If you’re like me, you’re wondering, “What the heck am I going to do with my preschool kids this year?” My twins are two (almost three) and I had wanted to put them into a Mother’s Day Out program this fall, but with the COVID craziness, I just feel I can’t. I have been WAITING for the day I could let them learn and play a few hours each week while I run errands, go to the doctor, or get a haircut without having to pay a babysitter. I mean…how many of us haven’t dreamed of at least making a trip to the “big girl potty” without our precious littles stopping by to see? We’ve ALL been WAITING for this day.
However, because I’m too unsettled in my heart, I’m going to take a pass on school this year. I’m going to keep them home. Here’s the next hurdle I need to jump: what the heck do I do now?
Maybe you’re like me and unsure of what to do with your preschoolers. Maybe you’re in the spin cycle of emotions trying to discern medical recommendations and what you feel in your gut. I checked out the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines by the Texas Education Agency and I just decided that as for in-person school, I will skip it. Skip it all. So, what now?
“Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho” off to the internet I go… a quick google search gives me what I’m looking for.
There are preschool curriculum's heavy in structure, some with no structure, some focused on avid readers, faith-based, play-based, worksheet-based, or exploration-based learning. You can really cherry pick your plan.
With a quick google search you’re going to find the top choices for preschool homeschool curriculum. Read that. It’s going to give you some good information. If you don’t have time to read it, you’ll find most of the information below.
For this age, play-based instruction is key. As the above article explains, “Play is a well-documented human instinct that enables children to practice real-life scenarios. Through play-based learning, children hone their problem-solving and social skills, increase their vocabularies, and become more physically agile.”1
Look for programs that teach these skills through hands on learning:
- Language and literacy skills. 1 Reading is an invaluable activity that enhances every area of a child’s brain. Do this as often as you can…or as often as you can make yourself, because (seriously) if we’re not dragging ourselves out of bed in the morning, then we all want to be that super mom when we wake up, but sometimes we’re just too tired to actually make it happen. Do what you can, mama. You’re a rock star! All the tiny humans are still alive!
Math skills, including colors and time orientation, fine motor skills, and sensory exploration.
- Now, if you’re beginning to panic here, don’t worry. I did too. How the heck am I going to check and see if all these elements are included in a curriculum? How many do I need to look through?
Here’s a list of curricula taken directly from the article1 (or you can click the article and see the list with a more detailed description of each):
1. Before Five in a Row – Two part curriculum; the first is reading-based and second is learning in everyday life. 1
2. WinterPromise – Christian based curriculum with two distinct options: a read aloud program and a program focused on language and math skills through play. These options can be run side-by-side. This curriculum is geared for 3-5 years of age. 1
3. Sonlight – Literature-based Christian preschool curriculum with play. 1
4. A Year of Playing Skillfully – Play-based curriculum for children ages 3-5 years. Based on the book The Homegrown Preschooler. 1
5. BookShark – Literature-based, hands-on, faith-neutral curriculum for children ages 3-5. 1
After you’ve thumbed through that, here are some really good resources to remember: There are free or inexpensive online or app programs that can supplement learning:
ABC Mouse - $9.95/mo
Starfall - $35/year – I was able to get onto this website and play a bit without signing in.
Khan Academy – Free – no ads and no subscriptions, donations accepted, non-profit
Epic!- $7.99 per month, digital library for kids
Vooks - $4.99 per month, story books brought to life
Some of these may offer free enrollment or a reduced price as many are doing online learning around the country this year.
More resources for homeschooling:
If you are homeschooling your kids, remember:
1. No one knows your kids better than you do. Go with your gut.
2. Your kids are kids. Have fun! Enjoy this age.
3. Homeschooling doesn’t have to be scary. Keep it simple and age appropriate.
4. Language, communication, and social/emotional skills are key for preschoolers: model, teach, and practice.2
And OH! You’re going to rock this!
Catrina is mom to two-year-old twins, Cooper and Cydney, and serves as treasurer of FWMoM.
1 Bales, Kris. "Top Choices for Preschool Homeschool Curriculum." ThoughtCo, Feb. 11, 2020, thoughtco.com/preschool-homeschool-curriculum-4163550.
2 Walker, Jennifer. Personal interview. 14 July 2020. She worked as a certified Early Childhood Special Education teacher for 8 years has worked in childcare teacher for 10 years