i send my almost 5 year old and 2 year old to a christian preschool for 3 days a week so that they can do class learning and get to be with other kids, can anyone give me links/sources/info/curriculum on things i can be doing on the other two days?
At ages 2 and 5, play is the primary way that children learn. Play with them. Children also learn through imitation. Make sure your habits are worthy of imitation.
Allow them to “help” you. Help them help you. (We all get to work on age-appropriate skills. You will learn greater patience while they learn other things. ;)) The five year old can learn great deal through setting the table: distinguishing left from right, counting manipulatives (forks, spoons, plates, &napkins), and placing those items in a pattern.
Children those ages also aquire language skills. Use proper grammar. Speak clearly and help them learn to speak clearly too. Gently repeat words that they miss pronounce with correct pronounciation.
Read to them. You can point to the words with your fingers as you read. This helps children learn that we read left to right and how we hold books. Don’t push too hard for them to read to you; you read to them.
Teach them manners. “Please”, “thank you” and “excuse me” make life more pleasant.
Children those ages usually enjoy art. Teach the five year old to hold a crayon, paintbrush and pencil correctly. Teach the two year old that we only eat food and crayons aren’t food. Play-dough isn’t food either. Or paint.
Don’t overlook the potential art and beauty of food. Include in their diets colorful fruits and vegetables. Teach them to be creative by turning their sandwiches into butterflies with carrot sticks antennas. ><
There are a vast number of educational resources for children. Catholic Heritage Curriculum has some nice homeschooling materials for Catholic pre-schoolers. Marie Montessori (ie the Montessori method) was a Catholic. I find Montesorri style materials attractive too. We can spend a small fortune trying to find the perfect toy, the perfect curriculum, the perfect method. Remember that God gave them what the primarily need in order to learn: natural inqisitiveness, desire to play and help, and YOU–their mother and father. They need a mother and father. While you are busy being a good mother and a good person, that will naturally teach them what they need to know at their current ages.
I would recommend some good coloring books that introduce the letters of the alphabet or numbers, or even just Catholic images. You can get them for about $1 each. I have yet to meet the child that doesn't like to color.