Home Preschool Tips...

I have actually never sent my kids to formal preschool for various reasons. But I also have always wanted to them to have the benefits I feel preschool gives children. I think children learn valuable social skills there. They learn to sit still and listen to a teacher respectfully. They learn material to send them into school with more confidence. And they have fun doing cute projects and crafts that quickly get pushed to the side in formal school.

So, instead I began with my oldest 3 by doing a "home preschool" and doing many activities to enrich their world. We did lesson plans, crafts, academics and field trips. My younger sister is actually doing this same thing with her 3 young children, so she is going to graciously share some of her amazing lessons with us as well in upcoming posts.

Once my oldest went to school and I moved into a neighborhood that had more kids, I set up a preschool co-op group. There were anywhere from 4-6 children in the group. The moms would rotate who taught the lesson and at the start of the year, we came up with the lesson topics and objectives of our group. Then after each rotation, we would go on a field trip together.  I love this because my kids got the preschool experience, but selfishly I still got to be a part of it!

If you want to try something like this at home... First, get a group of moms who you trust and who will have the same objectives as  you.  Next meet together and plan the themes. Some of the themes, I have done over the years are {When my kids were in the year before kindergarten, we separated out the long and short vowels as 2 different lessons}:

A is for Airplanes, Ambulance, Autumn, Apple
A  is for Acorn {Long A}
B is for Body, Baker, Butterfly, Bee, Bunnies/Baskets {Easter}
C is for Cars, Construction, Castle, Clover
C is for Cirucs {Soft C}
D is for Dinosaur
E is for Electricity, Earth, Ettiquette, Exercise
E is for Emotions {Long E}
F is for Fall, Firefighter/Fire Safety, Farm, Feast
G is for Go, Ghost, Groundhog Day, Gumballs, Graduation {Graduation Party}
G is for Gingerbread {Soft G}
H is for Home, Healthy, History, Halloween, Hats {different jobs in the community}
I is for Instrument, Insect
I is for Ice cream, Ice {Long I}
J is for Jungle, Jack-O-Lantern
K is for King, Kindness, Kitten {and baby animals}
L is for Light, Letters, Love
M is for Music & Movement, Maps, Mothers
N is for Nature, Nutrition, Neighborhood
O is for Opposites, Occupations, Octopus
O is for Ocean {Long O}
P is for Pirates, Planets, Pets, Pumpkins, Present {Christmas}
Q is for Queen, Quarter ($)
R is for Rainbow, Rocks, Rudolph
S is for Senses, Sports, Safety, Symbols {Christmas}
T is for Teeth, Teepee, Transportation
U is for USA, Up & Under
U is for Universe {Long U}
V is for V.I.P, Volcano
W is for Water, Winter
X is for X Marks the Spot, Xray
Y is for Yawn, YOU
Z is for Zoo, Zoom
In the next post, I'll share our outline of what we did at preschool and our "rules" we set up to keep it running smoothly... and then my sister and I will share some of our favorite past preschools with you..

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