Home School Preschool 101 the Basics
Written By Renee Arbia
Yesterday, I wrote about Why We Chose to Home School Preschool our son, Xavier. Today, I am explaining what we are doing in a little more detail, in hopes to help other moms who may want to try the same thing or need ideas to do their own type of thing.
Every child is different. They learn things at different paces, each are motivated by different things and each has different learning styles and interests.
We tailored our schedule and even the curriculum to serve our needs. Even the times of things were worked around my husband and my schedule since we work at home. We actually found it helpful to us to know the exact amount of time that one will be Xavier, the other person then gets time to themselves to work or do what they want to do. We also chose different subjects that we knew would hold Xavier’s interest as well as teach him not only what he needs to know, but what he is interested in. The schedule format helps to regulate him to understand what it would be like in a school environment so that when he goes to school he has an idea, but we do not expect to be just sitting doing work books, we plan to spend a lot of time exploring, learning and playing.
|Xavier's schedules are on the lower part so he can read them!|
We are holding our Home School Preschool three days a week. There are some subjects he has all three days for consistency and a few he has once a week for extra fun and I strategically put them later in the day so that if we want to run over on time we can. Also, keeping into account that he is three and does not have a big attention span I allowed most subjects an hour or half hour because it will include set up and take down of any materials needed for the subject we are doing that day.
Everyday subjects we decided were the main ones we believed he needed to know the best for mainstream school. So we put them on the schedule for all three days.
Shapes, Numbers & Math – numbers, counting, adding, subtracting, identifying shapes, drawing shapes, counting angles
Computer Time – At three years old I do think it is important our children learn how to work a computer. It is inevitably going to be a part of their future I figure the earlier they learn about it the more experience they will have with computers. In order to do this I found the best website to be ABCMouse.com we enrolled in that and have been doing it since he was one year old. He loves it and a typical lesson with moving the computer to the kitchen and back to my desk being around thirty minutes. They even have their own preschool curriculum that we follow.
Our World/Practical Skills- This is basic information about our son that he needs to know and remember such as writing his name, learning days of the week, months, seasons and years, learning his address, learning to dial 911, learning about strangers, learning to tie shoes, learning about where you live, family structures. This area would also be any mixture of social studies, science or anthropology that we would like to teach.
Lunch Time- For this we teach how to make our lunch and properly set the table, sit and each lunch with our proper manners, and do proper clean up.
Quiet Time- For quiet time, we lie in our beds, lights out and close our eyes; you must be quiet and meditate or nap
Reading & Writing- learn the alphabet (writing it, phonetic sounds), early reading books, learn to write name, numbers and in general. We are starting with printing.
We next decided to add in once a week bonus classes for him that would be fun. They are all things he is interested in and we thought we could help further his interest by teaching him at least what we know in the subjects. They also teach him about what we do for a living and let him see what he may like to do or develop as an interest.
Once a Week Class
Music-Music is easy and a must have on Xavier’s list. I would have put it every day, but honestly if he likes it he should play/practice every day and he usually does, so I only schedule the lesson for once a week. He is learning the piano and guitar. We also have fun with drums, rhythm, singing and learning the names of different instruments and different genres of music.
Arts & Crafts- Painting, playing with Play-Doh, gluing collages, coloring, crafts for holidays, and birthdays. I actually got a lesson plan book with a lot of fun crafts to go along with what you are teaching that day which is good. They are always fun to do!
Exercise-There is a variety of things we would love to teach our son and he usually does all of them, but we thought by having this class, it would help find out what he is interested in and what he likes. We also thought this would force us as parents to think outside the box and come up with new things to do for exercise. So far we have planned hiking, an organized sport game with friends, yoga, ballet, zumba, dancing, bike riding, tumbling and tap.
Gardening- Not only did I find a love for gardening this year, but so did my husband and son. They both are really excited to do more gardening. So we are starting an organic vegetable garden that will grow all season crops and will involve a lot of care. We are also learning to compost and about the science of plants and the earth.
Faith- Our family is a Pagan family, our faith is very important to us. We learn faith from each other. At only three, like most faiths it is hard to explain very much. What I find we can talk about is the universe. The universe is a big part of our faith so it is easy to teach. We learn about the planets, moon phases, seasons, our celebrations. We also are teaching basic prayer and meditation.
Drama, Photography & Film- Xavier has learned that his photos and videos are taken and put on the computer and quite likes it, and also likes to take some of his own. So we are incorporating a class into his Home School Preschool that will involve learning about shows and theater. We also thought it would be fun to do different types of theater, like puppets as well as other things. The photography and film speak for themselves. It is something both my husband and I do a lot of for work so Xavier sees us doing a lot of photography and filming and wants learn more about the process. We decided we would add this subject to his curriculum in order to see if it really becomes a big interest of his.
This is just the first semester ideas. I am aware we will probably make a million different changes by next semester, but for now we are really happy and Xavier is really happy “to have school”.
Our children always force us to push ourselves to be the best everyday. It is much easier to not do anything with our son and just let him have his free play all day and just play with him and do what he wants. However, this Home School Preschool curriculum we decided to do because it makes him happier. Plus, it is extremely healthy for him and will enrich his life so much more.
Three is a very demanding age. It is easy to forget that we are a child’s whole world. They do not really have a lot of friends outside of parents. Not like we do in the adult sense of friends. They do not know how to depend on anyone else. At the end of the day the one our child wants to spend the most time with is mommy and daddy.
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