The Ultimate Guide To Homeschooling Preschool
Homeschooling preschool is one of the best decisions we made in our family! The good news is, it does not have to be complicated. This is everything you need to create a vibrant and creative preschool at home, and is based on our real life, interest-led learning.
Table of contents
- Homeschooling Preschool
- Curriculum for Homeschooling Preschool
- Our Preschool Homeschool Routine
- Read Alouds For Homeschooling Preschool
- Keeping Track Of The Books You Read In Your Homeschool
- The Best Games For Preschoolers
- Our 15 Favorite Preschool Games
- Yes, You Can Homeschool Preschool!
- Related Blog Posts
At the time that we started doing preschool at home keep in mind I had no intention of homeschooling. The only reason we were keeping Emily home was because it just made the most sense for our family at the time.
I knew going into the year that I wanted her to learn letters, sounds, numbers, counting, and that I would related as much as possible to what she was interested in. But, somewhere along the way I got side tracked by all ther shiny new curriculum and I was an excited mom who bought all the things and quickly regreted it. If you’re homeschooling preschool make sure you read this blog post all about what I wish I had known about homeschooling during the preschool years.
Curriculum for Homeschooling Preschool
The first thing I acquired for preschool was Hooked on Phonics. We really enjoyed it but I found that we wanted more hands on activities than it provided so I created the Alphabet Fun Pack for us.
We ended up ditching all of the other things I bought (which are way too many for me to list off or name). Butwe I ended up doing instead was turning to Pinterest for all my preachool printable needs. I sourced them all myself which was a bit of a pain but some of my go to favorites were from This Reading Mama, The Measured Mom, and 1+1+1=1. I mostly used the free printables that they offered. Then I found Moffatt Girls and her No Prep Packs, we loved that they were easy to use but still interactive and fun.
In hindsight I have now created the homeschool preschool curriculum that I would have loved to have had when Emily was younger.
Our Preschool Homeschool Routine
Our days were very relaxed despite the fact that I tried to implement a schedule and circle time in the begining.
We would start on the floor reading a picture book together that corresponded to the letter we were learning that week. Then we would move to the table and do whatever “work” I had planned for her, which was never more than 1 or 2 worksheets. After which we would do some type of project together.
It’s funny because looking back now writing this post I can see how we were basically doing morning basket, table time, and essentially a unit study project.
Our projects were normally based on animals that corresponded to the letter we were learning. For example while we focused on the letter D we learned about dinosaurs. First, we had a dinosaur egg hunt. Next, we made play dough fossils. Then, we pretended to be paleontologist as we dug up dinosaur bones in a sensory bin. Last, we went on a field trip to a dinosaur exhibit. And as a family we finished our week with a dinosaur themed dinner and movie.
Read Alouds For Homeschooling Preschool
Our homeschool has always been largely comprised of books and games. Reading aloud plays a crucial role in our homeschool. Our days begin and end with me reading aloud to Emily.
During the preschool years we read a lot of picture books in addition to chapter books. The majority of the picture books we read were from Read Aloud Revival’s a year of picture books.
Today, I thought I would share a list of chapter books we read aloud for preschool. Before I start please know that not every preschooler will be ready for chapter books and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Preschool Book Series
What I love about book series is that once a child falls in love with the characters they want to keep reading. In my experience finding a great book series makes reading aloud so much more fun for everyone.
Mercy Watson – Foiling a robber, driving a car, and squeezing into a tutu. Is there anything the porcine wonder won’t do in her single-minded pursuit of treats, toast with a great deal of butter, or just a fun time?
Princess in Black – Humorous and action-packed, these early chapter books with color illustrations are a hit with young readers. Look out for inconvenient monster alarms, royal birthday parties, and a case of monstrous cuteness!
Magic Tree House – Join the time traveling duo Jack and Annie on countless adventures. With snippets of facts these books are great for fun and learning all in one. This series was such a it for us that I created Passport to Adventures to turn the books into unit studies.
