Being a stay at home mom (as well as a part time hippy) I'm always trying to find ways to stretch the dollar and still achieve the things we want to achieve. This means doing things like making my own baby food, making my own bread, using cloth diapers, the list goes on.
I wanted to enroll Genny into preschool when she was three. Then I looked at our finances. Instead, I kept her home and tried to teach her the things she'd learn at preschool. Counting, letters, and I've even tried to get her to start reading (which hasn't worked yet). Then I was talking to someone one day and they were talking about their child who was in preschool and was writing letters. Panic set in as I realized I'd never gone over writing letters with Genny.
One day I sat her down and tried to get her to draw an A. After trying different approaches, I realized it wasn't going to happen that easily. So we sat down and tried it again. And again. After about four times I gave up, deciding to deal with the problem the way I usually deal with problems. Wait for the answer to come to me. On a different day I was talking to my sister and she said something about drawing shapes instead of letters. How the shapes would be a good starting ground to help them with the curves and angles of the letters. So I tried that. Then when that didn't work right away, I came across this website. I found a ton of worksheets that help children learn to draw lines and curves before they even draw shapes. I printed four of each out (the prewriting worksheets, not the letters) and now Genny has about eight different worksheets to choose from. Every morning she gets to pick two worksheets and after she's done she gets to pick a program to watch. I've only been doing this a week, so the reward may change as we evolve the system.
There is also a fun one that has the child cut out squares and rectangles. Then they glue the shapes to the paper and it makes a robot. Genny loves this one right now!