Thursday, October 8, 2009

Homeschooling With Preschoolers

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A few of you have emailed or commented and asked how I wrangle handle preschoolers while homeschooling older children.

Here a few of the things I do. There are probably 101 variations for each of these ideas, and they are by no means the only things appropriate for preschoolers.




This is an empty egg carton that I have numbered. I set out a bowl of dried beans and the compartments can be filled with the corresponding number of beans.  This is a self directed activity the kindergartener does while the 3 year old and the 1 year old play at the kitchen sink.

I don't have a photo of that, but just imagine water and bubbles everywhere with a hefty dose of giggling, and you've got the picture.




Here the second grader is practicing her oral reading and keeping some little girls busy while I work with the big kids.






Here are the 3 and 5 year old playing with the doll house while I do math with the second grader.

These are just a few of the things I do when homeschooling with preschoolers in the house. I like to vary the activities when they get bored with them. We also use puzzles, train tracks, coloring books, and of course baby dolls.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section.

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12 comments:

Allyson Kellner said...

Ok, I laughed out loud when you mentioned your kids in the sink! I've got a toddler who loves to play in the sink too. I guess it's worth the extra towels I have to wash!

heather@it'stwinsanity said...

My kids love the sink too but the twins get out of hand when allowed to be near water. I would love to hear more tips though! I am always struggling to entertain the littles while we do lessons.

I am blessed! said...

I never thought of purposefully letting my 1 yr old play in the sink. I'm sure she'd love it. I just go around pulling her out of all the toilets! My kids are so uncoordinated, though, she'd probably fall off the stool.

So what noise level is satisfactory while you're working with the older kids? Do you do read-aloud time? I feel like I'm hushing children all day.

Smockity Frocks said...

Blessed,
Our noise level is pretty constantly high. It occasionally bothers the older kids and they have to go find a quiet place to work. The only time I require silence is during the timed math facts tests (one minute) and nap time.

I do read aloud and just have to work around the baby babbling. If she gets too out of control, we put her in her bed. She's learning when to be quiet.

EllaJac said...

Is there a reason the egg carton lacks an "8?"

Smockity Frocks said...

EllaJac,
We do not believe in the number 8.

Actually, I wish the explanation made that much sense. The truth is my half-heimers must have been acting up the day I made that and I left it out.

My husband called me from work today to ask, "Uuuummmmm, where's 8?"

Elizabeth said...

one of my favorite activities that I used a lot with my two sets of twins (16 months apart) was let them play with/in and paint with cornstarch and water. it would get messy but it's easy cleanup they loved it. sometimes i would put in in a pan and add a couple drops of food coloring and let them mix the colors. they were usually outside for this and i would hose them down but it can work in the bathtub.

Karin Katherine said...

Entertaining the little ones is the hardest part of my day---but you are so right. There is something about a tub of water and soap that keeps littles entertained!

Jen said...

Fantastic ideas! My preschooler is coming home to me from his dad's house across the country and I can't wait to use a couple of these. He'd love the bean counting and cornstarch paint!

Miche said...

I am considering homeschooling and I was wondering what a good "starting out" resource activitiy/lessons book might be? My son is 3 now, and I was thinking of starting some simple preschool activities to try out the homeschooling to see if I could do it or liked it myself. ALSO-how do you do it? Do you do all the lessons at one time, or do you spread it throughout the day? Just wondering, thanks!!!!!

Smockity Frocks said...

Miche,
For preschool we are VERY informal. Lots of reading and talking and helping Mama cook and clean. As we go through the day, we might count the potatoes as they are being peeled, or the cans as we put them in the pantry. I point out letters at the grocery store and say the sounds they make. We sing the days of the week as we drive in the car.

I don't do a formal curriculum, just incorporate learning into every day activities.

Amy said...

Thank you for the egg carton idea! We have been counting beans but only from dish to dish lol. I actually have some egg carton flats that I was saving for something but I just didn't know what, now I do! My 5 year old will love this and maybe the triplets (age 2) can pretend they are counting with some popcorn and their own cartons.

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