K4 Preschool Plans for the Fall

14 Responses

  1. Jenny says:

    What a helpful post! I’m looking for ways to add more structure to my preschooler’s days, and your post has lots of ideas. May I ask what you’re using for her science?

    • Liesl Den says:

      Hi Jenny,

      Up until this point I’ve always pulled our preschool science together using Montessori albums like the one at Moteaco. After years of pulling preschool science together on my own, I just wanted something that laid things out a little more clearly for me. This past semester I didn’t feel like I was moving forward with ED in any progressive way and was randomly pulling in experiments and activities.

      After lots of searching/wondering/contemplating I bought Harcourt Science Grade 1 used off of Amazon. It has beautiful pictures and very little text on each page. For example, in the section on the 5 senses the page on sight says “Your sense of sight helps you learn how things look. What can the boy learn by looking at the fish?” 2/3 of the page has a picture of a boy looking at a goldfish in a bowl. When DD (age 6) saw ED’s book, she wanted one of her own and so I ordered her a used textbook (Harcourt Science) for Grade 2. I’m using ideas and structure from both these books (they’re laid out in a similar structure and cover slightly different topics). By that I mean I’m using the books as a spine. I’ll still use a very hands-on approach but now I can glance and know what to cover next. Hope that makes sense!

      One last thing, I also ordered the workbooks but don’t recommend them for kids who aren’t writing comfortably. For DD, though (who loves to write) they’re really great. She was very excited by the text/workbook. I gave the book to DD and she can work on them whenever she wants but we have other plans for science for the older two (as you’ll see in another week or so when I write about my plans for her and LD.)
      ~Liesl

  2. Jenny says:

    What a helpful post! I’m looking for ways to add more structure to my preschooler’s days, and your post has lots of ideas. May I ask what you’re using for her science?

    • Liesl Den says:

      Hi Jenny,

      Up until this point I’ve always pulled our preschool science together using Montessori albums like the one at Moteaco. After years of pulling preschool science together on my own, I just wanted something that laid things out a little more clearly for me. This past semester I didn’t feel like I was moving forward with ED in any progressive way and was randomly pulling in experiments and activities.

      After lots of searching/wondering/contemplating I bought Harcourt Science Grade 1 used off of Amazon. It has beautiful pictures and very little text on each page. For example, in the section on the 5 senses the page on sight says “Your sense of sight helps you learn how things look. What can the boy learn by looking at the fish?” 2/3 of the page has a picture of a boy looking at a goldfish in a bowl. When DD (age 6) saw ED’s book, she wanted one of her own and so I ordered her a used textbook (Harcourt Science) for Grade 2. I’m using ideas and structure from both these books (they’re laid out in a similar structure and cover slightly different topics). By that I mean I’m using the books as a spine. I’ll still use a very hands-on approach but now I can glance and know what to cover next. Hope that makes sense!

      One last thing, I also ordered the workbooks but don’t recommend them for kids who aren’t writing comfortably. For DD, though (who loves to write) they’re really great. She was very excited by the text/workbook. I gave the book to DD and she can work on them whenever she wants but we have other plans for science for the older two (as you’ll see in another week or so when I write about my plans for her and LD.)
      ~Liesl

  3. EStankevitch says:

    I just don’t see a point in homeschooling. It’s weird and complicates life for children later on. “what school did you attend before? – my mom’s kitchen table”. I mean, what’s wrong with normal schools? Our public school is scary as hell, even for me and I am a combat vet, so I put my kid in a private school and I teach him Russian by speaking only that at home, reading books and watching tv only in my native language. But I want to be his parent, not a teacher, and I want him to succeed in life, not have a stigma of a homeschooled child.

    • Liesl Den says:

      I can’t speak for everyone who homeschools because estimates are that there are well over 1.5 million children being homeschooled in the USA (3% of children). You can get some insight as to how and why others homeschool in my homeschool interview series (http://www.parents.com/blogs/homeschool-den/category/interviews-with-other-homeschoolers/ ).

