We are just finishing up Eliza’s first year of homeschool preschool! We decided to homeschool preschool for a variety of reasons. One reason was because I spent the majority of 6 months away from Eliza during Oliver’s transplant in early 2019. Oliver was also severely immune compromised in 2019 so we did not want to risk Eliza bringing illnesses home from a preschool to Oliver.
Preschool (and school in general) looks so different family to family and year to year, but I thought I would share what worked for Eliza’s homeschool preschool this past year since there most likely will be more people homeschooling preschool this fall!
I don’t have a degree in education – I have a BA in English Literature and a BS in Dental Hygiene. I just couldn’t get enough of going to undergrad I guess! I was homeschooled for 4 years (3rd-6th) so I have some familiarity with what it involves.
When we started the preschool year, I bought the Playing Preschool curriculum from Busy Toddler. We did this for about 3 months but it ended up being much too easy for Eliza and too much prep for me. It actually would be perfect for Oliver this coming fall (he will be turning 3) but I don’t want to be doing two different curriculums at once for the kids.
I quickly realized that having a routine is the #1 thing that makes sure preschool runs smoothly in the mornings. Typically we do preschool from about 9:00-9:45am.
- Calendar Time: I have a Melissa & Doug Calendar and we discuss the month, date, day of the week, season, and temperature. We have songs that we sing for the months, days of the weeks, and the weather. Eliza & Oliver both participate with this.
- Picture Books: I have a goal of reading 1000 books to the kids this year. That averages out to only about 3 books a day and we are on track to make that goal! We have a big basket of library books in our living room at all times and the kids pick out between 3-5 books. I read out loud to them for about 20 minutes. Sometimes I’ll have them point out letters in the title or I’ll have Eliza sound out little words here and there.
- Writing: For the last 10-15 minutes Oliver does a coloring page while Eliza does two or three writing worksheets. I’ve loved the Big Preschool book and she has gone through a couple Kumon books.
That’s it! In the afternoon while Oliver takes his nap I do Eliza’s vision therapy exercises with her and then read a chapter out loud from a chapter book. We usually do this schedule 3 days a week since Seth works four 10 hour shifts and we don’t usually do preschool when he is home. I also work one day a week and it is hit and miss if we are able to get preschool done earlier in the morning. We continued this through the summer because it really helped the rhythm of the day go smoothly for our family.
We are VERY flexible with this schedule though – if we have doctor appointments or something else comes up we just don’t do it for the day! Eliza has one more year of preschool before starting kindergarten so I have different curriculum for Eliza this fall. We are hoping to eventually do a parent partnership program for kindergarten next fall!
I know every family is so different in what works for them and there are many kids that don’t do preschool but this has worked really well for us! Hopefully this will give you some ideas for preschool at home this fall if that is what you have to do! I’d love to hear from any other families that have done parent partnership programs for elementary too because I don’t have any experience with participating in them!