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How to Homeschool Preschool

How to start homeschool preschool. Homeschooling for preschool is easy and fun and very inexpensive! Check out this post for lots of tips and resources for having fun with preschool right at home! Includes advice on curriculum (you don't need one), schedule, lesson plans, activities, and supplies. How to set up for toddlers or preschoolers for math, reading, Bible study, and other subjects. DIY, free, low cost, and easy.

Since I shared that I am homeschooling Gracie, many readers have asked for my homeschool preschool advice.

preschool homeschoolSome readers send their children to a formal preschool or public school program during the school year and want to refresh their academic skills before the new year begins. Others want to implement a full scale homeschool program for their preschooler gradually over the next month or two.

Either way, to see that parents are becoming so involved in their children's education is really awesome, and I applaud all of you!

There are dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of superlative preschool resources online.  I couldn't begin to share them all with you. I personally make use of a handful of sites, and those are the ones I listed below.

Don't Repeat My Mistake

Joe and I had decided to homeschool our girls long ago, but when Grace started to show a real interest and aptitude for learning and literacy, I thought I should take advantage of the opportunity and get started with school.

I have a master's degree, but it's in secondary education. I never taught someone how to read or add or write. I was intimidated. I just wanted someone to tell me what to do/buy/use/teach.

I consulted with a friend on what she did with her preschooler, and I spent hundreds of dollars buying every single product she suggested.

That was not smart.

Why not?

What worked for my friend didn't really work for me. Grace hated Hooked on Phonics; she'd already taught herself to read. She had no interest whatsoever in Before Five in a Row. Her only interest in Handwriting Without Tears was the red play dough that came with it; she'd already taught herself to write.

It was a huge mistake to assume that any one thing (even if it was a great thing) would work for my teaching style and Grace's learning style.

So be warned. Before you spend hundreds of dollars on anything, get a sample. Try a single book instead of the whole set. Or, follow my new plan – the mostly free non-curriculum.

Our Homeschool Curriculum

The last time I wrote about homeschooling, some commenters asked what method of homeschooling I was planning to do. Charlotte Mason? Classical? Unschooling? Eclectic?

I had no idea!

I still have no idea, and it doesn't bother me one bit.

At this point, I know what Grace likes to do and what she doesn't like to do. I know what motivates her and what she will scribble over out of spite.  I don't need a label to explore the resources and find activities and resources for our homeschool.

I guess if I labeled us with one of those terms above, it would be easier to find resources. I could search for Classical Homeschooling Lessons or whatever and have a smaller number of websites to evaluate. I don't mind the extra choices.

Almost all of the following resources are free. A few are for sale, but the fees are low and benefit the families mom-owned small businesses (rather than a humongous corporation someplace). In addition, some of the resources are available in pieces for free, but for a small fee, you can download the whole curriculum at once.

For the most part, I have located these resources on Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, and by following all kinds of links when I see them.

Homeschool Preschool – Language & Literacy Curricula

There are so many wonderful sites. Here are some of my favorites –

1+1+1=1

This has been my go-to site for months. It's owned by a woman who is an inner city missionary and homeschooling mom now, but spent years teaching kindergarten. She designs and shares all sorts of curricula for tots, preschoolers, and older kids. Her resources are very well done, and her themes run the gamut from story-based to holidays to popular characters.

  • Almost all of Carisa's resources are free. She has two subscriptions sections (one for each of the programs below), and they are well worth the nominal fee in my opinion. You don't have to subscribe to use her curriculum, but the fee-based section has additional resources that will make things easier for you.
  • If you're just getting started with preschool, check out her Raising Rock Stars curriculum. It's a Bible-based preschool curriculum that Grace has really loved doing. We started it when she was 3, and we're still doing it, along with the You Can Read curriculum and the other things below.
  • If your student is learning to read, check out her You Can Read section.

Confessions of a Homeschooler

Erica is a digi-scrapper and graphic designer who homeschools her four children. I combined her Letter of the Week curriculum with Carisa's Raising Rock Stars curriculum each week. There are parts of each that Grace adored and parts that she could do without, but together, I felt like we had lots of varied activities.

  • Erica maintains a download page where you can get most of her activities, and she sells each curriculum set for $10. (The sets for older kids are a little more, but they are also really good.)
  • If you're just getting started, check out her Letter of the Week curriculum. We did this last year, when Grace was 3.
  • If your student is 4, and you're thinking about getting ready for kindergarten, check out Erica's new K4 program. I just bought it tonight as I was preparing this post.

Homeschool Creations

Last week, I reviewed Jolanthe's Weekly Homeschool Planner. Her site, Homeschool Creations, features theme-based printables for preschoolers. You could use them to guide your studies by doing one theme each week or every other week.

Last year, I supplemented our Raising Rock Stars/Letter of the Week curricula with some of these thematic units for a well-rounded set of activities.

