Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How we Preschool

This is the first year that I have really included preschool in our homeschool. If you've been reading for a while, you may remember that up until this year our children attended a cottage school two days a week. My oldest two had two years of preschool there before each entering Kindergarten. Though it was always my intention to work with them on their preschool studies at home as well, we just never got around to it.

When I was preparing for this school year, I had a few goals in mind. I wanted our children to be well educated this year, but it was also important for me to find ways to make homeschool as simple as possible. After all, I would be teaching a 2nd grader, 1st grader, Kindergartner, and preschooler while managing a toddler and nursing infant! I had to decide if I even wanted to start any formal lessons at all with H3 or just let her play with E2 while I was teaching the older three. Deciding to go ahead plan preschool lessons for her was the best decision I could have made.

I heard a speaker at homeschool conference say once that if you are teaching multiple children you should start with the youngest and work your way up to the oldest during your homeschool day for 2 reasons. The first being that it is easier to procrastinate with youngest and never get around to their lessons, thinking "I have plenty of time to teach them that". And secondly, because they thought that teaching your child to read would be the most important thing you taught any of your children and it deserved the first part of your day. I have found another reason to teach your youngest first thing in the morning...they are usually the ones who ask over and over in their best, whiny voice, "When is it my turn to do school?" Because I teach H3 first each morning, she usually has no problem playing contentedly later while I'm working one-on-one with the older ones.

I have taken very simple and um, cheap, approach to preschool. It usually only takes about 30 minutes to do our preschool lessons. My very basic goals for H3 this year were as follows:

Recognize and Recite all the letters of the alphabet.
Recognize and be able to count 1-20.
Recognize basic shapes and colors.
Further develop fine motor skills in areas of coloring, writing, and cutting with scissors.

In addition to these specific things she is learning so much more as she participates and listens in to the lessons I am teaching to the older ones such as Scripture memorization, Calendar skills, History and Science lessons, memorizing the sounds of the letters, and simple math skills. Just keep your little one in the room while you are teaching your big ones and I can assure you they will learn!

Following the ideas from the free preschool lessons at http://www.letteroftheweek.com/ I teach one letter, one number, and one color or shape each week. A year's worth of lessons would look like this:

Week 1 - square, A, 1
Week 2 - green, B, 2
Week 3 - diamond, C, 3
Week 4 - Review
Week 5 - blue, D, 4
Week 6 - octagon, E, 5
Week 7- Review
Week 8 - red, F, 6
Week 9 - star, G, 7
Week 10- yellow, H, 8
Week 11 - Review
Week 12 - circle, I, 9
Week 13 - black, J, 10
Week 14 - crescent, K, 11
Week 15 - Review
Week 16 - white, L, 12
Week 17 - rectangle, M, 13
Week 18 - Review
Week 19 - brown, N, 14
Week 20 - oval, O, 15
Week 21 - purple, P, 16
Week 22 - Review
Week 23 - heart, Q, 17
Week 24 - pink, R, 18
Week 25 - triangle, S, 19
Week 26 - Review
Week 27 - orange, T, 20
Week 28 - pentagon, U, 21
Week 29 - lavender, V, 22
Week 30 - Review
Week 31- hexagon, W, 23
Week 32 - tan, X, 24
Week 33 - parallelogram, Y, 25
Week 34 -
grey, Z, 100
Week 35 - Review

Each day I read a picture book to her. She has a sticker chart where she is tracking the number of books we have read this year. Then we review what we are learning that week and she completes 1 or 2 worksheets that pertain to letter/number/color/shape we are learning. On Friday she makes a new page in her Alphabet Lap-N-Note from Homeschool Share. It's really that simple.

I actually found the following two preschool workbooks years ago at the Everything's A Dollar store and use these for her worksheets.

They have pages for all of the letters, numbers, colors, and shapes we are reviewing with a few exception. If I we are learning a color or shape that week that does not have a corresponding worksheet in these books, I usually just print one from www.enchantedlearning.com .

Well, I'll be posting more preschool ideas throughout the week. Don't forget to post your ideas and sign my Mr. Linky. I'm not begging...yet, but the Mr. Linky is awfully lonely over here! Pin It Now!

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