Early Childhood Education is my THANG. Early Childhood EVERYTHING, really. It is the age I dig....the age I am drawn to....the age I KNOW. There has been such comfort parenting Sugar Bear in this Early Childhood phase knowing that THIS is what I know best. This is the groove I fit into. Whew......the other phases of childhood...ummmm....might just be a wild ride, as I am clueless in those departments.
As for providing Sugar Bear with what she has needed from infancy to preschool, it has been like second nature for me. CAKE.....and frosting. Love it. I am always falling back on the things I know, and believe.....but SOMETIMES.....I have to just let go of the "know what's BEST", and do just "What she LIKES". Workbooks have been one of those things.
Many experts agree that young child should NOT be doing worksheets. I don't want to go into the ins and outs of those beliefs, but I will say that I'm not a fan of worksheets unless the child is VERY interested in them themselves. I feel that the negative impact of worksheets really lie in forcing young children to do such activities. Young children should learn through PLAY, and play should be fun.
All that being said, my Sugar Bear is DRAWN to worksheets. She isn't obsessed with them, but she enjoys them a great deal. When she was three, I decided it would be okay to have worksheets available to her on the basis that she would choose when to do them. Being that I'm a bit thrifty, I decided to make her a reusable worksheet binder, and we have LOVED it. Here is what we did.
-a three ring binder
-clear plastic page protectors
-a zippered pencil pouch
-a set of dry erase markers
-and some worksheet books
Nice workbooks can be found at nearly any store. I found some great ones at The Dollar Tree, and I have also printed several for free online. Just google "Free worksheets" and you'll find a ton.
Quickly, I set to tearing the worksheets from the books. I then place each worksheet into the the clear plastic page protectors like so:
Soon I had a whole slew of them to put in the three ring binder.
I added the pencil pouch to the front of the binder with the dry erase markers inside.
Then I simply showed Sugar how to use it. She loved it right away. She enjoys the whole process really. From the doing of the worksheets to the wiping off of the marker.
I set our reusable workbook in a place that is accessible to Sugar Bear, but she knows to always ask me before doing it. There are a couple reasons for this rule. First off, dry erase markers are DIFFICULT to get off of clothes, and other objects. UGH. That seriously is a bummer, but Sugar is very careful. Secondly, I find that you really need to wipe the marker off the pages when you are done. If you leave the marker on the protective sheets, the ink starts to etch into the plastic if is sits for a long long time.