Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Chalkboard

Harbor and I spend about a solid hour a day working in our preschool workbooks. I typically break the lessons down into 20 minute sections, but he seems to be able to focus for longer amounts of time now as he has gotten older. As a former teacher, I know what is ahead of us in kindergarten, which makes me want to work as hard as possible to make sure he thinks learning is "fun." 
When I sense he is tired or frustrated or bored, we close up the workbooks or learning games and go do something else.

I recently bought some chalkboard paint and painted a huge picture that I have had for several years.

I left it out, floor level with chalk, for about a week for Harbor to play with.

And when the novelty of its newness wore off, I moved it to our preschool table.

It has been a fun addition to our everyday lessons.

I try really hard to keep this area organized and I often find Harbor trying to put his books back where they belong. He seems to naturally like order and organization, which helps a lot with cleanup time! Does anyone else have a toddler like that? 

Harbor will "work" at his table alone for about 15 minutes as a time, coloring, working mazes, or dot to dot activities. Those are his favorites! I really think that he loves his preschool activity books because I am there, sitting close, side-by-side, giving him all of my attention, praising his efforts. I think all kids just want our undivided attention, even if it is just 15 minutes a day. To them, that is love. : )

I wanted to point out that the container I use for his crayons is an empty dish detergent container. I washed it out and soaked the labels off. It is clear, deep, and has a huge snap lid. I liked it initially, though, because it was green.  : )

Harbor, at three years of age, you can:
 count to 50 alone, tell me the sounds the letters make, write all of your upper case letters without help or seeing a sheet to show you what they look like{"M" and "W" are still tricky for you, though,} spell a handful of words from memorization, and spell almost anything phonetically that I sound out slowly.

We are very proud of his hard work. It is amazing what just 15-20 minutes of lessons a day can accomplish! Of course, I was a Literacy teacher for six years, so I definitely have the background for it, which helps. Even if you aren't in education, you can still work with your child. Start slowly with a fun workbook, show interest, and give lots of praise for any and all attempts. : )

The table and chair set were a gift from my parents. They are from Pottery Barn and have been the perfect size for the two of us. My mom actually found them used at a thrift store!

I'm glad we have a nice, quiet, sunny place to work everyday.
While we are warm inside, we have already had a few nights like this!

My car has never seen snow this early in the season!

Anything new going on? : ) Have a great week!


  1. Mary-Kate is in Kindergarten this year! It is amazing what they are learning and able to do. I am so proud of her preschool background. It is so important. Kindergarten isn't what it used to be. You are doing an awesome job with Harbor! I love his learning area!

  2. You are so blessed that things come so naturally for Harbor! I worked with Brooklynn from a very young age, but she still struggles. It just goes to show that different children learn at different rates, regardless of how much attention and work you put into their education. :)

  3. Yes, Brittney, you are so right about that! When I taught, I made sure to praise all my students for any effort or advancement, regardless of if they learned slowly or quickly. Every child is different, with different capabilities and aptitudes. The Lord is so good to bless us with such sweet babies! : )

  4. Though we don't have kids yet, I want to be able to teach them the basics at home someday. Harbor will be a great student because he has a great teacher! Our puppy arrived on Saturday. I just adore him, he is the sweetest, softest baby...Can't get enough!

  5. I just love Harbor's little learning area. But he doesn't really care that his learning he just thinks mommy is playing with me & he doesn't even relize he is learing, his play is his work. And I think that charkboard is wonderful. Its as tall as HW is. But will be great for him to write on since you'll winter will be long & is already getting started. Children's first teachers are there parents weather we relize it or not. Keep up the great work mommy Jessica its so very important. Children have so much to learn, even so much more are requird out of them at a young age. Harbor even looks older in these photos. Can't wait to be able to walk back into his room & see him sleeping or runing around the house playing very soon :) MOM

  6. I don't have a blog but have been reading yours for awhile. With you being a former teacher & the preschool work you do with Harbor I have a few questions if you could PLEASE email me.

    Mommy_kass_09 @ yahoo {dot} com

  7. what a neat learning area!! jacob will be in kindergarten next august, he goes to pre-k 3 days a week, but i'm trying to work with him when he's home with me. it stresses me how much they are required to know at an early age.