Perhaps you already know about Georgia’s state-funded pre-K program. I actually taught pre-K for most of a full school year (November 2001-May 2002). What you may not know is how ridiculously hard it is to get into programs. I don’t want you to think I’m lazy, but we only have one car, and I have limited time in the mornings to drop my daughter Maggie off, so I had to confine my searches for pre-K openings to the public school and daycare centers in our area or on the way to work. No luck. Everyone has a (long) waiting list.
My daughter Maggie is bright. She’s very precocious. He has a highly-developed vocabulary, she recognizes all of the standard shapes and most of the odd ones (like diamonds, trapezoids, etc.), she can count fairly well, and she retains things she learns like a sponge. I know what you’re thinking. Every parent thinks their child is gifted. I can very clearly recall having a conversation with my supervising teacher in which she described her younger daughter as gifted, while her older daughter worked hard and was bright, but clearly could not be labeled gifted. At the time, it sort of shocked me. After having earned my gifted certification and having had three children, I understand a little better that Cheryl was not showing favoritism, but merely being objective about her children. So I have three children. I think the eldest is bright, but distractable. Her vocabulary was not as developed as Maggie’s is when she was four. Likewise, my younger son Dylan seems decidedly uninterested in talking at two years old. He says “car” and “mama,” but aside from that, not much moves him to speak. I find it hard to assess his abilities, because he either cannot verbalize them or is uninterested in doing so.
So back to Maggie. She really needs school. She wants to go so badly. But I haven’t been able to find a pre-K program with space. So I have decided that rather than let her “languish” before Kindergarten (yes, I realize how absurd that sounds, but I’m not a pushy parent — I just see an eagerness to learn, and I want to develop it) that I will homeschool her in pre-K. I bought some books at the local teacher store, but I am most eager to receive guidance from any early educators who stumble upon this.
Sadly, I think the thing Maggie really needs out of school is socialization with other children, but since I can’t provide that right now, I’m going to try my best to at least provide some learning experiences. I bought the following books:
- Quick and Easy Science Fun from the Mailbox
- Alphabet Animals Workbook from Carson-Dellosa
- Beginning Reading Workbook from Carson-Dellosa
- Numbers 0-20 Workbook from Carson-Dellosa
- Shapes Workbook by Carson-Dellosa
They look pretty good, but I’m a high school teacher, essentially, and teaching someone to read — even someone as eager as Maggie — is a task I find daunting. I am looking forward to working with Maggie, too, but I will be happy to receive any advice my fellow educators have to offer.