How to Homeschool Pre-K - Bridgeway Academy (2024)

How to Homeschool Pre-K - Bridgeway Academy (1)

by David Engle | Jun 16, 2020 | 7 min read

How to Homeschool Pre-K - Bridgeway Academy (2)

We all know that little ones can be a handful. There are probably some days where you’re thinking, “I can’t wait until he’s old enough for preschool so I can have a break!” Completely understandable. And if those thoughts have entered your mind, you’re probably not seriously considering homeschooling at that age. But, you’d be missing out.

The pre-kindergarten years are the most fun for parents–at least from my experience. Those are the years when kids are starting to develop personalities, quirks, senses of humor, and the desire to learn. So while, yes, kids can be exhausting at that age, there may be no better parenting experience than teaching your eager little student and watching him or her develop and learn right in front of your eyes. And by starting to homeschool at the preschool level, you take control of your child’s education right from the start, which offers you the flexibility to choose your own curriculum and plan a schedule that works for you.

If you’ve already contemplated homeschooling your pre-K student or I’ve changed your mind on the subject, here are some ways to successfully homeschool for pre-K.

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Figure out your schedule.
Most preschools offer three and five-day weekly schedules. Three-day schedules are generally recommended for younger pre-K students (age 3 or so), while five-day weeks are more suited for 4- and 5-year-olds to prepare them for kindergarten. It’s entirely up to you, but it’s best to ease your child into a schedule. Three days of learning and two days of your regular daily routine is a great place to start.

Before you start teaching, it’s also smart to figure out what your school day actually looks like. Many preschools offer half-day sessions, and that’s an ideal way to go for first-time students. Your schedule could be something as simple as this:

8:00 am to 8:30 am–comprehension/reading time
8:30 am to 9:00 am–active time
9:00 am to 9:30 am–math time
9:30 am to 9:45 am–snack
9:45 am to 10:15 am–story time
10:15 am to 10:45 am–motor skills play
10:45 am to 11:15 am–colors and shapes
11:15 am to 11:45 am–active time
11:45 am to 12:00 noon–cleanup/end of day

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Subjects to teach.
Some of the subjects in the sample schedule above are somewhat vague, so let’s look at each to see what’s involved.

  • Reading/comprehension time: Not to be confused with story time, this is the time when you sit with your little one and start teaching him or her comprehension. This is the time to pull out the ABC flash cards, the memory games, matching cards, etc. These are the building blocks, the foundation for reading, and it’s important to start with these types of activities so your child develops the skills to read ahead of kindergarten.
  • Active time: Being active and taking breaks for activity during the school day is important for preschoolers for a couple of reasons:
    • it breaks up the day a bit (we all know that kids this age don’t exactly have the longest attention spans)
    • it provides time to exercise and expend some energy and
    • it allows children to work on their gross motor skills.

If the weather allows, head outside and do some hopping and jumping, throw and kick a big ball around the yard, and run in place for a short period of time. Then give them a few minutes to cool down, get a drink, and prepare for the next part of the day.

  • Math time: I use the term “math” VERY loosely here–we’re not talking algebra or calculus. Math in this case is simply teaching numbers and helping your child learn how to count! This can be accomplished any number of ways (get it? number?). You can use number flash cards, blocks or toys around the house, and their little fingers! At this stage of their education, all you’re looking for is number recognition and the ability to start counting. The rest will come as the student gets older.
  • Story time: Now YOU’RE the star of the show! Kids love hearing stories, so grab some of your favorite children’s stories and dedicate a part of each school day (and any other part of the day, really) to telling a story. And there is a difference between simply reading a story and telling a story. A story is simply words if there’s no emotion behind them, so go crazy and have fun reading! Act out each voice, be loud and silly, make your child laugh. Enjoying stories and books at an early age can help create a lifelong love of reading.
  • Fine motor skills play: Outdoor exercise works on gross motor skills, while arts and crafts-types of activities help develop fine motor skills. Painting, coloring, drawing, cutting with scissors (safety scissors, of course), learning how to zip or button a coat, and playing with Play D’oh are all fun ways to enhance your child’s fine motor skills.
  • Colors and shapes: Pretty self-explanatory and easy to teach. Whether you use books, flash cards, or literally any object in your home/classroom, teaching your little learner about colors and shapes is an important part of their early development.
  • Cleanup: This part is also self-explanatory–and helpful! Children should learn about responsibility at an early age, and cleaning up after their school day is a perfect place to start! Sing a cleanup song and help your little one put everything back in its place so you’re ready to get started the next school day.

