Sunday, May 19, 2013

If you want a great preschool program...

Try Sonlight's P4/5. Not only are the books outstanding and the Developing the Early Learner books wonderful, but the activities were carefully written to be fun and to develop small and large motor coordination.

I wrote the activities and I like to think of them as "Fun with a Purpose."

 The daily activities in P4/5 are not all just fun. Some are fun things that reinforce what you have read but just as many, and possibly more, are to help kids develop fine and large muscle coordination. The fine motor/muscle coordination will help them as they learn to write, but they need to develop those muscles and refine their movements.

When I wrote the activities for P4/5 I looked at a host of state standards for children 4-6 years old, look at ideas from Montessori and many other venues to come up with fun activities that will help children meet milestones for things like skipping, hopping, peddling  tossing and catching a ball and so on. In addition to that, I wrote in many, many activities to help strengthen small motor coordination: using tweezers, pinching cotton balls, picking up beans and other small items and so forth. These are NOT random activities. They were well thought out and researched activities included to help parents help children be well rounded, well coordinated individuals.

Many people think they are fluff, but they aren't. If  you have a child who is reading but not writing or finds it difficult to do the actual work of putting paper to pencil, I encourage you to go at the child's speed, dictate to you, perhaps wait and do it when they are older, etc. But, in addition to that, I encourage you to do the activities in P4/5 to strengthen small muscles to help the children to have more precision in those skills.

I also consulted with a preschool teacher and a preschool teacher of kids with special needs to get their recommendations for fun, successful activities that children love and that help develop muscles and coordination. All these things I incorporated into the P4/5 activities

. I combed developmental activity books looking for just the right activities to be sure all the state standards were met. I didn't do this because I think the "state" is like the Wizard of Oz, but because their standards made sense, seemed logical, well thought out and reasonable to me. In addition I did licensed home day care in the state of Florida for five years. Their standards were high and I had to take continuing education classes to maintain my license. Some of the classes reinforced my belief that kids need to play and need it in order to develop the necessary foundational skills to be successful in higher level learning. [ If it matters to you, I did earn a teaching degree years ago.] 

I think it is so important and that is why I spent so much time researching how to do this in a fun way. I have encouraged frustrated moms and dads to do the activities to help their child develop fine and large motor skills and they have been thankful.

Many parents NEED someone to teach them how to play with their kids and how to help children develop these skills, and I think these activities are worthwhile and will help any parent in this area. 

Can you tell I am passionate about this? 


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