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Homeschooling preschoolers support thread - Page 2

post #21 of 390
post #22 of 390
Subscribing. I'll brb (hopefully!)
post #23 of 390
Originally Posted by Karenwith4
Can you tell my why you consider this homeschooling? I'm not trying to be argumentative. I just don't get how unschooling preschoolers is different from just being an involved parent at home with them. I'd like to understand the need to define this as homeschooling/unschooling. I can somewhat see the difference if a parent is sitting down at 9:30 am 4 days a week to do math workbooks, followed by a preplanned science lesson but the unschooling of preschoolers is something I have trouble distinguishing from life.
(Not taken as argumentative at all.) For me, I call what we do "unschooling preschool" because (1) ds isn't going to a real preschool, (2) he's of the "official" preschool age - 4, (3) we don't plan on sending him (or his siblings) to school at any age. So, it's easier to tell everyone that we are homeschooling, even though we don't have to file anything until he hits 6 yo. As well, his two best friends are homeschooled even though they aren't of "official" school age because that is what their parents are doing long-term. The term gives my son something to use for identification. He's very proud of hs'ing and when asked about preschool, or kindergarten next year, he will always pipe up that he's homeschooled. For me, I call it "unschooling" preschool because it is completely led by him. I know there are preschool curriculums (curricula?) out there, but we don't do that now and will probably not in the future either. My son is a very good unschooler and enjoys the freedom, even at 4, to guide what he "learns" and when he "learns" it. So, that is how I arrive at the idea of unschooling preschool.

And I didn't answer in my previous post, but we plan to homeschool/unschool through high school. Our hope is that we can integrate junior/community college classes in once they hit 15 or 16, but otherwise, have no intention of sending them to public or private schools, nor to enroll them in ISPs or other homeschooling umbrella schools.
post #24 of 390

thanks for your answer

post #25 of 390
Count me in
My children are dd Sarah, who is turning 4 in 7 days! and ds Daniel 13 months.
I've wanted to homeschool even before having my kids and have been reserching it for the last 5 years. I love finding good homeschooling message boards as there are very few homeschoolers here (We are in rural queensland, Australia) and no homeschooling group or any special classes that I hear about over there.

It's pretty normal here to send your child to Kindy (what you call preschool) at 3. I've been lucky to have a friend with a dd the same age who deferd a year. So her dd isn't starting till next year (School runs end Jan-early Dec)
I run our churches play group to give dd and ds extra socializing opertunities although next year all the older ones 3+ will be gone
From 2007 they are bringing in mandatory prep to replace preschool.(What you think of as Kindergarden, grade one is from 5) This is for 4 year olds whith more accademics. Again you can defer a year, but most wont I don't think. I am totaly against this Govt of early accademics but most mums I speak to seem to think it's great.

My dd is mostly into animals, being creative and imaginative play. She also loves being read to. Hasn't shown much interest in letters and numbers, although she is starting to show a little more interest in letter sounds and 'writting' recently. So I hope I can encourage this some more. After Christmas I want to start Five in a Row.
post #26 of 390
Well I just did a spotlight thread last week, only to find out this week that I am not actually homeschooling because my children are too young for many to actually see us as homeschoolers.

Here's my thinking on this:

First, we are a waldorf family, and while it is true that waldorf philosophy doesn't emphasize academics until 1st grade, it is also true that waldorf education is as much a way of life as it is a curriculum. We are deep into establishing the rhythms, and exploring the stories, arts and crafts of a waldorf lifestyle. There is quite a bit of loving guidance that goes into this lifestyle and it feels like pre-schooling to me.

Second, CT has just lowered the compulsory schooling age to 5. So once dd turns five (in a couple weeks) we will be officially homeschooling.

Third, almost all of her friends go to pre-school or kindergarten and they are allowed to call that school (I've even heard people talk about their daycare providers as "school") so it makes sense to us to talk about what we do as homeschooling. In fact, we have been listening to criticism about our not putting dd in preschool for two years now (the norm here is age three), so it stings a bit to have to hear the homeschooling camp tell us we can't possibly be homeschooling if our child is not yet "school age."
post #27 of 390
post #28 of 390
I'm so happy to see this thread; thanks for starting it .

