Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What About Pre-School?

How to teach preschool

It is interesting to me the number of mothers on homeschool forums asking, "What pre-school curriculum should I use?"

preschool activities, paper dolls
My children loved making paper dolls

Really? Curriculum? I know there are pre-packaged pre-school curriculums out there, but let me assure you, dear mother, unless you have plopped your child in front of a screen since the day they were born, you are already doing “pre-school curriculum". Pre-school curriculum usually involves puzzles, books, and educational toys; counting, colors, letters, and drawing.

Having said all that, I know you are a conscientious mother and want to have a plan to follow. The beauty of homeschooling is that you can go at your child's pace, you do not have to follow a packaged curriculum; some will be too easy for your child, some will be too difficult.

Before I started formal schooling with my children, I made sure we had games and toys with educational value. The box didn't necessarily say 'educational toy', but it was. Toys that allow a child to use their imagination have the most play value. When playing with my children, I talked to them a lot. Talked about the color or how many or something like that. I let them help me in the kitchen, I let them help me sort the laundry for washing. And of course, I read to them (you knew that was coming if you have read much of my blog) and asked them questions about the story.

Some of my favorite teaching toys, that my children used for years, were:

Legos (teach colors, size, sequence, counting) Can you have too many?
Letter Tiles (teach alphabet, letter sounds, spelling)  
Bananagrams orJumbo Bananagrams has letter tiles and is a fun family game.

There are many websites with teaching activities for pre-schoolers. You can have a pre-school 'curriculum' without spending a lot of money.

While I was thinking about writing this post, this website came up on my Pinterest feed, posted by Amy (who was homeschooled, along with her 6 siblings, by their amazing mother). This site is a wealth of information and activities.

I also found this one. It has a suggested book list for each letter of the alphabet as well as other activities for teaching the alphabet.

Pre-school years are a time to enjoy playing and learning with everyday activities and some planned activities. You can certainly have a schedule to give your day structure, but it is not a time for lots of seatwork. If the child really likes a certain type of toy (trains or dolls for example), build your teaching around that.

Enjoy this time teaching your child new things and be amazed by how quickly they learn.

What was or is your favorite pre-school activity?


Unknown said...

Aww I got mentioned on your blog! =) With Savannah being 4 years old, and Caleb REALLY wanting me to homeschool, my brain is in serious "what to do/teach" mode! I enjoy reading your blog and can relate to so much of it. It's nice to hear I'm on the right track or have new things to think about it.

karentrina said...

Amy, I know you will do an awesome job with your children! There are so many great ideas to be found, plus your amazing mom will be a wonderful resource. I always love hearing about parents who were homeschooled who also choose to homeschool.

Misja Tanner said...

I LOVE the Letter of the Week curriculum!! When my little girl was 3 she started begging to do school with her older brothers. This was the perfect thing for her! I also enjoy reading your blog and find encouragement that I'm on the right path. :) (or at least I'm not crazy for doing what I'm doing).

karentrina said...

No, Misja, you are not crazy for doing what you are doing. Keep up the good work! Even on the hard days, it is still totally worth it.

Unknown said...

Great post! It's helpful to me to know there's no structure required. I follow a curriculum but loosely - allowing my child to lead. If he asks to do something - then that is what we play and learn with and focus on. Thanks so much for taking the time to encourage moms like me with little ones in tow. :-)


karentrina said...

Monica, I love the way you think--play and learn with what is interesting to your child that day. You are doing a great job!

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