Monday, November 30, 2015

Learn with Joy: Homeschooling Preschool

Hello! It's another homeschooling post and I would like to share with you about what I have learned (so far) as I homeschool my preschooler. Also, beginning today, you will see that every homeschooling post is now entitled Learn with Joy. It's just that I realised that if my student (who is my daughter) learns with joy, she learns better and more effectively. Not to mention that that's also my name, so, if she learns with Joy (that's me, her mom), she's happier. Enough said. :)

Homeschooling a preschooler could be exciting and enjoyable for you and your student while at the same time nerve-wracking (only for you not for your student)! It's a gentle (and fun!) way of introducing a little bit of structure and schedule to your learner without you experiencing the pressure  of being tied up to it (or guilt if you're not able to follow your schedule). It's a good opportunity for you to check if your kid/s is/are now ready to transition from an informal set-up to a little more formal one.

Inform the preschooler.
We started our "a little bit formal" homeschool last August 2015. Of course, a couple of weeks before that I informed my preschooler about it. I didn't expect it but she was very excited. She was already thinking of what dress to wear (on the first day of "school"), what school bag to use, what her table will be, what crayons and coloured pencils she will use (she has lots as gifts for her last year's birthday). She was so thrilled about it and just couldn't wait for the "big day" to come.

My preschooler on our first day of homeschool

Prepare the homeschool/learning area.
We just came from the US and currently stay at my mom's house. A lot of our stuff from our apartment where we used to live (before we left for the US) are lodged in our bedroom. So, just imagine how packed our tiny room is! But I still managed to find a corner where we can have our learning time. Also, I used what is available such as side/night table, my old study table, my old chair and my daughter's stool. I make sure that our area is always clean and bright (that is, I always open the window blinds to let the sunshine in); conducive to learning.

Free printable (Daily Learning Notebook) from Confessions of a Homeschooler
Free printable (Daily Learning Notebook) from Confessions of a Homeschooler

Keep the curriculum simple and fun.
When my preschooler was just a year old I was on the lookout for a curriculum that I could use to "teach" her. Then in March 2014, I came across The Learning Basket's  invitation to their Start Your Homeschool Preschool seminar/workshop. Of course I grabbed the chance to attend this event. The seminar/workshop was an eye opener to me. It made me realise that I don't need an  expensive curriculum, I don't even need to buy. I just have to create an environment that would spark love for learning of my tot schooler. The mantra "better late than early" stuck to my mind like a sticky note that whenever I itched to introduce "academic learning" to my precocious toddler, I backed down a bit. You may ask what then was my curriculum at that time? Well, it was just pure play, hahaha! Because that spelled f-u-n for my daughter and if she's having fun she learns quickly and better. The good thing was, my toddler was (and still is) always curious. I provided opportunities for her to ask questions, and when she asked them, I made sure I gave her an appropriate answer (which means, based on her ability and capability to grasp and understand the concept). And since it was always fun for my toddler, I never thought I would always hear this from her, "Mom, come on let's go. Let's homeschool already!" This is music to my ears. :)

This year, aside from "play", we are doing the Letter of the Week and hopefully before the school year ends we will be able to do the Before Five in a Row. I am so thankful for the availability of free printable from some of the "joyful links" that I have found in the net, such as, Confessions of a Homeschooler by Erica Arndt, Delightful Learning by Michelle, Homeschool Creations by Jolanthe,  Homeschoolshare and of course, The Learning Basket (though I haven't gotten any printable from TLB, the wealth of ideas that Mariel and Sanne share are just awesome). In one way or another, they have helped me create a simple and fun curriculum for my preschooler. One day, I hope to share with you some of our joyful learning together.

Recognize your preschooler's learning style.
For me, it is imperative to know and acknowledge your student's learning style. Learning style is how, or the way your student processes and learns new information. When you know your learner's learning style, you will teach effectively and efficiently. Most preschoolers are auditory, visual and tactile/kinesthetic learners. My daughter is a little bit of everything but predominantly kinaesthetic/tactile so when I prepare  our lessons and activities I make sure I take this into consideration.

I also acknowledge that my preschooler's attention span is definitely shorter than mine. So when I still feel like doing our lesson for the day and she is becoming restless, we stop and let her rest for a while. I also let her have her snacks even if she has just eaten breakfast. She just loves to eat, what can I do? :)

Be prepared... Always!
I mentioned above that homeschooling a preschooler could be nerve-wracking at times. That is, if you're not prepared. One time, I thought I had prepared everything that could be done in an hour or so but since my daughter is quite a quick learner (in some areas), what I assumed to get done in 30 minutes she finished in 10 minutes and she's like, "What's next, Mom?" So, I always come prepared. If everything else fails, reading a book or two always saves the day. :)

Pray! Pray! Pray!
My husband and I prayed for it before we decided to homeschool our daughter. I pray for our homeschooling regularly. My daughter and I pray before we start our homeschool. Everything begins and ends in prayer. That's how powerful it is. I know I can do this only because of God's abundant grace in my life. As I have mentioned here, the struggle is real. To be honest, there are times I almost would like to give up. Whenever it happens, I stop, "look up" and ask for the Lord's strength, wisdom and grace so I can continue on. Refreshed, I go back to the reasons why we do what we do. :)

Homeschooling a preschooler is not a piece of cake but the effort and time you put into it is definitely worth it. How about you, are you homeschooling too? Please feel free to share your thoughts about your homeschooling experience in the comments section. Thank you.


  1. Hi Alemars! You're doing letters of the week! Unstructured pa rin halos ang aming homeschooling pero may worksheets na rin on writing and numbers. Are you going to enrol in a homeschool provider next year? Thanks for sharing this. Parang naririnig na rin kitang nagkukuwento, hehehe!

  2. Hi, Alemars! Yes, we're doing letter of the week, but it's not "rigid". Depende pa rin sa interest nya. We might enrol next year, not 100% sure though. Hahaha! Para lang bang nagkukwento? Thanks for dropping by! :)