One of the great things about thinking about homeschooling for our family is that we still have two years to officially decide. In the meantime, I can try my hand at a homeschool-type preschool. It will give me a firsthand look at what a regular homeschool experience might look like for me and my family in the future, even if I am only coming up with one formal lesson a month.
Three other woman from church and I are getting together once a week this school year to do a homeschool preschool group. I am super excited about our little group of four three year-olds, and one 2.5 year old. I am full of great ideas and things I want to teach them all! I wish we could have it more frequent than just once a week, but I understand the difficulty of having time to plan lessons, and finding spare time to get together in the first place. All of us have other children, one is pregnant, and one is in school herself. I am just glad that I have the opportunity of taking my children to preschool each week, as we don’t have the money to pay for preschool for two kids right now.
Today is our first day of our preschool homeschool group. And I am in charge with the letter A and the number 1. I will be doing A is for Alphabet, introducing all the letters, and then introduce the numbers 1-10. I will share what I did afterwards.
But, since I want to teach my children more than what a once a week preschool will offer them, I know that now is the time when my personal teaching of my children will come into play.
And my children want to learn. They have wanted to go to school for a while now, asking if they can go with dad to school, grabbing their backpacks, and stuffing them full of miscellaneous toys. I like to think my kids are bright, smart little girls. And I’d like to take all the credit for it, but my husband deserves a lot of credit too, as well as things like educational videos (Leapfrog), books, a plethora of crayons and paper, and their inherited genes.
The truth is, for how smart they are, I haven’t drilled them on their letters, or had “formal” school time. I’ve usually just taken advantage of everyday learning moments:
What are the letters on that sign? S-T-O-P.
How do you spell my name? M-O-M
What color is the sky? Blue I read books to my kids and so does my husband. We also read scriptures to them. We also read ourselves, in front of them, often. I think it has paid large dividends in how much they are into letters and learning how to read and even write. Lisa has written some letters all by herself. Yesterday she wrote the letter I, O, L, A, E, on some note cards, over and over, a few letters per card. She’ll draw letters with sidewalk chalk when she’s playing outside. Both of my girls will point out letters in books, inside and on their covers, as well as on signs and objects. We had some note cards up around the house identifying some objects – table, door, chair, blinds, picture – but most have since been damaged/removed. I intend on taking those note cards out again and labeling more and more things inside our house to help them learn how to read.
But, besides letters, I want my children to learn how to do and know other things – things like telling time; knowing what day, month, year, and season it is; how their bodies work; how to cook/make/cut basic foods; how to count; identify animals and plants; how to treat others; clean; pour drinks; tie shoes (we have yet to buy them shoes with real laces); use keys; appreciate and make music; and play simple games. Even more, I want them to know Bible stories, verses of scriptures, how to pray, how to be reverent, identify the feelings of the Holy Spirit, and come to know the love of their Savior Jesus Christ for them.
I think a great benefit of preschool is that it is all those things. It’s learning not only academics, but also life skills. This coming school year I intend on working a lot with my children, at my home, on some of the things listed above. And I don’t think I will necessarily need to consult pinterest to do so. I am finding myself more creative as of late.
I may not be educated in early childhood education, or child psychology, or even child development, but I am educated in my children, and how they seem to learn. And this to me, seems to be one of the greatest reasons to consider homeschooling my children.