I have found a lovely blog for homeschooling preschool - the creatively named 1plus1plus1equals1 (think about it... think about it...) written by Carisa. "Tot school" is a Montessori-style of preschool based on educational play (which is what preschool is, or should be, right?). And Carisa has all sorts of wonderful ideas, tips, tools, and just plain encouragement for anyone homeschooling under the age of five. I found Tot School by following another wonderful homeschooling blog, Making the most of being at home.
Montessori is SO the way to go. I keep reading again and again, "Just give the child what you want him to learn with and see what he does with it." So that's what I'm trying to do now. It makes things a lot less frustrating, actually, and come to find, the lesson gets learned anyway.
Example - I have been beating my head on a brick wall trying to help Kittyboy match things. He has these word cards that he loves looking at (they're Winnie the Pooh), and I figured we could use them for matching. Lay out two cards, hold up one, and ask which one matches the one you're holding. We both HATE this game, him because I'm interrupting his fun and he doesn't know what I want of him, and me because beating your head on a brick wall starts to hurt after a while. But therapists want him to match things, and I want him to match things, and I'm sure he wants to match things just so I'll quit bugging him.
Better idea - give him the cards and see what he does. I ended up with matching pairs carefully strewn (I love that phrase) all over the living room. He's getting there, just in his own time, under his own steam, and in his own way. And how he did it, he was actually picking matches from more than two at a time, because he dumped the whole box and THEN started sorting. He just didn't like how I was doing it.
Next I'm going to just give him his whole "colors drawer" and see what he does with all the fabric swatches! Will he sort them by patterns, or by colors? Or will he use them all as blankets for small toys? Whatever he does, it'll be a learning experience!
(Carisa, if you read this, I am going to try and do a weekly Tot School post, assuming of course that I can figure out how McLinky works!)