Preschool Ideas

I recently swapped around some baskets I had around the house and put a lot of Carlee's preschool stuff into one of them. Originally when we started off homeschooling this year I felt like I had to have one-on-one time with Carter so he could do his school which meant I was sending Carlee into the living room to do something by herself. That doesn't sound too fun, does it?! This wasn't working too well and I was feeling like I was neglecting interaction time with her. So, then I started just having her do the things we were doing and this worked much better!

I've also changed up our routine a bit so now we have an actual circle time (for lack of a better word, but if I call it this, you know what I'm referring to). :) During this time we sing the hymn we are currently working on, pray for our sponsor child in Tanzania, review our Sunday School papers from the past week and work on our AWANA verses. We then say the pledge to the flag (we just started this, but I figured if I didn't teach them, who would?) :) and after the pledge we sing "You're a Grand Ol' Flag". (I really should video tape Carlee doing this. It's hilarious! She loves this song so much that she canNOT sit or stand still while we're singing it and is smiling the entire time!)

We also sing our months of the year song and our days of the week song (as I point them out on our calendar--I don't have anything fancy--just a cute calendar from last year). Sometimes I throw in an excercise for us to do (jumping jacks, marching around the house, etc.)

Then we start on our math. I recently switched to Rightstart Math and am very happy with it. It is much more of a hands-on approach with less worksheets than the other program I was using. Since it's hands-on and geared towards 4-5 year olds I'm able to include Carlee in this as well (she'll be 4 in August).

After this, I usually include anything from our current unit study. Then Carter will finish up any worksheets he wasn't done with. (I'll try to share more later the system that we're using. We're doing somewhat of the Workbox style and then ideas from another method.)

Anyways, ALL that to say, when I have to have one-on-one time with Carter, Carlee's right next to me using her basket of preschool things. Here's a peak at what's in her basket:

(Our basket of goodies!)
(puzzles I made from calendars or magazines. Mount on tagboard, laminate and cut into puzzle size pieces.)
 (putting some homemade puzzles together)

(alphabet cards printed from janbrett.com, some animal fact cards and 3x5 cards with a # on the front--the child then puts the appropriate amount of paper clips on that card)

(preschool wouldn't be preschool without paint and play-dough would it? Also, some upper case/lower case matching cards I made)

(Usborne's Telling the Time flashcards and fish cutouts I made at the library. Each fish has an action to do.)

(Leap frog fridge phonics game and homemade lacing card)

(Usborne's Book on CD (I would LOVE more of these!) and a Creative Memories punch)

(I also include whatever materials she brought home from Sunday School and we use them that week)

Well, I hope this gives you some ideas of what you can do with your preschooler! Have fun! If you're looking for an actual preschool curriclum, Sonlight has one. We are using Sonlight this fall. If you go with Sonlight I would really appreciate it if you used my referral code BZ20321238. Thank you if you do!! Be sure to check out my other homeschooling ideas.


Unknown said...

My oldest 2 kiddos are 3 and 5 as well, and I find myself doing a lot of "go play in the living room" while I work with my oldest on his phonics lesson or a difficult math page. Just today I was thinking I need to do something about it!

Our problem is that we have a basket full of things like yours, but my oldest gets so terribly distracted with it he doesn't want to do his work! :)

I just ordered Right Start with the idea that my youngest would be able to join in also - glad to see that is working for your family.

Sorry for the huge message - just found your blog and have enjoyed reading it!


i love all these ideas! and love how carlee is vanna white-ing them for you :)

Lana said...

I learned a lot from this post that will help me when I homeschool my kids next year. I'll have a preschooler and kindergartner.

I realize this is an old post but was wondering a few things...

Are you getting the unit study and worksheets from anywhere in particular? I am unsure if using a curriculm, like Sonlight, My Father's World or Heart of Dakota will be enough or if I'll need to supplement with other things. Or if I even need to use a package curriculmn.

Thank you so much!

becky@purposefulhomemaking.com said...

Hi Lana,
I'm glad the post was helpful!

It depends on the age of your preschooler. For a 3 year old I wouldn't do any worksheets but I did do a lot of unit studies with our oldest.

However, with our youngest I can't get into that too much because I'm so busy schooling the older two. But, he listens in on anything I'm reading aloud so has picked up a lot that way. I try to do some basic letter sounds with him and we work on his memory verses for church he week.

I think he's picking up plenty at age 3 1/2 by listening to the other kids and just using play as a means of learning right now.

If your child is 4 then I usually like to start something a little more "formal" at that point (but it's still pretty low key). I have not used the Sonlight at this age only b/c I wasn't familiar w/it when our oldest was that age or actually when our middle was that age I think. By the time our 3rd came around I didn't order it b/c I wasn't sure I'd have time to do that too (although my aunt used it and really like it for her daughter).

Hope that helps! :)

Lana said...

Thank you for your response, Becky. You're right about the younger one picking up things from the older one. I'm sure that will happen when I'm teaching the older one. There are just so many different options out there for teaching materials that I feel like the decision is overwhelming! I am really excited to start this journey God is leading our family on. Blessings!

becky@purposefulhomemaking.com said...

I'm sure you'll do great! :)

Anonymous said...

L love these ideas.These are very useful tips.I found your blog better than other blog.Your writing style and the way of presentation is also good.Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful ideas.

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