Five years ago, we decided to do preschool at home with our older daughter. As a former classroom teacher, I may have overdone “the school at home” a bit. (I totally did, and you can read about it here.) For some unknown reason, it seems we–as parents–are in a continual rush to push our children ahead to the next stage.
Did you know the number one search result for both “tot school” and “preschool at home” is all about choosing curriculum? Which program will BEST prepare my child for Kindergarten?
The truth is, there is NO perfect curriculum that will make tot school or preschool at home a guaranteed success. There are just too many variables: how you teach, how your child learns best, what your family values (nature, reading aloud, independent play, art, music, geography, travel, etc.)
More important than curriculum–in my opinion–is the learning environment we create for our children.
It starts with curating our toys (and books) for maximum impact. We want to choose items that can be used for open-ended play, in a multitude of ways, throughout the year. What objects can be mixed and matched to teach our child new concepts?
Here are some of our favorite tot school must-haves for every family:
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- pom poms
- colored straws
- pony beads
- pipe cleaners
- muffin tin
- glass jar
- empty Parmesan cheese container
- “chip and dip” container
- tongs and other fine motor tools
- magnetic letters
- flip flop faces
- giant pegboard (with geoboard on reverse)
- colored animals (we like these)
- foam pocket blocks
- Do a Dot markers
- sensory bin materials
- ABC materials
- math materials
- sidewalk chalk (for when the weather is nice)
- regular trips to the library
- reading aloud
- lots (and lots!) of time outside
Are you an auditory learner? Listen to this post on Anchor.fm!
We are five years into our homeschooling journey, and I feel like I am a better teacher now than right after college. I see my children’s unique strengths and weaknesses, understand the way they each learn best, and supplement our curriculum with hands-on learning experiences custom-designed to their needs.
The benefit of a personalized learning plan is this:
education becomes a lifestyle rather than a year’s worth of curriculum.
If you would like help creating a personalized learning plan for your child, set up a call! I’d love to chat with you.