Embracing Homeschool: First Day of Pre-K
The following is part of our new guest series called Embracing Homeschool by Lourdes Resendez. Lourdes is a mom of four as well as a birth doula, midwife assistant, and childbirth educator.
Elijah turned 4 this summer. I had made a decision a while back to keep him home and homeschool him. While many of our friends were completing registration and getting things in order to send their littles to public school, I was doing research about how to educate a 4 year old at home.
Through my research I found lists of things that kids should know before they enter Kindergarten. Lists that included things like counting to 10, recognizing basic shapes, recognizing letters, how to hold a pencil, trace a line, make a ball with play dough, and cutting. These all seem like things we can learn at home through play, right? Afterall, he’s only 4. I’d rather him play while he’s learning and not realize that he’s learning than to hate “school” because it’s boring. I spent countless hours on Pinterest looking for ideas to make learning fun. Every time I passed the dollar bins at discount stores, I’d stop to see what kinds of fun things they had in them that we could use to help us learn. I came across several blogs where moms who homeschool their pre-k and kindergarteners share their ideas for making school time fun. As the summer went on, I continued to gather ideas and buy little things here and there.
One thing I decided to incorporate for pre-k that has become the most structured part of our day is calendar time. This takes us about 10-15 minutes depending on how interested he is. We talk about the seasons, the weather, the months, days of the week, count the days, and keep track of how many days we’ve been “in school” so we can have a 100 day celebration when it’s time.
Everything is done through song so he can catch on. We also have a song where we spell out the names of everyone in our family so he can learn to recognize them when he sees them written out.
I have to admit, I was worried that I wouldn’t “teach him enough”, that he wouldn’t know everything he has to know by the time he gets to Kindergarten. The reality is, Elijah is exactly where he needs to be. The beauty of homeschool is that I can teach him at his pace in the way that he learns best. It may take some trial and error, but ultimately, we’ll get there. I’m not going to worry about what the lists say. I’m not going to try to make our school as fabulous as some of the moms I see on Pinterest or some of these popular blogs. Their homeschool set up is right for them and ours will be perfect for us!