We began homeschool preschool when my son was three years old. I also had a one-year-old at home at the time.
The thought of carting two toddlers to and from preschool for the older one was tiring. Not to mention I’d be working around my younger daughter’s nap times. (or lack of!)
Many kids in the U.S. attend preschool between ages 3-5, often starting kindergarten by 5 years old. I even have friends who put their children in a daytime program at 2 years old.
But because of my situation, I didn’t want to spend a large chunk of my day (and my kids’ day) in the car going to and from preschool if it wasn’t necessary.
I knew if we decided to send the kids to school instead of homeschool in the future, then we’d experience the daily grind and hectic morning schedules soon enough.
We belong to a local moms’ group, and the kids also attend Sunday school at our church. They are friendly and outgoing, so I feel that they are around other kids enough to socialize.
In addition, preschool isn’t cheap at all, with many preschools charging thousands of dollars per year to attend a few days a week.
Trying to find ways to save money as a stay-at-home-mom, we decided that this wasn’t an expense that was necessary.
[post contains affiliate links; if you click-through and make a purchase, I may be compensated.]
Things to consider about doing homeschool preschool:
- Is your toddler ready for preschool? Are they shy or outgoing?
- Are there other siblings at home or in school? Or are they an only child?
- Schedules: do you have the time to do homeschool preschool with your child? Do the schedules of other family members conflict with homeschool preschool or preschool outside of the home?
- Cost of preschool: consider the expense of sending your child to preschool outside of the home. Homeschool preschool may be a more economic decision.
- Are you willing/wanting to do homeschool preschool? Do you have an interest or think you’ll enjoy doing homeschool preschool?
- Do you and your family travel a lot? You may want to consider homeschool preschool if you want a more flexible schedule, thereby not having to take your child out of school frequently and missing school time that you’ve already paid for.
PIN FOR LATER
Why homeschool preschool can be beneficial:
Less stressful schedule:
We travel back and forth to see family since we live far from them, and I like the flexibility of not having to take them out of school.
In addition, being a stay-at- home mom, I wanted to delay having to be up and ready to get out the door so early for as long as I can. After reading the book “The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Pressure,” I realized that we will probably get even busier as our kids get older.
Therefore, we want to keep as much calm and simplicity to our days as possible.
Homeschool preschool gives you a preview or glimpse into the world of homeschooling. It will allow you to see how your child responds to homeschooling. You may discover your child seems to thrive in a homeschool environment.
You may also realize how much you enjoy teaching, being creative, and the flexibility of your schedule.
Or you may find that it’s too much for you or your child, or that you just don’t enjoy it.
Doing preschool at home allows you to save on school tuition, supply fees, application fees, and clothing.
Related Post: 6 Simple Tips to a Cleaner Home while raising Toddlers
What you’ll need to homeschool preschool (the laid back way):
If you’re doing homeschool preschool the laid back way, you can pretty much do as much or as little as you want.
I wanted to make it fun so we talked about “school” ahead of time and got the kids involved and excited by helping to pick out supplies.
We did our ‘back to school shopping’ when everyone else did. And we also started ‘our school’ the same as the rest of the kids in our area.
We spend about 30-40 minutes doing homeschool preschool–enough time to go through our routine but not so long that it feels like a chore.
If my son was enjoying a particular activity, we spent more time on it that day.
SUPPLIES WE BOUGHT:
- Pencil box
- Scissors Skills Workbook
- Activity Workbook
- Pack of Crayons
- Toddler Chairs
- Said the pledge of allegiance
- Updated our wall calendar
- Did few pages in workbook
- Did activity/craft like cutting with scissors
- Read a book
- Had a snack
This was a ‘loose’ routine. I set this schedule up to have some structure to our school time, but I was flexible with it. My goal was to introduce the idea of school and to just have fun.
We tried to stick to this schedule at least a few days a week while my younger child was taking her first nap. Sometimes this didn’t work out, so we’d fit some time in during the morning or afternoon.
And on days where he was tired or cranky, or if I had too many other things needing attention on a particular day, we didn’t push it.
Helpful Tips for doing Homeschool Preschool the laid-back way:
Homeschool preschool is a fun way to get kids used to school. Kids are still so young at this age, and there’s no need to force them or push them.
Introducing them to the idea of school while having fun is a non-intimidating approach. Use your imagination and play with your child while teaching them new things. The more fun you have, the more fun they’ll have.
When we talk about topics, or my son asks a question, we often pull up fun Youtube videos on my phone to explain things further.
Recently he got a rocket ship tent for his birthday, so I showed him videos of rocket launches and spaceships on my phone while we sat inside his pretend one.
When he got a seaplane bath toy for Christmas, we watched a video of a real seaplane taking off and landing on the water. He finds these learning videos fascinating.
I wanted it to feel like a real classroom even though “school” was just one section or area of his bedroom. Getting an inexpensive flag and making a “school routine” where we stood and said the ‘pledge of allegiance’ before we started each day, was a small touch that helped transform our space.
We did “show and tell” with all family members; just try and think of what kids may actually do in school and mimic this routine at home; take turns being leader while singing a “following the leader song.”
Explore your child’s likes & interests:
By doing a variety of activities, you’ll see what your child really enjoys. I discovered my sons’ love of using scissors and cutting out shapes with this scissor skills book. He asked to do that every day!
If your child is tired or cranky, or if you have plans one day, then simply skip a day–or even a few days. Change the time that you do school if a certain time becomes inconvenient.
That is the beauty of doing homeschool preschool. Preschool at home is meant to be a fun learning experience and enjoyable for both you and your child.
Your babies are your babies for such a short time. Everyone that has kids older than mine says how fast these years go by. And I want to hold onto these days and this time with my kids for as long as I can.
That’s a big reason why I was in no rush to send them to preschool and instead opted to do homeschool preschool the laid-back way. And I’m so glad we did.
You’ll figure out what’s best for you and your family. There is no right or wrong answer—and you know your kids better than anybody else!
Follow me on Instagram to see my day to day life as a stay-at-home-mom with two toddlers!
- 10 Things I’ve Learned Having a Second Child
- When Parents are Away: Info for the caregiver
- An Open Letter to a Military Mom
- 11 Ways for Moms to have a Better Day