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How To Do A Preschool Homeschool. Tips to plan and organize your preschool homeschool curriculum and lesson plans to get the most out of your learning time.
Preschool is something that has a variety of responses and opinions still. Some parents start a preschool as a two year old while others wait until the year before kindergarten and still others never put their child in kindergarten. I have discussed at length the merits and downfalls of sending your child to preschool.
At our house, we keep our little ones home through the preschool years until the year before Kindergarten. I like my child to go to a preschool a few days a week for 2-3 hours to learn how to behave in a class setting and to interact with peers. In the years leading up to that preschool year, I did a preschool homeschool. I even continued the preschool homeschool with my children once they were in preschool and even when they were in Kindergarten since our Kindergarten is a half-day.
They all loved doing our preschool curriculum and looked forward to the activities we would do together each day.
Whether you send your child to preschool or not, there is great value in doing a homeschool preschool. You can home school your preschooler in just 15 minutes a day. You can go longer if you both love it, but doing school time at home with your little one doesn’t have to be long, hard or painful. There is great benefit in your child getting this one-on-one nurture time that is individualized for him or her.
Here are some tips to have success with your preschool homeschool.
Have a Goal
Before you make your plan, know what your goal is with this homeschool preschool. Do you want your child to know his numbers or letters? Do you want him to learn to sit still and focus? Do you want to have time set aside each day for crafts? Do you simply want the time together? Whatever your purpose, know it. Knowing your goal can help you decide what to do each day.
Schedule Preschool Homeschool Time In
You will have little consistency if you simply say, “We will have learning time sometime each day!” You need to be specific. “We will have learning time immediately after lunch each day” is a specific time of day.
Choose a time when your child will be a willing participant. Also choose a time when you can be consistent. Don’t choose a time of day you are gone 4 days out of the week. That is just setting yourself up for feeling terrible.
Choose a time of day when you will have had some time to prep before the learning time happens. It is much easier to do learning time with your kids if you don’t spend 15 minutes getting everything out and set up.
Keep It Manageable
As you make your lesson plans, keep it manageable. Do not plan more than you can prep or more than your child can sit and focus for. As you are just getting started, I recommend starting off with 1-2 activities each day. If your child absolutely loves it, you can add in one activity if you feel up to it.
Do a Theme
I find it much easier to focus the efforts of our activities each week if we have a theme. During December, you can do gingerbread one week, reindeer one week, elves one week, etc. Think of things that go along with the time of year. This helps you focus your efforts as you brainstorm and search for different activities.
Have a Variety of Activities
Each week, I like to do a variety of types of learning activities. I like to have an activity one day that focuses on fine motor skills. I like one a different idea that focuses on math skills. I want one another day that helps set up reading skills and the language arts. I like to have sensory activities, shape activities, crafts, and even a treat to go with the theme. I like to have books we read aloud to go along with the theme and sing songs that go with the theme.
The variety keeps activities varied. If you find your little one is super interested in learning numbers, there is nothing wrong with focusing in on that and honing in on number skills with most if not all of your activities.
You can find lots of ideas on the blog Children’s Learning Activities. There are also a lot of great STEM activities on Team Cartwright. Here is a post on Sensory STEM Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers.
I co-wrote a preschool curriculum with Raegan Disharoon titled Babes, Tots, and Kids: 52 weeks of preschool for children ages baby-5 years. In it, we have a full lesson plan for each week of the year planned out for you. We have ideas to adapt it to all ages so you can do it with all of your children simultaneously. We have the printables for you and a shopping list made for you so you can easily and quickly prep for your learning time.
You can get your copy on my Shop page.
Include Play Dates
Playing is an important part of a child’s learning. Children learn so much through play. Schedule playdates for your children. Organize park days with friends, or simply show up to the park and let your child go make friends. Go to indoor play places or splash pads. Find places your child can go and play with other children.
Another great option is a playgroup. The year before we do preschool outside the home, we set up a playgroup with our children. See my post on playgroups to read all about how we set it up.
To read more details about how I did learning time with my kids, see my post How I Do It: Learning Time. This includes information on how I use a learning poster to do a simple daily review of our shape focus, letter focus, number focus, theme, and nursery rhyme.
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