Our Proposed Homeschool Preschool Routine
A few weeks ago, our daughter started asking to go to school with her friend. I thought she might be disappointed when I told her that she wasn’t going to school like her friends. But, once I told her she could have “school” at home with mommy, she was pumped! Now every morning she asks what she can do “for school.”
I’m not a schedule person (yet) when it comes to schoolwork, but since she’s been asking for “school,” I’ve put together a very basic homeschool preschool routine and schedule.
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You can read more about our current approach to play-based preschool and the five homeschooling approaches we considered HERE.
Quiet, not-messy, (mostly) independant play in morning. This will often consist of a fine motor activity, but it could also include something like “buying her breakfast” (read all about it HERE), singing about the days of the week, or adding to a weather chart.
After breakfast, the girls play together (so very well!) and then we usually head out for some sort of adventure, errand, play group, or co-op.
Afternoon (before rest time)
Sometimes the pre-nap hour is its own sort of witching hour. While I’m trying to clean up the morning’s chaos, the preschooler wants to play, play, play. The two-year-old either follows big sister’s lead with playtime or is content to
destroy the house play by herself. I try to play a bit with the girls, but after a few rounds of hide and seek, I often pull out an activity. Today’s activity was simply cutting curves and straight lines on a manila folder. After cutting for a bit, the preschooler decided to color her folder with highlighter and turn the pieces into a birthday card for a friend. She hasn’t expressed a huge interest in writing, but she wanted to write both her name and her friend’s name on the card. Child-led, play-based learning at its finest!
This is often the time when I set the girls up with something to paint. Man, oh, man! They love to paint!
When the toddler goes down for her nap, the preschooler and I can do a “big kid” activity like I-Spy Bingo, Sneaky Snacky Squirrel, or a puzzle.
Need more ideas? Here are the top 35 resources we’re using this year for our home preschool!
We’ve recently gotten into the habit of reading one chapter from a chapter book before bed. With this pattern, we’ve read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Charlotte’s Web, and now we’re working on Stuart Little.
My four-year-old naps a few times a week. On days she doesn’t nap, she plays independently in her room with playdough, crayons, or her dress-up bin.
Evening (before or after dinner)
Family activity. Since the parent-to-child ratio will be one-to-one, this is a great time for experiments, messy sensory play, outdoor exploration, playing with the water wall, and gross motor activities (like family bike rides--you know we love our Yuba bike!). Except in the dreadful cold of January and February, this time is almost always spent outside (even when it rains).
Since we’re not paying for preschool, we’ve decided to enroll the girls in some sort of class or lesson. This could be a preschool music classes, swimming, gymnastics, soccer, or dance.
Last year, we began our preschool co-op (read all about it HERE). We plan to continue this (awesome) adventure this year in some form and adding outdoor, unschooling, Reggio-type nature play (hopefully that includes bugs, leaves, magifying glasses, and mud) with some friends who are close in age to our girls.
There are also opportunities for group learning and the infamous “socialization” through library storytime, science time at the museum, and church.
As much as possible, I’ll jump at the chance to learn through field trips with our friends. We’ve visited a news station, a fire station, a working farm, an aquarium, and a strawberry patch.
Other places we like to hang out are our children’s museum, the parks, the farmers’ market, nature center, the library, and the college campus in town with an awesome fountain.
And of course you probably already know that we place a huge emphasis on family travel and the education it provides.
One Final Note
You may notice fewer kids’ activities this year on Nothing if Not Intentional. I’ll share some of our activities as we go, but I’ll be consuming a lot of ideas from other people.
As for me, if I’m not sharing kids’ activities, I hope to be writing more about travel and parenting. The facebook page should continue to be a great place for questions and conversation. Thanks for chatting with me over there, and for following along as I muddle through this next year of preschool!