It’s August! Again. And you’ve got your schoolroom all fixed up and the curtains are pressed. The workboxes are labeled, the unit studies are planned, and everything you need through Christmas is already laminated. Or not.
If your palms are sweaty just thinking about everything you need to get/have finished so your homeschool year can properly begin, relax. Grab a cup of tea/coffee/Trim Healthy beverage of choice and join me for a few minutes. While preschool is my cup of tea, we are actually beginning a weird mesh of kindergarten/first-grade materials alongside tot-school, because little brother wants to learn, too. And frankly, it can all seem like a bit much. Without further adieu, here are my
Top 10 Back-to-Homeschool Preschool Tips:
- Stock up on coffee/tea/lemon for water or whatever it is that makes you breathe a sigh of “I can do this”. Not only will these begin your day with a comfort item of your own (because I know little Suzy is not going to share her stuffed ostrich with the pink bow), but when you need a “mommy moment” at some point you will have a favorite treat ready to go while the kids watch an episode of Word World for 15 minutes and you regroup.
- Get everyone comfy pajamas for the days when you rock the stereotype and keep them on all day while doing school, chores, and having fun growing together as a family.
- Go ahead and buy the laminator. Office whatever store that is close to you is going to charge you an arm and a leg for all those units, PreK packs, and chore chart cards to be laminated.
- Don’t think you need a curriculum. Piece together fun things you find, enjoy nature, go to the library, check out all the amazing free printables online! Or get a curriculum if you feel that would work best, but don’t let anyone tell you-you have to have it.
- Plan preschool activities around your household tasks. Did you know that teaching your child to wash windows in small counter-clockwise circles actually helps their muscles prepare for cursive? Teaching your child the steps to make the bed helps them understand the process of following directions. Baking cookies helps put in pegs for fractions later on. Don’t think it has to come out of a book to be “learning”.
- Get some good read alouds that you loved or have always wanted to read. Picture books are great for lap reading, but get meaty books for 10-15 minutes of quiet-play read-aloud time each day. We are reading the Dr. Doolittle stories this year along with some others I’ve never taken the time to read. The point is to teach them to listen and eventually to be able to narrate back, so it’s OK to pick something you enjoy.
- Be prepared. For days to go off track. For sick days and cranky days and days when it’s too sunny or snowy to stay inside. Be prepared for forgotten crock pots, spilt juice, and occasional naps to throw your schedule for a loop. And just go with it. God blesses messes, too. Not every day fits on the “perfect homeschool day” Pinterest board.
- Try to have a routine. Not necessarily a schedule, but a routine is good for everyone. Let your kids know that mommy has her coffee and reads her Bible for 15 minutes before it’s time to start asking questions about the day. Have a set night of the week for your family’s favorite dinner. Help your kids to know it’s chores followed by school work before it’s playtime. Whatever routine works for your family, give yourself a grace period to figure it out, then nail it down.
- Play a lot of games. Hide and Seek, Sum Swamp, Super Stretchy ABC’s, CandyLand, etc. Make learning fun for everyone.
- Each morning, before your feet hit those floppy bunny slippers and head for the caffeine, give the day to Jesus. Give the kids and their hearts and minds to Jesus. Ask for grace and patience and more grace. Thank God that we live in a place where we can teach our children diligently to walk with Him. And then hop on out to begin your day.
What is your number 1 tip for homeschooling preschool?
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I’m Lara, a sinner saved by grace, wife and help-meet to my best friend, John, and homeschooling mama to two bouncing (literally) boys, Teddy and Frederick. Hot tea, good conversations and dark chocolate are some of my favorite things. Grab your favorite mug and join us on our adventures at Lara’s Place and a Cup of Grace!