About AmyA

At her blog, Let’s Explore, Amy shares her family’s experiences creating, imagining, and playing together. You can read about her homeschooling journey at Early Bird Homeschool.

Goal-setting charts for young kids

Goal Setting for Kids

The following post is from the SK archives and was written by Amy Anderson of Let’s Explore.

Setting goals is not just for grown-ups. Even our littles can benefit from the confidence-boost that comes from setting a goal, working towards it, and achieving it.

Goal-setting with young children should be simple and straightforward:

  • Involve your child as much as possible in choosing an appropriate goal.
  • Listen for times when your little one says, “I wish I could…” and think about ways to turn that wish into a specific goal.
  • First-time goals should be achievable in a day or two.
  • Decide on a great way to celebrate your child’s success.

No matter what the goal, kids (and grown-ups, too) will benefit from a visual way to track progress.  With some basic supplies, you and your child can create some fun and effective goal-setting charts. Here are some of the charts we have enjoyed using over the years. Let’s set some goals!
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Name play activities for young writers

Name play activities

Written by Amy Anderson of Let’s Explore.

Often, one of the first things a young child learns to write is her own name. From the first scribbles to finally mastering a tricky e, name-writing is a very satisfying confidence-booster!

When my girls were preschool-age, I wrote their names on large index cards and laminated for durability. They loved to carry around their name cards, trace the letters with their fingers, and scribble on the cards with dry erase markers or crayons.

Here are a dozen playful ways to explore forming letters and name writing. Of course, if your child is not interested in his name right now, and would rather spell and write dinosaur or butterfly or Grammy, those are fun words to practice, too!

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“Why, why, why?”: Embracing and encouraging curiosity

Encouraging Creativity

“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

One of my favorite parts of being a teacher, and that I now love as a parent, is spending time with little ones who approach life with wondering, questioning, and exploring. Curiosity truly is a gift, and kids have it in abundance.

I strive to keep a zest for learning in my own life, and I also want to nourish that love of learning in my girls as they grow. Here are some of the ways we’re keeping the spark of curiosity in our daily life:

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Taking dictation: crafting stories with young kids

The following post is by contributor Amy Anderson of Let’s Explore and originally appeared in November of 2011.

There is really nothing like the imagination of a young child. Long before they can write their own stories, children are ready and eager to tell their own stories. It is wonderfully empowering for a child to see her words written down as a “real” story. So, what are you waiting for? Grab some paper and get started!

If your child needs a little inspiration to get the creative juices flowing, here are some fun things to try:

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Cultivating an attitude of gratitude at home

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings….” ~William Arthur Ward

Thanksgiving is just around the corner here in the United States. I love that this holiday serves as a reminder to pause and give thanks for the abundant blessings we have. However, the practice of gratitude should extend beyond November, don’t you agree?

I strive to weave appreciation, thankfulness, and acknowledgement into our family’s day to day life. Here are a few favorite ideas from our home, and I hope you’ll share your gratitude practices in the comments, as well. [Read more...]