      As to why we homeschool, the number one reason has to do with the kind of education my kids can get in an intimate learning environment. We do much more hands-on learning than is possible in the average traditional classroom. I can tailor the kids’ education to their needs and abilities. While I keep very close tabs on national and state standards, I don’t have to teach to the test. I’ve had long talks with my friends who are public school teachers and many have complained that they just can’t do the kinds of projects and activities with their classes they used to because they have to cover all the material that will be on the tests at the end of the year. Our kids do take national tests and do well, but that’s not our goal with their education. We want the kids to have a passion for learning and to be excited about science, history, math and so forth. I also know the kids’ weaknesses and can work to build up skills in the areas they need.

      We also love the closeness homeschooling allows our family. While the kids have a lot of outside activities and lots of playdates and friendships with others, they also have plenty of time with us and with each other. They play well together, learn well together and have a the kind of close bonds I had/have with my sister. If my husband works long hours (which he does fairly often), the kids can stay up to see him when he gets home and sleep in a bit. Since we can school anytime, we choose not to follow the traditional school schedules. For example, we started back to school last week because we have plans to travel as a family later in the fall when most kids are back in traditional school. We’re really lucky to have an amazingly supportive extended family (aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-aunts and great-uncles) who cheer the kids on and will always be there for them when they strike out on their own. Hopefully, the kids are well spoken, self confident and have a good sense of themselves when this journey is over.

      We have to make certain sacrifices to homeschool (I gave up my professional career; we live on one salary; there’s very little time for myself; we’re here at home a lot being “creative” (ie. making a mess & doing creative projects); I work long hours to create a curriculum that works for each of my three children.) But I see other parents out there who work as hard or harder than I do to make their family/work/school life balance.

      Homeschooling is not for everyone, but I’m so happy to live in a country where we can make the educational choices that suit our families best.

  4. EStankevitch says:

    I just don’t see a point in homeschooling. It’s weird and complicates life for children later on. “what school did you attend before? – my mom’s kitchen table”. I mean, what’s wrong with normal schools? Our public school is scary as hell, even for me and I am a combat vet, so I put my kid in a private school and I teach him Russian by speaking only that at home, reading books and watching tv only in my native language. But I want to be his parent, not a teacher, and I want him to succeed in life, not have a stigma of a homeschooled child.

    • Liesl Den says:

      I can’t speak for everyone who homeschools because estimates are that there are well over 1.5 million children being homeschooled in the USA (3% of children). You can get some insight as to how and why others homeschool in my homeschool interview series (http://www.parents.com/blogs/homeschool-den/category/interviews-with-other-homeschoolers/ ).

      As to why we homeschool, the number one reason has to do with the kind of education my kids can get in an intimate learning environment. We do much more hands-on learning than is possible in the average traditional classroom. I can tailor the kids’ education to their needs and abilities. While I keep very close tabs on national and state standards, I don’t have to teach to the test. I’ve had long talks with my friends who are public school teachers and many have complained that they just can’t do the kinds of projects and activities with their classes they used to because they have to cover all the material that will be on the tests at the end of the year. Our kids do take national tests and do well, but that’s not our goal with their education. We want the kids to have a passion for learning and to be excited about science, history, math and so forth. I also know the kids’ weaknesses and can work to build up skills in the areas they need.

      We also love the closeness homeschooling allows our family. While the kids have a lot of outside activities and lots of playdates and friendships with others, they also have plenty of time with us and with each other. They play well together, learn well together and have a the kind of close bonds I had/have with my sister. If my husband works long hours (which he does fairly often), the kids can stay up to see him when he gets home and sleep in a bit. Since we can school anytime, we choose not to follow the traditional school schedules. For example, we started back to school last week because we have plans to travel as a family later in the fall when most kids are back in traditional school. We’re really lucky to have an amazingly supportive extended family (aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-aunts and great-uncles) who cheer the kids on and will always be there for them when they strike out on their own. Hopefully, the kids are well spoken, self confident and have a good sense of themselves when this journey is over.

      We have to make certain sacrifices to homeschool (I gave up my professional career; we live on one salary; there’s very little time for myself; we’re here at home a lot being “creative” (ie. making a mess & doing creative projects); I work long hours to create a curriculum that works for each of my three children.) But I see other parents out there who work as hard or harder than I do to make their family/work/school life balance.

