1 month down of preschool at home and I’ve definitely learned a few things as a homeschooling newbie. I think I’ve actually learned more than my 4 year old this month although I must say he has read several sentences all on his own and we are only on lesson 15 in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons Super proud of my little 4 year old!
Anyways I started out thinking that during my little ones nap me and my preschooler would sit down and do some workbook and reading and themed activities and about a week in I realized that the attention span of a 4 year old could not hold up to my expectations. My expectations were in fact outrageous. I learned this after getting frustrated with him during his reading lesson and not only getting frustrated but letting him see that frustration which only made him get frustrated and want to quit reading even more. I was reminded that preschool is supposed to be fun. I’m supposed to be a fun teacher and getting frustrated and threatening nap time was not the type of teacher I want to be. After spending the rest of the evening feeling like a pretty crappy mom and homeschooler I decided to make a couple changes in the following areas.
While I’m all for having a schedule especially as my kiddos get older I’ve realized this month that the structure of a 4 year olds school schedule needs to not be so structured. I ended up keeping the sit down and work section of the day in our routine but now I limit that time to no more than 20 minutes. 10 minutes on workbook and then 5 to 10 minutes on reading. And after really focusing on what was getting him so antsy during his reading lessons I realized that the fist 5 to 10 lessons were too easy for him and very repetitive so I cut out a few steps here and there and didn’t repeat everything so much and now he’s much more focused and proud of himself by the end of each day.
Honestly I hadn’t really thought about themes. I was just excited about the books and the learning but I realized very quickly that the way he needs to learn is through a more hands on approach that is made to be fun and educational. And quite frankly I was getting bored myself. So the googling began and now weekly and monthly themes are coming out of my ears. I’m so excited to dive into a certain subject and make it fun and exciting and educational all at the same time.
So while I had one very structured way of teaching in my mind it turns out it’s not what either of us needed or wanted. I kind of forgot one of the main reasons to homeschool is to make what our kids learn and how they learn fit their needs in an exciting way. I want learning to be an adventure as much as possible and I know that this isn’t always possible but while they are still young I’m gonna try my hardest to make it as exciting as I can.
So the last few weeks have been Desert themed. We made our first lapbook which I’m kind of in love with lapbooks now. He loved getting involved with it and wants our theme to be Batman next week. I said yes to that, especially when I found lapbook printables for Batman themed preschool week online.(link posted below) My daughter is even getting involved, we are focusing on learning her letters and also getting involved in whatever theme we come up with.
I’m even more excited now than I was before school started. The idea that we can tweek our school at home to fit all of our needs and to do it in a way that makes learning an adventure, and a fun adventure at that makes me very giddy! Super excited to see what unfolds in our school year.
Here’s to happy schooling!