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Curriculum, learning materials, and supplies.
When you’re setting up your preschool classroom, you’ll obviously need a variety of supplies before you start teaching. Here’s a list to get you started:

  • Curriculum: There’s no need for any complex curriculum at this age. The best thing to do is check out a curriculum retailer, like Curriculum Express, and browse the age-appropriate titles available.
  • Books: Set up a small bookshelf and fill it with children’s favorites. These are the books you’ll turn to at story time or to teach letters, colors, numbers, shapes, and more.
  • Dry erase boards/pockets and markers: You could go old school and opt for a chalkboard and eraser, but most homeschoolers today go for a dry erase board and markers for their lessons. It’s clean, easy, and convenient–no clapping chalkboard erasers together!
  • Pencils, markers, paint, brushes, other art supplies: How else can your little Picasso create the works of art you’ll hang in the classroom and on your fridge?
  • Play D’oh or clay: Lots of fun for the kids (and adults…I mean, have you seen some of the sets they make now??) and a great way for them to keep their hands busy and practice fine motor skills.
  • Blocks and other learning toys: Fun while learning? Who doesn’t love that?
  • Classroom supplies: This is more for you than your students. If you’re dedicating a certain part of your home to creating a homeschool classroom, you’ll want to make sure you have things supplies like a table or desk, a comfortable chair, a calendar, wall decorations for the room, a cubby for your child, and a dedicated cabinet or drawer for your supplies–this will come in handy as you progress through the grades and you need a place to store your instructor and answer guides.

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Things your preschooler should know before kindergarten.
By the time your child is finished pre-K, he or she should be ready to take on kindergarten. In order to be ready to move on, there are certain skills that your student will have displayed to indicate that kindergarten is the logical next step. Now, all children learn differently and at their own pace, so don’t be discouraged if yours hasn’t mastered every skill on this list. These are more guidelines than absolutes. So, if your child is able to:

  1. Say his first and last name.
  2. Write her name using a capital letter and recognize her name when she sees it.
  3. Hold a pencil, crayon, and scissors with his thumb, index, and middle fingers.
  4. Visually recognize numbers up to 10.
  5. Know what number sequences look like.
  6. Know her shapes and colors.
  7. Recognize most of the alphabet and know some of the letters’ sounds.
  8. Count to 10 on his fingers.
  9. Sit down to read a book, opening at the front and turning pages.
  10. Make a rhyme.
  11. Sit still while being read a story.
  12. Tell someone how her day went and what happened, in chronological order…

…they’re probably ready for kindergarten!

These years are some of the best, most rewarding as a parent. Taking the very start of your child’s education into your own hands is a wonderful way to bond with your little one and lay the groundwork for an incredible learning adventure that he or she will take them wherever they go.

Bridgeway Academy is proud to offer a complete pre-K package–Total Care Pre-K, a fully supported homeschool program available in both secular and faith-based options. One faith-based Total Care Pre-K program features lessons that introduce social studies, language arts, math, phonics, science, health and safety, arts and crafts, music, and physical education. The hands-on activities are perfect for little bodies, while concepts are reinforced through games, songs, poems, and drama. The other faith-based option is designed to encourage a love of reading and includes Bible and animal pictures, coordination development activities, and full-color picture stories that cover math, English, social studies, animal science, and word building. The secular program delivers the same high-quality education, without the biblical components.

Bridgeway also offers a pre-K option called Discover! Pre-K, a FREE secular program designed to meet kids where they are, spark and encourage curiosity, and help preschoolers thrive in this extraordinary stage of brain growth. It’s aligned with learning standards, giving you everything you need for the year so you can homeschool your preschooler on your own.
Give us a call at (800) 863-1474 to learn more about our amazing pre-K programs.

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David Engle

Hello, and thanks for reading! I’m David Engle--dad, husband, sports fan, and writer/editor. As a father for the last 18 years (father of two for the last 14), I consider myself to be pretty well-versed in all things related to education, childhood, and parenting, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to share some insights and knowledge with fellow parents. I have been a professional writer and editor for a quarter of a century (it pains me to admit that) and have been writing in the educational space for a number of those years. I reside in southern New Jersey with my wife, two kids, two dogs, and three cats. Never a dull moment.

