Monday, August 10, 2015

Homeschool Preschool Plans 2015-2016

Before I even get into my plans for my preschooler, I want to make it clear that my educational philosophy is that young children learn best through play.  I believe in reading them quality books, taking them on nature walks, doing art projects, going to the park, talking to them, playing games with them.  Every day activities.  I do not push early academics, I do not set goals, outline a scope and sequence, or expect them to master specific concepts.

My desire has always been to introduce and expose them to a diverse array of concepts and skills through play and living books.  That hasn't changed.  What has changed is my preschooler.  Eleanor (2.5 yrs old) is different than her brothers were at this age.  She's a firecracker that craves "school" and she is an eager little learner.  It's probably because she has two big siblings who are homeschooled, but she told me "I'm starting school too!"  She needs more, and I have to put all of those everyday activities I mentioned into the context of school, so she can be like her brothers . . . and she loves it.

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While I don't expect Eleanor to sit through all of our family subjects and read-alouds, she is always welcome to participate as much as she wants.  I want to make sure she has a few things of her own too, but not so much that it becomes overwhelming.  I need an appropriate plan to nudge me along with her, because with two older kids to homeschool, and a baby who is still demanding of time and attention, I can't wing the preschool activities anymore.

So my plan is to actually plan.  I want to actually prepare a few age appropriate activities for her that line up with themes from what the boys are rowing (Ducks for Ping, Bees for The Bee Tree, etc) to keep things fun for her and allow her to participate with the boys more, but at her own level.

If I can't find what I envision for her to go along with their rows, I will pull from other resources to create a purposeful but playful learning environment for her.

Before Five in a Row
I've only done a couple Before Five in a Row books so far, but I think we'll like it.  She loves having her own special books, and her excitement over the rows we've done so far has been precious.  I love the gentle approach of this guide, and I think it will be a good fit for her.

The Real Mother Goose
I'm also considering doing some nursery rhymes in "rowing" style (or using rhymes or poems as the tie-in to the boys' rows) but even if I don't, The Real Mother Goose is my go-to for preschool poetry.

The Homegrown Preschooler
The Homegrown Preschooler: Teaching Your Kids in the Places They Live is a book full of hands-on activities, sensory ideas and simple, effective ways to create a gentle and natural learning environment for preschoolers.  I reviewed this a few years ago with Emory, but forgot about it until someone in the B4FIAR Facebook group brought it up.  I plan to keep it out for inspiration, especially for weeks when I'm not doing any particular theme with her.

Let's Cut Paper
To help her with fine motor and scissor skills, if she's interested, I have this little book, Let's Cut Paper!

Educational Apps
She likes to play educational apps, and I will continue to casually use these with her.  Her current favorites are Starfall, ABCya's Kindergarten Bingo, and Tozzle.  I think she'll also like Alphabet Song Game, which is from The Critical Thinking Co.  I just haven't showed it to her yet.  Technology is part of their future, so I believe in moderation it has its place.

That's it.  Books.  Play.  Arts and Crafts.  Nature Study.  Natural learning opportunities.  

"Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning…They have to play with what they know to be true in order to find out more, and then they can use what they learn in new forms of play."

~ Fred Rogers

You can also check out my 3rd Grade and 1st Grade Curriculum Choices.

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  1. Looks great! Yay for nature walks and Before Five in a Row! It's such a gentle way to inspire a love of learning. Have a great year!

    1. I've always done a similar approach for preschool in the past, but this preschooler will be my first to use Before Five in a Row. I love the gentleness and the great books, and I know she will have fun with it.

  2. I love reading preschool plans. It makes me miss those ages. :-) We loved Before Five in a Row!