While some argue that preschool-aged children don’t actually need to start homeschooling and will benefit from extra years of play that will serve them just as well, I would beg to differ.
Those same people say “Just read to them,” but I am here to tell you that without a slight bit of structure to our day, I would never have read to my preschool children. I’m just too fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants and scattered. By adding in a tiny bit of structure, and an hour or so of “curriculum” I was able to give my preschool children a leg up for starting Kindergarten. It did help them get ready. And it gave us a fun bonding time in an otherwise busy day!
In fact, can I just be completely honest here? For a few years, the middle years, I did skip preschool with a couple of my children because I was incredibly ill. And I can see the detriment to their academics carrying forward even now – seven years later. They learned a ton during those years, and certainly benefitted from play, but I’m pretty sure a bit more time one-on-one with me would have made a big difference.
So, if you are wondering whether or not to homeschool preschool, I say go for it. Just keep it light, manageable, and above all FUN. If you introduce school with FUN, your kids are far less likely to burn out and get bored later — which is one of the leading comments of those who propose that you skip preschool. They say just read good books and play with your kids because otherwise they will burn out on school. And I say – what they have described IS homeschooling preschool, but I need some help making that happen. I need a bit of structure.
This is the primary reason I wrote Amy B’s Theme Schedule for the original Sonlight PreK Curriculum back in the early 2000’s. I took a very basic theme schedule that was already in existence and greatly revamped it to include many different themes and activities, using the books in the Sonlight box.
Back then, Sonlight didn’t have a PreK schedule, they just sent you a box of books and said “Go, read.” And I knew that wasn’t going to work for me. Another lady had a pretty good schedule, organized developmentally, but I knew my kids and I would have so much FUN reading our stories and playing games and doing crafts that revolved around a theme. And we did! My oldest kids and I had a blast.
These days, Sonlight includes Instructor’s Guides with three new PreK levels and Amy B’s Theme Schedule is kinda out of publication. It became obsolete. But oh my goodness, it was so much fun.
When I got ready to preschool the twins, I needed something with the same amount of structure, but a little bit less time. I knew I needed to do something – and that something turned out to be Mother Goose Time. It was the perfect amount of structure, daily crafts, books, and lessons on patterning and calendars and such, but it was all laid out for me and came in a box ready to go at the start of each month. All I had to do was work my way through it. Easy. With four older kids needing my attention, easy was good.
If you need a bit of structure to make homeschool preschool happen, you might like these fun resources with an emphasis on FUN. These are all things I used at various times, in addition to what I’ve already mentioned. All families are different, and something on this list is sure to resonate and provide you with just the right amount of structure for your family. Yes, you can homeschool preschool.
Full Curriculum to Homeschool Preschool
Timberdoodle – We love all things from Timberdoodle, and had they actually carried a full preschool curriculum when we homeschooled preschool, this probably would have been my choice.
Sonlight Preschool – A literature-based curriculum with a focus on reading aloud to your child. Math and Phonics instruction are included. We loved the Sonlight books, but as with any Sonlight Core – there is a lot of material to cover.
Mother Goose Time – An activity-based curriculum, with minimal read alouds. Each day you say the pledge, practice patterning, look at a calendar, chart the weather, study a letter of the alphabet and a number, read the book for that week, and then do paste and glue activities related to the letter, number, skill, or story of the week. This curriculum is delivered to you monthly in a box, and everything you need is in that box.
Flowering Baby (ages 0-5) – A picture books-based curriculum, this curriculum has suggested reading for each or for each theme of your choice, with activities that coincide with your choice of path. I was very impressed with the book choices for this one.
Letter of the Week is a free curriculum in which you focus on one letter each week, reading books, doing crafts and activities, all related to the letter. I used it briefly with my oldest who is now 17, and it was very well conceived at the time. I don’t have current experience, but it is free.
Supplemental Curriculum to Homeschool Preschool