Some days I'm still in shock that J is three. About a month ago I was scratching my head wondering why on earth this boy is so bored all the time. We fly through our homeschool routine and then he's left with 'nothing to do.' What? This did not make sense to me. Well, maybe it's because I'm still treating him in the same way I have been for the past 18 months. I introduced gross/fine motor skill activity boxes and sensory boxes to him at 18 months but I haven't changed anything since. Well, I guess it's time.
By measurement of TEA (Texas Education Agency) pre-school is considered 3-4 year olds. Since J has a spring birthday, he would not be considered eligible for pre-school at most daycares and/or public school until September 1. However, we are homeschoolers. We can pick and choose whatever grade we want to be in. (Just kidding...kinda.)
As I've been preparing my journey into teaching pre-school curriculum I have kept track of what I use, how I organize, and all the resources/sites that have been uber helpful. I don't tend to enjoy list-y blogs but here it is. Enjoy. If you have anything to add; comment or shoot me an email.
- I just bought the Peaceful Preschool Curriculum from The Peaceful Press and I absolutely adore it right now. It's a literature based program that thrives on projects and hands-on learning.
- I have already separated everything into a binder & with tabs. I'm still trying to 'perfect' my organizing system in the binder. TIPS WOULD BE GREAT! Currently, I have tabs 1-12 for the 12 months that we'll be working through the preschool program beginning May 30.
- Our summer is going to be relatively full but the two days a week we are home I want to be intentional with our time in learning. Therefore, I'm spreading the one-week curriculum from The Peaceful Press into multiple weeks. I have also decided to supplement some after summer is through to continue the slow & steady pace. 1+1+1=1 has really great resources for both preschool & tot-school (which I'll still be doing with little A-man!)
- Oh, what am I doing with my 19 m/o? He's going to be learning too. Since The Peaceful Preschool is a literature based program, I too will be following the letters with my littlest guy. He will get the tot-school treatment that J received not very long ago.
- My curriculum/weekly schedules/bible verses are in the binder behind various tabs. Any printable/worksheet is located in my file bin behind the applicable folder. I labeled in terms of how we would use them based on themes we will encounter throughout our year.
- Other great resources: Wild + Free & Simply Learning >>Both great for minimalistic, stress free homeschooling and totschooling.
On to Toys: As any child toys are a must! But I want my kids not only to play but to learn while they play. While through the power of imagination and imitation I believe kids are capable of doing that with any toy. However, much like what has happened with my own 3 y/o boredom will set in. Therefore, I love "put away toys" which are essentially little activities that get placed on a high shelf in a closet until next time.
- This Puzzle has been awesome.
- These water beads were a mess, I'll admit, but the boys could not stop playing with them.
- Play-doh is a great resource for us + we love these activity cards that I laminate
- All types of puzzles, specific to what your child likes. I sing great praises of Melissa & Doug though there items are sometimes a bit pricey.
- I have been told these magnets are pretty awesome, though we don't have them yet.
- We use pipecleaners to thread through colanders for the less coordinated. Yarn + plastic yarn needles for weaving/threading in colander or cardstock with holes punched making an image. Also Melissa & Doug have threading/lacing activities, though we found some in the shapes of robots in our local Target dollar section over 6 months ago.
- Small fake legos (also in the Target Dollar Section) + handmade cards with building plans for different towers/pyramids to make.
- Pom-pom math/color sorting, uncooked pinto beans in egg carton labeled with numbers.
- A small basket used for Easter once with color cards to go on "color hunts".
- Sight Cards with short words + clothespins with letters written in Sharpie to match.
The key is to keep it cheap but keep it clean. We don't want a ton of clutter. We want practical items that can be used to serve multiple purposes as well as take up a small amount of space. We accumulate a lot of stuff and I need to take a lesson from some of these homeschool mommas in their minimalist approaches
And PLEASE, if you have any other sources or tips of the trade I am always curious and interested. Let me know> firstname.lastname@example.org