Where do I begin? Philosophies? Activities? Intentions? Curriculum? Finding others in my community? Carving out the time, energy & space?
Anyone have suggestions or experiences to share?
So thankful in advance.
Please join us here to chat about preschool! http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1287942/winter-summer-pre-homeschooling-chat
The above group is wonderful and very varied from Waldorf to Charlotte Mason to Classic to everything in between.
Really, at this stage I would just research into the varied methods of homeschooling and possibly follow your DD's lead if she asks for something. 2 is very young and much can be taught by involving her in your daily routines such as cooking and laundry. And of course: read, read, read. :)
Oh! I just noticed you are in Boulder County. I'm just North of there. There are tons of homeschoolers in the general area. It should be super easy to find a community.
Here is some fun internet reading for you.
Lillian J (a member here on MDC) has a wonderful website http://besthomeschooling.org/gateway/inted16.html This link is for her Preschool and Kindergarten page.
This link is for Seasons of Joy, a seasonal Waldorf-inspired curriculum for circle, story, coloring, painting, modeling, and handwork ideas. It was written by a MDC WAHM.
For those really struggling with rhythm I suggest getting one month of Little Acorn Learning. The 5-day/week guide has a lovely daily guide which is a rhythm that includes housework and meals. http://www.littleacornlearning.com/childcarebooks.html
You mentioned structure. I would start with a rhythm of your day. I like rhythm (or flow) rather than routine. Once that is down you can add variables such as daily craft times, story times, or whatnot within the basic rhythm.
Also, what are your homeschooling goals? Are you just homeschooling preschool or are you going to homeschool the grades as well. Also, do you want academics at this young age or do you want structure in the form of crafts/shared experiences? I know....questions.....questions.
I'm sorry for my vaque answer of "just being at home with them." But really, something like actively baking with your child teaches amazing things without you even having to try. Measurement, fractions, clocks, using your hands. Sorting laundry with you is a good activity. This helps you get your own chores done and the children get to learn without knowing they are getting taught. Win win. I personally am not a big fan of workbooks and desk work (except crafts) at this age though. Others disagree.
We personally have nature/holiday based themes and we do art/crafts and read books based on the themes.
We're very similar to Beezer's family. We take a Waldorf-inspired approach simply because it is so hands-on and focuses a lot at this age on doing things around the home--baking, crafting, cleaning. I started when dd was age 2 with reading everything Waldorf and unschooling that I could and taking the parts that resonated with us. When she was 3 I started implementing Seasons of Joy and blog ideas and kind of developed my own thing from them. Focusing on daily and weekly rhythm was really helpful to us, and immersing ourselves in the seasons because kids at that age truly want to understand the things they see around them. We read a ton, craft a ton, bake a ton. Dd is 5 and can read many words, write well, understand basic math, and is very articulate and logical. I'm only saying that as a way to say that you can do great "preschool" without "doing" preschool but living an enriched life. She has a friend the same age who has been in preschool since 2 and dd seems to be more advanced than the other child without ever having been actively "taught" much of anything. Besides the resources Beezer mentioned, I found the books "Heaven on Earth" and "What is a Waldorf Kindergarten?" to be helpful, along with the blog Parenting Passageway. At age 2 I basically let dd just explore her world, play, make messes, and we would take nature walks together. I didn't start integrating her with my work until age 3. Now at age 5 she invents her own recipes and writes amazing stories and is at this moment working on writing Greek letters with her dad (just checked in on them), so apparently a lot was absorbed during those years.
Wee Folk Art has some really sweet seasonal curricula for preschool-aged kids.
We are moderate-heavy Waldorf-inspired with a flair of unschooling (my own description of our family!) and I am still doing 'Waldorf Kindergarten' with my 3 daughters, including the eldest who will be 6 in a few days! We have done nothing formal to this point, and will continue with 'Waldorf Kindergarten' until she begins 1st grade in the fall. Since we are Waldorf-inspired, the first thing that I worked on was our daily and weekly rhythms. Even though I was a mess as to what we were going to do when my eldest was 3 and my twins were 1, somehow it just feel into place organically. For me personally, when I tried to plan to much, I ended up with a lot of charts and notes and schedules, but nothing was happening day-to-day.
I would also recommend, especially if you are thinking Waldorf might be a good fit, "You Are Your Child's First Teacher" and "Heaven on Earth". :)