HOMESCHOOLING FOR PRESCHOOL: EXPERIENCES AND RESOURCES
We started our homeschool journey last September for preschool. I knew I wanted to homeschool but I had some fears. I didn’t know if I would be good teacher or we would find a learning groove. I was reading to embrace those challenges and dive right in. To keep her social, I had enrolled her in two classes a week, Ballet/Tap and Art Fundamentals. Later we added in gymnastics class, too. She loved having these afternoon classes as something to look forward to.
I purchased a few things online to get started at home like workbooks, learning activities, and fun colored pens/markers. Then first week of September 2019, we jumped right in. We would work on anything and everything. I would go with the flow for the most part and truly just let it go however it was going to go these days. I had very low expectations and knew we needed to get into a routine before I needed to stress about her progress.
One of the first major goals we worked on was writing the ABC’s. We would practice tracing alphabet letters workbooks and print outs. She already knew saying her ABC’s but needed to learn to recognize uppercase vs lowercase letters, and needed practice tracing/writing them. Learning how to teach was something that took me a second to figure out. I just tried to be patient with both her and myself. I knew that if it was ever going to work we needed to find a rhythm to work in. So there was a lot of trial and error in the first couple of weeks.
Our Morning Routine
- Breakfast + Show
- Get out of pjs into a “home outfit”
- School time for 1-2 hours
After a few weeks of following our morning schedule it started to feel normal to both of us. I noticed that every single week after her art class finished her letter writing would dramatically improve. It really helped her get control of a pencil. I got her a pencil gripper after I noticed this improvement and put it on her pencil at home. She loved it and before I knew it all of her letters were looking great! This was a milestone accomplishment for both us because with a practice and my observations she was able to learn a huge skill.
This gave me much more confidence as her teacher and I made an effort everyday to make small notes of things in her workbook that she struggled with. Things like determining lowercase b vs lowercase d. And I would find ways to incorporate naturally throughout our day. We would pass a sign walking on the street and I would ask her to tell me the letter she would see. Things like “bakery” and in context she was able to spell b-a-k-e-r-y. I would tell her that spells bakery and she would tell me what she knew about bakeries. Giving real world application to things in her workbook was another huge leap for both us. She was able to understand what she was learning much more clearly when it was “outside” of the book.
That’s the thing I learned about homeschooling after just a few weeks. It never ends. You are their teacher 24/7 and they are a student 24/7. Baking time in the kitchen is science. A walk around the city is a history lesson. Eating dinner and counting the strawberries on your plate is a math lesson. It never ends, and it is a really beautiful thing. Being her teacher has elevated my entire motherhood experience. Just like when she was a baby and needed me for everything, now she needs me to teach everything. Looking at it this way has helped me a ton in finding the best way for to learn. It has made the entire experience so incredibly personal and something that I find so rewarding. Every time she learns something new, it was me that taught it to her. It is just heartwarming as watching a baby’s first steps.
It didn’t take long before realizing this was the perfect path for us. She was learning things SO quickly, and with the individual attention I was able to provide her I could spend more or less time on certain topics depending on her understanding or interest. I knew this was the right choice for us and I couldn’t wait to make this permanent.
Things my daughter knew by the end of our year of Preschool at Home:
- How to write her first and last name
- Identify and write all 26 uppercase letters
- Identify and write all 26 lowercase letters
- Can say out loud all letter sounds
- Can recognize and produce rhymes
- Can read CVC words
- Can read 150+ Sight Word Flashcards
- Can read 30+ books without help
- Can read at Scholastic level L
- Can write a sentence (Start with a capital letter, use spaces, and end with punctuation.)
- Can identify 2D shapes
- Can identify 3D shapes
- Can count to 100 by 1’s
- Can count to 100 by 5’s
- Can count to 100 by 10’s
- Can tell which group has more or less ( >, <, +)
- Can count any number of objects 1-30
- Can write numbers 1-100
- Can fluently add 1-10 using mental math
- Can fluently subtract 1-10 using mental math
- And so, so much more!