Since beginning homeschooling January 4th, it has become a significant part of everyone’s life in the Sykes household. That being said, our homeschooling adventures will now become a series on this blog because…HOW CAN IT NOT??!!
In my first official post about homeschooling, I talked about a few of the educational resources that we would be using this year and one of them were the educational toys from Melissa and Doug. I was introduced to these products while browsing my local Barnes and Noble. What stood out the most to me, initially, was how colorful and inviting the products looked. Then when I took a closer look, I realized that these toys were not only pleasing to the eye but educational as well. No, they are not digital or use batteries, but they are designed to do what they are supposed to do….which is to educate and make kids happy.
Then my husband and I went on a tour of our local Montessori School to find out if this would be an option for our son. It was then that I noticed that a lot of their educational materials looked a lot like Melissa and Doug’s. We really liked the philosophy of Maria Montessori and the way that the children were encouraged seek out what they wanted to learn each day.
One of the many important decisions that we as parents make for our children is where they should be schooled. And this decision has been on my mind since I found out I was pregnant two years ago. I weighed the pros and cons of both public vs. private schools and then I “contemplated” homeschooling. I really never seriously considered homeschooling because the one thing that HAS to come along with homeschooling is that a parent needs to be AT HOME!!! Both me and my husband currently work outside of the home but it is not to say that our situation will remain this way. That is why I decided to PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens) ahead and begin a little at a time with the homeschooling process.
This is where Melissa and Doug comes in. I verbalized my desire to my family and they have been “more than” supportive of my homeschooling efforts and have contributed to my plan by stocking our homeschool with Melissa and Doug supplies. Below are some photos of our “first phase” of educational learning using the Melissa and Doug toys.
- The Band in a Box is a great resource for learning about music which I will supplement with music recordings and learning about instruments. We will attend concerts and watch musical shows on television as well.
- The stackable blocks and primary beads were purchased for beginning math exposure. We have already started with these and Thomas loves to count, stack, and give high-fives when he gets his numbers right.
- The food groups will be used for learn and play. We will learn the importance of eating all food groups, that these items are purchased at the grocery store and make that a learning trip, and just plain play “kitchen” at home.
- The puzzles are great for Thomas to learn how to match the puzzle piece with the appropriate slot, identify animals and their sounds, where they live and what they eat AND we can supplement the puzzles with trips to the zoo and the Animal Channel.
- The art paper and smock is for our finger painting (not shown) that I will introduce slowly…kinda afraid of what kind of mess will be made:-)
- Love, Love, Love the talking (audio) puzzle of the United States AND the wall calendar with pieces to add for holidays, snow days, haircuts, etc.
These are just a sample of the Melissa and Doug products that we have purchased. I have a closet FULL of other products for him as he gets older. I guess I can confidently say that I am a homeschooling MOM!!!!
I am so excited to have all of these wonderful products for my son to use during his learning journey. And I highly recommend these Melissa and Doug products wholeheartedly.
If you are currently using the Melissa and Doug products as well, leave a comment on how you are implementing them into your educational plan. I would love to get other creative ideas.