“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” -Proverbs 22:6
Since last fall my girlfriend and I decided to co-teach a homeschool preschool for our 3 year olds. I never thought I would want to homeschool, but because both our kiddos are September babies, missing the cut off to start Kindergarten until age 6, I knew we were not going to pay for 3 years of preschool (if you haven’t researched it lately it is pretty expensive). So instead of going somewhere to have them learn some of the basic things; alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors, patterns, etc…I figured we would be able to handle these types of lessons at home. But I also knew we were gonna need a plan.
That’s where Pinterest came in handy (gotta love me some Pinterest). I was able to find a free curriculum on Motherhood on a Dime called God’s Little Adventure’s Preschool. She has everything on her website including free printables, pictures of the activities and detailed descriptions of the lesson plans. Every week was a different letter with a coresponding bible story, activities, songs to sing, crafts, even extra books you could check out from the library.
I set up a little area in our house with a small table and chairs (all from Ikea), craft supplies & even found a velcro calendar that we could change the date, weather, season, etc…Here are some of my favorite lesson plans from the year…
*A was for apple. We painted our own apples out of plates & glued real apple seeds to them, picked apples off the tree; counted them & put them in number order, taste tested different kinds of apples & learned about sweet, tart, soft, crunchy, etc…We also incorporated the Bible story about Adam & Eve.
*T was for Tent, Turkey and Thanksgiving (we skipped around the lesson plans so that we could have certain letters at specific holidays). We pitched a tent in our backyard, made a turkey pinecone craft, made a handprint turkey and learned all about being thankful. Plus we learned about the Bible story of Abraham living in a tent.
*F was for fire. We, of course, had super fun with this lesson plan! Learned all about fire safety; practiced what to do if there was a fire in our home, how to stop, drop and roll, what number to call in an emergency an incorporated the Bible story of the Shadrach, Meshack & Abednego. Plus, we also got to take a field trip to a fire house (aka we went to visit Daddy at work).
*K for King. We learned all about King David, King Solomon & the King of Kings being born in a manger (this was right before Christmas). We made a castle out of shapes, decorated a crown and even made a manger ornament out of popsicle sticks for the Christmas tree.
*S was for Shamrock and P was for st. Patrick’s Day (I veered from the lesson plan for this week). I wanted to teach the kids about the three leaf clover and how each leaf represented Jesus the son, God the father and the Holy Spirit. We also learned about st. Patrick, painted our shamrocks and even made green pancakes for lunch.
*U was for Up. We talked about all things that go up or are up in the sky; the sun, moon, stars, clouds, airplanes, rocket ships, birds, etc…This was a really fun day!! We made a mobile with cotton balls clouds then had the kids draw & cut out the sun, stars & moon. We tied in the Bible story of Jesus ascending to Heaven (we planned this so it was right after Easter) and ended the day at the park flying a kite up in the sky.
*Our last day was I for insect and ice-cream (which turned into an ice-cream celebration). We incorporated the Bible story of the 7 plagues, made insects out of tissue paper and flew them outside.
Even though the lesson plans had enough activities for having class four times a week, we were only able to meet once a week so we would just pick and choose our favorites.
In the end, I think the kids learned just as much as we moms. I learned that even though I didn’t always like school as a kid, learning can be fun, especially when you learn through play. I loved watching the kids grasp new concepts, even if it was just learning manners and how to treat each other kindly.
Our journey came to an end this past week, but I am so happy for the memories that we have created for these little kiddos. I am not sure where exactly we will go from here. Our friends are moving and we are beginning to look at outside options for further preschool. I have to say it is difficult with a younger baby, who no longer was napping at the time we were trying to have school, which is just one of the reasons we are looking for other options. But if at any time either of our kids decide that they are not liking more “main stream” schooling I would for sure look into other avenues of homeschooling. I do think it is a great option, especially when you have someone to co-teach with you, but it is definitely a lot of work. I give so much credit to all you homeschooling parents out there, you are amazing!
(Had to include a picture of us celebrating our last day with our little graduates & the babes who wanted to join in on the fun every week)
Feel free to share your journey or thoughts; are you considering homeschool? Or are you already doing it? Do you co-teach? Do it alone? Have a co-op of parents? I’d love to hear your story!