Monday, September 17, 2007

Preschool Hijinx

Take two children, one mommy and homeschool preschool time and mix, what do you get, in the words of Forrest Gump, Preschool is like a box of chocolates you never know what you are going to get. Hannah and Douglas approach preschool at completely different angles. Both are very bright and energetic but both have such different styles. Douglas(my nephew) is about 8 months older than Hannah. He is inquistive and fun loving. He enjoys the songs, calling out the names of the letters as I point to them and the action games. Hannah loves it all except for calling out the letters because she does not recongnize as many letters as her cousin. She tends to back off during this part and Douglas takes the lead. However, when we do a worksheet or a craft, Douglas can not focus beyond a couple of minutes and wants to see exaclty what Hannah is doing instead of paying attention to his paper. Today I had them trace the triangle shapes on a sunshine. He would try and do his WHILE watching Hannah. She went busily about hers and finished. Then we cut it out, glued it to construction paper and used white chalk to make clouds. They were so cute. With Douglas I had to keep prompting to finish and he kept saying is this good, is this good. I assured him, he was doing fine and he only has to try his best. But it is obvuios he does not like the paper work part of preschool. Hannah loved it. She was so detailed. We also traced their names. Hannah did hers in all different colors. Douglas did his in all one color but did a great job as well. Watching their learning styles even at this age is astounding. Both loved stories and songs, but one likes the paper and art activities and one likes the group recitation. (well I guess two is a group). I am amazed at how they both did enjoy it. And although I had to redirect Douglas a lot; he did enjoy it and he is learning from me. Both of them were very well behaved and engaged. They like the story I chose about a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Both liked singing the Alphabet song and adding their own motions to it. Their creativity knows no bounds. When they play together they think of elaborate story lines for their pretend play. Both may be destined for drama one day. I loved it. I felt like I was in my element. Teaching and watching young minds grasp, grow and learn is amazing. Sometimes, I wish I had gone into elementary education instead of social work. But I plan to use my degree one day to launch myself into teaching preschool or kindergarten. When Jennifer starts school I plan to look for work in teaching. All I would need to do is take the state licensure test. So as I launch into teaching Hannah and Douglas and helping them learn despite their differences, I also launch a dream. It was a great day and we all finished with smiles on our faces and joy in our hearts.