My Father’s Dragons – Elmer Elevator hears about a baby dragon being held captive on Wild Island. He packs a bag, stows away on a ship, and heads to the island. Elmer meets exotic animals along the way that try to distract him but he is determined to save that dragon!
Junie B. Jones – Junie B. Jones is a feisty kid. These books sometimes get a bad rap because of her feistiness. We personally thought they were hilarious and a great way to discuss what not to do.
Amazing Authors For Homeschooling Preschool
While we did not read every single book by these authors during preschool we have yet to read anything from these authors that we did not love.
E.B. White – Charlotte’s Web was actually the first chapter book we read aloud in our homeschool. We also really enjoyed that each of the books in this set were made into movies so we could read the book, watch the movie, and compare.
Thornton Burgess – The Animal Stories set was a favorite of ours. I am sure it helps that Emily is obsessed with animals. I loved that they instill valuable lessons about animals, nature, and the environment.
Beverly Cleary – This set includes so many of our favorite characters: Beezus, Ramona, Henry, and Ralph the Mouse. I mean seriously what’s not to love about each of these series.
Roald Dahl – I am aware these books may not be for everyone, and some may even say they don’t belong on a preschool list. But our family loved them. We read The BFG years ago now and we still laugh when someone whizzpoppers (passes gas). These are also books that have been mostly made into movies so they are great to read, watch, and compare too. I suggest started with Esio Trot, Fantastic Mr. Fox, or The Magic Finger first.
We enjoyed reading each of these books aloud in preschool. A few we even enjoyed so much we reread them every year. I am looking at you Pippi Longstocking and Mr. Popper’s Penguins.
Tornado – A tornado appears in the distance, and the family quickly gathers into the storm cellar. The storm rages outside, but Pete, the farmhand, knows this is the perfect time to tell his stories about a dog named Tornado.
Pippi Longstocking – Whether Pippi’s scrubbing her floors, doing arithmetic, or stirring things up at a fancy tea party, her flair for the outrageous always seems to lead to another adventure. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a pet monkey named Mr. Nilsson.
The Cricket in Times Square – Tucker is a streetwise city mouse. He thought he’d seen it all. But he’s never met a cricket before, which really isn’t surprising, because, along with his friend Harry Cat, Tucker lives in the very heart of New York City―the Times Square subway station.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins – Poor Mr. Popper isn’t exactly unhappy, he just wishes he had seen something of the world before meeting Mrs. Popper and settling down. Most of all, he wishes he had seen the Poles, and spends his spare time between house-painting jobs reading all about polar explorations. Admiral Drake, in response to Mr. Popper’s fan letter, sends him a penguin, and life at 432 Proudfoot Avenue is never the same again.
The Chocolate Touch – In this zany twist on the legend of King Midas and his golden touch, a boy acquires a magical gift that turns everything his lips touch into chocolate!
The Chalk Box Kid – A new neighborhood. A new school. A lonely birthday. Life isn’t easy for nine-year-old Gregory. Then he finds an abandoned chalk factory behind his house.
The Paint Brush Kid – Gregory’s friend Uncle Pancho is in trouble. The city wants to build a highway right where his house is. They will have to tear it down! Then Gregory has an idea. He will paint the story of Uncle Pancho’s life for the whole city to see.
A Bear Called Paddington – Paddington Bear had traveled all the way from Peru when the Browns first met him in Paddington Station. Since then, their lives have never been quite the same.
The Courage of Sarah Noble – In 1707, young Sarah Noble and her father traveled through the wilderness to build a new home for their family. “Keep up your courage, Sarah Noble,” her mother had said, but Sarah found that it was not always easy to feel brave inside.
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain – People have always told Jonathan that there are no bears on Hemlock Mountain, no bears at all. So he isn’t afraid to set out alone over the mountain. But as Jonathan discovers one cold winter night, people aren’t always right.
Keeping Track Of The Books You Read In Your Homeschool
If you are looking for a way to easily keep track of the books you read in your homeschool, I highly suggest the GoodReads app.
