Homeschool planning for preschool and grade K/prep
So you are going to begin homeschooling your little one and you’re looking for some help with homeschool planning for preschool and grade k/prep? You’re in the right place – here we provide encouragement and curriculum ideas to help you get on track from the get-go. You’ll find our recommendations to assist you in your curriculum choices and planning by providing a bit of structure and extra product information.
Planning that very first year can be exciting but also daunting as you feel the weight of responsibility and wondering how you will manage, especially if you have toddlers and babies around. There are a few options and you will need to work out what is best for your child and you, as you consider how your potential schedule will fit in with your family dynamics.
One important thing to remember for the beginning student of age 4-6 is that it’s not necessary to spend hours “doing school”. Start with half an hour a day and build up to 1-2 hours of half-hour blocks spread out over morning and afternoon (if you like – do what works best). Include art and craft and other hands-on activities along with formal bookwork. Most importantly, spend time reading aloud to your children.
The suggestions below come from our own homeschooling experience of what works and familiarity with our products, and also from our customer database. Having a homeschool plan already worked out for you can help you get on track before you begin wading through all the possibilities.
We’ve included options for Preschool and Grade 1 together simply because most homeschooled children can do all of this in 12-18 months as opposed to two years if taught in a school.
Preschool ages 3-5
Preparing to read
Focus on learning the alphabet, recognizing and writing letters, with introductory lessons in picture study, narration and poetry. More information on how to implement narration can be found in our article The Art of Narration. Reading aloud to your child is crucial when you are teaching them to read as it gives them a model of good expression, pace and fluency.
Pre-Primary Maths 1A covers beginning concepts such as matching, comparing, relationships and sorting, etc. There is no writing required in this volume as the child learns to recognise and read numbers, count orally and draw pictures for the activities.
Pre-Primary Maths 1B teaches the reading and writing of numbers, counting to 10, the concept of zero, time sequence and more. Plenty of space is given to practice writing numerals as well as opportunity to write answers to problems.
Both books include teacher notes when required and are full colour consumable workbooks. You would want to have a few manipulatives on hand such as counters, blocks, etc, to enhance learning. At the rate of one lesson per day, it would take about one school term to complete both books.
Pre-Primary Maths 2A and Pre-Primary Maths 2B can be done immediately after completing the above books.
For comprehensive information on Singapore maths and how it measures up to the Australian Curriculum, check out our Singapore Maths Hub.
Reading aloud to your children is the single most important thing you can do to accelerate and develop their language and literacy skills. Children of this age especially love to hear you read aloud to them. Visit the library regularly, with a crate, for putting all your borrowings in! It’s common for little ones to read and re-read the same book several times, so start building your own library now. But don’t limit your library to story books; include just as many non-fiction books for a good foundation in the skill of wide reading and an entrance to the “door to knowledge”.
If you want to build your own library, visit Bookdepository.
Want to know more about the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling? A great book to start with is A Charlotte Mason Education: A Homeschool How-to Manual by Catherine Levison. It’s full of practical information presented in a simple way to help you implement the CM method into your family’s homeschooling. It covers elements of a CM education such as narration, picture study, nature study, etc.
Prep/Grade K ages 4-6
Once your child knows his letters, you can begin teaching him the sounds (phonograms). The stage between sounding the letters and actual reading is learning to blend the sounds and form them into whole words. Phonics is the most economical way of teaching a child to read and spell. It is much easier to memorise the 72 sounds than a myriad of words by sight. When a child knows the phonograms, he has the ability to read any word that is new to him because he knows how to build words. All the programs we provide are phonics-based. Continue to keep your lesson times short, and enjoy your little ones by saving brain space for meaningful interaction with them.
If your child has a handle on preschool maths concepts then he is ready to begin New Syllabus Primary Maths Grade 1, aimed at children aged 6-8. It is used currently in Singapore schools.
Concepts include: introduction to numbers, addition and subtraction (up to 100), shapes and patterns, basic measurement, time, money and introductory multiplication and division.
You will need parts 1A and 1B for one year’s work. New Syllabus Primary Maths teaches all metric. If you want to teach your child imperial measures, use Primary Maths U.S. Edition.
Learning Language Arts Through Literature – Blue Package is an all-round beginning English program. It teaches reading and spelling with phonics covering single through to multiple phonograms. Spelling is introduced using the word families approach, e.g. words ending in –at such as bat, pat, sat, etc. Readers are included as well as templates and instructions for activity cards and more.
Introductory grammar concepts are also taught. Everything you need to teach these subjects plus much more is included in this one package: workbook, teacher’s instruction book and readers. Story books are also used/read which are available separately.
Beginning handwriting is taught in the Blue LLATL package.
If your child is enjoying maths and wants more, check out some extra practice resources.
By listening to you read aloud to them, your children will hear fluent reading which helps them progress more quickly. It is to their advantage that they want to hear the same story over and over again!
SchoolhouseTeachers.com has a full preschool program all in one place. Check it out below: