Last spring, I had planned to enroll my daughter into preschool for the following school year, but then COVID-19 showed up and put a big “errrk” in our plans. Like many parents, I had concerns and decided not to enroll her into preschool. So, instead we have decided to teach preschool at home.
What Program We Chose And Why
Thankfully, I had already purchased a very affordable program this past spring. It’s called the Busy Toddler program (check out her Instagram page for lots of free activities!). It was developed by a kindergarten teacher and her program has been titled “Playing Preschool.” The program is focused on play, enrichment activities, and reading. You will never do a worksheet with this program. Instead, it’s hands-on and filled with play based learning!
This program is meant to be completed within 45 minutes. However, the creator intended for the program to be flexible and meet your lifestyle – you can do it all at once or spread it throughout the day. She encourages you to make it work within your busy schedule, which I think, especially right now, is what every parent needs.
If you are interested in checking out the Busy Toddler program, I encourage you to check out her website. She even has a free download of the first unit, so you can see if the program is a right for you and your child! Again, I highly recommend this program; it’s fun, engaging, and encourages your child to learn the skills he/she needs to be kindergarten ready.
Other programs available:
Hubbard’s Cupboard is a free Christian program that is highly recommended by fellow Chattanooga Moms writer, Jama. Check out Jama’s article, where she discusses homeschooling during the preschool years.
Mother Goose is a paid subscription based preschool program. Each month, you will receive a new box of “tools” to support hands-on learning. Per the website, “by the end of the year, you will have a full library of storybooks, music CDs, games and puzzles.” You will also receive a teacher guide and easy to follow daily lessons for your child.
Other programs I have noticed friends using are Sonlight, Winter Promise, Abeka Academy and Torchlight. According to Homeschool.com, here are the top 10 preschool curriculum options and a brief description of each program. There are also 10 resources (printables, activity ideas, etc.) for homeschooling preschoolers listed on the page.
Or if you just want to do your own thing, that’s cool too.
Let’s be honest, you’re probably already teaching preschool at home, from doing crafts with your little one to singing songs to reading stories. So, you can choose not to follow an exact teaching preschool at home program and that’s completely okay! Raising Life Long Learners has a great article about teaching preschool at home, where the three keys are broken down that your preschooler needs to know: life skills, routine, and basic academics.
Before entering kindergarten your child needs to know how to: name the letters of the alphabet, sit and listen to a book, retell events from a favorite story, draw and write shapes and letters, write his/her first name, tell a story through drawing and/or writing, sort objects, name shapes, identify numerals 1-10, count to 20, and hold a pencil/crayon and scissors properly. If you have questions on exactly what your child’s school expects, make sure to call or email your child’s local school.
On top of preschool at home, our family will be doing enrichment activities. There are so many options in Chattanooga like local music classes (Kindermusik, Music & Movement, and Music Together), dance, gymnastics, or even joining a sports league. With our mask in tow, we will take field trips to the Chattanooga Zoo, Children’s Discovery Museum, and the Tennessee aquarium.
The Chattanooga Public Library is still doing preschool classes via Facebook and they have recently started preparing kits that you can pick up on Friday (you must reserve one!). Check out their social media pages for more information.
You may be agonizing over your child not having any social interaction with peers. Personally, we plan to have a weekly outdoor play-date with those in our safe circle. Thankfully, there are lots of great outdoor activities to take advantage of in Chattanooga like playgrounds, family-friendly hiking spots, swimming holes, and even the sliding down Cardboard Hill. If you are in need of play-dates or friendly faces, I encourage you to check out your local Chattanooga Moms neighborhood group on Facebook.
Will you be teaching your preschooler at home this year? If so, let us know how you plan to teach your preschooler in the comments below!
Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. – Mr. Rogers