We officially are a homeschooling family! I’m so grateful that my husband and I have always been on the same page and passionate about wanting to homeschool our children (in fact, both of us were homeschooled as well). I realize different lifestyles work for different families, and homeschooling is definitely the best fit for us.
Our oldest daughter (4 years old) is pretty Type A and loves routines & schedules, so we decided it was time to start something semi-structured with her.
She is thriving! Her little sister takes a 2-hour nap each morning, so it’s the perfect time for us to have some purposeful, one-on-one learning time together.
During our one-on-one time, I try to focus on a little bookwork, and then some hands-on activities.
I’m a big believer that the beauty of homeschooling is the realization that not everything needs to be bookwork nor does it need to be done in a formal, indoors setting. In fact, there’s the opportunity for it to include very little of either, in fact. Each child learns differently, so embrace a little trial-and-error at first to find what works best for your kids.
Since my oldest is still so young, I try to watch for any signs of frustration or boredom while she’s doing her schoolwork, and immediately switch gears to something else if that occurs. I don’t feel like there’s any need in burning her out or giving her a bad taste about schoolwork at 4 years old. I want her to sincerely enjoy it and have fun with no pressure.
We usually do about 15-20 pages in her Big Preschool Book (we’re almost ready for the Big Kindergarten Book. This is her favorite!), and then choose 2-3 other separate activities to work on:
-Flashcard games (we have several sets of flashcards – alphabet, numbers, etc.)
-I will read aloud to her
-Watching YouTube videos on different child musicians
-Coloring corresponding art pages to what we are learning
-Geography puzzle (we LOVE this one)
-Numbers games (Dominoes is a favorite!)
-Bible workbooks (i bought this bundle of workbooks off Zulily and we read the corresponding Bible verses before completing each page).
We also go to our local library weekly to check out new books & videos that might correspond with any upcoming field trips we want to do.
We went to the pumpkin patch & corn maze last week, so for the couple weeks leading up to that, we made sure to check out books and videos on how pumpkins grow, and a few corresponding crafts too.
Our home is out in the country, so shopping/church/family/friends is a pretty decent drive away. If we are in the car for any length of time, I let the girls choose a video to watch. I try to keep a couple Spanish and Sign Language movies available, which has turned out to be some of their favorites. Some of these are specifically educational language videos, and others are simply full-length movies with the Spanish language option turned on (check your settings!). Check your library for language videos as well. We also sing and do sign language to a couple songs each night before bed.
We also try to play lots of fun, educational games…
-Dominoes (teaches number sequence & matching)
-Boggle, Jr (teaches spelling)
-Chutes & Ladders (teaches counting)
-Candy Land (teaches colors)
-Spanish Bingo (teaches Spanish)
All in all, i want this sweet little preschool time to be one that builds a foundation… one that shows how much fun it is to learn, and one that encourages curiosity, questions, and self-teaching. Everything is a learning experience… and it doesn’t have to be a “lets stop and talk about this for 20 minutes” type of thing… just enjoying little learning moments in day-to-day experiences. ❤
If you are homeschooling, leave me a comment with some of your favorite tips!