This was my first year of attempting homeschooling. I was definitely nervous at first, I have never been a teacher. I didn’t know if I could be a teacher, especially since my patience seems to run a little on the (ahem) short side, especially teaching preschool… It’s not the preschool work, it’s the preschool age! I think for the most part, it went really well. It helps that my child loves to learn though! I got lucky with him as my first one. Pretty sure the second child is going to give me a run though 😉
Since going into this I was so overwhelmed and was convinced that I was going to do something to mess it up, I decided to write a little post on exactly what we did this year. I hope to make it easier on some of you! Now, I chose to start with teaching preschool because I wanted to get some good practice in (for me) before Bubby was old enough for Kindergarten. Plus, he really does love learning, so it’s more like an activity to do than actual school. Preschool is not necessary, but just something we chose.
Teaching Preschool At Home
Timing: This was one of the hardest adjustments for me. When my oldest was born, we were all about scheduling. We scheduled EVERYTHING, and I was on time for it all! I can only wish for that brain power these days! Well once he got older (and way less predictable) I lost the schedule. And I haven’t seen it since. So for the last 3 or so years, I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants. All over the place. Hot mess mom, right here. The brain fog really makes it a lot worse, because I forget everything.
As you can imagine, trying to figure out a good time to sit down and do school every day was so overwhelming to think about. So we kind of just started whenever we could, and a pattern emerged! Turns out, the best time to do be teaching preschool for Bub was in the morning when little brother was napping. That way, Bubby could focus on his work, and I could focus on teaching him instead of focusing on keeping the crayons out of Boogie’s mouth.
This next year is going to be totally different because we’re over morning naps, but it was a great way to ease into our first year as homeschoolers. I guess what I’m trying to say is that there is no “right time” to do school. Could be morning, could be afternoon, could be evening. Could be different times, different days. It’s flexible, and as long as they’re getting the lessons done, then it’s working for you 😉
Place: The timing didn’t have to be the same every day for us, but making sure that we do our school work in the same place really helps. Now obviously, we do make exceptions when we’re doing outdoor activities, but the majority of the time we do school at our school desk. It helps with being able to keep all of the supplies together, and Bubby just focuses better when he’s “at school”.
Curriculum: Once I decided to homeschool, I had to figure out what to teach. I started at my favorite place to shop (Amazon, not Target). It really didn’t take much searching before I came across The Ultimate Preschool Curriculum Kit. It was only $30, so I decided to give it a shot. It comes as a DVD so I ordered the curriculum to be printed double sided and bound at the UPS store, and I printed the rest of the stuff at home. It was a bit of paper, but it was super easy (and way cheaper than having it printed at The UPS Store). I organized it into month and put them into their own folders and it was ready to go! This curriculum was wonderful. It was repetitive enough that he got plenty of practice with each letter, but not too difficult. We would usually do several “curriculum days” worth of work at once just because he loved it. It was great practice for me and great learning for him. Once Boogie started dropping his morning nap, I would just set him down with us and let him color. It’s his way of being involved, while also building skills. It works, right? 😉
The biggest tip that I have though is to lose the pressure. Mamas, we put WAY TOO MUCH pressure on ourselves, and then turn around and judge each other. None of us are perfect, but all of us are fierce in our love for our kids. We all want the best for them, and we are all trying to do the very best we can, while feeling at the same time that we are failing miserably. We need love and support from our fellow moms, regardless of the different choices we make. So lose the pressure, feel confident in the things you are doing for your kids. You’re a great mama. You’re a great teacher. Your kids love you, and they are lucky to have you. If homeschooling is what you want to do, then do it. It’s not too hard, and it’s not as overwhelming as it seems. Step by step is all it takes 🙂
Have you tried homeschooling at all? What do your school days look like?