Kiwi comes with me to drop off Big Sister Peeper at her pre-K every day. She puts together puzzles, reads books, waves to the teachers and constantly tries to sneak the same teddy bear home with us. (“Blue! My favorite!” she insists, clutching the bear to her chest, when I have to yet again persuade her to put it back.) So when I told her she would be going to her own school—a toddler homeschool preschool—she shone the biggest smile at me.
“Me school!” she shouted, literally bouncing up and down. “So excited!”
I saw it with Peeper when she was a 2 years old: Her homeschool preschool strengthened her curiosity, listening skills, friendships and love of learning. I knew it would be no different for Kiwi, so several friends and I recently began a new toddler homeschool preschool.
They’re loving it already.
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Structure for a toddler homeschool preschool
Our weekly meetups are pretty informal, but I’ve found it helps to have a structure for a homeschool preschool. I developed a kind of a homeschool preschool schedule, then, that the mom who is hosting follows.
This is how our homeschool preschool structure looks:
- Circle time. We sing a name song to teach all the kids each other’s names. (While we roll a ball to each other, we sing, “Roll the ball to Edie, to Edie, to Edie, roll the ball to Edie, and Edie rolls it back,” substituting each child’s name.)
- Letter of the day. Each week we focus on a different letter. In a big brown grocery sack, the hosting mom places a bunch of objects that begin with that letter. Then each child takes a turn pulling out an object. We say, “Big A, little A, what begins with A?” – thank you Dr. Seuss’s ABC’s book!
- Introduce the theme. When the hosting mom talks about that day’s theme, she describes each of the 3-5 stations she has chosen. These stations are related to the theme and may involve painting, play dough, dress-up, sorting or more. The bulk of our 2-hour homeschool preschool is taken by the activity stations free-choice.
- Snack time. By this time the kids are usually hungry and thirsty, so the hosting mom sets out snacks and drinks for everyone.
- Story time. When snack time is finished, the hosting mom sings, “If you’re ready for a story, clap your hands” to the tune of “If you’re happy and you know it.” The song cues the kids to come back to the living room and sit down. The hosting mom reads two books related to the day’s theme.
- Free play. If there’s time, the kids get to go back to their activity stations or just play.
- Goodbye. All the kiddos get a stamp or sticker, and we say goodbye until next week’s homeschool preschool.
Learning—and having fun—at homeschool preschool
We’ve been doing toddler homeschool preschool with Kiwi and her buddies for just about a month now, and I can already tell that my 2-year-old looks forward to it. When Peeper gets ready for her school, Kiwi asks, “School me?” And when it is time for her to go to homeschool preschool, she pats her heart and says, “My friends!”
We’ll continue to enjoy our weekly homeschool preschool, thanks to the structure and schedule—plus fun and free play.
Tell me, what did your kids think of their first school experience?
If you are looking for more toddler homeschool preschool ideas, here click through to my other posts about homeschooling, or jump on over to the homeschool preschool section of my blog!