Homeschool Preschool

Homeschool Preschool

Guest Post by Rachael of Nothing If Not Intentional

In our state, kindergarten is not mandatory. Yet not only do most of my friend’s kids go to public kindergarten, but it also often seems as though preschool is no longer optional either.

However, sometimes the cost of preschool is prohibitive, children (or parents!) aren’t ready for school, or, if you’re like our family, you want to try homeschooling to see if it’s a good fit. In these situations, homeschool preschool may be a good alternative to a formal preschool class.

Here are a few ways to have a great homeschool preschool experience:

::  Join a group. Preschool classes teach children how to follow directions, function in a group setting, and learn from someone other than mom or dad. We accomplish this by immersing ourselves in group situations. We regularly go to Tot Time at our local science museum. During these lessons, our toddler must sit quietly, listen to the teacher, and follow instructions for the craft or experiment. Similar opportunities include story time at the library and Sunday School class at church. We also use our weekly play group as a chance to practice taking turns, using good manners, and handling conflict well.

Tot Time at Museum

 

::  Take a (field) trip. Public and private school classes take field trips. So should you! We venture to pet stores, a nursing home, the library, museums, park nature centers, and the airport. (In our family, Daddy is a pilot. However, many small towns have regional airports that would be happy to have a toddler stop by to watch the airplanes come and go. Call and ask!) When the weather warms up, we’ll visit an orchard, the big local fountain, a fire station, and a pumpkin patch.

 

field trips

 

 

::  Play. Our daughter is only two and a half, so our “curriculum” is centered on play. However, even older toddlers learn well from playtime. Learn about weather and rain while jumping in puddles. Explore nature by pointing out a sunset, a colorful bird, or a feisty squirrel. Introduce architecture with a blanket fort. Discover music and rhythm by banging on pots and pans. Enjoy chemistry by squeezing drops of vinegar on baking soda. Let your P.E. class consist of somersaults and hopscotch.

Teach (and model) responsibility. Our daughter likes to help around the house. She gets the silverware at dinner, rinses dirty dishes, and helps Daddy unload (unbreakable) dishes from the dishwasher. She puts on her coat, gives her baby sister her pacifier, puts dirty clothes in the laundry basket, helps feed the dog, and stirs the batter when we bake. Responsibilities at home will give your child confidence and enable him or her to function independently if or when they enter the classroom.

baking

 

::  Use the Internet. There are tons of free resources available online. Our current favorite online activity is to watch the live animal cameras from SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo.  PBSKids.org has free Curious George, Sesame Street , and Dr. Seuss printables and coloring sheets. I will often search for free printables that go along with the books we’re reading.

To help you stay on track, check out this inventory of preschool skills. Resources like these will help to ensure your child’s at-home preschool is truly preparing him or her for whatever schooling option you chose to pursue in the future!

 

Nothing if Not Intentional started as a blog to share stories from Nate and Rachael’s ten trips to Guatemala . It has since grown to become an outlet for Rachael’s writing (she’s a former English major), and a place to share stories from their travels (Nate’s a pilot) and life with their two young girls (ages six months and two years).

 

Comments

  1. says

    Love this post! Yes, if you aren’t ready to put your child in preschool, don’t be intimidated by the thought of “homeschooling.” (My grandma told me she was one of the priviledged ones who got two whole weeks of kindergarten! They used to start with first grade, and those generations turned out pretty well, I’d say.) From birth through 5, so much of what children learn is through normal life. When you go to the store and buy oranges, they learn language, color, healthy eating, counting. When they help make muffins or set the table they are learning math, logic, sequencing, following directions. If you TALK with them, read to them, count, and learn letters through puzzles or family members’ names, they will be ready for kindergarten, at home or outside the home. You can do it!

  2. Sarah Mullins says

    When my oldest was two (he is now 7) I enrolled him in a preschool. We ended up pulling him out due to financial reasons and I was so upset at the time because all my friends kids were going to preschool and I thought that was what I should do too. The funny thing is that not sending him to preschool was the best decision we made. I ended up keeping him at home with me until kindergarten and homeschooling him. I also got together with a group of three other moms (who were former teachers like me) and we started a homeschool co-op that we called mommy school. My younger son ended up doing mommy school too. It was a great decision and I am so thankful for the extra time I got with them!

  3. says

    Hi Rachael! I am actually from your city and have seen you at Tot Time and possibly the library too. This was a great post! I taught elementary school for 7 years and have since decided to stay home with the two youngest of my four kids. I love teaching them at home and wish I had stayed home with my two older kids when they were little.

  4. says

    Hi, Hope! Yes! I clicked on your picture, and I recognized you immediately. We sat by each other when we made playdoh at Tot Time! Thanks so much for commenting and for the encouragement to continue to teach at home. And PLEASE share any and all advice with me! You’re successfully raising FOUR kids. I have much to learn from you. ;)

    I’m going to spend some time now exploring your blog! Fun!

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