26 August 2010

Getting Started Homeschooling: The Preschool Years

Lately I have received essentially the same question from several different people: "How should I start homeschooling my preschooler?" This is a worthy question, although I find that sometimes we stress over this subject more than we should. I thought I would share a little here about how we handled the preschool years at our house.

We had fun! And lots of it!

Seriously, even though we focused on educational toys and great books for our children from birth, learning has always been a fun and natural part of our lifestyle. So without any formal preschooling our children were naturally learning their letters, numbers, colors, shapes, etc., simply because we were talking with them about those things in everyday life.

Some of our favorite *preschool* books are:
Our kiddos have never watched much in the way of tv. For a while we had basic cable and they watched only PBS, but they have mostly just watched videos (they still think you can *pause* tv like a video:). In our video selections we are rather picky, trying to choose ones that had educational themes or character lessons.

When The Princess reached age 4 and I was putting in some serious research on how to start homeschooling, I thought we should try something a tad more formal to get her prepared for kindergarten. That's when my friend gave me the book Early Education at Home.  {update: I am sad to say the website for this book is gone and this link is broken.  Perhaps you can now find this great book on eBay}.

The cover says it is a *curriculum guide for parents of preschoolers and kindergarteners*; however, I have found that is is much more geared toward preschool and worked perfectly for us at that age.

It's a wonderful guide because it has 36 weeks of lesson plans right there for you. It's very loosely structured, giving you goals for each week rather than a strict plan for each day. It covers areas such as language, art, social studies, stories, character qualities, field trip ideas, and more. It also has some great tips for teaching your children in general. While we didn't follow every week *to the letter*, it was a great guide for us in preparing for a regular kindergarten schedule. I also used it this past year with Mr. B.

EDITED TO ADD: If you can't find this lovely book, I recommend checking out the Letter of the Week program available from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  

And that is how we did preschool at our house. And unless we are blessed with any more children, those years are over now. My baby starts kindergarten in two weeks. Makes me a little sad, but it's also exciting to start a new chapter.

I hope this may have encouraged some of your who are wondering about the preschool years. Feel free to leave me any questions in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them.


My Magnolia Cottage by Lori said...

This is a great informative post! I am planning on homeschooling our children when they reach the preschool age next year. I am so happy to read your post because I have started looking for a curriculm that would work well for us!

I am going to look into the one you used! Thank you!

Michelle M. said...

This was a very helpful post! Since my little man will be going to the Latin School, his curriculum will be planned out, but I would like to do more at home with him and get him in the habit of schooling every day for at least a little while. Thanks!