Friday, August 30, 2013

Mrs. P's Homeschool Preschool- week 1

Last week I started homeschooling my boys. To answer the most often asked question- I don't know if I'll continue to homeschool them into grade school years. At this point, that is not my plan, but I'm keeping myself open to God's calling on the subject. For now, I'm putting my degree to work  and throughly enjoying it. Thankfully, my boys love it even more.

side note: for those who don't know, I have a BA in Elementary and Early Childhood Education and was licensed to teach K-5 in the State of Oregon. I started on my M.Ed when I got pregnant with Malakai + decided to stay home full time. 

I felt like I had all the time in the world when I started really planning (not just pinning) at the end of July. We had no big plans for the entire month of August and I figured I'd start school when everyone else did after Labor Day. I planned my brains out, was going to start on August 19th at one point to have the curriculum line up with holidays and then decided I was overdoing it and pushed it back to September, and then finally landed on this past week. I don't know what I was so worried about, I think I just really wanted to get it right and I was a teensy afraid of ending our summer too quickly. Thankfully, preschool is short and flexible...especially when homeschooling. 

I had originally drafted a schedule with school work interspersed throughout the day Monday-Wednesday and Fridays. Then I kept whittling it down further and further until it was flexible enough to just do calendar time and memory verses some days (like Thursdays when the boys spend their mornings at Grandma + Grandpa's house...I know, I'm spoiled). After doing it for a week I'm happy with how it turned out and glad that I planned extras because Malakai has been asking for "more schoolwork" every day. 

We are basing our lessons on curriculum from ABC Jesus Loves Me and then I'm throwing my own thing in and taking some of their stuff out (like the letter books and all the DVD's). I'll throw in some basics I taught in Kindergarten like gluing, cutting, sitting quietly and grab some ideas Pinterest as well. I am mostly using the 4 year old curriculum with both boys, but throwing in colors, shapes, and manners from the 2 year old curriculum as well. Desmond is loving school time, his favorite part is getting stickers.

We start our day after breakfast, often still in PJ's and go into the front of our house where I've set up an are for "Number wall" which is when we update our calendar (people, run to Target and grab up all their adorable classroom supplies from the $1 section), talk about and practice the number, shape, and color of the week. We also update the weather and sometimes do our memory verse before going back into the family room.

Next we practice our memory verse, sing a song or two, review the Bible Story and possibly do a craft to go along with it. 

We take a break for play but all this week Malakai has wanted to do more school work so I'd give him a letter writing worksheet or have him paint or color something. 

Then we'd practice letters, shapes and colors with worksheets, activities, stories, etc. I'd save most of the "desk work" for when Desmond is napping and Malakai is done with quiet time in his room.

{singing "Deep and Wide" and Kai reading the Bible to Desmond}

Once a week we do a focused gross motor skill, a focused small motor skill and a visual perception exercise. All of these ideas so far are from the ABC Jesus Loves Me curriculum. For gross motor we played a game outside after nap time called "put out the fire" where I drew flames and a ladder. The boys had to hop up the ladder to dump water on the fire. They wanted to play over and over again. Later that day when Ben got home they wanted him to play, I came to get them for dinner and they had all the neighborhood kids (all much older) playing with them, it was a big hit.

{playing "put out the fire"}

We also get a lot of books at the library. The curriculum has a book of the week, so we get those for the 2 year and 4 year curriculum, plus whatever the boys want to pick out. 

On Mondays I introduce the new subjects for the week, Tuesdays we do activities to reinforce, and by Wednesday I let the boys run the show to see if they can identify them. Then Thursday afternoon and Fridays are for review, catch-up, play dates or other outings. 

With how well it has gone, I wish I had started doing preschool earlier. Having structured activities has really helped my kiddos to not get stir crazy or too wild. It helps me to structure my day a bit more and while we are surely busy, they are more preoccupied for me to step away for a moment during play time or while they are coloring/writing to start a load of dishes or laundry. I know that the school year always starts off with a high and can get pretty dismal as the kids get used to the routine, and even bored with it, but I'm hopeful that my boys will continue to like homeschooling and we'll enjoy it for the rest of our school year. 


  1. This sounds so great! Thanks for the inspiration. I was wanting Tristan to start preschool this fall ( just a couple days a week) but that isn't going to work out- so doing something like this at home would be so great for him. I don't know how well little brother would follow along but it might be fun :)

  2. I love this so much! How would you feel about one more student? I could use a refresher and this looks like the most fun ever :D


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