What We're Really Doing for Pre-K Homeschool

A couple month's ago I shared how we were planning on homeschooling Jay for Pre-K, and what are plans were for all of that. We started our homeschool on August 1st, the same day that Georgia public schools started, and so far we've been having a really great time. It took me a couple weeks to figure out what I wanted our daily schedule to be, and to get into a good routine that worked for us, but now that we're a couple weeks in, I'm really loving the flow of how it's all been going.


One of the things I really love about homeschooling is being able to tailor Jay's curriculum to what he needs. He's currently working on a wide variety of things both preschool level, and kindergarten, so I get to stretch him in areas he does well, and really focus on other things where he struggles. We originally weren't going to expose him to all the school subjects this year, but then once I got going and buying things, I wanted to go big, or go home, so I went big. 

The first two weeks we were doing this I was having us do a small amount of opening exercises. We would talk about the days of the week, and which day is today, tomorrow, and yesterday. We would also talk about the weather, and recite our sight words that we have hanging on the wall. I then divided up all the subjects to one day of the week. So Monday's we did handwriting, Tuesday math, Wednesday reading, Thursday social studies... etc... This was great, but it meant we had to double up on things some days, and then there were things like math and phonics that I felt needed addressing more than one day a week. There were also other things that I had wanted to add in, like having a daily devotional, saying the Pledge of Allegiance, and memorizing scriptures. I then decided for week three to scrap the entire schedule of things that I had, and rewrite a new one.


Each day now, we start class with a prayer, and say the Pledge of Allegiance. After that we do our days of the week, weather, sight words, read the numbers 1-20 on the number line, work on our scripture for the week, and then read a story from this Book of Mormon Children's book. 

After those "opening exercises" are done we move onto math, phonics, reading, handwriting, and our letter of the week preschool curriculum pages. We do all of those things in 5-10 minute "mini lessons", and then have a science lesson two days a week, one day for social studies, one day for an art project, and Friday's we play a board game. Jay also has art classes on Thursdays, and tennis lessons on Fridays.

I also bought Confessions of a Homeschooler's k4 curriculum, which at this point it pretty under level for Jay, but I print the lessons each week, and they become the light and fluffy activities that we do each week. Jay really enjoys them because they're fun, but it would have been nice to have something a little more challenging.




I also purchased some flashcards at the dollar store to help with sight words and phonics, but we've only really used them once so far. I also really wanted to focus on Jay getting more hand strength this year, so we bought a small pack of erasers and these big tweezers from the dollar store, and we practice picking up the erasers with the tweezers a couple times a week.

If you're still reading any of this, below I've mapped out for you which books we're using for which subjects in case you want some more info on that, and my thoughts and opinions about each one. 

Book of Mormon Stories: I had been wanting to incorporate scriptures into our homeschool, and when we were at a friend's house this year, she had been using this book with her kids before bed, and I loved it. It basically breaks the Book of Mormon Stories down into simple text for kids to understand and has great pictures to go with it. We read one story from here each day, and I'm surprised by how well it helps me to understand the scriptures better too.


Bob Books: For phonics work, and learning to read purposes, we've been using these Bob Books. I know some people either love or hate these, but I've actually really been liking them. Jay can read his way through the first book, and we've only done it a handful of times now. I think we'll probably work on one book for a week or two before moving onto the next one in the set (there are I think 12 in each set). 



Mudpies to Magnets: I had heard about this on recommendation from Janssen and have really loved it so far. This is what we use for our weekly science projects and experiments. All of the projects that we've done so far have been easy to make with things around the house, but I feel like it also gives a lot of good educational context too so that you feel like your both playing, and learning at the same time. 

Handwriting Without Tears: We have the pre-k level of this book right now, and I'm going to be honest in that I don't really like it. I had debated back and fourth between getting this one, or the kindergarten level one, and I feel like the pre-k one is just too easy for Jay right now. He's already about 60 pages into the 80 page book. I'm just letting him blow through it before I purchase another one in a week or so. Ideally I want to find one that is all just tracing letters, without coloring pages mixed in and all the fluff. If you have good recommendations, let me know.  