I have been exploring the idea of homeschooling because a lot of the people we know have been sending their children off to preschool and I just don't feel as though that is something for us. Right now, I am trying to find out as much about homeschooling as I can; it seems as though that is going to be the route that is most appropriate for our family.

Alisa, mama to Ella and Isabel (1/03)
post #29 of 390
[QUOTE=eternal_grace]Thank you for starting this thread.

I'm educating my 3 year old son at home.

We are doing an ecclectic approach. We mix Montessori and some aspects of Waldorf such as a focus on nature and creativity. Ds is interested in many things so we follow his interests a lot, but I'm also happy to introduce him to new things that I feel may interest him, and I've also started to have more of a structure to our day which seems to suit him (and me) much better.

I've discussed ds' future education with dh at great length recently and we agreed that we'll go on to classical education and WTM in a few years.

Edited to add: My son is growing up bilingual (English and German) and we plan to introduce another language (French, most likely) next year.
Uhhh, hello, eternalgrace? I was going to subscribe and post about what we have started doing here in our house but it sounds like you are my twin over there in England, your post describes almost everything in our house except that my twins are 2yrs4mos. and we live in NY and we have always done the nature/crunchy thing that is sort of a hallmark of Waldorf and I just started the Montessori stuff and my kids love love love it. Please, what is WTM? And can you elaborate on your decision for a classical education later on, since that is what I have been really thinking would be good for us? Also, does someone speak the 3rd language in your home fluently or will you be learning it at the same time? My dh is German and I have been pushing him to speak to the children in German during daily activities for immersion type learning. Also their grandparents keep speaking English to the twins but I keep asking them for their native German tongue since I think it would be such an easy thing for the children to learn if they would all just keep the dialog going. I am not a native speaker and my accent STINKS and I don't even know enough to be teaching German properly. Later we would like a classical education for the twins but I am so unsure about schools and if I want to deal with the negatives of sending them off to private school later on. We pretty much know we want to hs for a few years and then decide how advanced they are and how to proceed from there. I need to know so much more about hs'ing that it is my new research obsession, asking everyone what they do and what is Math Mequon and where do I find it? I just got a bunch of M stuff to start my kids with their math and they are all over it like white on rice, and now I am wondering if I need to introduce even more to keep them happy. I think I'm a slacker for not knowing this stuff already, but I never even gave hs'ing a 2nd thought before since we wanted to send our kids to a lovely private school down the road from us. But I am thinking that 5 days a week at 3 yrs. old is just TOOOO structured and not enough just play time and hang out doing what some teacher would consider doing nothing but that I know all too well is actually experiencing real life. anyone in NY and know anything about hs'ing in NY? What about parent co-ops? What about them? Anyone with any time to explain this stuff or point me in the right direction? Has anyone even considered doing a classical education from home??? Wouldn't it involve a ton of tutors? Not that I'm against that, I'm not, I just wouldn't know where to get them from. What do you do for team sports like football and rugby, I figure my ds is going to want to play on a team? I just assume my kids will go off to high school somewhere since that is so far down the road I can't even think about it, it makes my head spin. OK, enough about me. THANK YOU LeftField for starting this thread!!!
post #30 of 390

I have a 3yr old and 21m old.
I'm not doing anything too formal yet, but I'd like to do something occasionally more structured.

post #31 of 390
Hi BoyGirl TwinsAPMama,

I've gotta be quick but just wanted to let you know I saw your questions and will do my best to answer them I'm German and my dh is British. I speak German with ds & dh and everyone else here speaks English, of course. We fly to Germany every 3 months to visit my family & are there for ca. 2 weeks every time. Ds is immersed in German culture & language there. He understands and speaks both languages equally well. They learn SO easily at this age. I'd strongly encourage you to support your children in learning German.

I am fluent in French which is the reason why I'm thinking of adding it as a 3rd language next year while ds is still very young. I started learning French at a very young age and everytime I go to France I am told I have a native accent. I am sure this comes from learning the language from a young age.

