A few tips:
- Include items in the notebooks your kids will like. This would be a disastor if I didn't have Wall-E, Batman, and sheep for William. Natalie is more flexible, but really loves tracing the names of characters she knows or cutting and pasting fairies.
- Make it routine. Our new morning routine goes: breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, notebook time, then TV so I can eat breakfast and get ready.
- Broaden range of activities for younger kids. While Natalie is pretty happy to just trace, write, color, and cut and paste, William is not. So, I've added lacing cards. I'm planning an adding more hands on activities for him.
- Keep your goals in mind. Why are you doing notebook time? The goal for Natalie is to keep everything from PreK fresh in her mind and to not lose the fine motor skills she developed. For William, the goals are to build fine motor skills and increase his awareness of letters, numbers, and shapes. I find this particularly important to remind myself when working with William. He doesn't have to use all the sheets correctly or lace the cards neatly. Anytime he picks up a marker or crayon he is working on his fine motor skills.
- Keep it relaxed. The kids are working together and it is presented as fun, so they don't really resist sitting down for notebook time. On morning, I allowed William to leave the table, but when he saw that Natalie and I were staying, he soon came back. I make suggestions to them on what to do in the notebook, a little more firmly with Natalie so that she eventually will review all her letters and numbers.