Last night, when I started writing this post, we had a new mom visiting our homeschool co-op. She’s got a four-year-old daughter and wants to start homeschooling her. Homeschooling preschool is fun, and with the benefit of hindsight is fairly easy to do. The first year or two on my blog is all about homeschooling preschool. Well, that and super cute memories of preschool kids. In a somewhat abridged nutshell, here is the advice all us “veteran homeschool moms” gave her about homeschooling preschool.
- There are affiliate links in here
- Every picture in here is going to link to an activity we did during preschool or kindergarten (advanced preschool). Except the one at the top.
You don’t need to stress
Your child will learn how to read. They will learn how to do math and all of the important facts.
The world will not end if your child is not reading by the time he or she turns 5. Neither of my boys was really learning to read until they were almost seven. Now they’re happily reading classic novels, well not always happily, but they CAN read them.
As long as you are diligent and think about your goals, you will get it all done.
Along those lines.
Be confident, You CAN do this!
She said [fill in the blank friend or relative] thought she couldn’t do it.
“Work on your elevator pitch,” my friend told her. “I was a Russian linguist for the military and they had us plan out speeches we would say to common questions. You are trapped in an elevator with this person from the first floor to the 22nd floor, and that’s all the time you have to show them how wrong they are. Know your why.”
Now to practical matters on homeschooling preschool: The Three R’s
Reading, Writing, and ‘Rithmatic, and other odds we throw in. You can get everything you need to teach in preschool completed in an hour a day.
“An hour a day?” you say. “That’s insane! My local school has them there for a full day!”
That’s true, but your local public school has to factor in lining up, passing out papers, walking through the school to different places, learning how to stand in line, and a bunch of other tedious details you remember taking up too much time when you were in school.
During preschool your child has an attention span of roughly 15 minutes, so plan on those lines.
Try some preschool calendar time (that link is literally what we did, I had some great supplies from my teaching days). Most of what I mention in the post you can also buy at a local teacher supply store, or the Dollar Store.
There are 15 minutes down, depending on what you cover during your calendar time. Math is also done now.
Read a nice quality picture book. Pick up Before Five in a Row for book suggestions as well as a whole slew of activities to complete with the book. Most of the books recommended there will be at your local library or easily found at used book stores.
There’s another 15 minutes down, and you’ve covered reading.
Now do an art project of some sort. I’ve got a ton on this blog, that I’m working on updating. Learning how to hold a paintbrush is helpful in learning how to hold a pencil or pen. The fine motor skills you work on in those art projects are foundational skills for writing.
That’s another 15 minutes down, maybe more if your kids get really into the project.
Put together a puzzle, play a game, play with play dough or any of a number of other activities. You can turn this into Learning stations your kids can rotate between which could extend your preschool longer if you want them to go to several different areas.
There are your final 15 minutes. Life is learning at this age, there is so much to learn.
What do I do the other 23 hours of the day we’re not officially in homeschool preschool?
Go to the park! Play outside. Have a friend over.
Want to do “more school”?
Then go for it. Spend your day with craft projects, and having fun. The key to get your child to love learning is to stop while they’re still loving learning. In all honesty, we did more school than just an hour, because they loved the crafts and the projects.
We did so many projects when the kids were little.
I set up learning stations all over the house, to teach them how to focus independently. There’s so much you can do!
Homeschooling preschool with older kids
Unless you’re me and slightly crazy and have all of your kids within two years of each other, at some point you will be homeschooling preschool while homeschooling older kids.
You know those learning stations I mentioned earlier, those are going to be life-savers.
Next, set up toys that are for school time only, this will make the toys more special, and will increase their focus. Then add in some amount of toy rotation, this also makes the toys more special if they don’t see it for a long time.
All of my friends who have homeschooled preschool with older kids say the key is to give your preschooler some special time on their own in the morning while the older kids are reading on their own or doing something they can do by themselves.
Our Preschool Units
I’m going back and updating my old posts and as I’m updating these homeschooling preschool posts, I’m going to come back here and add in the different units we did, so you can see what a week of preschool can look like.
I’ll also add many of these units were a combination preschool/kindergarten as my boys reached kindergarten age, and my daughter was still in preschool.
- Preschool Apple Unit
- Nursery Rhyme Preschool Book
- Zoo Animal Preschool Unit
- Preschool Farm Unit
- Rabbit Preschool Unit
- Preschool Monster Unit
- Easter Unit
- Nursery Rhyme book
- Very Hungry Caterpillar
There are so many fun science things to do with preschoolers, much of it bleeds over into early elementary too.
I loved these crafts. Many of them turned into longterm toys they played with