Homeschooling Preschool - where to begin? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 07-20-2012, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I am soon to be entering the world of being a SAHM to a 4 and 2 (almost 3 year old).  I lost my job, so they have both previously been in day care/preschool, but we can't afford to send them with me being out of work.  I'm really excited about it and hope we can make it work so I can stay home full time and with the experiences we've had with day care, I think homeschool for preschool is the best option for my oldest. She will be attending the public school in the fall (2013).   My husband and I are both public school teachers, but we teach middle and high school kids, so I'm really at a loss of what to do with little kids.   


I really have no idea where to begin as far as resources.  I can't spend a lot, so I need things I can either get online or at the library.  I like to do things that are learning through play, etch, not a lot of worksheets and flash cards.  My older DD really enjoys going to school, so this will be a tough transition for her.  She also likes to figure things out on her own instead of letting me help her with it.  She also gets very frustrated and shuts down if she has a hard time doing something.  Recently, she was reading really well, and then something happened and has refused to read on her own, so I've stepped back from it and not pressured her with it.  She loves learning, particularly about science stuff and is very inquisitive.  My husband is home with them for the summer now and has not been doing very much with them and I can tell she misses being in the classroom. My school and job end next week and I plan on taking August to get organized and then starting in September when my husband goes back to work.


My kids also both love art and music, which are not my strengths, but I really want to encourage and foster their talents in these areas. 


Thanks so much for any help!

Mommy to Nora 2/19/08 and Valerie 10/19/09

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#2 of 12 Old 07-20-2012, 11:08 AM
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Check the Classical Conversations website for a learning community near you - we have done CC for two years, and we LOVE it!

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#3 of 12 Old 07-20-2012, 11:21 AM
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Here are somethings that I do.



read books even books on a "higher level"

go for walks

get books from the library

count things- going for a walk we will count birds that we see



play games


One more thing is great. I do pay the money for MORE starfall. For me it is worth the money. The MATH section is great.


Hope that helps a little

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#4 of 12 Old 07-20-2012, 12:11 PM
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Check out Early Education at Home by At Home Publications. You can find it on Amazon.

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#5 of 12 Old 07-20-2012, 01:24 PM
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Yesterday I was looking on the Web for some learning videos for preschoolers and I came across and online preschool called CHALKPreschool. They upload learning videos and songs for preschoolers to learn the days of the week and months! I did this with my little 4 year old yesterday and she absolutely loved it!! Not only that, but they're great videos, very professional! I highly recommend checking them out! Here's the link. If that doesn't work just type CHALKPreschool into and you should be able to find it!!

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#6 of 12 Old 07-21-2012, 07:47 AM
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We loosely used www.weefolkart seasonal curriculums for preschool last year and really enjoyed it.  The curriculum is free to print out, we got all the books from the library.  There are ideas for crafts, field trips, science experiments, etc. and it is very nature based.  It will definitely NOT keep you busy all day/week, but it is great for ideas to jump off from.  I will use it with my 2-year-old in a year or two as well. 


My 5-year-old dd started out enjoying practing reading and now is refusing it as well-I figure she will start back up when she wants to :) She still loves being read to and pretending to read, just doesn't want to sound out words etc. 


Good luck, sounds like you are excited!  Also, I would highly recommend trying to connect with other homeschool families with kids the same age as yours.  That has made a world of difference with dd, who was at first upset she wasn't going to school like her friends, but really enjoyed meeting other kids who homeschooled like her. 

Single mama to dd
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#7 of 12 Old 07-21-2012, 10:00 AM
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We are unschoolers, so we don't "do" classical style, but my girls, especially my 5.5yo, has set up spaces that are remarkably (and sweetly) classical.  She has a little homemade cardboard desk she assembled from what was a cardboard "dog house".  She tucks piles of science books and guidebooks underneath.  She has a little folding chair she sits at.  Holes poked in the top hold her feather quills for tracing letters.  She has a little bookshelf nearby for her "guide book" overflow (both our own collection and from the library).  She has several notebooks and a little zippered pocket for holding her paintbrush (for dry-"painting" in her guidebooks), pens, scissors, scotch tape, measuring tape, magnifying glass, etc.  She is very busy at that desk, doing her own work in her own way.  She has practiced reading, writing and math there, as well as studying all the things in the books.


For trips out and about, we carry our backpacks stuffed with our "science equipment": much of what I listed, plus small, stiff-backed sketch books and colored pencils.  You could even use the postcard-size watercolor paper and water color pencils.  It is sweet to watch them do their own version of science.  Now they even know how to use the camera.


