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Homeschooling preschoolers support thread - Page 3

post #41 of 390
We are here! I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 1 year old. Made the decision over 2 years ago that I would homeschool. Right now my older dd is really into books, and is beginning to read and spell. She loves doing this so i'm just following her lead. I basically will probably do a more unschool approach but who knows i may change depending on my dd's needs.

I don't do anything formal, no schedules or anything. Right now just read a lot of books to her, color, play w/blocks, pretend play stuff like that. We do attend a homeschool group geared toward preschoolers, which is mainly just social.
post #42 of 390
post #43 of 390
My dd's are 3.5 & 2. I started seeking out homeschooling sites and groups after meeting so many SAHM's who don't really spend a lot of time doing activities. I certainly don't spend all day, every day playing with my kids but I'm not filling my day with housework, errands, and stuff. A little everyday nut I'm having fun being a kid again!

We go to the library for story time every week & borrow books.
We attend a music & movement class each week.
We attend a local art class each week.
We bake and cook.
We walk and play outside.
We have a Nature Table. We collect items from outside and put on the table.
We play with friends.
We go to music, puppet shows, etc. when they are offered at the Art Center(1x/month?)
We do a letter of the week now since my dd kept asking me, "what's that letter?" We do an activity inspired by the letter (which she usually picks)
So this week is Hh. We painted handprints all over a huge piece of paper and I painted a large Hh in the middle.
We read tons of books because dd asks to.
Sometimes I get a collection of books around a certain theme...like right now it's bears.
We paint a lot....play dough...etc.

I'm interested in possibly doing Before Five in a Row. So I'd love to hear more opinions on that book & it's ideas.

I get asked a lot too if dd is in preschool...and will she start next year....I just say, "No. She's home with me."
post #44 of 390
I see lots of mention of books. I love books! The kids love books and love reading. We have so many books in our home. I always wanted to have a house full of books when I had kids and I'm getting my wish, lol! Fortunately DH knows I have good judgement when it comes to books so he's pretty ok with it (even though he's not a reader, he loves to read to the kids).

I think it's so important for kids, especially the preschool age, to be surrounded by literature. Read, let them see you read, read to them, let them look at books and explore them. My IL's are in the public school system. Recently they had a bring a book to school day and many kids brought the phone book since it was the only book in their house. How sad is that!! I almost cried when I thought of all the kids who had no books in their homes and this is in an affluent area!

I noticed they had some books through the inter-library loan that I have been on the fence about so I think I may start utilizing that. I know it's easy to buy books you're not crazy about and be stuck with them. Now I can try before I buy. I signed DS up for his first library card today
post #45 of 390
Preschool is a norm where we live.

Montessori education (for those who would bother to READ about it!) begins at age 3. The first cycle is ages 3-6. I started homeschooling my daughter when she was 3 because we were on a waiting list for a Montessori school. I just didn't want her to be behind when we got in.

I was blown AWAY by her response to it, and by how well she got into everything. We have since moved across the country, and she is now 5. Her brother is now 3 and we homeschool both of them by choice.
post #46 of 390
Ds turns 3 just before christmas. I have already worked with him from an early age simply by casually introducing him to things (alphabet, shapes, numbers). It just so happens that he gobbled it all up. He knows the entire alphabet (yep, even lower case), knows how to count objects, counts to 20, recognizes numbers 0-20, knows a huge amount of colors and knows shapes.

I was a Montessori preschool teacher and I plan on doing pretty much the same set up with my ds at home. Although I love Montessori, neither I nor ds are ready for him to go to preschool. He has major sensory issues and is on a waiting list to be evaluated for autism. Plus, I simply do not have ANY money for a private school.
So, I'm educating him at home. Is it homeschooling? I think so. He'll be learning the same things that he'd be taught in a Montessori preschool. Actually, he's learning even MORE than that. He has an amazing thirst for knowledge and I fear that a 'regular' preschool would not stimulate him enough.
My ds loves science (planets, astronomy, biology, chemistry). Sounds crazy but he loves it and ASKS for more.
I don't push it. Ever. I offer. If he's interested, great. If not, fine.

I will be starting him on worksheets soon. I don't think he'll be very interested in it but I shall try.

As for hs'ing further down the road...Who knows. I'm a single mom right now so I doubt I'd be able to stay home for that long. I'm hoping to get a nanny position and do that for a few years so that I can teach and care for my son while also earning an income!

