It is completely unsurprising that the Holiday Season can really throw a wrench in the schedule and routine of most children. There are parties to attend, trips to take, photographs to shoot, and general schedule changes caused by longer and longer to-do lists. As a preschool homeschooling family, our school schedule has been off since the week of Thanksgiving. Travel, cooking, cleaning, and seasonal errands have made our daily safety net almost nonexistent. I’ve come up with a plan on how to keep schooling during the holidays and it all fits nicely into Miss Moo’s backpack.
Moo has a backpack from her preschool days and she’s still proud to put it on and wear it about town. She has become aware of our altered school schedule and now tends to ask for school when we are trying to get things done during time she’s used to doing an activity. Drawing on the idea of what I packed for our Thanksgiving journey, I’ve set up a traveling “school” on her back. She loves the notion of something to be responsible for as well as taking pride in her autonomy . We packed it together with items we both chose to include to incorporate her interests as well as the skills and concepts that we have been building and those that we need to work on.
What She Chose
What does a 3 year old want in her traveling school pack?
- Colored pencils and art paper — She has always been a child that has loved to draw and create. Choosing to add these to the pack was unsurprising, a good independent and self driven activity, an exercise in fine motor skills, and an opportunity to work on writing.
- Stickers — As with her first choice, she loves to give stickers out as well as make things out of them. We have Santa stickers as well as nativity stickers in her pack for education on the season, kindness, giving, the true meaning of love, and learning the Christmas story.
- Safari book — She LOVES elephants and hippopotamuses so we threw that book in for reading and review.
- Worksheets — We got a book over the summer to look at letter and practice writing. Now, she LOVES to do worksheets to play “school” and just to complete them in general. I don’t force or suggest doing them, she does and that’s the only time we do them.
- Noah’s Ark by Lucy Cousins — She is infatuated with Noah, his journey of faith with God, and all his animals. Our ark is pulled out here each day and she loves to read the story and tell me about the animals.
What I Chose
- The Jesus Storybook Bible — I can’t express how much I love this book! The stories are so child friendly, the concepts are simple for them to understand, the scope of the book gives even the smallest children a general knowledge, and every story includes Jesus. We use this book to keep Jesus in our minds and our hearts.
- Seasonal stories/games — I found several links on Pinterest that provide worksheets, sorting games, sequence games, etc. that deal with Christmas and the Birth of Jesus. I decided to print out and laminate all the people and animals present at the manger. We use it to tell the story, ask sequencing questions for her to answer, recall information about who each person is, and do basic phonetic and mathematic exercises.
- Stickers — Basic star stickers not only for encouragement but for counting, patterns, sequencing, and sorting.
- Her letter binder — I purchased and downloaded a book from Play at Home Mom that provides circles in the shapes of upper and lowercase letter and numbers. Using standard blank circle labels, she fills in the shapes of the letters or numbers. She LOVES to play this “game” and we add to it by naming animals, objects, etc. that sound like the letter she is working on at the time. I also try to think of anything Christmas related to whatever letter she is doing to spark further discussion.