Toddler Education – Plan of Attack!

Toddler Education – Plan of Attack!

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Educator hat on tonight in coming up with how best to provide an all-rounded exposure to my 4 year old toddler in 2018, when he is out of childcare/pre-school and I transform into a Supermum! The objective is simple enough, keep the child happy whilst exposing him to areas that I believe would be important at his age.

 

That’s the aim on a weekly basis, though I see our weeks largely split this way:

The 2nd chart seems more manageable, I’ll stick with that. End of post. Ta!

*****

I kid, I kid. Before diving right into the Plan of Attack I’ve put together, which due to the length as I put it together has now been split into my Toddler Education Series, I want to add some words of caution.

I’ve decided upfront that I’m not going to drive myself crazy coming up with a curriculum etc. The internet is filled with home-school curriculums and how to do all these fun and amazing activities with a 4 year old. One can feel like an underachiever if expectations are not set at the beginning so before jumping in with both feet, I’ve decided I’ll take inspiration but won’t follow anything rigidly to begin with, then will tweak the approach as I go along. Which is why the first chart is based entirely on what I think is important for the child in terms of exposure, not out of any established method. The mastery of reading, writing and arithmetic is not an immediate priority, the exposure to it whilst having a healthy, happy and active child is the goal.

Why? ‘Cos raising a toddler and an infant at the same time by myself is somewhat daunting! I believe happiness, on everyone’s part, is important and that includes me! Happy momma, happy husband, happy kids!

In actual fact, teaching a 4 year old (or any child, age regardless) is an all day activity. Everything that we do, involves CocoJr #1 learning. For example, he likes to play pretend camping with Mr.C in the room on the bed. It goes something like this:

The boys pretend to hike up a mountain and set up a tent. The climb the stairs or a rope ladder cos we live life on the edge that way. No pushing! Make sure there’s space between the person in front of you and behind you! First things first, they build a fire to boil some water. To do that, CocoJr #1 is tasked with picking up dry wood. Father + son transport water from the river in a pot over to the fire then (perfect time to stress the importance that we must always boil water before drinking it because of the bacteria that might harm our body otherwise).

They then pretend to fish for dinner and somehow CocoJr #1 has the best luck, always catching the biggest fish and the fastest to do so too! Then it’s time to cook. So the boys divide the work, all with pretend kitchen equipment of course, and get cooking. There’s soup, there’s rice and there’s fish to cook as well as to smoke to keep for later (they actually watched a Youtube video how to smoke fish!). CocoJr #1 then dishes out the food for all of us and serves us. We then clean up, watch the stars, read a little then Mr.C is to put sulfur all around our tent to protect us from the snakes. We then take turns to sleep as someone needs to keep a lookout! CocoJr #1 pretend sleeps for a bit until Mr.C wakes him up to keep watch. He is is to wake us up if he sees something amiss, which he always does (good eye, that fella!).

Come morning, we prepare breakfast and CocoJr#1 is to head out and pick wild onions (he decided he’ll also plant some wild onions to replenish the ones he has harvested!). Once breakfast is done and dusted, we pack up and ensure there’s no rubbish around (leave nothing but your footprints!) and head back home. Have we ever actually been camping? That would be a big fat NO. We’ve done pretend camping countless times though, and each time we talk about it like it’s the first time. We talk about animals, we talk about safety and why we do what we do, we talk about anything and everything related to camping.

That to me, falls under General Knowledge (GK) and he clearly enjoys it as he asks to go camping again and again and again. Education is truly throughout the day as children are inquisitive. Basic things such as alphabets, numbers, shapes and colours is what a pre-schooler is expected to know but other than that let the child have a fun childhood. Let them run around and play and feed them bits of information about everything around them. We talk about the solar system and the planets while we eat sometimes or while I cook. As we walk outside, we talk about the plants we see and the birds, how squirrels would love to hop about and eat nuts and the shapes of flowers. We talk about the cloud shapes and the colour of the sky. We talk about the water cycle when it rains. Random, I tell you!

Well I hope you enjoy my series of Toddler Education – Ms.K’s Plan of Attack as a handy list of research I have done scouring through some of the best educator sites I found online along with what I think would work, keeping in mind the idea is to have fun, spend minimal time in prep before the activity and exposing the child to the subject on hand. Stay tuned for the first part of the series – Toddler Alphabet Activities, coming up soon!

Author: Ms.K

Ms.K is everything that Mr.C is, without the natural interest in investing and company financials! The activity planner for the family, the driver of random ideas and soon to be ‘retiring’ in to full time motherhood – Ms.K has no idea what she’s in for but remains super excited!

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2 Replies to “Toddler Education – Plan of Attack!”

  1. Hi Ms. K

    I had the same thoughts with you of raising my two boys as well.

    Do you think though this sort of lifestyle would be more suited overseas? Do you have plans to migrate at some point? I reckon the kids will struggle with school hardcore death curriculum once they enrol into Singapore school.

    1. Heya Daddy B! Quite honestly, our plan for educating the boys is very fluid at this stage. We think we can safely handle the pre-mandatory education years by giving a well-rounded exposure. I keep an eye out on what the curriculum is at structured childcares as well by being plugged in to mummy networks to make sure I do not deprive the child by sheer ignorance.

      In Singapore, the mandatory schooling is from age 6 onwards. I do know there’s an established community of home-schooling parents & children even in Singapore. We’re leaving this option open for the future. Whether we come back to Singapore, that’s an open option as well. We may home-school, we may pack them off to a school somewhere (we will be exploring the pros & cons of this soon to clear our somewhat muddled minds!).

      I do have that ‘fear’ that about our child being competitive in the Singapore system, Mr.C thinks competition harnessed in the right way can only serve to take the child to greater heights. Can’t disagree! Unexplored territory really and truly muddled thoughts till we run a full analysis. Which again, might change as we go along and travel and meet and speak to other FIRE’d folks who have young children!

      Fluid, fluid, fluid!

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