Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Homeschooling Preschool

Homeschooling Preschool

What do you do for preschool?  How do you homeschool with your preschooler around?

What curriculum should I use for preschool?  I'm thinking about combining ABC curriculum with XYZ and then supplementing with LMNOP.  Is that enough?

I get these and similar questions frequently.

Preschool at home, homeschooling preschool, whatever you want to call it . . . it's really very simple.  Preschoolers don't need expensive curriculum or elaborate lesson plans to learn and prepare for formal education that is still a few years away.

Here is what our Preschool years look like:
  • reading classic children's books together
  • reading poetry
  • reading Bible stories
  • working puzzles
  • playing board games
  • drawing and coloring
  • painting and observing art
  • playing play-doh and stringing beads and other beginner handicrafts
  • cooking together
  • counting random objects
  • pointing out letters in books, on signs, or when writing
  • learning household chores
  • doing crafts
  • playing outside in nature
  • singing and dancing to music
  • watching educational videos
  • playing educational apps
  • building block towers and LEGO creations 
  • playing make believe

None of this is done in a very formal way.  We read a stack of books before bed, and listen to audio books in the car.  I play fun  music and we dance and sing during chores.  She helps me cook all the time.  We play games as a family.  Occasionally I plan some educational" and "structured" activities, so when she comes to me and wants school like her brothers, I have something ready.  That means, occasionally I will pull activities from Before Five in a Row, which is a relaxed, gentle and informal preschool guide that utilizes quality literature as a springboard for discussion and exploration.  We can do an engaging activity in only a few minutes while I'm between subjects with the boys, or while they are working independently, and everything is very age and developmentally appropriate.

Homeschooling the big kids with a preschooler and toddler around is not that difficult.  I fill their love tanks first thing in the morning with lots of loving, reading a book or two and setting out a toy or game they haven't seen in awhile.  Sometimes I put them at a special table with a snack.  We do quite a bit of our schooling during the toddler's nap, and my preschooler is often willing to play quietly or "do school" nearby if she has something engaging.  Sometimes she draws on the chalkboard side of the art easel while I use the dry erase side for our GrapeVine studies.  Sometimes she colors in a coloring book, or "writes" in her special school notebook--which is a spiral notebook with a cat cover.  Sometimes she paints or plays with preschool toys or puts stickers on paper, or I pull out a preschool toy that's been put away for awhile.  Sometimes she wanders off to play with a sibling or on her own.  There's no need to "distract" her with trivial busy work when simple activities and real-life experiences will engage her mind and keep her happily occupied.

Homeschooling Preschool

It's really that simple.

This week is letter P in the Blogging through the Alphabet series, and I'm sharing about Homeschooling Preschool, but be sure to check out the variety of topics others have thought up this week!
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  1. I love that you shared a list of what your preschool activities look like. I know with our first I way over complicated it! It really is simple and it should be fun :)

    1. I think we all have a guinea pig with the oldest. :)

  2. Yes! I love this. Preschool and Kindergarten should be play-based and simple.

    1. Ha, for some reason I'm not surprised that you feel this way! :)

  3. Replies
    1. It really is so FUN because they're so full of wonder and ready to explore the world anyway!

  4. I really wish I had done PreK with the kids.. I was expecting to put them in public school Kindergarten and they didn't offer PreK and I never would have guessed I would be homeschooling.. You have some great ideas too :)

    1. Thanks! I didn't even do this much with the older two...but this girl is intense and loves to "do school" and certainly keeps me on my toes!