      Homeschooling is not for everyone, but I’m so happy to live in a country where we can make the educational choices that suit our families best.

  5. Jokens15 says:

    I started Tyler homeschooling, he is 3 and already reading, writing, etc.. working at kindergarten level. My husband is all for homeschooling, but has issues about his socialization, We adopted Tyler at birth, we are older parents, 58 and 68 not old mind u just older!! lol We live in a town that has nothing!! No pool, no kids programs, a tiny library, not alot for a 3 yr old to do. He goes to church, and sees kids there, but during the week most of them are in daycare so it is hard to have playdates. any ideas?

    • Liesl Den says:

      That’s hard. When our son was about that age he was pretty advanced too. We lived in a very isolated town in Australia. All of our friends sent their kids to preschool at age 4 (it’s state funded there). For that same reason it was hard even to have playdates. We did the best we could, but at times it was hard choosing the homeschooling route. For that reason he did lots of extras (swim lessons, kindermusik, tried gymnastics, went to local playgrounds, and squeezed in as many playdates as we could on the weekends and stuff). I was lucky to have an amazing set of friends at that point and we got the kids together when we could. I can only say that it was easier to find social outlets as the kids got older. Now we have the opposite problem — we have to guard our time (from playdates, homeschool group activities/opportunities, sports, etc.) to make sure we have the uninterrupted time to do our school work/activities/projects.

      Also keep in mind that the end-game of socialization is having self confident, well adjusted, happy children who will make good choices. Learning those skills doesn’t have to happen in a school setting. Some studies have actually shown that homeschooled children are doing better than their peers in areas such as communication, socialization and maturity. You might want to look at the chart I posted a while back — at this post about some of the successes of homeschooling and specifically mentions socialization at the bottom of the chart… http://www.parents.com/blogs/homeschool-den/2012/05/09/must-read/lets-talk-about-homeschooling-successes/

      I’m not sure I offered much practical advice, but I feel for you being in a small town.

      Liesl

  6. Jokens15 says:

    I started Tyler homeschooling, he is 3 and already reading, writing, etc.. working at kindergarten level. My husband is all for homeschooling, but has issues about his socialization, We adopted Tyler at birth, we are older parents, 58 and 68 not old mind u just older!! lol We live in a town that has nothing!! No pool, no kids programs, a tiny library, not alot for a 3 yr old to do. He goes to church, and sees kids there, but during the week most of them are in daycare so it is hard to have playdates. any ideas?

    • Liesl Den says:

      That’s hard. When our son was about that age he was pretty advanced too. We lived in a very isolated town in Australia. All of our friends sent their kids to preschool at age 4 (it’s state funded there). For that same reason it was hard even to have playdates. We did the best we could, but at times it was hard choosing the homeschooling route. For that reason he did lots of extras (swim lessons, kindermusik, tried gymnastics, went to local playgrounds, and squeezed in as many playdates as we could on the weekends and stuff). I was lucky to have an amazing set of friends at that point and we got the kids together when we could. I can only say that it was easier to find social outlets as the kids got older. Now we have the opposite problem — we have to guard our time (from playdates, homeschool group activities/opportunities, sports, etc.) to make sure we have the uninterrupted time to do our school work/activities/projects.

      Also keep in mind that the end-game of socialization is having self confident, well adjusted, happy children who will make good choices. Learning those skills doesn’t have to happen in a school setting. Some studies have actually shown that homeschooled children are doing better than their peers in areas such as communication, socialization and maturity. You might want to look at the chart I posted a while back — at this post about some of the successes of homeschooling and specifically mentions socialization at the bottom of the chart… http://www.parents.com/blogs/homeschool-den/2012/05/09/must-read/lets-talk-about-homeschooling-successes/

      I’m not sure I offered much practical advice, but I feel for you being in a small town.

      Liesl

  1. July 23, 2013

    […] See how this fits into ED’s preschool science by clicking here. […]

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    […] See how this fits into ED’s preschool science by clicking here. […]

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