Homeschooling a 3 Year Old, Preschool Edition

Before I was a SAHM, I worked as a teaching assistant, (yeah, a T.A.), at a preschool. After that experience, one of the many things “I’m never going to do when I have kids” was send my kids to preschool. I am totally guilty of once being in the mindset of never going to let my kids have their nasty GMO Goldfish snacks, or waste my money paying someone to do something I could do, or institutionalize my fragile babe and not letting my kid be a kid. ~eye roll~ BUT! Just like most things we say we are never going to do when we have kids, I kinda ate my words. And ate Goldfish.

A few months back I highly contemplated whether not sending Ollie to preschool was a good decision and started looking for somewhere to enroll him. Ollie LOVES sitting down and learning. Like a lot. So I knew this is something that I should try to help flourish despite my laziness. But then it occurred to me. I’m pretty set on homeschooling for at least the first few grades and it just seemed so counterintuitive to have him in preschool for 2 years, then homeschool. I don’t know. I change my mind all the time so who knows. By the time he starts Kindergarten I’m probably going to ditch homeschooling all together and send him to private school… or public school… or charter school.

For now, in this season of my life, I really felt like I needed to buckle down and try to kinda test run homeschooling and see if it is something that I feel like I could manage. Because having to wake up, get ready, drive and pick him up somewhere at a scheduled time every day seems impossible. But then homeschooling is SO intimidating. It’s like the idea of having a large family. Like, how in the world would I know how to handle that. And I’m assuming that it is just like having a large family. It’s not like you (typically) have a ton of kids over night. You ease into it and it gets easier as you go. So there’s my pep talk to reaffirm the doubts I’m having while I type this out, ha!

This is the basic layout of our preschool week. We have 10 subjects and each day Ollie gets to pick 2 subjects he wants to do that day. Once he’s done, we mark them off on the chalkboard. The next day he gets to chose from the remaining 8 options, and so on. The weekend before, I quickly jot down the “curriculum” so during the week I already have a sense of what we will be doing and can gently sway him into choosing certain subjects on certain days if I already know we have plans.

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This is what this first week looked like:

MONDAY: Home Ec + Letters

 

1. Home Ec

My idea for including Home Ec was that he really likes being the big helper, especially in the kitchen. So I figured that he could help me bake (and eventually home ec will include more chore like duties) at least once a week and call it preschool to make the not so fun aspects more fun for him.

We made some Blackberry + Chocolate Turnovers. I tried to let him help way more than I usually would let him. He got to make the egg wash, measure out the ingredients, etc.

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2. Letters

Ollie has been using some Kumon workbooks for a few months now and blasts through them. He could sit down for hours completely entertained by them (I have done this before to keep him occupied, dats how I know). Right now we have Lowercase Letters, Alphabet Games, and Rhyming Words. He gets to go through and do one lesson from each workbook.

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TUESDAY: Play + Catechism

3. Play

So this is meant to be some sort of social play, whether it’s taking him to the park, playdate, etc. I hate going to the park. Like a lot. Atlas is the loco one. Trying to jump from 8 feet up. Running into people on the swings/slides. Too exhausting and all we end up getting is another cold. We were already sick and it was 80 degrees out and no human interaction. So to the beach we went!

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4. Catechism

My plan for catechism is to read a story from his kid’s Bible following the liturgical year and doing some activity pertaining to it. We read the story of the wise men and I had him draw the scene of them presenting the gifts. He said that this is bald baby Jesus waving his arms laying in a stable, bearded Joseph waving his arms with his tongue out, Mary with a thing on her head, 3 wise men (one that is a tiny wise man) with oils (frankincense), gold and murd, a star with a building, and fireworks. When he was finished he said, “I want to give this to Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem. Let’s give it to the mailman.”

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WEDNESDAY: Reading + Music

5. Reading

Simple. Ollie gets to pick 5 books (no persuasion on my end due to length or difficulty. I’m looking at you Fox in Socks). Also, Daniel has occasionally being doing some reading lessons with Ollie from Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons that we plan to pick up on once this post-Christmas scrambling settles.

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6. Music

Chopsticks! on his little piano. We practice for about 5 minutes. That’s it! He almost has that memorized and when he does we’ll move on to other simple songs or just basic jam sheshs.

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THURSDAY: Cutting + Art

 

7. Cutting

I bought a cheapo pair of preschool training scissors at Target and they are working out great! I only had him practice cutting off a piece of paper for him to color on, but future endeavors include straight lines and shapes.

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8. Art

Ollie drew our family! Make note of  “dada’s baby head”, mama’s “cute hair” and lack of red lips.

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FRIDAY: P.E. + Numbers

 

9. P.E.

Today I made a sort of obstacle course. He had to ride his scooter over the numbers 1-10 written on the ground, then run and kick a soccer ball into the net, go down the slide, run up stairs and then jump down the last one, ride his balance bike up and down our driveway, and then try to do a hopscotch. In the future on lazier days, I plan to just have him do a couple “races” or even just do some stretches.

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10. Numbers

He has done a few number workbooks in the past and we don’t have any right now, so I had him trace the numbers on his Kid O Magnetab, and then called out random numbers 1-30 to have him write down.

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And that’s pretty much it! Even though we all have been fighting this awful sickness this past week, preschool everyday has been really easy. He wasn’t nagging me to do more preschool, or to only do his workbooks like I envisioned. Atlas wasn’t even too disruptive either. I mean he definitely got in the way (ahem, sitting on the piano. Kicking the pie crust. Stealing Ollie’s crayons), but since we didn’t have a scheduled time of do these things, we were able to pick times that worked best for the entire family. Totally adaptable to the variants and routine of each day.

Do you guys have any suggestions of subjects I should include or swap out? Are you doing some sort of preschool with your preschooler?

2 Comments

Rachel

I loved all of this! Some great ideas! I feel the same way about homeschooling. I have a 2 (almost 3) year old, a 15 month old, and another one on the way- and I am always looking for ideas for my oldest! I want to start with little things like you are doing but I don’t know where to start. Thanks for helping me out! :)
Also, who makes the Children’s Bible you have?

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