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How do I create a preschool homeschool curriculum? ›

Create Your Own Preschool Curriculum for Free
  1. Step 1: Overall Learning Goals. Determine what overall learning goals you want your children to reach. ...
  2. Step 2: Fun Themes. Choose fun themes and make a schedule of them. ...
  3. Step 3: Weekly Goals. ...
  4. Step 4: Brainstorm and Research. ...
  5. Step 5: Collect Supplies and Implement the Plan.
Feb 9, 2022

How to structure homeschool preschool? ›

Preschool Homeschooling Tips & Ideas
  1. Read together every day. Reading with your child benefits them in so many ways. ...
  2. Don't forget the importance of play. Schedule breaks for play time. ...
  3. Let your child help around the house. ...
  4. Use technology to help them learn. ...
  5. Go on field trips. ...
  6. Use toys to teach.

What is the earliest age to start homeschooling? ›

At what age can you start homeschooling? The short answer is, you can start at any age. However, as a homeschooler, your state's department of education can give you a more specific answer based on the homeschooling laws where you live.

What is the best grade to start homeschooling? ›

There's no right age to start homeschooling a child. Whether now is the best time to start homeschooling depends on your family and, specifically, the needs of each child.

Can you write your own homeschool curriculum? ›

While new homeschooling parents are often attracted to complete curriculum packages, homeschooling also offers the ability to tailor a curriculum to your individual child. Home educators often rely on purchased curriculum for some subjects while creating their own learning experiences for other areas of instruction.

What curriculum is used in preschool? ›

The objectives cover four major domains of child development (social–emotional, physical, language, and cognitive), five content areas (literacy, mathematics, science and technology, social studies, and the arts), and two objectives that relate to English-language acquisition.

What is an example of rhythm in homeschooling? ›

The daily rhythm could be as simple as doing morning chores, eating breakfast and engaging in circle time activities before diving into schoolwork; taking a daily walk after lunch, before beginning the afternoon lessons; setting the table and helping with dinner preparations; and settling in for the evening and reading ...

How to do Montessori preschool at home? ›

Incorporating Montessori Basics at Home
  1. Organize Your Environment. "A place for everything and everything in its place" is one of the critical principles of Montessori at home. ...
  2. Emphasize Life Skills. Even young children are capable of pitching in around the house. ...
  3. Teach Concentration. ...
  4. Focus on Inner Motivation, Not Rewards.

Is homeschooling hard for parents? ›

Homeschooling can take a lot of work.

You're responsible for preparing lessons, personalizing your curriculum, assessing your students, socializing your children, and managing your time—while still doing the hard work of parenting.

What does it mean to unschool kids? ›

Unschooling is a style of home education that allows the student's interests and curiosities to drive the path of learning. Rather than using a defined curriculum, unschoolers trust children to gain knowledge organically.

Is it too late to switch to homeschool? ›

Every child's personal digital-learning companion.

Is homeschooling the answer, even after the school year kicks off? The short answer: It's never too late to choose a different path for your child's education.

What is the hardest part of homeschooling? ›

It can be really hard to get this between managing the kids learning/activities/desires and dealing with life/work. On the flip side, I love not having to deal with things like school runs. It's amazing how much time they take up - preparing and taking them to school. It's soooo good not to have to deal with that.

Is it harder for homeschoolers to get into college? ›

As a result, homeschool students are often successful in their application for admission to colleges and universities. That's true whether they've attended homeschool for part or all of their primary and secondary education.

How are homeschooled kids graded? ›

A grade can be calculated from a blend of daily work, quizzes, tests, reports, or other components of the learning process. The weight of each part can differ between topics. Usually the daily work, quizzes and tests can each bear one-third percentage of the overall grade.

What does a preschool curriculum look like? ›

Preschools teach the basics to kids, giving them a strong foundation for the elementary years. This includes academic concepts of literacy and math, such as counting, coloring, and letter recognition and developing large and fine motor skills, such as walking in a line and using a pencil.

How do you write a preschool program? ›

How to Plan and Implement a Successful Preschool Curriculum
  1. Consider the goals and objectives of your preschool program. ...
  2. Think about the age and developmental stage of your students. ...
  3. Use a variety of teaching methods to keep students engaged. ...
  4. Incorporate play into your curriculum.

How do you develop a curriculum for kids? ›

Learning to Build Your Curriculum
  1. Describe your vision, focus, objectives, and student needs.
  2. Identify resources.
  3. Develop experiences that meet your objectives.
  4. Collect and devise materials.
  5. Lock down the specifics of your task.
  6. Develop plans, methods, and processes.
  7. Create your students' experience.
  8. Go!

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