Last week I shared with you guys what homeschool curriculum we are using this year — and my youngest Finn is now in Kindergarten!!! I got a few questions from readers asking me the same question: “What about preschool?”
Today, I’m going to tell you some of the things we do for Preschoolers in our homeschool.
Before I go any further, I want to say that I think overeducating kids at a young age is not the right solution. If you have a one or a two year old and you want to start “preschool” with them… DON’T. You are going to overstimulate their little minds and make them burnt out before they even reach kindergarten age. For kids 3 and under, all you need to do is play. Stack blocks and count them. Point out colors and letters. Read to them — a LOT. But don’t start formal schoolwork yet.
Once they are 4, or almost 4, they might be ready for a little bookwork, and that’s what I’m going to show you today.
In my preschool homeschool classroom, the name of the game is FUN. I want them to love learning.
We have our activities broken down into a few areas:
1. Circle Time.
Circle Time is a wonderful and fun way to start the day, and introduce several educational concepts (time, date, weather, days of the week, etc.). We use this felt & velcro calendar that was a gift a long time ago. You can find a similar one on Amazon here.
I’ve posted about Circle Time in detail before. Click here to read more and grab a free Circle Time printable!!
2. Dry Erase Activity Books.
If you have multiple kids, I recommend getting a nice activity book like this one. It has hundreds of pages, more than enough to entertain a kid for a whole school year. What I do is tear out all the pages and place them in sheet protectors in a binder. Then we have dry erase books that we can use over and over again. Even though I only have 4 kids, these binders have been used a dozen times because the kids do the activities over and over. And now that I’m all done with them, I can sell them to another family and get some of my money back!
One of my favorite products to use with the preschool set is Crayola Dry Erase Crayons. They. Are. Awesome. They work so well on the activity pages — much better than markers. Plus they are less messy, less frustrating, they don’t dry out, and they are affordable!
I try to limit the amount of book work they do at this age — like I said, learning should be fun. Many times, they beg to do more. But my advice is stop before they ask to. If you always leave them wanting more, they will think that school is fun. If you push them to do “one more page”, it will start to feel like a chore.
3. Utilize Technology.
Now, I will say, that this is something I did not do with my older two. Things like iPads simply did not exist back then. But once I had older kids in school and a preschooler to entertain, the iPad became a valuable resource. I didn’t want to park my preschooler in front of the TV while I worked with the older kids, so educational apps and games became a lifesaver!
One thing I love about using the iPad for school is that it makes learning so much fun. “School” feels like a game, and they are playing and having a blast acquiring new knowledge. I put all of my Preschool Apps on one page of my iPad, and then tell them they can play any game on that page.
I’m not going to go into great detail about all of the apps. There are literally thousands, if not more, amazing educational apps. I do want to highlight my two favorites though:
Both of these apps have free versions and paid versions. I’m sure you know by now, I’m a pretty frugal person, and I don’t like to pay for things. But these are the two apps where I make an exception. I *love* them!
Letter School teaches letters, sounds, and letter formation. For each letter, they “write” it with their finger 3 times, and it gets progressively harder each time.
Watch the video below to see what I mean:
Splash Math has separate apps available for all grade levels. You can do 20 problems per day with the free version. I love that it includes a wide variety of math concepts, not just addition and subtraction. It has time, money, geometry, number lines, and more — all adjusted to age-appropriate levels.
See it in action here:
So that’s about it!
Of course, we do a lot more than just these activities: lots of reading, playing, and learning in the world — that IS the beauty of homeschooling after all!
And remember: homeschooling preschool is not necessary! This is just a good place to start if your little one is eager to learn and you need something to do with them!