Monday, April 23, 2012

Homeschool Preschool - Age 4

At least 60% of 4 year olds are ready for a little bit of more formal learning.

For the creative parent, this can still look like fun and games, cooking and cleaning, chores and adventures, and be pulled off as just part of the day.  In fact, this is the best way for any child to learn - just by living and doing and playing.

Yesterday, I talked about homeschooling a 3 year old.
And much of that advice could also apply here.

If you have already followed some plan with your 3 year old, it is often best to continue with the plan as you had it the year before, adding 5 - 10 minutes to each area of your day, and upping from 2 days a week to 3 days a week.

Horizon lends itself well to this 2 days / 3 days approach.


If what you were doing as a 3 year old wasn't working - or if you have a 4 year old who you want to start "in school", then you might want to do something different a little different.

Not all children are ready for school even at 4, especially boys.  Some believe that a formal education should not begin until a child is 8 or 9 years old.  And if you are a parent who can provide a stimulating environment for learning and exploring - it really is the best way for a young brain to learn.

I suppose that would make a great topic for tomorrow - what does a day look like if you school without curriculum?

But for this post, I'm going to assume the reader wants to do something more formal with workbooks.

For starters .... limit your preschool time to 15 hours a week.  And you will be surprised how fast that 15 hours will go!  Of course, you will want to provide games and toys that will stimulate their brain the rest of the day as well.


Some Options:

1.  The Horizon Preschool curriculum (link above) is perfect for a full year with a 4 year old - The curriculum provides 180 days of school, and is one of the best all around curriculums put together for parents (or small schools) that give you every tool that you need.   You can use this curriculum to "do school" for 2 - 3 hours daily.

If you already used it as a 3 year old, you can drop that to 3 days a week, and do something else (or nothing special) the other 2 days.

2.  Rod and Staff ABC books :
I absolutely love this set - simple, fun, lots of cutting and pasting, but it has so much to offer.
The later books are are more a kindergarten level than Preschool.

3.  Read Books - lots and lots of reading.  Of course the library has enough to keep any preschooler busy for a few years.  But if you want something to keep at home,
Rod and Staff has this set

4.  Christian Liberty has a new Preschool curriculum

5.  Dollar Store and Walmart Workbooks

6.  You can always peruse the CBD catalog for
"far too much to decide"

7.  Love To Learn Catalog -

8.  AWANA Cubbies ... if you go and you want a GREAT Bible curriculum, ask for the Cubbie Character Builders books.  There are 2 of them - one for each year of Cubbies.  And they are AWESOME!


What did WE do??

Story ---  Covered everything I could find as a 3 year old.  I went ahead and started her in Alpha Omega Kindergarten.

If I had to do it over again - I wouldn't have let her go so fast.  I think I could have found more for her to do on computers and cut/ paste/ art.  But I also had a baby in the house, and Story being rather ADHD - I did what I thought best at the time.

Song ----  Was still working on the workbooks that we hadn't yet completed as a 3 year old.  She preferred hands on activities.  And our life was just beginning to settle down after a hard year.  But the Ref wasn't working, so we were trying to keep all purchases to a minimum.

Scholar ---  We used the Horizon Preschool, 3 days a week.  Plus I used extra workbooks on the other days.  Scholar LOVED workbooks and would happily sit piddling around with school work for hours.  He loved to draw and work with manipulatives.  I started him in the Horizon Kindergarten books just after Christmas.  We did those 2 days a week, and continued finishing up the Preschool.  I also used the AWANA  Character Builders Cubbies books A and B (we are STILL working on book B).

Obviously, our 2 year old Sunshine isn't ready for this yet.  But I'm planning to use a similar approach to what we did with Scholar.

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