This post is part of the series “Home Preschool 101.” It is a peek into how we do homeschool preschool.
Here are all the posts (links will go live as published)…
If you’ve read this post, then you know that traditional academics are not the main focus of preschool for us. That said, we do have a preschool plan that schedules in time for those areas, otherwise they’d never get done!
Especially with a new baby around, we need a preschool schedule that is simple and flexible, but helps me remember to spend time on the basic subjects, especially the ones K has a strong interest in. This schedule will probably change as the year goes on, with things being added, subtracted, and moved around as needed.
Every day: Reading, Bible, Read-Alouds
Monday – Math
Wednesday – Science
Every Other Friday – Art
My hope is to spend time doing “school” after breakfast and not take more than an 1 to 1 1/2 hours. This schedule also allows some free days for time spent on other things, catching up, or adding in more later.
Breakdown by Topic
For our reading program we have been using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. We started the program when K was a little over three years old and he started showing an interest in reading. We have been slowly working through the lessons since then. Lately, I’ve cut the lessons in half and we’ve been doing a half lesson each day. My plan is to continue doing that, while adding some fun reading games and activities into the rotation here and there.
Pros of 100 Easy Lessons
- Simple, short lessons
- Everything is clearly laid out for the parent teacher
- Repetitive lessons mean you can move ahead even when the child doesn’t “get” an aspect of the lesson – they will be able to continue working on it until it “clicks”
- Focus on learning letter sounds before names means the child works first on learning material that benefits the goal of learning to read
- Child starts reading real words very early on in the program
Cons of 100 Easy Lessons
- The modified letter symbols might cause confusion for some readers
- The lessons are very “bare bones” which can become repetitive and boring for young readers
For math we are trying out MEP math. I thought I had heard of pretty much every math program, when I came across this one on Instagram a while back – it was new to me! I did some research on it (I read about it a lot on this site) and finally decided to add it into our schedule.
We will do one lesson a week with MEP (if we continue at that pace we will finish the Reception level in two years) and add in other math activities as time and interest allows.
K is very interested in math right now, so I’m sure we will be adding more math activities.
Pros of MEP Math
- It is FREE
- It is a cyclical program, giving lots of chance for review
- It is a good balance of paper work, talking through concepts, and hands-on work
Cons of MEP Math
- You have to print out your materials
- The website can be a little confusing
- Not many people use this program
For science we are not using any type of program or curriculum, but instead are sticking to interest-led learning.
Whenever K shows interest in a something, we typically head to the library and load up on books on that topic. We then use those books as a jumping off point for science activities and experiments (his favorite!). For my benefit, I may try and do a little more ahead of time planning in this area.
I would also like to gradually add in more nature study to our science time, as I think this is one of the most important areas of science for young learners.
K has also recently really improved in his drawing skills, so we will be documenting our science adventures with drawings and notes in our science notebooks (these type of notebooks are my favorite).
The FOTS curriculum is a full preschool curriculum, but since K already knows his letters, we are picking and choosing which activities to do and mainly focusing on the Bible aspect of the curriculum. We have already begun diving in to the lessons and it has been going great!
I also hope to incorporate memory verses into our Bible time. We had been doing it, but I let the habit fall to the wayside. We were having a lot of success with the Charlotte Mason Method.
K has free access to most of the art supplies and is creating something nearly every day. However, I decided to take every other Friday to do an intentional art project – something he may not normally do on his own. My goal with this is to help him expand his abilities and also just have some fun. I will find most of our projects on Pinterest and K will probably help pick them out based on his interest.
I do believe I’ve saved the best for last – and probably the most important! Reading out loud to K has always been one of the biggest parts of his early learning.
For our read-alouds, we will be reading a variety of books, most coming through our regular library trips. At three years old, K still loves picture books of course, but recently we have also been adding in some easy chapter books. So far we have read from Winnie-the-Pooh and Charlotte’s Web .
When we read, I also have been trying to gently introduce K to the skill of narration. When we finish a book or a chapter, I will often have him try and tell me about what we just read. At his age, I usually have to help him along by asking questions. We don’t do this with every book (because that would become trying after a while), but it does help a lot with his comprehension and memory.
Day to Day Life Learning
Of course, the learning that takes place in this schedule is just the tip of the iceberg. We are always learning. We learn when we are doing chores, taking care of the baby, helping with dinner, playing outside, and so much more.
What are you including in your homeschool preschool this year? I’d love to hear!
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