When my oldest was a toddler, I started to want to do some type of preschool at home. Since this was before the days of Pinterest, I spent a lot of time googling. There were so many ideas and I instantly felt a little overwhelmed. We set forth on our journey of preschool at home, both learning a lot.
Now, I am focusing on having preschool at home with my daughter. She has two years left at home before she heads to kindergarten, so we are soaking in this time together. Something happens when you realize your youngest is inching her way closer to school. You start to feel like time is going way to fast and then wonder if you should have another baby…. Or is that just me?! Joking, joking although trust me, the thought did cross my mind.
It is funny to look back at preschool at home with my first to preschool at home with my third child. I am so much more relaxed and today I want to encourage you, sweet mama, as you are planning or thinking about planning preschool at home.
Your Child Will Be Okay
Repeat this with me. Whatever your child is struggling with, they will be okay. I spent two years at home trying to teach my son the ABCs, numbers, and how to write his name. It was a struggle. A week into kindergarten and he was instatnly picking up on things and has been thriving in school ever since.
While there can be reasons why your child is not picking up on things, sometimes it is just because they need a little more time to mature. So I want to remind you of this truth before sharing any of the other ones. Relax, take a deep breath, and know that your little one will eventually learn how to write his name.
When your chld does eventually head off to school or start more focused homeschool time, you want them to be excited. Start emphasizing that school is fun from the start. These are the fun years for school. Laugh together, sing songs, dance around, and celebrate. They will have many years ahead for focused school, so keep things light!
Plan it Out
I quickly learned that creating my own curriculum, stressed me out. It took out all of the joy out of the preschool journey. I knew I needed to find a curriculum to use. With my son I used Confessions of a Homeschooler, which I loved. Now I am currently using The Peaceful Preschool with my daughter. If you want to try a week of it, you can download Letter A for free.
My favorite part is the weekly grid that is for each letter. Every activity is laid out and we can print the grid to put on my clipboard or on our fridge. All of the stress of planning is gone. I look at the plans and write down what I need to gather- so so simple.
Figure out what you need to do to plan out your preschool. Do you want to browse Pinterest and come up with a plan? Or would you prefer the planned approach?
Have a Goal
What do you want your child to learn? Colors, shapes, letters, numbers, counting? Write it down and then plan activities accordingly. Right now, we are slowly introducing everything. My daughter has a pretty good understanding of colors and seems interested in numbers. For this year, while she is three, we are introducing school and next year it will be more structured.
Establishing a goal will help you stay focused and remember your why for doing what you are doing.
Use What You Have
It can be easy to start looking at Pinterest ideas and get overwhelmed with thinking you need to go out and buy all these supplies. Stop right there- look around your home for items you may already have. Muffin tins are great for sorting. Blocks are great for teaching colors, counting, and patterns. If you do want to purchase some items, the Dollar Store always is full of options. Keep an eye out on the Target Dollar Spot as it can have great resources.
If there are some items you would love to have, make a list and slowly purchase the items as your budget allows. In the meantime, think about ways you can use what you do have. When we did not have Do-a-Dot markers yet, we used stamp pads with their finger to make the dots or you could use Q-tips with paint.
Give yourself grace
Something I have learned as a mom is that I need to keep my eyes straight ahead and constantly pour out the grace. When I start looking to the side at what a friend is doing and comparing myself to her, I will always end up feeling deflated. We each have unique gifts and can use these to be the right moms for our kids. As you start the journey of preschool with your little one, remember to take what works for you and use that. When you find out that things do not work well, let them go and move on.
Are you ready to start preschool? You can do this mama! I cannot wait to hear how it is going for you. If you have any other tips about preschool, please share them below! Check out our pre-school board where we will be pinning lots of fun ideas and follow along on Instagram for little glimpses of our preschool time.