This is a lovely little series by various authors, each experts in their own area. The writing has the typical charm of 19th century schoolbooks with lots of wonderful vocabulary. The series has something for every reader, whether they be obsessed with birds or interested in stories of old.
My friend Allison over at Public Domain Books for Homeschooling has put the collection together for us. Finding and compiling list of public domain books is her specialty and she uses them regularly in her homeschooling. She does a wonderful job printing and binding her books. I know she will be glad to share some tips with you on binding your own.
In all of these resources you will find hands-on, language facilitated activities. Toddlers are already learning about the world around them using their senses without parents even being involved. Adding language to their activity is the key to vocabulary building on the concepts they are discovering.
One thing I am not going to add to this post is a link to a developmental checklist. You are probably more stressed than you need to be already. There are already to many people sharing their opinion on how you or your child should be.You don’t need a checklist, you just need to be an attentive, interactive and accessible mother. You can’t go wrong with that combination.
Language and Literacy
Read anything, talk about everything, play anytime, and enjoy music often together. It really can be that simple. Your child doesn’t have all the vocabulary needed to carry on a detailed conversation, but you fill in the blanks. Narrate your day. Ask and answer questions. Not only is your child learning vocabulary he hears repeated, but he is learning the complex patterns of language, the ups and downs of the voice, along with facial expressions and body language that accompanies language.
I think this pamphlet on Getting Ready to Read will help you get the idea and some simple activities to start with, I think you’ll find you are doing a lot of this already. You are just needing the confidence to keep moving forward. Relax! This is natural for you. You were made for this! You are the most important person in our child’s life.
Here is a great article by the NAEYC about Math Talk. No need to buy lots of materials. Math is everywhere! Make it fun and stress free. Learning can happen in everyday routines. Counting the number of carrots on the plate. Chatting about colors in the park. the shapes of a wheel, a table, the doorway. Playing with blocks can help build problem solving and spatial awareness skills needed later in math.
Don’t forget your library. Here are list of Math books for Children to begin discussion of math concepts and build vocabulary in context. If you can’t find these titles, search your library’s catalog for the types of books listed in the second article below.
Children at this age are learning the very basics of Social Studies concepts, “I am part of a bigger world”. They learn about themselves and how to interact socially within the specific environments they find themselves in, the home with family, playdates with friends of multiple ages, a Sunday school class with same-age peers, or in an adult situation where the activities are not centered on them. They learn about different social expectations in each of these situations.
Literacy is another way to learn about the people in the bigger world around them. In books they will encounter people and circumstances they might not experience directly. Videos can serve the same purpose, while also building vocabulary for these contexts. In addition, live WebCams for Social Studies and Science, like Wild Earth, can take your child to places he might never see otherwise.
Children will take these new concepts and mimic them in dramatic play, another way children will assimilate the new information, practicing vocabulary and developing problem solving skills for social situations.
Map Concepts can also be introduced at this age with simple activities like mapping the house (with Mommy’s facilitating) or finding places on a map or globe. Here are a couple of article talking more about developmentally appropriate objectives for Social Studies and some suggested activities and literature.
Here are some Social Studies Games at PBS that Mom and toddler can begin playing together while toddler gets and introduction into some basic social studies concept to build on.
This article focuses on the classroom, but the objectives in the right hand corner serve for a source of ideas for activities.
Preschool Social Skills for the world he’s in everyday. These are some of the first steps in learning the role he has in other people’s lives, in coming out of his egocentric perspective. When a toddler begins to learn that what he says and does affects the people around him. Toddlers can realize their power and learn self control in order to balance his wants in relationship to what others need. Reading Books about Feelings can help your child understand his own and appreciate that others feel them too.
Although we live in an age that is centered on communications in technology, writing a friendly letter is still a practice among those who desire to be more personal in their communication, whether to a friend afar or to thank a potential employer after a job interview.
As a teacher, I still wrote thank you notes to my students who provided me gifts of appreciation. The children loved to receive them. With the small gesture, they knew the appreciation was returned.
My own children love to receive cards and letters in the mail.
I know, I’d sing atop a mountain if I was to receive one that isn’t a bill.
While business communications make the most of the efficiency of an email or messenger program, nothing says “tender love and care” like a hand written letter.
Here, I have put together some resources for teaching and applying the art of letter writing through the friendly letter.
Letter Generators We recently picked up a book from the library in the children’s non-fiction section called How to Write a Letter. It included format, conversation topics, and how to address a letter . They have a series on different types of writing that we have been checking out one at a time. One of the things I love about using books over something online is that my 5 year old will see my 7 year old using it to learn how to write a letter and then she begins pulling out paper and pencil with him. Nevertheless, we find many useful tools on the internet for learning to include four interactives for writing last year when my son was less than willing to put pen to paper. One of these focuses on writing a friendly letter.
We love having a book in hand and I encourage the keeping of a journal in at least one subject. However, we have less space now, so online learning is convenient , but also fun and interactive. I’ll talk more about online learning in another post.
I love the Read Write Think site! Here is an interactive template or Letter Generator guiding the student through each step of the letter writing process.
This is an incomplete collection of Tappan’s work. She had a way of bringing history to life in her books. Perhaps it was her many years teaching and her in depth knowledge of literature that helped her achieve success.
The first part of this list was contributed by my friend, Allison. I will update as I find more titles.