We travel a lot internationally (I've lived in 5 countries to date & travelling is very much part of our lifestyle). I want my children to be exposed to other languages and cultures as much as possible. My DS loves travelling (his first plane trip was from Germany to the UK at 13 days and we moved to Spain when he was just 8 months old -- returned to the UK 6 months later).

Clasical education -- I had a classical education myself from the age of 10 onwards in Germany (uppercrust private school). I loved the content and the critical approach to learning (but nothing else about school!). I read Latin, too. WTM is the Well-Trained Mind -- a guide to classical education at home. I'm not anticipating the need for any tutors (although I'm happy for ds to take lessons in a subject or skill that he shows particular interest in, of course). My dh is a musician, and he is teaching my ds music already. I'm pretty confident in my abilities to teach my son. There are a few other classical educators on this board also who can probably give you more info as they have older children and are doing the curriculum already.

Any more questions, just ask.
post #32 of 390


Yes! This is a good thread.

My son is 2 and we have a very short lesson time in the morning. He is learning to count objects and he knows some shapes. We also read Bible stories and sing songs during the lessons.

I put him on the waiting list of a well respected preschool but I didn't enroll him. Here are some reasons (reasons are in no particilar order)

1. $500 a month for half a day. We can't afford it.

2. Transportation would be a big hassle

3. You must pay for the entire year, no matter what. What if he doesn't like it, or we move?

4. The cheaper preschools are not as nice. I know of many that keep the toddlers in playpens while the teachers make lunch or clean up. The children have to "get used to it."

5.My son and I love to be together. After preschool in the morning and a nap in the afternoon, we wouldn't have as much time together.

6. He'll get a getter education and more positive socializing with me.

I feel these reasons apply to preschool and regular school. Now if I could only convince their father to let me homeschool our children until college!
post #33 of 390
My son is 3.5 and DD is 15 months and while we're not doing anything structured at the moment, I consider us homeschoolers. I am setting the basis for when we do "officially" homeschool. We used to set time apart each day to do things but I just got so busy being sick and getting used to having two. I have a Pre-K to K A-Z Curriculum book that is mostly fun stuff which I'm planning to crack out soon.

I'm also in the market for a book to teach DS to read since he's been asking a lot lately. He does know some words but I know there's nothing more he'd love than to sit down with his own books. I'm torn between 100 easy lessons and The Reading Lesson. I would get the reading lesson sooner so I'm leaning that way (I have to order from Amazon.ca and they are slow with a lot of things I want).

His favorite thing is to play games on the computer. I'm having a hard time getting ones that work on our computer as the sound doesn't work for most games (we're planning on getting another computer soon as I hate to put more $$ into this one). However that hasn't stopped him from acing them, lol! I bought us a language immersion program that I can't wait for us to do . I think there would be nothing cooler than learning french together since we live in a bilingual area.

I'm starting to get a lot of "why isn't he in school/preschool" lately. He's big for his age and probably is pretty on par with most kids starting school here. I should just start saying we're homeschooling for the shock factor, lol!
post #34 of 390
bwylde, since your son is into computers www.starfall.com is a great little site for learning phonics. My ds loves the computer and he is really enjoying this site. And a quick question for you (or anyone) what language immersion program are you using? I'd love to start teaching ds Spanish, we have a pretty large spanish-speaking population here.
post #35 of 390
bwylde --

Our sons are almost the same age. My ds is crazy about computer games too. He is passionate about learning to read. There's a free program that was recommended on here for learning to read in 3 stages which my son LOVES: www.studydog.com

We also read a lot of books together and I am going to start getting audio books from the library for him.

My son also likes these websites:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/prehistoric_life/ (ds is really into dinosaurs)

He also likes some of the stories & interactive games on the Sesame Street & Disney websites.

What sort of websites/ games does your ds like?
post #36 of 390
Ds1 is 23 months (turning two next week! ) and ds2 is turning 10 months in a couple days.