Horizon's Mathematics K, Book 1: This is the math book we bought for the year, and I'll be honest in that we haven't touched it yet. Again, it came highly rated by Janssen, but we're going to finish up The Big Kindergarten Workbook that I bought ages ago first, and then move onto this book, probably by December? 

The next three books are all through A Beka Books. This is a homeschool curriculum company that was recommended to me by a woman I went to church with that has been homeschooling the last 20+ years. She said this was her favorite company, and so I filled in the rest of our gaps with these. I will say that this is a christian homeschool company and so the books all have a christian spin to them, which is fine, but there are differences in the church we attend (Like when in our church our pastor is called a bishop, but the books use the word pastor), so I find myself having to explain differences often which I'm not sure how I feel about yet.



Art Projects K4: I will say off the bat, I do like this book. They have all the projects divided into months, and I love that they have projects for all the holidays and everything too. All the cutouts and everything that you need are already in the book, and then it has a small list of other supplies you'll need to complete the craft. Super easy and straight forward. 

Social Studies K5: This book has a great mixture of things that I was hoping for Jay to learn. I'm not sure how much of it is over his head at this point, but we're working our way through the community helpers unit right now, and he knows that fire fighters keep people safe by putting out fires with the water from their hoses... so I'm assuming some of it is getting through. 

God's World K5: This is the other science book we're using this year. I like most of the lessons in here, and Jay has really been picking them up. We just finished the unit on senses and he can tell you what you do with your eyes, ears, mouth, and nose... But the churchy influence in it is a little much. I mean, I love Heavenly Father and Jesus just as much as the next person... but it's a little over the top in this book. It's fine for this year, but I think next year I may want to find something else for science. 

Reading: I consider the Bob Books, along with our daily sight words, and flash cards that we have to all be phonics work for the school year. For reading, it's mainly me reading a chapter or two from a chapter book. Jay can either sit and listen while I do this, or color, or play with blocks. We're currently working through The Magic Tree House, but plan on doing lots of Beverly Cleary, and classics like Stuart Little, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach too. 

So, if you've made it through this entire post, congratulations. If you're a homeschooling mama, let me know what things your using for your little ones in the comments below! Do you have a handwriting curriculum you love? What about science? I'd love to hear it all. 

6 comments

  1. You said you break down everything into 5-10 minute mini lessons. But it sounds like you're still doing a lot- how do you incorporate breaks?
    Are you including your daughter in some things?

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    1. The opening exercises usually take 10 minutes all together and then the other things usually like I said take 5-10 minutes... so that means we're really only "working" for 45-70 minutes a day. We don't take a formal break, but when I'm reading a chapter or two in on of our Magic Tree House books, or other chapter books, he's usually playing with something, or coloring, which is more of an informal break for him. But since we're maxing out at 70 minutes, I don't really schedule any real break time or anything. Depending on the day, my daughter will either be in the school room with us playing with toys, or she'll be in her room napping. It just depends on what time we get all our other chores and things done and how the day goes.

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  2. Man, you must have energy. My daughter goes to preschool and I pay alot each month, but I get that much needed break for myself. I cant imagine being parent and teacher.

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    1. I think each mom has to do what's best for them and their family. It's easier for me to not leave my house and have to make a million trips everywhere, especially since our daughter has special needs and can't walk. Luckily my kids go to bed early and my husband is working on an MBA right now, so I get plenty of me time starting at bedtime :)

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  3. This looks amazing. I'd love to learn with my mom like this. :) My one note of advice (which you totally don't have to take) as a mom of five and former el Ed teacher, is to not sweat the handwriting in preschool. Work on fine motor skills, do writing in sand, flour, letter stamps, etc, but official handwriting can be stressful for little kids,especially boys. I did too many handwriting worksheets with my oldest and he still has an aversion to handwriting all these years later. Best of luck with your school year!

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