Do you have littles at home that are ready for pre-school? Are you still a little nervous about sending them off? Or maybe you can’t afford the high price tag on early child hood education??
Before I begin I want to say that this is just what works for our family. If having your kids in pre school at 2 works for you, that is great!! If no pre school is how you want it, that is awesome too!!
My husband and I did some real soul-searching on this over a year ago when our oldest was 2.
Of course we were getting the usual well-meant instructions from people all around us on how to educate our son. “He’s not in day care!!! He must go to pre-school or he won’t know how to have friends!!”…….”How will he ever make it in elementary school if he doesn’t go to pre-school”…….”He needs to know certain things before kindergarten”.
That last one cracks me up the most!!
So we Hymned and we hawed about it and even toured a few preschools (including the one at the private school that we plan on sending the boys for elementary).
The thing that we kept learning along the way is that everything that they are taught in pre school seems to be stuff that you learn at home anyway!! And almost everything on these lists of curriculum that was being taught, our child already knew!!
Now I’m sure a bunch of you seasoned parents are thinking ‘Duh Emily!! Every one knows this’, but to be honest…….my husband and I didn’t!!
Pre-School has always been portrayed as a right of passage that you must let your kids do!! A right of passage that would cost us up to $400 a month…….for stuff he already knew………just so he could make more friends.
We made the decision that because we will most likely be paying for their education from kindergarten on, that we would take pre-school on at home.
We are lucky to already have a playroom so we took it upon ourselves to turn it into a mini classroom. I got these amazing home-schooled items at Target in the dollar section!! Sorry about the poor picture quality!! There are two calendars and three sections to go over what yesterday, today and tomorrow are. There are also two signs that you can chose what the weather is today and what it will be tomorrow. This little coffee table is actually used for his train set. He has so much fun creating different tracks above and below.
Below is their little desk that we got at IKEA for $19.99!! We plan on buying another one because it has been so awesome and we plan on adding another rug rat so we will need more seating!! The rug was a Costco score for $19.99 and the map was also from Costco!! On the other wall is a United States of America Map. I got both of them for $14.99!! They are so awesome and dry erase so we can write on them. Every Time Nana goes on vacation we draw lines to where each flight connects and we talk about where she’s going. There are also flags all along the bottom so they can learn flags for each country. He always says “there is our flag” when he sees the American flag or the Oregon flag flying.
Now I want to warn you that our schedule is very simple, and basic. If it’s not a good day for it then we don’t do school!!
Every day I get the boys up at around 7:30 for the day (I have normally been up since 5:30 working from home). We do breakfast, beds, teeth, and get dressed and then we head upstairs to do “school”. We do this M, T, W, and F. On Thursdays we visit their Ouma and Oupa (They are close family friends from South Africa. I feel like this is an education in itself because their Oupa will speak Afrikaans to them and they feed the birds and squirrels and read foreign books!!).
Here is our little Schedule that you all have been requesting!!
– Pledge of Allegiance
– Letters and Numbers (I found an amazing dry erase book at Costco that has tracing exercises for numbers and letters. I know there are iPad apps that do the same but we keep iPad use to a minimum for him.
– Months and Seasons (we also did days of the week here but he’s known them for about a year).
-Art Project (I try to include scissor use and other hand/eye coordination tasks. We also LOVE doing projects around holidays like turkey hands or ornaments!!). We used to do colors and shapes last year too but he is sick of “baby stuff”.
This is pretty much it for the “classroom portion”
We always go outside after “school” and work in the garden (rain or shine). I can’t even tell you how much a little person can learn by just getting outside. We compost and tend to the garden beds, we are always harvesting veggies right up until about January, we talk about life and death with the plants and the rain and the sun and the clouds. There is so much to talk about and learn about outside and we only live on 1/3 of an acre!! Right now we are learning about seed saving and are in the process of drying our beans and squash seeds for next year. I know there are so many things that I am forgetting to list that we do because we are normally out there for a couple hours!!
Another way that I try to keep the learning process going is at the grocery store. We go grocery shopping every Thursday and we talk about prices and pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. He now gets to clean out the change from my purse when we get home and gets to keep each coin that he can identify!! Boy that is great motivation for him to get his dimes and nickels right!!
So three you have it Homesteading Friends!! Do you pre school at home? If so I would LOVE to see your work area and hear about your “curriculum”!!
Thanks for reading today,