Gryphon House is an exceptional publisher of educational resource books for teachers and parents, public school and homeschool, young children; and administrators. Their website is easy to navigate and stimulating. There are hundreds of free activities available for you and your child!
As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I recently had the opportunity to read The Homegrown Preschooler: Teaching Your Kids in the Places They Live. The title might be used to describe how I raised my own children; but with my youngest firmly in elementary school now, I was looking for encouragement and direction as I consider teaching other preschoolers from the same homegrown bent. This book is just what I was looking for!
The authors, Kathy Lee and Leslie Richards, are mothers of several children, birthed and adopted; including gifted and special needs. They have years of education and hands-on experience between the two of them, and their book is beautifully compiled. A large, 81/2″x 11″, high gloss paperback, it is bold, colorful, inviting; and full of life. With the family pictures and personal anecdotes generously scattered throughout the book, by the end of it, I felt like I had shared conversations and special moments with wonderful, trusted friends.
From their intros, they had my attention. Kathy Lee says, “Children who experience their preschool years discovering and experiencing are more willing to take risks later in their education journey.” I didn’t previously know this, so within the first few pages I gained valuable information. Then, Leslie said, “. . . much of learning can be done within the everyday rhythm of life — measuring flour, skip counting on the trampoline, bringing a meal to a shut-in, writing letters to friends, participating in interesting conversations about big ideas,” and I was reminded of what I do know; and I found encouragement.
The Homegrown Preschooler is divided into 2 sections:
Chapters 1 – 9 help you understand why and how to educate your child/ren at home, giving them a foundation for life-long learning.
Homeschooling – Harvesting a Bountiful Life
Learning through Play
Sowing the Seeds – Preschool Learning
Setting the Stage
Home Life = Learning — Slow Down and Teach
Who Has Time for This?
Organizing It All
Days and Seasons That Don’t Fit in the Box
The second section is nearly 100 pages, with at least 200 “easy-to-pull-together”, age appropriate Activities to prepare your child for kindergarten and beyond. Promoting a healthy educational balance for –
Language & Emergent Literacy
and Social – Emotional skills.
An Appendix includes an Activity Checklist, a Getting Started Checklist; and pages of Resources, with web sites, books, blogs and apps to lend a hand, instruct and encourage you along the way. They share all their favorites!
I tried recipes, for food and play. There are dozens of them throughout the book. I’ve made ordinary finger paints and play dough before, but I’d never made clean mud or puffy paint! The make-ahead Turkey Taco Pie is easy. The recipe makes a lot, so it can be divided and frozen for extra pies, but it is actually perfect for my large family. It tastes good, too! I hone in on housekeeping and organizational tips, because the Lord knows I can use as much help in that department as I can get. There are so many good ideas here — some I’ve had myself, implemented and forgotten, or simply slacked off on, and I’ve read them as gentle reminders; others are brand new, and more than once I’ve thought, “Duh, why didn’t I think of that!” For example, we have wood floors and I taught my children how to sweep and mop them. How much more fun is it to have “The Clean Floor Dance Party: This often dreaded chore will become one of your favorites! Provide your child with a pair of white tube socks and a spray bottle of white vinegar and water. Encourage your child to squirt the hard floor with the vinegar solution. Put on your favorite dance music. Dance and skate around on the floor until it is shiny!” Clean floor, lots of fun and laughter, plus, with the amount of floor we have, this gets everyone’s heart rate up and counts as cardiovascular exercise, or PE, too!
I have no doubt, I will continue to use this book, digging into its riches. At $29.95, it’s a treasure I can share with my daughters who are just beginning to teach my preschool grandchildren. The Homegrown Preschooler is much more articulate than I am and I think it will be one of the best tools I can offer them for their journey.
My Crew mates had the choice of reviewing this same book or one titled, Global Art. You can read their reviews when you click the graphic below and follow the link.
Disclaimer* I received The Homegrown Preschooler: Teaching Your Kids in the Places They Live, in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog. The opinions expressed are my own.
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