Ok, I'm wiped out.
post #47 of 390
Preschool is the norm here as well starting at about age 2.5 so I consider us homeschoolers.

My sons are 3 and almost 2. Older ds is pretty advanced - reads on a 2nd to 3rd grade level. I can't see sending him to a pre-school where they'll be learning a letter each week or something like that.

DS #2 is not nearly as obsessed with letters and sounds as DS #1 was at the same age. He's just now starting to sit still long enough to listen to a story.

We do many of the things other people have mentioned - library, nature walks, nature center, art projects,baking, etc. We also go to a homeschool co-op once a week where older DS is in a "cooking class" (I use that term very loosely!) I'm thankful that we are welcomed there even though I don't have an older child. I get to meet other homeschooling moms, and hopefully my sons will develop some friendships that will continue. All their current friends are most likely going to regular school in a few years. I also like that while I am with Nathan in cooking class, Ben is right down the hall in the nursery playing.

Anyway, glad to see so many other mamas homeschooling preschoolers!
post #48 of 390
Originally Posted by jessicaSAR
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.
post #49 of 390
Wow, I am so pleased to see this thread. I've been feeling a bit frustrated with the many posts defining kids under the compulsory age out of homeschooling.

My older dd is 4, and unschooling. My 7-month-old dd is also unschooling. To give you an idea of what we do...Today dd1 decided she'd like to try sending e-mail to her grandma, and wanted me to help her spell words. I'd tell her a letter, and she'd intentionally leave her finger on the key and type a whole bunch of that letter. Then I was supposed to pretend she was a dog and say, "Doff [dd's assumed name for this game], that's way too many [insert letter here]'s! You need to delete some of those." And she'd collapse into giggles. I was feeling cooperative, so that went on for quite awhile. Playing games is one of dd's favorite things right now. Most of them are made up on the spot, like the typing game, but she also likes tag, hide and seek, and guessing games (animals, alphabet, or colors). She also likes stories. We read and watch movies; she does elaborate pretending, and detailled drawings with story lines and "jargon writing" (not sure what it's supposed to be called -- but a bunch of letters or marks intended to represent print but not actually chosen phonetically). She loves playing outside and is currently interested in learning to play basketball. So far she can dribble a lightweight ball respectably and throw it near the basket at the park. She's working on getting one into the basket.

Grace's playgroup friends all disbanded and went to preschool last year, which is why I started taking her to a local homeschoolers group this year -- but it's difficult, because most of them live at least 45 minutes away. There is a group that meets closer, so I'm hoping that we'll find some neighbors in it. Dd is beginning to get a sense of what friends are, and since any child she speaks and plays with meets her criteria, she says she has many of them.
post #50 of 390
I just wanted to add some support. My dd is 5 now so I guess we are not preschool homeschoolers but we are still under the compulsory age of our state.
I personally think it is great & valuable that so many are excited and into homeschooling their children before the arbitrary age of 6 (or 7, or 8) because IMO that is when the love of learning truly develops. I think you deserve all the support and encouragement that any age of homeschoolers deserve.
post #51 of 390
Another home educated preschooler, ds is 3.5 and preschool is the norm here. Already it is hard to find groups/activites for DS as most other 3yr olds are in preschool. We joined a local home ed support group and everyone there is really welcoming of all ages which is fantastic.

DS loves nature walks, cooking, library visits, reading, music, crafts (especially glueing & sticking) and of course playing. At the moment he is really interested in maps, different countries and their flags.

Great thread, its nice to have the support
post #52 of 390
I must be having the most aggravating few days.... no internet so I missed the discussion so far, and then when I was typing a nice long post my computer decided to restart itself. : so this may be long, an I apologize in advance for that~! but I want to catch up

Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders
Sara - it sounds like your Raye and my ds#1 would get along quite well with their mutual love of dinosaurs!
We went to the museum on Tuesday and an employee there was amazed to hear dd say all the info about the dino bones without reading the little plaques first

Originally Posted by jillybean
I am homeschooling my nearly 4yo but I am hesitant to post in this forum or tell many people IRL for fear that it will seem like I'm pushing him.
People seem to assume this of my dd, and it's annoying that they don't think maybe a 4 year old wants to learn to read, and her parents have not pushed that desire?

Originally Posted by Karenwith4
I just don't get how unschooling preschoolers is different from just being an involved parent at home with them.
It usually isn't.

