Preschool Curriculum for Homeschool: a plan for playful learning

Preschool Curriculum | homeschool preschool

It feels as though my Littlest should still be pulling tupperware out of my kitchen cabinets and beating on pots and pans while the olders do school. (Although I’m not entirely sure he won’t be doing exactly that. Ahem.) But the baby of the family is feeling the urge to grow up. He’s begging to do school with his brother and sister, wanting his own lessons and supplies, and pretending to read whenever he can. I’ve let him set the pace and started with some preschool activities.

Still, this year will be focused mostly on playful learning, putting learning in front of him in a lot of different forms of play and seeing how motivated he is. My preschool learning goals for him are very fluid: learn to count and recognize numbers as high as he can; learn the alphabet and sounds; love to learn!

So my preschool plans and resources come with this disclaimer: we may or may not use everything and/or finish our books. And I’m okay with that. When he’s ready, he will take off. But right now, he needs to play. And I’m always so surprised by what a preschooler can learn when you least expect it. They are “ninja” learners. 

Our pace for preschool is very relaxed; we get out the activities when he asks to do them. Usually, he chooses at least one activity everyday, and we get through all of our preschool lessons about 2-3 days out of the week, which is plenty! I’m not planning on starting the Foundations textbook until January, and even then, I’m taking it very slowly. Whatever we have left, we will finish next year along with the level B book for kindergarten.

I really do love this stage, where “school” is playful and fun and creative and colorful. I’ll miss these days. I may just have to pre-homeschool someone else’s kid when mine have outgrown all this. I’ll need the excuse to keep playing with counting bears.

False Starts and Failures

I began our homeschool journey last fall with lots of enthusiasm and a lot of confidence. After all, I’d been homeschooled from the end of first grade all the way through to graduation. I’d even written and edited for a Christian textbook company. I knew the ins and outs and ups and downs.

What I didn’t count on was a four-year-old attention span and a two-year-old distraction. My beautiful school room, shiny new workbooks, carefully laid out teaching plans, and creative displays could not prevent our homeschool days from crumbling into disarray. After four grueling weeks, we took a breather—and Mommy regrouped.
The research suddenly took priority. I read a number of books and searched blogs like crazy to get ideas. Then, a few months after our first failure, we took another stab at it—with much greater success. Homeschooling became all I had ever hoped it would be. After we finished off K4 (just this last week), my son came to me with this announcement: “Mom, I’ve got a great idea. Let’s do school through the summer.” And so we are.

We are in our groove now, but I learned a very valuable lesson from our rough start. It takes the failures to find success. And there might be a few false starts along the way to the finish line. For us, everyday is an experiment, and even when the experiment goes awry—I’ve learned something. Like the great inventor Thomas Edison, I’ve simply discovered one more way it can’t be done.
My encouragement to you would be this: don’t be afraid of the mistakes you might make. It’s a natural part of the process.
As you do your research and cruise those beautiful blogs with all those wonderful ideas, keep in mind many of them started with the same fears (and perhaps even failures) that you are facing. Learn from their wisdom, but remember—we’re all on a journey of discovery.