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On the first day of our homeschool year my 3 year old surprised me by sitting down and asking what he was going to be learning. Up until that day he had not been interested in learning his letters or numbers, printing, coloring, drawing or any type of intentional learning so I was a little blown out of the water with his request.
I had been planning to do one small thing with him each day but apparently he wanted a little more book work as well.
I did some very academic research (okay, I searched on Pinterest) and came across the idea of a simple journal for 3 year olds. I felt like I hit the jackpot!
P.S. If you like this post you may also be interested in our 4 year old preschool plan!
What Ephraim really wanted was to have a notebook like his big sister and this way we could take a simple composition notebook and do a little work in it every day, or whenever the fancy strikes. Plus we can customize it to something I want him to work on or something that is of interest to him. So far he loves this.
I do have one simple rule for his journal: he needs to go in page order. If I didn’t have this rule he would have taken a crayon the first day and scribbled one line on each and every page of the book and I like a little more order than that. (Yes, I’m a bit of a control freak.) 🙂
So, here are a few different ways we are using the journal . . .
We are going through the letters of his name and he’s putting stickers over each letter. It’s pretty much just letter recognition and I’m hoping it will help him slowly learn how his name is spelled, so far he thinks his name is spelled: E-p-m, that’s 3/7 right there, not too shabby!
Here I just drew a circle and let him do what he wanted, apparently he drew me. I’m not sure I see the resemblance.
This page I just drew some stuff for him to trace, he wasn’t at all interested in tracing the E’s but loved the lines and shapes. Ever since he did this page he loves drawing zigzag lines everywhere.
On this one I drew a couple of circles and put a number above the circle and he was supposed to put that many stickers in each one. We worked on this one together, I’d like to try it with him again soon and see if he can do it on his own.
As soon as he saw the P on this page he got out a marker and drew his own P, the large backwards one on the opposite page. That was the first time he has ever initiated drawing a letter so I was thoroughly impressed.
Just some stamping and then coloring them afterwards.
More stamping, letter stamps this time.
Leaf rubbings! He really liked this (and the collecting of the leaves before hand), we’ll have to do more or something similar again.
Most days he does a page or two of something I’ve told him to do and then he’ll do a page of free scribbles. The other day he drew a circle with a bunch of legs and said it was “Spot”, what they’ve named their ladybug pet outside (they think every ladybug outside is Spot). This was pretty much a breakthrough moment in his drawing/coloring and then he kept going with it and it’s hard to see what it started out as but I am so impressed by his growth these past few weeks.
We did some stencil tracing and used a Spirograph, we’ll definitely be doing that again.
Here I cut a strip of construction paper and gave him a craft punch to use and then we glued both the punched out pieces and the piece of construction paper in the book. He’s really proud of this page.
And that’s the first few weeks of Ephraim’s preschool journal! I already know this is going to be such a great indicator of his growth throughout the year, and it’s something both he and I are proud of.