Activities for Kids/ Parenting Tips

Homeschool For Our Preschooler – Getting Started

Our daughter is a very active, outgoing and strong-willed 4 year old who has recently been really having some discipline and attitude issues.  After some time and prayer I came to realize that this change in behavior has a lot to do with mommy always being “busy” and not setting time aside for her.

Confession


I knew that I was failing terribly at spending quality time with her.  It was starting to show in her attitude and behavior.  I knew that something had to change and I needed to take a hard look at my priorities as a work-at-home mom.  I didn’t want my work to become more important than my main job – raising and caring for our children.  I’ve been keeping them busy not spending time with them.  Keeping them busy is not how you raise children, that’s how you entertain them (granted there are times for busy activities, cartoons and independent play and those times are important).

Pre-K Homeschool

Claire loves to play school or do “homework”  (worksheets & coloring pages).  I knew that she would love structured homeschool, so we tried it. She loved it. I was amazed how well she listened and how she completed each task without much drama. I knew we were on to something good!  That settled it. We are starting by doing about 3 days a week during Caleb, our 2 1/2 year old’s, nap time. I’m hoping to include Caleb our 2 1/2 year old.  He is quite advanced and can already identify all letters, colors and shapes and I think he would love doing ‘school time’.

Curriculum

So I decided to pull out the pre-school curriculum that I purchased last year.  The Letter of the Week Curriculum is a very simple and straight forward (and inexpensive) way to start doing some homeschooling with your preschooler.  I had wanted to do this last year but life got in the way.  I got busy and I never got started.  Well last week I jumped back in!  I started to get everything printed off and then my laminator got a great workout.

Tonight I even started to set up a preschool area.  I’m using part of our sunroom where my office is also located.  I’m hoping to set up Workboxes (a concept I love!).  Tomorrow I’ll go through the house grabbing books, puzzles and finding manipulatives that I can use and organize them in our preschool room.

 

Having a plan.

Unfortunately it is not in my nature to do this without a plan. I am a planner by nature so I needed a system. The Letter of the Week Curriculum is a great place for me to start but I’m hoping to find a great Bible, History and Science program to add to the basic system.

Share Your experience and recommendations!

This is just the beginning but I’m excited that I’m already seeing improvements in Claire’s attitude. I’d love to hear your ideas and tips!  Homeschooling might not be our plan for our children’s entire education, however, while I am home with them I want to be spending the time to teach them.

I would love to hear your suggestions, if you use a curriculum that you love – Share it!

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  • Heather
    May 19, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Can you tell me more about the workbox system and how you will use if for your home school? Thanks!

  • Rebekah
    May 19, 2011 at 10:44 am

    This is what always amazes me about you. You are developing a preschool “station” in your home with boxes and organized labels. If I was doing this my station would be a pile of papers on the dining room table!!

    I also struggle with how I spend my time with my little girl. It is so easy to get distracted by things instead of focusing on what she really wants: more & more time with me.

    I can’t wait to hear more about your school time and how it is working out. If you come across any good activities for 1.5-2 year olds, I’d love to hear about those too!

  • Crissyanna
    May 19, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    You may want to check out the Developing the Early Learner workbook series. My 4 y.o. loved it and blasted through it in half the time of the curriculum (we used Sonlight’s P 4/5 last year. This year I’ve pieced together a K/1st combo that is where the eldest is instead of using a boxed curriculum). Also, the Big Skills for Little Hands series is terrific for littles.

    What style of school are you planning on doing? Textbook, Classical, Charlotte Mason, unit studies? Your style will help you decide on what materials to use. We are a blend of Classical and Charlotte Mason.

    Good resources to look into are Timberdoodle, Rainbow Resource, Home Science Tools, Queen Homeschool, Sonlight, Winter Promise, My Father’s World, Heart of Dakota, Simply Charlotte Mason, Ambleside Online (great book lists), The Old Schoolhouse, Heart of the Matter Online, Hip Homeschooling Moms.

  • kathy balman
    May 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Hey I’m in the same boat as you. We are starting Kindergarten and PreK this Fall. I’ve been dealing with behavior issues as well but I currently work outside the home (quitting my job soon to be at home). I know my kids problems are due to me not being able to spend the time with them deserve. I cannot wait to follow your adventures of homeschooling. My blog is http://www.kathysclutteredmind.com I’m also a fellow 3 in 30 woman!

  • Karen
    May 20, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    How fun!!! We didnt homeschool but I did buy every month for a year from
    http://www.texturedproducts.com/ These are wonderful and I still have bunches left. My kids still love doing them and now they get creative and make up their own craft from the ones provided. I wanted easy for me to do and these are all laid out with the teacher and student directions for day by day of each month. We love them. You can order each month and are not bound to a contract for one year. Love love love them!!!

  • Jennifer
    May 20, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    I just stumbled across your blog and this post via face book. It looks like you are off to a wonderful start with your little girl.

  • Gina Book
    May 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    We just finished our first year of homeschooling and it went a lot better than I thought it would. Our oldest is also very strong willed and a bit high maintenance. But, it went well. We used the Five in a Row curriculum and absolutely loved it. It was laid back yet we did so many things that we wouldn’t have otherwise (learning about countries around the world, doing science experiments, etc) all through sitting and reading classic children’s literature. Our younger kids enjoyed the inclusion in “school” as well. Good Luck. It looks like you are already off to a great start.

  • zsera
    May 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I just started “homeschooling” my 4 year old as well! Check out my blog if you want to see anything we are doing 🙂

    http://www.mamaslittledears.wordpress.com

  • shannon(yr bestie!)
    June 3, 2011 at 1:35 am

    do you have any suggestions for Jack over the summer? as you know, i need a challenge for him, so as not to lose momentum!

  • Sarah
    August 8, 2012 at 2:11 am

    Starting our second year of homeschooling, although the first year turned out to be much more “unschooling” according to my husband. (o; We jumped in and bought the Abeka phonics curriculm. As a former teacher, none of the curriculums we tried at home were even close to the emphasis I wanted for reading and phonics. Abeka is a little more structured and “schoolish” so we are only using the phonics portion (not the math or handwriting) and I’m very pleased with it! Reading has taken off and we’ve seen great success!

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