Homeschool Routine for Preschoolers
Last summer I was pregnant with my second baby and getting ready to transition into the stay at home mom life. I pictured myself packing a lunch in the morning while my baby slept in the swing and my toddler ate breakfast. Then I would put them in their car seats and make my way to drop off my 3 year old at preschool.
In the meantime I would get my errands done and spend the rest of my time cuddling my newborn. Unfortunately this sweet picture I had in my head was so far off. Not only is life with two kids chaotic but add in a pandemic and you got an even bigger mess.
No one could have predicted the year 2020 but here I am tackling an almost one year old and homeschooling my 4 year-old.
Now I am definitely grateful that my kids are still very young and school consists mostly of “play” so it has not affected them much. However, preschool is tough and I totally feel for anyone else tackling homeschooling their little ones.
After a lot of research and consulting with other teachers and moms this is our preschool at home daily schedule.
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It is very important to follow a routine because little ones do best when their daily schedule is predictable and consistent. An organized day significantly reduces the potential for chaos, however it is important to find a balance between structure and flexibility. Establish flexibility to avoid boredom but enough structure to create an effective schedule.
1. Bathroom & Wash Hands
We like to start our official “Preschool” day with a trip to the bathroom. Not only does this avoid bathroom breaks during learning but it also gets my daughter used to washing her hands.
2. Calendar & Circle Time
Next we have our calendar and circle time. Calendar consists of the date (month, day, year), day of the week, season, weather and anything going on that day or month such as holidays, birthdays or activities. Check out my favorite calendar here! Then we move onto circle time. I use this as an opportunity to ask questions, sing songs, play a game or learn a fun fact.
3. Learning Activity
After circle time we move onto a learning activity. This is the actual part where we sit down together and work on reading, writing and math skills. Now 4-year-old’s only need 15-20 minutes of sit down learning a day but you certainly can go longer if your child is up for it. This is my favorite part of the schedule because I am amazed each day when my daughter learns something new.
I will go into more detail on what I am doing during this step later in this post.
4. Story time & Closing Song
Last but not least we end with story time and a closing song. This a great note to end on because it is fun and gets my daughter excited each day.
Homeschool does not end here. Preschoolers ultimately “learn through play” so what they do during the remainder of the day matters. Now I am not saying you should be super mom and have your child reading and writing. What I am saying is simply allowing your preschooler to play, use their imagination and practice other life skills. This will set them up for success in the future.
4 year old Curriculum Goals
Now that I explained our homeschool preschool schedule you are probably wondering what 4-year-olds actually need to learn. After a lot of research this is what I found to be most consistent between sources.
Social Emotional Development
- Can adjust to new situations
- Engages in social interaction with others
- Participates in imaginative play
- Participates in a group setting
- Understands rules and expectations
- Engages in problem solving
- Asks for assistance when needed
- Identifies feelings in self and others
Self-Care & Personal Responsibility
- Respects classroom materials
- Participates in clean up
- Keeps track of personal belongings
- Independent in going to the bathroom and hand washing
- Accepts responsibility when asked
- Basic Motor Skills (running, jumping, hopping, riding bicycle, etc.)
- Ability to balance on one leg
- Ability to throw and catch a medium sized ball
- Cut with scissors
- Hold a pencil
- Begin to draw shapes, letters and drawings
- Exhibits eye hand coordination
- Ability to gather information through observation
- Demonstrates problem solving skills
- Identify colors & shapes
- Name all letters & sounds
- Identify numbers 1-10
- Counts to 29
- Counts objects
- Sort by color, size or shape
- Complete Patters
- Concept of time and daily activities
- Clear speech
- Uses full sentences
- Answers questions with complete thought
- Follows two and three part commands
- Listens to a story and tell what it is about
- Recognizes and names opposites and rhyming words
- Participates in song and movement activities
Additional goals you can work on with your preschooler is learning their birthday, phone number and address.
These goals are meant to be a guide. If you have any concerns about your child you can consult with your child’s doctor.
How to teach Reading, Writing and Math in a Preschool Setting
The goals are great but how the heck do you actually teach a 4-year-old? Well the good news is I have a great list of ways you can teach your preschooler at home.
Language Arts (Reading and Writing)
- Lots of reading & always having books available
- Labeling objects
- Finding their name and then writing their name
- Selecting jobs by picture
- Telling a story through pictures or drawings
- Relate letters to objects that begin with the letter
- Songs, Movement & Fingerplays
- Letter Books & Games
- Counting: Calendar, Number of students, snack, lining- up objects in the room
- Games: Matching, Sorting, Pattern boards, Number games
- Open-ended art activities
- Write number then draw that amount
- Shapes, Building blocks, Exposure in the classroom, Exploring with balance
- Songs, Movement & Finger plays
The Best Preschool Resources
You certainly can use what you have around the house to teach your preschooler, however, there are also some really amazing resources that your child will love.
Websites for teaching Preschool
- Education.com includes thousands of worksheets, lesson plans, activities, workbooks, exercises, songs, stories, games and much more. You can gain access to their entire library for an affordable monthly fee.
- Mother Goose Time includes a research-based curriculum focused on arts, music, login and hands-on learning for 2.5 to 5-year-olds. They provide everything you need to complete projects and activities at home.
- Time4Learning is an award winning preschool program that is fully online. They naturally integrate learning and play and strive to help preschoolers learn through curiosity and fun.
The Best Preschool Workbooks
It is great to have both paper and laminated workbooks. The laminated is great for starting out and can be used indefinitely since it is easy to wipe off. While the paper workbooks allow your little one to practice writing with a pencil.
In addition to markers, crayons and construction paper here are a few arts and crafts items you may not have thought of. Oh and don’t forget there are so many things you can use around your house for making crafts such as egg cartons and toilet paper rolls!
At Home Classroom Set up
Lastly, it is best to have a dedicated area for learning. That way your preschooler will know that when they are in the space it is time to learn and listen! Here are some great options for including in your preschool at home classroom.
How to Prepare your child for Kindergarden
Whether your homeschooling indefinitely or doing it in the meantime our goals remain the same which is to get your preschooler ready for the next level. With that being said I reached out to our elementary school to see what they suggest to prepare kids for kindergarten. Here is what they said:
- Read to your child
- Know letters and their sound
- Write their name
- Count to 20
- Follow 2 step directions
- Experiences with technology
- Talk about books
- Numbers through 10
- Self Help Skills
Of course every school is different so if you are planning to eventually send your little one there I recommend reaching out to see what they expect.
At the end of the day, the best thing you can do for your preschooler is to give them the opportunity to play and have fun. Everyone learns at a their own pace so take it one day at a time and focus less on what the statistics say and more on establishing a routine that works for your family.
Homeschooling is tough but so rewarding. Following this preschool at home daily schedule will make your life so much easier and set your little on up for success in the future.