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Discussion Starter #1
I understand that the preschool years are all about learning through play & experience, etc....and that's what I was prepared for with my 4 y.o.

I do not want to start any structured curriculum with him, and I usually put a puzzle or other small quiet activity in his workboxes that he works on while big brother is doing his homeschool work. I then usually excuse my younger one to go play legos or do more puzzles, etc....while big brother and I finish up his day.

The problem is my 4 y.o. absolutely insists on sitting with big brother and I the whole time we are doing homeschool. I really didn't expect him to have the attention span yet to sit there with us, so I wasn't prepared.

So, this is what I need help with. What are some more, age appropriate, acitivities that I can offer him throughout the day that will help him learn the skills he needs, keep his interest and are quiet?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Just print worksheets off of educational sites and let him fill them out however he wants.
Blank paper if he likes to draw, colouring sheets if he doesn't. Coloured paper and stickers.
Scissors & paper. Just let him cut willy nilly at first, then you can give him sheets with basic shapes and lines on it for him to follow.

All of these will make him feel like he's doing "schoolwork" and it will help him develop his fine motor skills.

We also have lots of manipulatives that the kids enjoy free playing with. An abacus, this game, cuisenaire rods, dominoes, scrabble tiles, a student clock (hands can be moved around), etc.

Then there's always play dough (homemade doesn't dry out as quick).

Other crafts (paint, sparkles, etc) are pretty messy and might require too much of your attention - but a glue stick and some bits of paper can be used independently.
 

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I always tried to have a bin of toys that could only be played with during school time. I have this belief that we should not buy toys for our children that do the playing for them, so it was filled with blocks, legos, paper and crayons and the like.
Truthfully though, if he is wanting to be in the room with you, that is a GOOD thing!!! You will be shocked at how much he picks up just being in the room with you and your older student.Get him some books, call them schoolbooks, and indulge his wanting to be a big boy!!
We're in our 23rd year of HS and I can honestly say every day is an adventure!!!
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Heather ~ I LOVE our workboxes. It helps keep me more organized (something that I've always struggled with and my biggest FEAR when we decided to homeschool). My 1st graded loves it and refuses to do any work unless its with the workbox system (took DH a few tries before he got on board).

MaryCarney ~ I'm with you about toys that do the playing for the kids. We have very few of those around here, but all of our toys have always been available for free play. I like your idea of some items that are only allowed during school time.
I'm very excited that he wants to be with us and he's already picking up things his brother is learning (they are only 2 1/2 yrs apart). I just wasn't prepared for it, is all.

And thank you everyone for your suggestions!
 
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I had never heard of this workbox system until I clicked on those links about the paint chip phonics (so cool BTW, Home Depot's paint dept. is getting raided next time I'm up there).

I am really intrigued and would love to hear more about how you both have (or would) set it up. I have trouble remembering what I was planning to do on any given day. I wonder if this would help provide structure for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
http://www.workboxsystem.com/

I bought her book and its been wonderful! I'll see if I can find a few of the blog posts that led me to her.....
 

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What kind of boxes are you using? It seems like it would be expensive and a lot of space to set up. I can't fit another shelving unit in there.
 

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I have one kid doing math right now and one doing spelling.....my preschooler is playing play doh and singing to herself.

it doesn't always look that neat, but that's exactly what's happening as I read this, so I had to share.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What kind of boxes are you using? It seems like it would be expensive and a lot of space to set up. I can't fit another shelving unit in there.
I used the .97 sterlite shoe boxes from Walmart. The shoe racks were $14 each and I have two (one for each boy). They do take up some room...but if you google "workboxes" and then click on Images, you will find all sorts of pictures of the way other people have altered the system to fit their needs.
 
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