I keep a "library list" posted on the fridge, and we write down book requests as soon as we think of them (including the next due date) and also internet research requests.  We also have a "homeschool calendar" where I keep track of what we are doing (something I highly recommend for worried USing/eclectic parents, but is useful even for classical HSers).  That way, if I am seeing resistance in an area (for example, your dd's reading) I can look back on the week or the month and see that some actually did get done and some progress is being made and it helps me keep from meddling where no meddling is needed.


We read and read and read some more.  Some kids readily pick up reading just from that, and that is the case with my 7.5yo who is reading independently (she started very slowly at just shy of 6yo).  She occasionally loves to show her skills with early reading books, but they do not hold her interest for long, preferring instead big books written for teens or adults, like her horse encyclopedia that is well beyond her current level (doesn't stop her, she just asks for help when she needs it).


I would recommend if your preschooler is resistant to reading practice, then ditch it and stick with reading stories together.  She's still very young and you have lots of time for her to gear up and practice her skills and still be plenty ready for public school when the time comes.  Kindy-ready reading skills are: recognizing that written words represent spoken words, knowing the alphabet, recognizing and writing their names.  That's all they *need* to know going in.

"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
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#8 of 12 Old 07-21-2012, 12:38 PM
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I agree with many of the posts here. Enjoy, live life, and utilize what you have. You're and educated woman, you love your children, you'll do just fine. I worth this a while back about the topic of  Curriculum for Preschool. Hope you find it helpful.



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#9 of 12 Old 07-22-2012, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for all of the suggestions.  That really helps get me started.  I went to the library and got a lot of books to check out and I'm going to go through the sites and resources you gave me.  Luckily our library has a lot of activities and I'll check around for some mom's groups, too.

Mommy to Nora 2/19/08 and Valerie 10/19/09

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#10 of 12 Old 07-22-2012, 05:19 PM
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art supplies


any musical instruments you can find used or cheap


we LOVE progressive phonics and it's free, we are really relaxed so it fits our style.


We go to the library and come home with bags and bags of books.

Mom of 3.
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#11 of 12 Old 07-22-2012, 06:37 PM
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I just wanted to say what works for reading for my 4.5 year old.  We also pay for MORE Starfall, and I think it's an excellent site, however, my son (although he's learned a LOT from Starfall, letters, letter sounds) does not do phonics at all.  He will not sound out what I started doing with him around his 4th bday was giving him a word when we were reading together.  I would tell him this says "in"...when we see this word, would you read it?  I don't feel like I push him, because I do want him to own and love reading, but we read together, unless it's a story way beyond his ability or he's just "tired" and doesn't want to focus.  Anyway, he's come from being able to read only a few 3 letter words to being able to read hundreds of words...mostly by sight (he's between level 1 and level 2 readers - he can read most of level 2 but the attention span just isn't there yet).  He'll sometimes try to guess what a word is based on the first few letters (like saying "bake" for "basement"), so I know he still doesn't understand phonics.  That's ok with me, because I truly feel that English is not really a very phonic language, and if you're starting to read at a young age, it takes so long to learn the rules that kids just lose interest.  Some kids just get phonics right away and some don't ... so maybe trying sight words would work better.  I also think that eventually kids will see the patterns for themselves and understand how phonics works in English.  It just takes practice.  Apart from doing the "here's your word to read in this story", I've also written out funny riddles for him using word families using colorful stickers - we have a wall covered in a long strip of paper just for the kids to decorate.  So something like "nice mice eat rice twice with spice on ice", etc...he thinks it's hysterical.  I also send him "secret messages" to decode...I try to stick in one word that he doesn't know...but something like "don't read this or I will tickle you".  Sometimes he feels like reading them and sometimes he doesn't...the trick is to make it fun and not schooley, I think.   We also do a lot of painting, drawing, and I'm always surprised by how much my younger one (almost 2) has picked up from the older one.  


As far as your dd wanting to figure things out on her own, that's just very very normal...the key is to monitor the frustration level if something is hard, and give a tiny tiny clue in the right direction before the frustration level makes her want to give up.  

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#12 of 12 Old 07-23-2012, 07:44 PM
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There is some really great advice on here! Very supportive moms! It's what makes me happy i'm on this cite! I also checked out that CHALK Preschool thing MommyMe4! Pretty cool stuff! I like the videos they're very colorful and professional and my little girl watched a few and has been singing them since! Great way to learn! Thanks!

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