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The Whole Child, Issue #072 Relaxed Preschooling
June 10, 2010


The Whole Child e-zine brings you free preschool activities each week to maximize your child's potential, build skills and parent-child relationships in just a few minutes per day. Useful tips, quotes, resources, opportunities and articles will be added for extra value!

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June 2010, Issue #072

1.Relaxed Preschooling

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I frequently receive emails, like the one below, from moms of tots as young as two:

I am looking to get a preschool curriculum for my child. He will be turning 3 in about two months. I looked at your sample lesson plan and was wondering what kind of a schedule would you have for a 3 year old. How long are the lessons or how long should I keep them?

I always say that preschoolers don't need a curriculum BUT their MOM's do!

Moms want to be sure that they are doing enough and that their kids are not missing out on anything!

However, the words of educators I love to quote come to mind:

“In this time of extraordinary pressure, educational and social, perhaps a mother’s first duty to her children is to secure for them a quiet and growing time, a full six years of passive receptive life, the waking part of it for the most part spent out in the fresh air.”
(Charlotte Mason, Home Education, Volume 1)

..and another “...a child needs several hours of physical activity a day. This helps to build the body, purify the blood, promote good digestion and calm the nerves.”
(Raymond Moore, Homegrown Kids, p113)

The question then is how do we, parents and caregivers in the 21st century ensure that our children have a “quiet and growing time...of passive receptive life..” mostly spent out in the fresh air?

How do we get our kids away from TV, PC games and other passive activities that don’t give them the all round stimulation that they need?

Well, its mid-year and I am assuming that many families will be taking some kind of vacation, so even if you are a working parent, maybe you can embrace what I call 'relaxed homeschooling'.

If you are a stay-at-home-mom, maybe you can use this time to break away from your normal routine and try some different activities with your children.

"If you think you need preschool ideas, just look at an average stay-at-home-mom’s day, there are so many wonderful learning experiences, that you can enjoy with your young child:

  • Training: Politeness, orderliness, attentiveness, kindness, gentleness, obedience etc

  • Life skills: hygiene, cleaning rooms, shopping, cooking, baking, gardening, library visits.

  • Spiritual life: Praying, reading the Bible, listening or singing gospel songs.

  • Learning: Reading, moms’ groups, nature walks, round the block pre-dinner walks.

  • Gross motor: gardening, jungle gyms or parks, learning to ride a bike.

  • Exercise: Bikes, walks, beaching, swimming, ball games.

  • Crafts: painting, play dough, recycled models, scrap booking.

  • Play: imaginative, toys, friends, role playing.

  • Out and About: communities around them, who the community helpers are e.g. policemen, car guards, postman, rubbish collectors"
  • (Quoted from Preschool Ideas - an article worth reading in its entirety!)

    Here are some more of my favourite articles to read in your own time, that will explain how to stimulate your children daily, without the rigours of any structured program:

    Preschool Homeschooling

    Toddler Learning Activities

    What Should a 4-year Old Know? (or any other aged child for that matter!)

    Preschool Pressure or Preschool Peace

    Preschool Training - by me!

    2. Check my website

    Coming up:

    Sunday, 21 June is Father's Day – Activities for Father's Day

    3. Music Again

    Last month I wrote to you about Music Appreciation. I was then contacted by the suppliers of a nifty musical instrument that was completely new to me, the ocarina (say o-ca-reena).

    This is a pocket-sized wind (musical) instrument usually made of pottery. The ocarina dates back thousands of years. It doesn't cost a lot and the learning curve is very, very easy for kids.

    You can see some images of ocarinas HERE

    Take a look at this great article about Nine Benefits of Music Education for Kids, by Laura Yeh.

    4. Quote

    “Too much indulgence has ruined thousands of children; too much love, not one.”

    Fanny Fern

    5. Tips & Advice

    Did you know that over 3 million reports of child abuse are made every year in the United States?

    Of these, 7.6% are cases of sexual abuse. That is 228 000 cases of sexual abuse per year. Child abuse occurs at every socio-economic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.

    More horrifying is the following:

    90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way;
    68% are abused by family members.


    So, why am I telling you this?

    As parents and caregivers of preschoolers, I believe we need to be fore-warned and fore-armed and empower our children to handle a potentially abusive situation appropriately and as effectively as possible.

    The author of a new kids' book about dealing with sexual abuse, My Body Belongs to Me, contacted me and sent me a link to this interview where she was on TV.

    I found it most interesting and think it is really worth passing on and sharing the message.

    Talking To Your Kids About Sexual Abuse - please take a few minutes to watch it!!

    What I realized most, is that building an open relationship and good communication can be a key factor that empowers a child when confronted with a bad situation or bad relationship - and books like My Body Belongs to Me empower us, the adults, to equip our children better with the information and skills they would need, if such a situation ever arose!

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    5. Readiness Activities

    The following activities are aimed at ages 3-5. For older children, adapt the activity to their ability.

    Click here for Backissues of The Whole Child publication.

    To download the activities in a printable pdf, click here.

    You will need to have Adobe Reader installed. It’s a free download. Repeat these activities often - with your own variations too!


    1. Gross motor skills

    Encourage your child to jump off heights about two feet high.

    2. Fine Motor Skills

    Encourage your child to try some of the following activities:

    Turn a key in a lock
    Close large buttons on clothing
    Fasten a buckle
    Pour liquid from a cup

    3. Visual skills

    Let your child arrange coloured pegs in a pegboard in repetitive patterns.

    4. Auditory skills

    Listen to the piece of music entitled The Viennese Musical Clock on the Classics for Kids website. This piece of music describes the mechanical clock Háry János claimed to have heard at the Austrian emperor's palace.
    Listen to it together and ask your children what it makes them think about. There is not right or wrong answer.

    5. Mathematical skills

    Place two sets of items into two identical plastic cups or containers, such as construction blocks in one cup and crayons in the other cup. Let your child hold a cup in each hand and determine which cup is heavier and which is lighter. You can repeat the activity using different items too. Explore the concepts of light, heavy and equal.

    6. Language and thinking skills

    Find story books to read together that will help you have conversations with your child about different situations he may encounter in your family or community, eg. The arrival of a new baby, going to visit the dentist, visiting the library, visiting someone in hospital etc.

    7. Faith-building

    Discuss with your child the role of a father in a family – even if you are a single parent. Talk about how our Heavenly Father also takes care of all our needs, especially if our father doesn’t live with us. Encourage your child to pray for her dad – for blessings in his work, for wisdom in all decisions, for good health and whatever other needs you know he may have.

    Greetings until next month

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