It’s my fourth trip down the homeschool preschool lane, and I have to say that this one is the most pleasant one I’ve taken so far.
And I think it’s because I’ve finally, FINALLY learned how to make homeschool preschool simple, enjoyable and joy-filled.
For many of us, being a homeschool mom starts in when our kids are in preschool or kindergarten. But sometimes, our enthusiasm to “get started” in homeschooling (and finally try all those fun ideas!) isn’t a good match for the typical four-to-five-year-old attention span.
Convinced that we must follow a curriculum and a “plan,” we push them to sit down and to get “school” done. Yep, I wrote a whole book about how well that worked out for me with my oldest son!
While there are great homeschool preschool ideas, after homeschooling through this age now four times, I have to say that the best homeschool preschool method really is to keep it simple, free-form and fun!
How I Organize Our Homeschool Preschool
I want our homeschool preschool to be about building relationships and lots of learning play. And since I’m homeschooling four kids now, it has to be simple!
So over the summer, I organized our homeschool preschool supplies into five different bins–one for each of the following areas, plus one for independent learning:
- Math (learning numbers, colors)
- Pre-Reading Skills (beginning phonics, learning the alphabet)
- Handwriting/Fine Motor Skills (drawing, art, writing letters)
- Large Motor Skills (games like sidewalk chalk, frisbee, bubbles, hopscotch, jump rope)
I have collected quite a few homeschool preschool items over the years, so there has been very little that I’ve had to buy for my youngest son’s preschool activities. They’re an eclectic mix of stuff I’ve found on Pinterest, great books, activity kits and games I’ve purchased.
My kids are blessed to be part of a learning program where they attend classes from 9:00-3:30 two days a week, and so my preschooler and I do the bulk of his “teaching” while the older kids are at these classes.
I simply pull a one or two items from each of these bins on these “teaching” days. If the activity is a hit, sometimes we’ll do the same activity several days in a row.
But many days, I just follow what he wants to learn about. Here’s a video (and one of our activities) from the day he discovered that clouds move:
This lesson went along beautifully with our current exploration of colors. We pointed out and named the different colors he was using, and we even found out what happened when we mixed colors.
I also have a bin for independent learning so that my preschooler has some fun learning activities to do on the other days when I must focus on teaching the older kids.
We also keep a steady supply of preschool-aged library books. My son’s favorite right now are the ones like this one where there’s a symbol in the text that represents a word and he gets to “read” along with me.
I am a firm believer that reading aloud to our kids (especially those in the preschool and early elementary ages) is the most important thing we can do as home educators! So our homeschool preschool includes at least one or two reading times a day. We read everything from Dr. Seuss to Eric Carle; activity books like ABC books and Look-And-Find books; Bible stories and those with strong character messages.
Tips for A Simple Homeschool Preschool
1) Refer to it “game time” or “play time” with your child. This reminds that the child (and you) that this is going to be fun!
2) Keep it light and loose. There’s no need to have a fancy lesson plan or to “make” a child sit down and do something. It’s really about exploring and playing.
3) Be willing to follow the whims and fancies of the child. If they want to learn about butterflies, grab a book on butterflies from the library or look up something online!
4) Spend time outside exploring and discovering. Take walks! Play in a garden! Look up at the sky! Gather fallen leaves! Exploring the world around them helps them develop a great love for learning which is absolutely critical in the later homeschool years.
After we painted clouds and learned about clouds, we went outside and watched them move:
5) Have some ideas and games ready to go and cycle through them as you’d like. I referenced this above. But…
6) Don’t be afraid to make things up on the spot. This video is an example of something I just came up with after we purchased the Alphabet City book:
Here’s another spur-of-the-moment teaching time where we used the book Animalia to teach some letter sounds:
6) Enlist older kids to help. Older kids can play learning games with your preschooler or read them books. This is great for building close relationships and can keep the teaching time fresh and new.
7) Remember–your child’s biggest reward is to be with you! This simple fact reminds me that I need to lighten up and make our homeschool preschool time together as enjoyable as possible.
Our Favorite Homeschool Preschool Resources
Pinterest is by far my favorite! Oh the amazing resources you can find here! Follow my “Homeschool Preschool” Pinterest Board to see the ideas I’ve discovered:
Usborne books also has so many great learning resources! Here are a few of my favorites:
P.S. As a consultant for these fantastic books, I would love to share with you about how you can earn books like these for FREE by hosting an online party or joining my team! Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
You may also be interested in the homeschool preschool resources mentioned in this post:
Most of all, enjoy this time with your child! Relax… I promise the days of calculus and essay writing will be here before you know it!
Which of these resources have you tried?
Does your family have other homeschool preschool resources that you’d like to share?
Let us know in the comments!