5 year old help


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  • mama_nickles

    My DD recently turned 5, and I am struggling with what her “pre-k” year looks like. She is smart and likes learning, and enjoys tagging along with DS7 for read alouds, along with getting her own chapter book read alouds with DH and myself (Farmer Boy and Charlotte’s Web recently). She is doing memory work along with DS as well (currently books of the OT). She has a calendar binder with a monthly calendar (she writes the date), weather graph, Bible verse copywork 1-2 words per day (she asked to do this to be like big brother), and a hundred chart mystery picture (she colors a few squares every day). This I call her “independent time” and she enjoys it. It takes her about 10 minutes or so. Where I am struggling is what should our “presch0ol” time look like? We were working on reading and it became unpleasant so we stopped, but she knows all letters and sounds and CAN read, but doesn’t want to so I am not pushing it right now. I feel like anything I want her to do, she doesn’t want to do! We have worked on some puzzles, and she does well but says she doesn’t like them. She doesn’t like playing board games because she always wants to win and gets mad if I win. Mostly she just really likes being read to. I feel like she can and wants more challenge, but I am not sure exactly what that should look like? I asked her what she liked about pre-k, and she thought about it for a minute, and said “drawing.” I can tell that her drawing has improved over the past few months, but how do you work on that? We sometimes make mail for family members (birthday cards) and she does enjoy writing and drawing for those. She can do counting to about 40 or more, and can do basic addition in her head and enjoys it (we did word problems for fun at lunch today). I read some about pre-k intro to letters and sounds and those are too easy for her. But I think the kindy stuff is more than I am ready to tackle yet. So how do I challenge her, yet keep it pleasant for both of us? I am looking for about 15 minutes or so per day that we spend 1-on-1. Thanks!

    Oh yeah, she also is really enjoying doing sewing with me, and we weekly are working 0n her sewing a 9-patch quilt and she really enjoys that. I am hoping to start some knitting with her after the holidays.


    I wanted to add that she is doing poetry, Bible, picture study, music appreciation with DS, and she has outdoor time daily.

    What if I add another read aloud during our time together? I remember with DS reading “A Treasury of Children’s Literature” and enjoying it. I bet DD would like it too. Also I was thinking of doing a “loop schedule” of sewing/puzzle/sewing/game. I feel like she has mastered all the early years suggestions except reading (which we are waiting on), but obviously she needs to learn good sportsmanship and I also feel it is important she learns that sometimes she has to do things she doesn’t want to do.


    It sounds like for a PK year you have a lot covered, especially since she likes to tag along with brother. Since she likes drawing, would she enjoy a sketch pad for nature study? Giving her an item to observe and draw, such as a leaf, piece of fruit, shell, or she could choose one herself.
    What about science experiments? There are some great websites and book that have very simple ones with everyday materials.
    The other thing I thought of is lifeskills such as setting the table, food prep, etc.

    HTH, Vanessa


    My dd is kindergartener this year, and she has taught me so much, because she learns differently from my others.   She enjoys learning, but does not like to be taught in the traditional way. She is right brain dominant, and progresses so much faster when I wait for her to be interested in a topic and then teach or help her.  I am leaning more towards delight directed learning with her.

    I tried teaching reading lessons at my time daily, and her attention was difficult to capture.  I am working on memorizing the teaching method of her reading curriculum(child1st.com materials) and having them ready for when she is interested.  I am going to strew the reading cards and materials and do impromptu lessons when she wants to.   I know that many would say that I am spoiling her, but I tried it the other way.  I am going to capture her attention when she is interested.

    She spends a lot of time copying words, sentences, and the Bible for fun.  She loves tracing paper(which is informal drawing lessons).  Draw Write Now books are her favorite to trace. She traces animals from reference books too.

    She loves to be read to also, as well as audio books, music, and a read along Bible. We got her an mp3 player and external speaker which she loves.

    She plays piano as well.


    I hope this gives you some ideas.




    Sounds to me like she is doing plenty. Other skills you could work on are playing independently, and entertaining herself. It is something we start basically from birth in our house and I could not put a price on it. Having kids find something to keep themselves occupied when I’m on the phone or working with an older student is so important!

    Also once she is done independently playing she needs to be able to clean up after herself.

    We do a lot of life skills. So for a 5 year old in our house that would mean hanging up and putting away your own laundry. Looking around the whole house for cups/ stray dishes and helping mom load the dishwasher. Feeding the chickens/ looking for eggs (which the 3 year old helps with) spraying and wiping kitchen cabinets (ours are white so this is a non stop job) she also takes things out the the recycling and helps sweep the tiles floors.

    Mi hope that helps




    Tracing paper is a good idea. I should try that.

    She does a great job playing independently. She has daily roomtime (where she listens to music/audio books) and plays or looks at books (and cleans up afterward). I also have her as cooking helper once a week so she is learning to cook with me. She does chores too. She does do nature study along with DS, and does a great job at narrating what I should write on her page after she draws the item.

    I started the new literature book and she is so excited about it. I told her we were going to do a new book, and she thought for a minute and said, “Is it for me to read to you or for you to read to me?” I feel like I have scarred her for life by trying to teach her to read before she was ready. Sigh! So will she just one day up and ask me to teach her? I definitely feel like I pushed DS too much at an early age and want to relax and enjoy preschool with my girls (YDD is 3).

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