It has been so fun to have Carter and Clara in preschool together this year. It often feels like I have twins, and it is such a treat to watch them play, wrestle, and talk about nonsense like Chima Legos and who the best of the My Little Ponies is (duh, it’s Twilight Sparkle). These are the days, am I right?! But Carter’s preschool days are numbered. I took him to Kindergarten round up last month (which was a circus in and of itself, as I had all five kids with me–not a regular sight in these parts). Now he keeps asking me when he gets to go to Kindergarten and when you’re five, September sounds lifetimes away. So we’re going to spend some time over the next few months (particularly this summer when we have no preschool and more flexible schedules) working on basic Kinder prep.
Even for a past teacher like me, working on scholastic things at home can feel daunting and overwhelming, especially in the mix with the piles of laundry to be folded and meals to be made. You have to have a plan and a set time to do it. Morning is always best for us. By afternoon everyone is less patient, especially me! Lately we’ve been using these awesome Sight Word Journals from Kinesthetic Kid. They were put together by some good friends of mine, a teacher and a graphic designer, and they are tops. My kids love them! There is just something about your own workbook that is so exciting- do you remember that feeling?!
These Sight Word Journals are helping Carter a bunch with colors, letter and word recognition, and writing practice. They are far too advanced for Clara, but she plays along like a big kid, and it’s great! These journals are designed for K-1st, so some of the activities are quite advanced for Carter yet, but I know they will be great for practice throughout the Kindergarten year, and they would be great for the summertime for kids moving up to first or even second.
As a parent I feel so overwhelmed sometimes. I’ve declared more than once in the last week, “I’m failing at everything!” There is just so much we ought to be doing. So much that other moms seem to be doing. So much those books say we should be doing. Healthy, homemade meals, schlepping them to all those enriching activities after school, one on one time with each child, a perfectly clean house… it’s all too much, right? I think tons of things can be eliminated, but some things just can’t, so they need to be simplified. I really do think that a little Kinder prep is important, as is keeping our kids sharp through the summer. I love these journals because all I have to do is print them out and I feel like I’m doing something. I don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you know?! It’s so simple. So there’s a little pep talk for you and me both. Make the important stuff happen, but keep it simple.
One final note. My friend, Trina, who did all of the original designs and drawings for these journals, is an amazing graphic designer, and just wonderful to work with. I happen to know that my sister recently emailed her for help with a birthday invitation and it was done within 24 hours! She is a gem. Find her at sherbetdesigns.com.