And then, of course, I added my own stuff in, too.

Ready2Read

I haven't personally tried this curriculum, but I did download and look at it. It is free.

It looks good. I think it will be a nice complement Carisa's You Can Read program above.

Starfall

Starfall is a free website that teaches phonics through games. It's not a curriculum per se, but rather a site that will supplement your existing work.

Grace adores Starfall. She asks to “play” it almost as much as she asks to play Barbie dress up games.

Broken into 4 sections (ABC awareness to I'm Reading!), Starfall's games are simple and fun. They work with word families by rhyming and using pictures. After every 2 games, there's a story to read. A lot of the games and stories have downloadable versions as well.

The stories are my favorite part. Grace can click on any word to have the computer sound it out for her, letter by letter. It's awesome! She's largely able to do this by herself, a fact that brings her great pride.

Homeschool Preschool – Other Subjects

Obviously, learning to read and write is the biggest part of preschool. The above curricula cover that and more. Many have math and science components. It's all good stuff.

But there's more to learn than reading, writing, and math.

Here are some other curricula I have checked out:

  • Elementary Bible Class – This is a free curriculum available in downloadable PDF segments. I think it might be a little advanced for preschool, but the concepts are good.
  • Family Time Fitness – This one is not free. I think it currently costs $77. It's a physical education program for homeschoolers, and it is intended for grades K-5.
    I am overweight, and I want to prevent Grace from becoming overweight if it's at all possible. I want her to grow up with regular physical activity being the norm. Even though she's a wee bit young for the program, I went ahead and got it. We'll start using it in the next couple of weeks.

Additional Homeschool Resources

In addition to the resources above, you will find all kind of great stuff at these websites:

A Final Word on Homeschool Preschool

I know there are many formal, paid resources for homeschooling preschool, but I'm not inclined to take that plunge.

If you did homeschool preschool, how did you do it?

 

© 2011 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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22 thoughts on “How to Homeschool Preschool”

  1. Wonderful resources! After our conversation at Type-A, I looked into the free online charter school and found a few good state programs, but they don’t start until Kindergarten. So for now, I am looking for teachable moments and using resources that I’ve found online. I definitely need to check out a few of these links though – thanks!

    • Hi Heather,

      I applied my son up for one of the public charter homeschools here in CA. I can not wait to get started! We also get a $1600 educational spending budget!

      As for my daughter (2.5yrs) I’m doing the same as you…looking for teachable moments and using resources online.

      Good luck in your ventures!

  2. I am looking into a preschool kind of curriculum for my DD and I found this site (http://www.letteroftheweek.com/) quite appealing. I have also looked at 1+1+1=1 and might use that when I move on to focusing on the actual letters. I am doing it more to add structure to my day and will go with whatever she feels up to but the ideas in the Preparatory Curriculum of Brightly Beaming is very hands on not a lot of book work. Which is what I think will work for my DD this coming winter when she turns two.

  3. Thanks for this post – I’m really struggling right now to even buy ANY curriculum to try, for fear that our daughter (Kindergarten this fall) won’t like it.

    We are actually planning on using Five in a Row, were there any things you, as an educator did not like about it? I’ve been stalking it on Ebay for a while now, waiting for a good time to buy!

  4. Great post! It is very informative and well stated:) There are so many great resources on the internet and it is neat to see you using so many different ones! I LOVE it!
    Annie Moffatt

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  6. Thank you for all of the wonderful resources. Do you have any idea how I could incorporate this along with what my son will learn at public preschool? Should I do something totally different or attempt to teach the same subjects/ideas? My MAIN problem is planning the day & the week. I really haven’t the slightest idea where / how to start!
    Thank you!

  7. I truly admire your courage in deciding to homeschool your daughter! It is true that even though a certain process may work for others, it doesn’t mean it will work across the board. I also agree that it’s crucial to tailor your methods based on your child’s learning style. Sounds like you’re doing a wonderful job. Kudos to you!

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  9. Wow! Thanks for sharing this post to us. This will really help parents to decide what’s best for their child’s education. I truly admire your courage. Looking forward to some of your posts.

  10. I’ve just begun to look in to homeschool resources and am so glad I found this site! I did find a site with a complete curriculum starting at age 2. It’s called ABC Jesus loves me but I’ve yet to find something to compare it to. Has anyone tried it? I look forward to researching all of these! Thanks for a very informative post.

  11. Another great free preschool curriculum is God’s Little Explorers at motherhoodonadime.com and This Reading Mama has a free program called Reading the Alphabet for preschoolers who already know their letters. It’s geared more for early phonics and introduces some sight words. Both are excellent, and I’ve used both with my 2 and 3 year olds.

  12. Great post! That’s true. I was a preschool teacher and I know every single child in my classroom was different. Mixing up different resources is a great idea that way you can give your child great education but also keep her interested with the content she likes 🙂

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