Awhile back I had picked up a preschool workbook on sale at the toy store. I wasn’t planning to use workbooks much for preschool as I don’t want our learning to simply by “busy-work.” However, M loves doing worksheets so I figured the it would be good for some extra learning. Recently she has asked to do school a few times when I simply had nothing prepared or was tied up in something else (cooking dinner for instance) so we took out the workbook.
The book is called “Preschool Basics” and is designed for ages 4-6 (which strikes me as a little old, I would have said 3-5). M was so excited to have her own school book and sat right down to get started. Since I had no plan, we just started at the beginning and worked our way through a handful of pages each time. I let M guide us on how long we work but I have started encouraging her to at least try all the activities. I’d been noticing that when presented with an activity or worksheet that is unfamiliar, she pretends to lose interest. I don’t force her to complete anything at this point but have been trying to push her out of her comfort zone more and more.
The workbook has been surprisingly helpful with this as it has presented a number of new concepts for M that I didn’t think to teach yet. While hesitant at first, she has picked up each new concept beautifully and is really enjoying going through the pages. Each page has colorful drawings and simple wording which prevents it from becoming overwhelming.
Some concepts she’s worked on:
- Identifying items that are the same and/or different than the
- Pairing – selecting which items go together (ex: tennis racket – goes with tennis ball, not frog)
- Classifying items by season (ex: circling all items on the page you use in winter)
- Sorting (ex: deciding if objects go in a barn or house)
While the workbook has challenged M to use some critical thinking skills she wouldn’t have used yet, it does not cover a concept enough that I would consider it “learned.” I am going to incorporate these concepts into our daily work through games and other activities. Then the workbook can serve as some extra practice.