I'd like to understand the need to define this as homeschooling/unschooling.
I don't think any one ever said we had a need to define what we do with our children. I think that most of us have just determined that we will be homeschooling our children instead of sending them to ps and we should be equally welcome to post about our adopted hs lifestyle in this forum. There comes a point in every parent's life when they decide what to do about their child's education. We have decided to hs BEFORE sending our dd to ps. Some hsers don't decide this until after being in the system.

When a couple descover they are expecting, the first thing they think of isn't thier child's education. But they do think of it BEFORE the day comes. They give it some THOUGHT, if not totally research and debate the topic. They do all this before enrolling their child in a school (because yes, daycares are called "schools" by some nowadays). Some of them have an "aha" moment- as did many of us here- where we realize that we would rather not send our children elsewhere for their education. And still some others don't know there are options and send their kids to ps wihtout another thought. I started off thinking that she would go to ps, so I looked into the different acheivments in our area. Then I moved to a district with not-so-great standards, and started searching for alternatives. There is a charter school down the street that looks promising, so I checked into it TWO YEARS BEFORE I would even be able to enroll. I like to give myself time to research, KWIM? Anyway, then I started researching hs.

I believe that our past present and futures are relative. Meaning of course that I believe that everything I've done in my past is now relative to my present. Likewise, I believe that my present will have a direct effect on my future, and, believe it or not, I think that my future has direct implications on my present. Meaning, things in my future are leading me to certain ways of life. Actually, I will probably be "unschooling" for some time, maybe even until highschool years. But so far as I can tell from another thread, there is no correct definition for unschooling. I would think unschooling at any age is something you may "have trouble distinguishing from life." Maybe it would help to not take it too literally when a parent of a preschooler says they are homeschooling. Again, for us anyway, it's all relative.

Originally Posted by jessicaSAR
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."
Exactly. That's the beauty of hs, there is no right or wrong way to do it or right or wrong age to start (unlike ps), and parents of preschoolers should feel comfortable posting on the Learning From Home board just as any one else. This is the point, I think.

Speaking of the differences that hs allows, all children develop differently. That is to say, hs allows a parent of a special needs child to better tailor education to their needs. Likewise, a child that is above average may do well to be hs so that they can be sufficiently challenged. I think we all agree on this. So, it makes sense to me that since my daughter is advanced academically, I could reasonably start introducing academics to her at preschool age, instead of kindy age or 1st grade age. I don't need to define what we do however, and when someone asks I say we are planning to hs.

Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat
I think you deserve all the support and encouragement that any age of homeschoolers deserve.
Thank you, I agree and since this is an online "commune" we should make sure to be more like a commune and emrbrace eachother as much as possible
post #53 of 390
Glad to see so many taking an interest in their child's education early in the game.

We did our first "lesson" yesterday. I use the word lesson very loosely here. We learned a new little song using the letter A and did a cool little project that tied into her creation Bible story. Boy did she eat that up. I'm so glad we decided to get a book with some great new ideas using the Bible and letters together.
post #54 of 390
crlacy- what book did you get? Lastnight when I tucked my dd into bed I asked her what she wants to learn more about and her answer was Jesus. I was surprised. I want to take her seriously so I'm looking for resources.
post #55 of 390
Recently they had a bring a book to school day and many kids brought the phone book since it was the only book in their house. How sad is that!!
That is just SO SAD
Our house it filled with books and we both want the girls surrounded by books.

I also feel that way that some people may think i'm pushing my dd. She's reading already and not even 3. I haven't pushed her one bit. She basically is doing it all on her own and i'm just there beside her helping and encouraging her.
post #56 of 390
My kids are 1, 3.5, and 4.5. We are doing K with my 3.5 and 4.5 since they are bored with the lower stuff and wanted to advance already! We are using Singapore math, Everyday Waldorf Seasons of Joy Autumn (through it already, though!), Earth School curriculums as a supplement, Bob books, Scholastic readers and phonics workbooks (suck). I am hoping to get some more materials and workbooks (my kids LOVE workbooks!) when I get some more money.

And can we really stop arguing about whether or not we are "really" homeschoolers if we have preschool age kids. It is really starting to tick me off. I consider it rude and argumentative for absolutely no reason. I thought that this was a support board where we can share ideas and resources, etc. Not a place where we have to defend ourselves as "homeschoolers" from others or else be ridiculed.
post #57 of 390
I'm excited by this thread too. I feel like I am in the middle. I live in Ontario and my dd should be in JK. She could be in school now. I think legally she has to be in school when she is 7. However, she is 4 and most preschool ideas apply to her. I try and unschool her. Lately I've been trying to have some structure to our day although it often doesn't feel like it. I'm really trying to keep her mind off watching television.