GoodReads allows you to have as many “shelves” as you’d like, I have one for every homeschool year so far, and you can scan the books and add them to your shelves with ease.
We were just having fun and trying to relate everything to her interests and focus on the things we wanted her to learn in a fun way. We also enjoyed reading early chapter books at bedtime and playing educational games together as a family.
The Best Games For Preschoolers
To say we play a lot of games in our homeschool would be an understatement.
We are what you would call gameschoolers for sure. I make it a point to incorporate games into our days as much as possible. One way I do that is to use them in place of busy work.
Instead of let’s say having Emily hold and trace numbers to work on her pincer grip and numbers we would play a game like Shelby’s Snack Shack that use a dog shaped tong to pick up the bones you have counted and put them in your food bowl.
A game like that covers all of the same concepts the worksheet would have covered but in a fun way that also help us connect at the same time.
Because I know we are not alone, and many of you would love to add games to your days as well, I have put together a list of our most played games during our preschool year.
Our 15 Favorite Preschool Games
Spot It! 123 – A fun and rewarding way for preschoolers to learn their one, two, threes and the shapes that inhabit our world. This educational game is truly amazing! There is always one, and only one, matching symbol between any two cards.
Pop for Letters – Reach into this fun box of POP for Letters to practice alphabet recognition and beginning letter sounds
The Ladybug Game – Children lead their Ladybug home to the Rose Garden while avoiding the Praying Mantis and collecting aphids to feed the Lazy Ants!
Feed The Woozle – A Game of Silly Snacks and Mixed Up Moves! Chocolate covered flies and hairy pickles? Yummy! The big mouth Woozle is hungry. Can you feed him 12 silly snacks like toenail toast and from the spoon before all the snacks are gone?
Zingo Bingo – Perfect for pre-readers and early readers, builds language and matching skills in preschool kids through fun, fast-paced play. Zingo is as popular in the classroom with teachers as it is in the home with families!
Alphabet Go Fish – Similar to the original, fish for pairs of alphabet letters. Fun colorful cards show capital and lowercase with corresponding artwork and words to help little ones learn to read.
Snug as a Bug in a Rug – All the colorful bugs need your help to get safe and snug before the stinkbugs show up and stink up the place!
Hoot Owl Hoot – In this color-coordinated matching game, players cooperate to help the owls fly back to their nest before the sun comes up.
Count Your Chickens – The baby chicks have flown the coop & Mama Hen needs help to bring them back. Spin & count numbers to travel and collect chicks while working together.
Sneaky Snacky Squirrel – Your forest pals are hungry and need your help. Help them find their acorns in this fun and addictive toddler board game designed to teach young children about colors.
Frankie’s Food Truck Fiasco – A shape-tastic recipe for fun! Business at Frankie’s famous food truck is brisk! Customers just can’t satisfy their craving for this cool cat’s unique, shape-inspired menu.
Shelby’s Snack Shack – Shelby, the pug, buried her bones in the sand and needs your help collecting them. Help her find her bones in this fun, fast preschool game.
Frida’s Fruit Fiesta Game – It’s lunchtime in the rainforest and Frida is collecting letters for her little ones! Spin the letter spinners, search your nest card for a match, squeeze the matching alpha-fruit with the toucan squeezers, and place it in your nest.
Alphabet Island – Join the Island adventure where players race to match upper- and lowercase letters. Watch out for the hungry shark, or you’ll lose a letter! Keep your eyes peeled for the helpful crabs and tricky starfish.
Sequence for Kids – Play a card from your hand, and place your chip on the corresponding character on the board – the first with four chips in a row wins!
Yes, You Can Homeschool Preschool!
Since I have the benefit of hindsight in this post I will tell you what I would have changed. During the preschool years I would have given myself more confidence as her teacher.
I know now that I was made to be a homeschool mom. Back then I questioned myself at every single step (this is totally normal if you are new to homeschooling). But normal or not I wish I would have relaxed and enjoyed the time playing and learning with her more.