Friday, March 13, 2015

How to Start Your Pre-K / Kindergarten Home Program

This post is here because I wanted to re-plan for P who's now 2 y.o.
I also have a few friends who're considering homeschooling their kids
who're in the Pre-K / Kindergarten years.

M has gone of to Year 1 at a regular school. He's adjusted quite well.
Of course there are still areas for improvement. But nothing out of
the ordinary for a 5y.o.

Let me start by saying you don't really need to do much. Maintain
a child-friendly home and your child will have plenty of opportunity
to learn and explore at his/her own pace.

Pam has a great post on this.

10 Things we focused on:
1) Love, being and doing good, and living our Catholic faith.
2) Learning good health habits.
3) Learning self care.
4) Reading books.
5) Doing practical math.
6) Learning other age-appropriate skills.
7) Watching educational videos.
8) Using assorted materials for learning: colouring books, paper,
print outs, blocks, puzzles, crayons, etc
9) Exploring personal interests.
10) Play play play.

It really was quite random and ordinary. In a way, I envy those who
have pinterest-worthy pictures. M didn't stay interested in something
long enough so we never had one particular curriculum / activity /
etc. Not enough for me to say that we had a theme. We really just
went along doing our thing - learning and growing as best as we could.

Game changers:
1) Keeping things consistent.
- We blocked off time in the morning just for homeschooling. We made
sure to do 30 minutes of reading plus a learning activity or two.
2) Planning.
- We referred to book lists, maintained a decent monthly "book basket",
always had interesting activities available, ensured that supplies were
adequate, reviewed what worked or not, etc.
- We did basic math in the beginning. We used Early Bird Kindergarten
Math books (Singapore Math) when M turned 4y.o.
3) Choosing a less tech lifestyle.
- We invested in toys so the kids had something to play with. Rotating
the toys was necessary because kids easily tire of a toy. Sharing toys
was always a requirement.
- We kept the t.v. off until it was late afternoon. No hours and hours
of mindless t.v. The kids had no choice but to do something.
4) Playgroup / Outdoor play.
- The children and I would go to playgroup twice a week, weather
permitting. It was a chance for us to go out. The playgroup had toys
and an outdoor playground so they were able to play in a different
- There are other children in the compound and all the kids just play
in the garden. Free weekends would include a trip to the playground.
5) Valuing happy memories.

Additional Resources for you:
- Mother Hubbards Cupboard
- ABC Jesus Loves Me
- DTLK Letter Crafts
- Twisty Noodle Printouts
- Catholic Letter Crafts
- Tot School

Is that all there is to it? Well yes and no. There's more that we'd like
to do. I'm sure we'll never get to doing it all. But as a whole, it's all
been good.

Click here for Book Lists. (future update)
Click here for Supplies List. (future update)
Click here for Organizing Tools. (future)

Are you a working mom? Check out How to Get Your Child Ready
for Kindergarten / Year 1 for a simplified home school program.

Photo Credit: Dennis S.

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