For preschool, we’ve tried lots of different activities and curricula.
Preschool homeschool doesn’t have to cost really anything. I know some homeschool parents who buy these expensive boxed curriculum sets, but I think these are a waste of money and cause lots of stress for child and parent. The schedules are strict and seem to have a lot of worthless busy work.
Our homeschool days have always been only a couple hours of academic work, even for high schoolers!
I highly recommend the books by Louise Bates Ames. Good guides to follow are What Your Preschooler Needs to Know: Get Ready for Kindergarten and What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know: Preparing Your Child for a Lifetime of Learning by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. These are just great jumping off points.
How We Homeschool Preschool:
While I believe that small children should play, play, play as much as possible, my younger kids wanted to “do school” like big sister, so I obliged with workbooks and fun activities and they soaked it up like sponges.
I read aloud to my kids from pre-birth through high school age. We all love books.
I don’t force anything on my kids. I allow them to explore their interests. We don’t worry about handwriting. Reading comes naturally, whenever the child is ready. They love learning about science and history.
Lots of plastic electronic toys are a waste of money. My kids prefer building materials and toys and recyclable items for craft creations. Pretend play is important. I shop after Halloween sales and thrift shops for fun dressup clothes. Less really is more.
Screens in moderation. Sometimes kids just need and want the downtime. When it’s bad weather outside or we’re not feeling well, it’s fine to curl up together or alone with the cats and watch a show or play an app. Why should we make kids feel guilty when adults do it all the time? My kids learn how to self-regulate their screen time by not having strict rules about it, other than all devices away at bedtime.
We spend lots of time outside. We play balancing and running games and run free and wild. We learn about and experience nature. I seldom structure this time unless we go on a hike at a nature center. Kids need lots of free play time outdoors.
They use real tools in the kitchen, helping cook real food meals.
We explore textures and colors and drawing with real art supplies.
We go to the library at least weekly – for storytime and checking out lots of fun books.
Lots of fun field trips – farms, museums, science centers, historic locations, beaches, parks, nature centers. We prefer realistic locales over entertainment places like amusement parks. We love to travel!
My middle and youngest children wanted to “do school” almost from birth. They followed their sister around and wanted to do everything she did. I provided activities based on interests and needs so they felt useful and occupied.
Letter of the Week
My girls completed 2 levels of All About Reading and my son used their entire program. They all loved it! It was a fun and easy way to learn to read and they begged to do a lesson every single day.
Here are some of our random letter blog posts. I didn’t record all of our letter learning efforts.
- Back to School
- Wizard of Oz
Preschool Pinterest Board
Montessori Pinterest Board
I try to limit toys to encourage imaginative play.
- Sarah’s Silks
- Branch Blocks
- Geometric Blocks
- Puppet Theater
- Wiggle Car
- Hopper Ball
- Dome Climber
- LeapFrog DVDs
- Kumon workbooks
- Kuhn Rikon kinderkitchen
- Colored Pencils
- Painting Supplies
- Your Self-Confident Baby: How to Encourage Your Child’s Natural Abilities — From the Very Start by Magda Gerber
- Baby Knows Best: Raising a Confident and Resourceful Child, the RIE™ Way by Deborah Carlisle Solomon
- Elevating Child Care: A Guide To Respectful Parenting by Janet Lansbury
- No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Lansbury
- Help Your Preschooler Build a Better Brain: A Complete Guide to Doing Montessori Early Learning at Home by John Bowman
- How To Raise An Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin
- Montessori at Home Guide: A Short Guide to a Practical Montessori Homeschool for Children Ages 2-6 by AM Sterling
- Teach Me to Do It Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child by Maja Pitamic
- Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv
- Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason by Alfie Kohn
- How Children Learn by John Holt
- Teach Your Own: The Indispensable Guide to Living and Learning with Children at Home by John Holt
- Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life by Peter Gray
- Free-Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) by Lenore Skenazy
- The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups by Leonard Sax
- A Disease Called Childhood: Why ADHD Became an American Epidemic by Marilyn Wedge