Preschool at Home: A Tribute to My Daughter

If your barrier is simply, “What would we do?” here are basic pieces in creating your own 2-5 year-old preschool class.  The more frequently you hold school (2 or 3 times a week), the easier it is to incorporate the whole list; the length of class can be from 30 to 90 minutes.  In upcoming posts I’ll share how to run 6 months of classes under $60, and two lesson plans to get your thoughts flowing:

1.  Print tracer pages online for free.  Start with the alphabet, then colors and numbers, then themes such as seasons, transportation, sports, shapes, etc.  Have one binder for each child so you can easily get out the next page and store the completed sheets.  You can also get preschool workbooks at dollar or book stores.

2.  Have lots of drawing tools.  I recommend colored pencils, crayons, AND washable markers.  You never know which they will love on that day, but they never get bored when they have so many tools to color them with.  I also pull out Play-Doh as often as possible.  Show them how to make simple balls and rolled sticks and they can create any letter, number, or shape you can imagine.

3.  Have themed books, a dictionary, and/or encyclopedia.  I love the Disney Picture Dictionary!  For the letter of that class I read aloud the corresponding Disney pages (about 15-40 small words) to reinforce their recognition of letter sounds and word meanings.  Color and numbers books are great to have as well.

4.  Hunt for items.  My sister gave us an I Spy A To Z book so we can search for the alphabet items after the dictionary words.  For color-themed days, they would treasure hunt for three things in their rooms that matched our color of the class.

5.  Music and Dance:  We’ve accumulated some Clifford, B-I-N-G-O, and Kids In Action Cd's, as well as all of Susie Tallman and some library music.  Over time purchase rattles, little drums and pianos, whistles, etc for them to play along to the song or dance.  I'll give you buying tips on a later post.

6.  Art Projects, Cooking, or Field Trips:  For “W”, blue, or ocean-themed days, go to a water park, play with melting ice and mix up Jell-o in the kitchen, or use finger paints for art work.  Get creative with extra time.

7.  Coordinate your morning snack with class.  We ate pretzels and peanut butter on Brown day, bananas and pears on Yellow day, sugar snap peas and Spinach cheese puffs on Green day; have fun with it!

My first daughter will be in Kindergarten in a few short months, then it's all-day school till college.  I’m so grateful I could watch her write her first letter, sing her first song, dance her first dance, cook her own first snack, show her first show and tell...  I'll share my budget tips and sample classes with you next, because:

I wish you the same memories to cherish, and more!

2008

Readers: How do you teach your kids at home?

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