I'm half way through my third week of home preschool'ing my kids.
And check it out, I'm still alive!
Some amazing stuff has happened during these short few weeks. I've learned a lot about my kids. I've learned a lot about different home school philosophies. I've developed a routine that seems to work for us, although I'm sure it will improve.
Four year olds are amazing. All you have to do is open your mouth, and they respond with questions. They're so eager to know everything, and so ready to jump in when they think they already know. This age seems to be all about learning and absorbing, so teaching them isn't hard. The hard part seems to be getting them to slow down for three seconds! As soon as we finish an activity or project the first question is usually, "What's next, Mommy?"
Ummmmmm..... uhhh.... I guess we better think about that for a minute.
There are a few things that have helped on this brief foray into the unknown, and since I spent so much time grasping at straws I figure I'd outline those things in case anyone else out there could use a hand. Keep in mind, I am NOT an expert, I'm a blundering first-time mom/first-time homeschooler.
- Don't freak out, it's just preschool. This was the wisest bit of info that a friend told me and she was absolutely right. There is no failure here, it's not even required for kids to go to preschool, you really can't mess this up. So relax!
- Check out the Library. They have amazing resources both for you and for your kids. Kids learn a lot just from reading. So even if they just pick out a bunch of books and take them home they'll learn a lot from that. I've made it our goal to read at least 2 new books a day. So we go once a week and check out about 10-14 books. When we get home, I put all but 2 of them away so that we can have something new to read each day. This seems to help keep their interest level high when each day we can read something "new". The Library also has plenty of books on home schooling. I check out one a week and try to read it.
- Check your local school district's website. My school district has printable preschool packets that have a full curiculum that's seasonally appropriate for each month. It includes activities, worksheets, and book lists. If your district doesn't offer one then feel free to click here.
- There are homeschool co-ops out there where homeschooling families get together one or two days a week to do more in depth classes. My local co-op doesn't offer anything for preschoolers, but yours might.
- Parks and Rec usually has some kind of classes that you can sign up your kids for. Mine offers a movement/dance class. I plan to sign them up in January. Check other places like your community center. This is something I need to do more of, but in the little I've heard there's a lot of options.
- Coloring pages! There are a ton of them out there, just google whatever subject matter might be appropriate. I recently found some awesome pages with turkey's and pilgrims by searching "Thanksgiving coloring pages".
Websites that I've found exceedingly helpful:
Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations: She's amazing! I have been using her wonderful thematic preschool printables since day 1. My kids love the activities, and her ideas are terrific. I check her page every day, and I love all of her organizational aids! She really is the one who gave me the courage to even try this.
I Can Teach My Child: An excellent blog with wonderful craft ideas! The thing that strikes me the most about this site is that each activity is meant to point our children to Christ. It's beautifully done!
Kaboose: I love the craft ideas here! I'm so uncrafty, and these ideas are simple and actually look like something you'd want to display in your home rather than immediately chuck in the bin.
If you know of any other great home schooling sites I'm all ears!