We go to the library once a week to check out books.
Lego blocks
computer games: Sesame Workshop, Angelina Ballerina, Dora
Imaginative games
vistits to the zoo
Ballet and gymnastics at the local community centre
Music classes

I actually tried putting her in a "school readiness programme" or pre-school and it just didn't work for us. She either found it too scary and then later too boring. It gave me the idea that conventional schooling would not work for us.
post #58 of 390
i'm new to this forum too, mostly i just read the posts and jot down the great resources all of you share. (thanks, by the way! )

my son noah turned 3 last month and, like many of you, all his buddies have been going to daycare full-time for almost a year now. for a while i found another community of alternative crunchy mammas, but all their kids were still babies and noah was understandably bored. now THEIR babies are going to daycare....i felt like noah would be bored at home with me day after day so we tried him in daycare too...it lasted 5 days, i just couldn't bare it (never did end up leaving him there either, just broke my heart to watch him become another sheep in the flock....and it was one of the best daycares in the city).

currently we found a fantastic "nursery" which runs only three mornings a week, there are only 4 kids in the "class" and it's totally unstructured, basically free-play the whole time and the educators are amazing. lots of imaginary play, books, arts and crafts, we're just so impressed and happy with this place. he's been going for a month now, i stay outside in the hallway and read a book but he usually likes me to come in for snack time. mainly i did this so that he would have some kids his own age to hang out with, and so when the baby comes (jan) i would get a few hours to myself.

otherwise, we play, cook, clean, run errands, go to the park (although not so much lately now that it's so cold), hang out at the library, and occasionally we go to the insectarium or biodome (like an indoor-zoo), but not often (it's expensive!).

i've been searching around and FINALLY found an unschooling support group in my city that is non-religious and seems right up my alley......except most of the kids are ages 6 and up

hopefully once he's reached "school age" more groups will pop-up. it astounds me that i live in a big city and i'm finding it so difficult to find like-minded parents.

post #59 of 390

Note: Perhaps a better name for this thread would be homeschooling preschool aged children? Not all of us are doing preschool, I see lots of people doing kindergarten here... Not trying to step on any toes!

I'm home educating my 3 year old (just this week ) son BeanBean and my 16 month old daughter, BooBah. I'm very happy to see this thread, because it's not here to debate the definition of homeschooling.

At any rate: BeanBean is doing classical kindergarten (mostly) and BooBah is jumping in to join us whenever she can. I'm not about pushing my kids, but I do want to keep them challenged and stay a step or two ahead of them, so that they have to work to keep up. Right now, the greatest challenge that BeanBean faces is holding still for 15 minutes at a time (though he's getting better as he becomes more interested in the material I'm presenting to him). Classical kindergarten focuses on basic math skills and reading; the classical curriculum that we're using (The Well-Trained Mind) doesn't technically start until first grade. They just advise that you do a lot of reading with your child, work on building reading competence and confidence as well as very basic math stuff. We're using The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading (a phonics-based program which is very simple to use even if you're not a reading education geek, a formally trained educator, or someone who has lots of time, energy, and money to put into teaching your kids to read), Singapore's Primary Math 1A (I need to get the workbooks ), and we started First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind this week (a grammar text which BeanBean and I *love*).

If I could afford to move my piano (and I knew that it would fit up the stairs to my apartment ) I would totally start teaching BeanBean to play; as it is, I just play classical music for them whenever I have the chance. I took some French discs out of the library so that I can work on my pronunciation, and I'm looking for Hebrew (which I read and understand a lot of but no longer speak fluently ) because I would really really really like to introduce foreign languages into their lives. All that we can do there, though, is watch DVDs in other languages (and I do, all the time; how many times have you seen the Harry Potter movies in French and Spanish? ) so we do that. Right now, we have a super crappy computer and an obscenely slow dial-up connection, so we can't do lots of fun stuff online at home, but the ILs have DSL and a brand new computer, so BeanBean and I have been playing games together on weekends.

I guess I feel like I'm not doing enough. The kids have so many more interests, and I know that BeanBean is capable of sopping up so much more but a very tight budget makes it impossible in many cases. We do what we can, though.

