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Did you know that many moms are now choosing to homeschool their preschooler? Whether you choose to homeschool for financial, religious, or personal reasons; just know that you are not alone in this growing trend.
Many moms constantly ask me exactly how to homeschool their preschooler. I homeschooled preschool my oldest two children, and am currently homeschooling my three year old twins.
Here are four things to do to start homeschooling your preschooler:
4. Extracurricular Activities
Let’s talk about the schedule. How many days of the week will you commit to your preschool homeschool?
Many people do a traditional M-F routine, and save the weekends for family outings and events.
The schedule also includes the time you will homeschool. Remember to keep in mind the age of your child, their attention span, and any other commitments you have in your day.
Although the preschool day might be from 8 am- 12 noon, much of the day rotates around independent play areas or centers. Only some of that time is actual “written” or worksheet type work.
For example, with my twins we are currently preschooling for about 3 hours a day four days a week. One day of the week we attend storytime and activities.
Here is a cute schedule chart so your child can see what you will do for the day:
9-10 Independent Play/Centers
10-11 Structured Activities/Lessons
11-12 Independent Play/ Centers
Three hours might seem long, but only one hour is structured. In that one hour, we may do 2-3 short activities.
In the 1 hour is when I am directly teaching them, going over kindergarten readiness skills (link to post), and completing worksheets.
In the other 2 hours of the day, I set up independent interest areas for them. Since I have twins they play really well together, and sometimes I join in. Another option for you might be to get with another mom friend and have a playdate so your child can also practice their social skills while playing.
Don’t feel as though you have to have the same schedule as mine. Create your schedule based upon your goals for your child and their interests.
What type of curriculum do you plan on following to teach your preschooler? The curriculum should match your goals for your preschool homeschool.
My Goal: Prepare my children for kindergarten with fun and engaging activities.
My “curriculum” also includes preparing my children for kindergarten (course page link). I choose an area of focus and complete at least one activity from the KinderStar book.
I personally follow my children’s interests when teaching them. We focus on weekly themes and I create their learning opportunities around them. There are many websites that offer free preschool printables (link to post).
Most of the activities that we do during the week center around the week’s theme. Even the independent play time focuses around the theme.
Where will you set-up your preschool? When you think of a preschool classroom, imagine a large room with different areas of interest. To make it easy for your child, you might keep the playroom organized in different areas for them.
Our “classroom” is just the playroom. If you don’t have a playroom, you can use your living room or any area where your child can have space to play and learn.
The areas that I have set-up are: dress-up (dramatic play), blocks (which are kept stored), and a library (literacy) area.
The library changes weekly based on the theme for the week. I check out books from our local library and buy books from Amazon based on our theme.
What kind of extracurricular activities will you plan for your child? Many local businesses such as farms, dairies, and fire stations offer free visits for fieldtrips. You can also get with friends from your Mom group or have a playdate for a field trip.
The local library usually has free activities such as storytime, classes, and special visitors which also make good field trips.
Don’t forget about your local recreation centers. Of course they have classes for young children, but they also offer free activities from time to time. Check with your park and recreation department to find out.
Homeschooling your preschooler does not have to be difficult. Remember to focus on the four key areas during your planning:
4. Extracurricular Activities
After creating your preschool homeschool plan, try it out. If it’s not working, feel free to change it and adjust it. Don’t feel that you have to have the same schedule as another mom.
There is no right or wrong way to preschool. The point of preschool is to prepare children to enter kindergarten. Preschool should be fun and you want to keep your child engaged.
Every child is different and learns at a different pace. Depending on the age and maturity of your child, she might need more or less structured time.
What other questions do you have about preschool homeschool? Leave a comment below.