I decided to hs when ds1 was a baby. Before I got pg with him I was much more mainstream, then I chose a midwife at a birthing center and everything just followed naturally after that. I couldn't imagine sending him off to school and having who knows what pumped into his brain. It just doesn't go along with my parenting style. Also adding into the decision is the fact that I'm Christian and I want that to be part of my kids' schooling. I believe in well-rounded education and figure if they are going to learn the science theories of how the world is created they should learn the other way also (going to teach them both ways).

Right now I'd consider us eclectic classical homeschoolers, at least that's the way I'd describe it if someone wanted to know exactly what we were doing/planning to do. But really, right now its more of an unschool thing. For awhile I was using LOTW but lately have gotten more into a "what interests you now" kind of thing.
post #37 of 390
Since we don't have sound on our computer, some of what you've mentioned are harder. We went to the Starfall site before but he wasn't too crazy about it. He liked the study dog one, but it took us a while to figure out (again, when we have sound...).

He loves Clifford games most of all. I think we have them all and he can play them with his eyes closed, lol! He also has some Dora and Spongebob games (yes, we're kind of into characters, but only for games and some videos : ). Anything matching or memory he loves. He loves the PBS kids website, the Nick Jr. site, the Sesame street and Disney ones as well as a bunch of others I can't think of. We had a Jump Start program he enjoyed but we've lost it. He also likes playing some adult games and is pretty good at Zuma. I'm looking at some games for Christmas and hopefully we'll be able to afford a new computer.

I can't remember the name of the languages program we bought but it was at Staples. It had 60-something different languages on 3 CD-roms on it so I don't expect it to be too indepth. I will later try to find something that is better. I just wanted something that would be fun for now, especiall since it has games on it .
post #38 of 390
Originally Posted by funshine
Not sure where to start, although a friend of mine gave me two Linda Dobson books recently. The Homeschooling Book of Answers and Homescholing: the Early Years. The book of answers has been pretty helpful so far in getting my thoughts organized, getting me to question assumptions I had made, and allaying my fears. Has anybody read those books? What do you think of them?
I liked Homeschooling: The Early Years when I got it from the library. I didn't feel the need to buy it, but I may have checked it out a 2nd time, and I remember taking notes on some of the cool suggestions I found in it.
post #39 of 390
We are in the same boat here with most of my DS's friends starting pre-k this year. Overall, I notice that since September the parks are really empty of preschool age children. It's such a shame! So out of frustration with this, I've finally started seeking out and participating in some of our local homeschool support activities. I'm so glad I did. It's just so encouraging and optimistic to be among other homeschool families even if your educational philosophies are different, at least you're remotely on the same page. Also, many of the families have both "school-aged" kids and preschoolers so it's a huge age spread.

Just yesterday someone asked me if Eli was in school (something I get asked at least 5 times a week, it seems) and for the first time I answered "we're homeschooling" and I felt a little sheepish at first for all the reasons mentioned above (not being officially "school-age") but I got such a great response that I won't hesitate again. Normally I say, no... he's only 3 which I think sometimes seems like I'm being snarky when it's someone with a 3 or 4 yo in pre-k that's asking.

As far as homeschooling activities. We read, read, read LOTS of books and do crafts, outings, take walks, have discussions, etc that somehow relate to what we're reading. We've been using BFIAR loosely for ideas and inspiration. I don't know if next year we'll *row* the books more formally but for now, it's been wonderful just having these wonderful, insightful and truly intelligent conversations with DS all sparked by good reading.

We don't do much deskwork type stuff because he really just doesn't have the interest or focus for it. He does love to do mazes so I bought him a book with tons of those but other than that he sometimes practices writing his name E-L-I and will occasionally surprise me with a smiley face on the magna-doodle. In his more quiet moments we do puzzles, play go-fish (good for matching and number recognition, right? ) and today we played 3 games of "chess" I move the pieces according to the rules and he moves them however the heck he wants. He LOVES it!

great thread
post #40 of 390
As I was sitting here catching up today, my mail lady brought our new Little Hands to heaven kit. I'm so excited to get going on that and knew that only you fellow preschool moms would understand.
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