We read *constantly*, though I rarely take the kids to the library anymore-- they run in two different directions and it's impossible for me to keep an eye on them. BeanBean loves my selections, though; I bring back books for us to read together as well as books about things that he's asked for (airplanes, sometimes specific models) or things which he's expressed an interest in but hasn't specifically asked for a book about (leaves; he was soooo pleased to see that one, he threw his little arms around me and kissed me before he said, "Thank you for getting a book about leaves! I really like that!" ). Tonight in the car, he asked me if I would go to the library and get a book about giraffes. Oooookay, no problem.

The kids do lots of science-y things, and I'm considering "formally" introducing biology (BeanBean especially is extremely interested). By some definitions, I'm sure that we already have but there's been no order to it and I *like* order, so I may start doing some orderly science work with the kids. I haven't had a chance to look at any books in person; I'm going to see what the library has the next time that I'm there. In the meantime, we'll continue chatting about animals, insects, and human reproduction (which is of great importance to BeanBean, who's going to be a big brother for the second time in April ).

Last week, we collected leaves for an art project. The kids absolutely loved it, and when they finished and ran around to play I got a great opportunity to turn my compost. It's starting to get cold, but I'm going to make a concerted effort to get the kids outside more and take them for more walks. This is difficult because I'm pregnant right now and I've been having problems with sciatica. There's always something, though, right?

Oh! BeanBean is also taking swimming lessons at the Y. They're going pretty well, and I think that they will get better till the end. I'm really hoping that we can swing another session for him.

BooBah is dragging me kicking and screaming into homeschooling her, too. She woke me up a bit ago by tossing Primary Math 1A at my head and saying, "count?" The two of them really love doing things together-- if one child is sitting and counting, the other will nearly always join in so BeanBean ended up on my lap as well. BooBah's learning to recognize letters, numbers, quantities, and her body parts. She's a funny baby.

I'm planning to start doing first grade when BeanBean is a fluent reader (he's not there yet). I'm not sure when that will be. Anyway, we'll start Story of the World, maybe MCP Phonics (maybe not, he may not need that at all by the time we get started) Spelling Workout, and of course continue with the Singapore math and FLL. We'll see where BooBah is by then. Even if absolutely nothing changes between now and her third birthday, I will start her education within a few months of her third birthday.

Something occurred to me over and over as I was going through my ill-fated thread; In many countries and cultures, three year olds go to kindergarten. Not preschool or prep for kindergarten, but actual kindergarten. They do very well, too; more is expected of them, so they *do* more. It's absolutely amazing to me. I was raised Jewish. You know that line from "Fiddler on the Roof" that the sons sing? "At three I started Hebrew school/at ten I learned a trade..." I think that the idea that formal education can and should begin at three was firmly embedded in my mind before I ever had children, as a cultural memory, kwim?

Why am I home educating my children? I hated school and never associated school with learning or education. When I was in seventh grade, I participated in a program called MathCounts! which I enjoyed immensely. At the competition, I sat and read the program guide (because I'm odd like that). The teams were listed by school-- "School X" and then the team captain, second, two members and an alternate or two. I saw two teams listed as homeschoolers. I was thrilled! I knew when I saw that that it was possible to keep your kids home from school, to not send them at all and I decided right away that it was what I would do.

Everything that I've learned since that time has only solidified my resolve to home educate my children. I went to a college that was founded as a normal school-- a school for teachers-- and was still well known for it's excellent programs for future educators. Listening to these teachers-to-be talk about their classes was enough to carve my decision to home educate in stone. Of the dozens (hundreds?) of education majors that I met, I would only consider allowing two of them within 20 feet of my children and neither of them planned to teach in PA.

My niece started kindergarten the year that BeanBean was born. That year, on the playground, she was held by two larger boys from her own class while another boy from a first grade class kicked her repeatedly in the shins. That's not the scary part-- it didn't even occur to her to tell the playground monitor, the teacher, or her own mother what had happened. She didn't say a word about it until my mother was putting her into the bathtub that evening and noticed the black and blue marks all up and down her legs. She'd already internalized the idea that violence against little girls was okay (this was several months into the school year) and that the teachers were not on her side. It was horribly depressing to me on so many levels.

I started doing research on homeschooling while I was still in junior high school. I learned about several different schools of thought, state laws and requirements, and local accomodations. It wasn't until BeanBean was older, though (10 months?), that I decided on classical education after reading "The Well-Trained Mind." I borrowed that book from the library three times before I saved enough money to buy a copy of the second edition.
post #60 of 390
I'm subscribing and will post more later! Glad to have found this...
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