how useful I found it! Within the two weeks that we’ve been using it Lili have already mastered new writing skills, and Rose started to recognize shapes!

What you get is a booklet with mini lessons that support each of the 10 kindergarten goals, flash cards with shapes, letters, numbers and words, and white board with a pen. Each goal is concentrated on a specific skill , so you don’t double guess yourself, wondering if the activity that you found on Pinterest is appropriate for your child’s developmental stage or not.

Kindergarten toolkit

It’s really easy to use by any parent, and it gives you 3 to 4 different activities for each goal. That’s over 40 different lessons, plus some sanity saving ideas for activities while you’re on the go.

Toolkit

What I love about it, is that I can use it with both of my daughters, because there’s so many different lessons. Lili already knows her shapes and colours, so I’m more concentrated on writing skills with her, while Rose is a toddler who’s just starting to learn colours.

Toolkit

Within last two weeks we had 5 learning sessions of around 30 minutes each. Every time I got to try a different activity, while keeping track of Lili’s progress and skills. Honestly, I feel like homeschooling just got so much easier for me!

Kindergarten toolkit

So now, while homeschooling Lili, Rose sits just next to us and does her own activities. It’s so much fun seeing them both learning one next to another!

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But most of all, I love the overall approach of the Kindergarten Toolkit: encourage you kid, have fun and built a foundation for kindergarten!

Toolkit

Disclosure : I received this product free for review, all opinions remain my own.

Montessori homeschool: letter tracing with paint.

These Montessori inspired homeschooling activities teach your child about letters and their shapes, using simply paint, brush and paper. #preschool #homeschool

It’s been over two months now since I decided to start our part-time home preschool. Although my daughter didn’t really realise that there’s something new going on, since we would always paint and craft on the days when she’s staying with me at home. The only difference now, is that we paint and craft including letters and numbers. So even though I call it homeschool, for her it’s playing, crafting and creating with mommy.

This is really the core of Montessori approach to learning: allowing a child discover and create, while using natural, every day objects. It definitely means less iPad games and apps, and more paint and crayons! ( But if you know me, then you know that I believe in balance, so my kids do get to use technology..just reasonably, like when mommy is exhausted and needs a break 😉 )

Montessori homeschool : tracing letters

So while learning about letters, what’s important is recognizing the sound, connecting it to the shape, being able to recognize the shape and naming objects starting by that letter. My daughter would come to me and say that L is like her name, and M is like mommy, before she would be able to recognize the shape of these letters.

And so these activities let kids learn the shape, while connecting it to the sound. Also, it’s easier for little hands to trace instead of write right away. That way they learn the movement of the hand while tracing and are ready to learn to write the letter later.

What you’ll need:

Paper
Pencil (for you)
Paint and paintbrush

Draw letters with little circles. You can start with one big letter A : on the very first day I think this is exactly what we did. Here, I drew a couple of both capital and small letters a for her to trace with a paintbrush.

Montessori homeschool : racing letters

We repeated the sound, and we came up with words ( in polish) starting by the letter that she was tracing.

Montessori homeschool : tracing letters with paint

Tracing letters with pompoms :

This is basically the same activity, but since we’re using a different material, it gets a whole new dimension for a child. It’s like a mix if sensory play with letter learning, and my daughter really loved this one!

Montessori homeschool: training letters using different materials, like paintbrush or pompoms, teaches letter recognition and shape without being overwhelming for a preschooler.

What you’ll need :

Paper
Pencil ( for you)
Paint
pompoms

Homeschool

Of course while we did that with Lili, my toddler Rose wanted to join in, and so she was painting with pompons, and I had a quiet 30 minutes for another coffee 😉

Training letters, great Montessori activity for learning letter shape

As you might have read before, I’m raising my kids bilingually, so all the activities we do at home are only in Polish, while her three-times-a-week daycare is in French. That’s why I don’t have any printables here for you, I’m simply sharing my experience. But I do have a very we’ll curated Pinterest homeschooling board with plenty great printables and resources!

Montessori homeschool : activities with baking pans

Montessori homeschool activities: teach your child to count and develop their fine motor skills while having fun together !

During our halftime homeschooling adventures, we do a lot of Montessori inspired activities. Usually right after breakfast, still in our pyjamas, we sit at the kitchen table and we take on the letters and the numbers. I want my daughter to feel like we’re playing, creating and discovering, so I usually use the playful approach to learning.

Here are two activities that look like a great fun for a child ( while secretly, are learning situations). I don’t know about your kids, but as soon as I take any baking gear out, for them it’s a party! So here I use baking sheets and muffin tins, for sorting and convenience. And for captivating my preschooler’s attention obviously 😉

This first one is a counting activity that also develops fine motor skills.

What you’ll need :

Muffin tin
Scraps of paper
Small objects:
pom-poms and pipe cleaners cut in pieces

Write numbers ( up to 12) on paper scraps and place them in muffin tins. Then let your preschooler match exact number of small objects ( like our pom-poms and pipe cleaners) with correct number.

These Montessori inspired homeschool activities are perfect  for learning how to count and for developing imagination and fine motor skills

Encourage your child to count aloud with you every time they fill another tin with tiny objects. At the end of this activity my daughter finally stopped forgetting the umber 4, so for us it was a success.

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Now this one is using a baking sheet in order to prevent all of the small pieces of paper to end up on the floor ( nobody here wants that, right? I don’t know about you, but me, I’m usually planning our activities around one simple rule: is it going to end up as a huge mess?). Oh, and also to interest my preschooler.

So, this activity is an invitation to create. With a baking sheet full of shapes, piece of paper and a glue your child has only one instruction : make something. It can be an animal, a bug or a car. Or a monster. Sky is the limit. So here, apart from developing imagination and creativity, your child will also advance their fine motor skills. And you might get a 30 minutes of calm. ( it’s a win-win!)

These Montessori inspired homeschool activities are perfect  for learning how to count and for developing imagination and fine motor skills

What you’ll need :

Baking sheet
Colourful crafting paper
White sheet of paper
Scissors
Glue

Cut the crafting paper in to different shapes: circles, half-circles, triangles and rectangulars. Keep the size diversified, so your child can have a choice of shapes and sizes.

These Montessori inspired homeschool activities are perfect  for learning how to count and for developing imagination and fine motor skills

Talk to your child while they assemble their creature; ask them what is it, where can it live, what does it eat. If they are making an object, ask them what’s the use for it, and who can use it.

These Montessori inspired homeschool activities are perfect  for learning how to count and for developing imagination and fine motor skills

These Montessori inspired homeschool activities are perfect  for learning how to count and for developing imagination and fine motor skills

And what are your favourite playful homeschool activities?