I am astonished at the success we’ve had lately with reading, writing, arithmetic, and remembering facts at such a ripe young age of four. It seems like my son is completely blossoming from our preschool homeschool routine.
I wanted to share a day in our life, because I feel like the things we have done are so basic but they really seem to be making a positive impact on my preschooler’s development. I hope our story encourages you!
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We Started Preschool at Age Two
I have homeschooled my son for two years now.
When he was two, we put him in a small neighborhood preschool two days a week, for four hours each day. We did this to give him lots of playtime, to teach him to receive instruction from other adults, and to expose him to more germs to strengthen his immune development.
He really enjoyed his preschool but the owner shut it down during the plandemic so I started homeschooling him for the last part of Pre-K 2.
I don’t think kids need official “schooling” at such a young age, but they do need structure. We worked on recognizing letters/sounds, did crafts, puzzled, read lots of picture books, sang songs, colored, and cutting/gluing practice.
These activities greatly improved his ability to focus for a short period of time. He also improved upon his fine motor skills and was able to hold a paper and cut it himself (not well though).
On the days we set aside time for formal instruction, my son was in a much better mood. I think when children use their brains to accomplish something reasonable at a young age it helps curtail tantrums.
We Started Preschool Curriculum for Pre-K 3
By the end of his Pre-K 2 year, I felt like he was getting the hang of the process of learning. That was all I was really looking for as validation that we could move on to some sort of formal curriculum.
(I “taught” him something, like the sound a particular letter makes for example, and at some point he remembered and was able to tell me when I asked.)
That fall for his Pre-K 3 year, I chose to use The Good and The Beautiful preschool curriculum.
Each lesson in our preschool curriculum had four or five little sections, letter flashcard books, and letter games. It worked best for us to do school in the morning so our daily routine would go a little something like this…
Playtime while I make breakfast
Playtime while I drink coffee
15 minutes of formal school work
Clean up breakfast/school supplies
Go outside to exercise together/outdoor play
Shower for me
Read picture books or do puzzles together
Quiet time/nap time
Educational show like The Magic School Bus/Dora/Youtube Learn Spanish cartoon while I make dinner
Family walk or outdoor play
Bedtime routine with more books
For Pre-K 3 we didn’t do schoolwork everyday. Some days we met up with friends, ran errands, or went for a fun activity like the aquarium. The days we did sit down for a formal school session, it would only last about 15 minutes. We never completed a whole lesson in one day until the very end of the school year (he was almost four).
I tried to do school three to four days a week. In this small time commitment, I noticed a drastic improvement in letter and sound recognition, which laid a solid framework for him beginning to read.
(He is now reading in his Pre-K 4 year.)
I never tried to push him more than he wanted to learn for Pre-K 3.
If he wasn’t into it, we didn’t do it.
We did practice some complex tasks like handwriting, but my goal was only to set the precedent that school would be a routine in our household. I focused on maximizing his enjoyment of learning.
This approach gave me a positive result and we actually got through the entire preschool curriculum before the school year ended so we moved on to The Good and The Beautiful K-Primer curriculum.
I decided not to take time off from school during the summer. I’d rather have a relaxed weekly pace but remain consistent throughout the year.
When I think about preparing my children for adulthood, I don’t really see the point of ever going for long periods of time without practicing the discipline of learning. You can’t do this as an adult so might as well start now.
Preschool Homeschool Routine for Pre-K 4
When the official Pre-K 4 year rolled around, we were almost done with his K-Primer curriculum and he was beginning to sound out words (which was so cool!)
Reading is definitely the hardest for him. Not in the sense that he can’t do it, because he is already putting sounds together and figuring out some of the words. I can see it is challenging his brain to do more.
The laid-back approach I took during our Pre-K 3 year won’t work if I want him to practice reading. I have to push him now.
My son is still only four and a half as I write this post. I am not a perfect person and I don’t know if what I am doing is the right thing. But my instincts are telling me it’s time for some tougher love.
I see how capable he is. I think about the verse in Proverbs 27:17 that reads Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeners the countenance of his friend.
I remember when I was a child, I was scared to start new things. My parents really had to encourage me. If it wasn’t for them pushing me, I would not have tried certain things which brought great joy to my life.
We have officially crossed over into the phase where I am going to have to accept that my son won’t be happy with me sometimes as I challenge him.
You may think, he’s only four, why make him read when he is already adequately prepared to begin kindergarten by the world’s standards?
Well, if 2020/21 has taught me anything, it’s that we need to prepare our children for a tough world. I pray to God Almighty that the world gets better, but the current situation doesn’t look all that great. That doesn’t mean that we as individuals can’t live rich and meaningful lives.
I want my children to be intellectually ready to take on whatever the world throws at them. I believe we have to be smarter than the rest of the world. To be a few steps ahead so we’re not caught up in the storm.
For Pre-K 4 we try to do school at minimum 4 days a week and our school schedule looks like this:
Say the Pledge of Allegiance
Learn some sort of new concept (like a calendar, or civics lesson, etc.)
All together, my son can focus for a solid 30 minutes now so we are able to accomplish a lot more in one school day.
**We LOVE the Tuttle Twin series for civics. It is definitely a bit advanced for a preschooler, but my son enjoys them so I don’t see a problem with teaching advanced concepts at a young age.
I cannot express how important it is that we raise up the next generation to understand they have to be apart of the political process to ensure freedom for each generation. This instruction has been taken out of school on purpose. We homeschoolers have the chance to change that for the next generation. **
There are still plenty of days where we don’t accomplish much of anything other than enjoying the great outdoors. Just being in nature helps lower inflammation in the body which in turn, optimizes brain development.
The beauty of homeschooling is that your child will get so much more one-on-one attention. They really flourish this way and makes it so you can spend less time on school and more time enjoying life.
If we continue on this trajectory I imagine my children very possibly may be taking college level classes in high school. Imagine all the unique skill they can learn in all their extra time.
I have hope this look into our homeschool preschool routine helps you get some ideas for your own home learning.