Thursday, January 23, 2014

Preschool Co-op

I've casually mentioned before that Reid is in a preschool co-op. We held it today, and, as always, he had a lot of fun. I love that it gives him an opportunity to participate in structured play with kids near his age (3 and 4). I also love that there is always a craft (usually more like three).

I'm just not a crafty mom. My kids help me with recipes, outdoor play, gardening, and various other activities. But crafting just isn't really my thing. And as a result it isn't really Reid's either.

So that said, here are some pictures of crafts we've done in our co-op.

Today's lesson was "W" for winter. Perfect!

Last week he learned all about nighttime and nocturnal animals. There was the cutest handprint bat craft, but Reid refuses to put paint on his hands. Last year we did a four leaf clover handprint craft for the Grandparents, and I haven't gotten him to do handprints since. Little stinker. *(1/31/14 -- just found at the above tree was a handprint craft as well! Makes more sense now, I seriously have to fix this paint on hands fear)*

Butterfly bubble (wrap) painting. B is for bubbles.

Zoo animals @ the zoo. I thought this lacing activity was so clever!

This cute little pig was from our first class, F is for farm. We gifted him to Grandma Bassett, because we all know Grandma's love grandkid crafts, and this particular grandma loves animals even more!

There are four moms that participate. Which gives us five preschoolers and three younger siblings (all girls, ages 15 -21 months). We each rotate teaching the preschool lesson, which runs about 90 minutes long. We always meet at the same house, which is a lot of work for the host mom, I'm sure. The consistency is nice though. Also, there is a separate play room for the younger siblings, which is awesome. Nell loves the play time. We really appreciate the kindness of the host mom for letting us invade her house once a week. This kind of co-op could easily be done through house rotation as well -- if this post is stirring ideas among-st any readers.

So far I've taught R is for robot (we made red, rectangular robots), A is for apple (there are sooooo many preschool apple lessons out there), and T is for transportation (sort of, families kept getting sick the week I was suppose to teach it ... so I finally just did parts of it at a play date during the polar vortex). I'll be teaching the next lesson, Q is for quilt! I'm excited for the challenge of Q. I've found I have to have about 20 activities planned. Yup, 20. That is so many! But you never know how long things might take. A book from the library can last a good ten minutes, but then the graphing activity you have planned may only take two.

The lesson always includes a craft, story, snack, and song/rhyme. We also have calendar time, where we count up to the current day of the month and discuss the weather. Really, if this is something any of you readers have thought of I encourage you to do it. I didn't even know all the moms before starting. I only knew two of the moms when we started, the mom with the idea and one other, who dropped out once her daughter started a Catholic 3k class. I think the invite to participate was extended to about twenty women, and before our first lesson we had a meeting where we discussed a few things, like the lesson outline, rotations, and any other concerns we had (like where to find ideas, whether or not to include religion (not), etc).

I'm definitely hoping to continue something like this for each of my kids. I'd love to be organized and structured enough to have our own preschool hour at home a few days per week, but I've come to accept that I'm not going to do that on my own. With a small handful of other moms though, I will!


Anonymous said...

Fun! Can I come?

Claudia said...

Looking back on these photos I see how much he has grown! What a wonderful idea to do the preschool co-op!! Loved the art projects especially the little piggy! Love you all! Mom

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