Before my daughter even turned 2 I was already researching preschools for her. I knew just what I wanted, having gone through it already with my son, and I had a specific school I wanted her to go to. But God had a different plan. I believe there is always a reason for every adversity although it’s hard to see at first. And when that door closed on my #1 pick preschool, not a window, but a garage door opened– Why don’t I just home school her, and not by myself but with others that weren’t sending their kids to preschool?!“God had a different plan”
And so the idea of a Preschool Home School Co-Op was born and I immediately emailed a few friends from my MOMS Club playgroup that had mentioned not sending their 2-year olds to preschool. I was elated to find out that they weren’t just interested but excited about the idea. Quickly people found out and showed interest. After just a few short weeks of sharing our idea we ended up with 5 moms, 5 toddlers, and 2 babies. Luckily, one of our moms generously offered the bonus room in her home to set up the school and have it there every week!
We decided to meet twice a week for 2 hours and to use a more traditional school approach with our 2-year olds. We broke down our 2 hour mornings into
5 different sections:
- Circle Time (Opening and Closing)
I also added an “At Home” section to the end of each lesson plan if anyone wanted to supplement on our days off.
Each of us were in charge of one of the sections. We created a google doc with the lesson plans so we could fill in our section at our convenience. Many people ask where we got our curriculum. Since one of our members was a Elementary Ed. teacher and I was a High School teacher, we just created our own. I just used the simple lesson plan format I used from my days of teaching and the magic occurred when each person filled in their section. Having 5 people with different backgrounds and strengths was amazing. I know I could have NEVER came up with many of the wonderful crafts, stories, music and fun games without these incredible women.
Here is a sample plan from our very first week of school!
Lesson Plan September 2012
Month Theme: Seasons Weekly Theme (9/4 & 9/6): Fall
Circle Time: (10-15 min)
Introduce “A” sound and letter
Introduce “Seasons & Fall”
Craft: (10-20 min.)
First Day of School Craft
- Fall Craft – Fall Tree Painting
Story: (5 min.)
Story about Fall: Mouse’s First Fall by Lauren Thompson
Story about Seasons: All the Seasons of the Year by Deborah Lee Rose
Music/ Movement: (10-15 min.)
Open Shut Them
Apple Tree (Action Rhyme)
Wheels on the Bus
Open Shut Them
Dancin’ Machine (Greg and Steve)- The kids will dance and follow the instructions in the song.
Play: (20 min.)
Going outside and collecting fall leaves then putting them on a sheet and tossing them into the air like popcorn (parachute idea)
Outdoor Car Wash
Closing Circle Time: (10 min.)
Review A, 1, and Seasons/Fall
Find items around the house that start with the letter A, make the letter A out of play-doh and trace it with fingers, (same for number 1). Trace a leaf three times- the first leaf color green, the second leaf color yellow & orange, the third leaf color brown. Discuss how the weather changes during fall and how the leaves will also change.
As you can see, we broke each month into Units (some units took longer than a month).
These were the units we decided on:
- Rainbow Colors
- Body Parts
Home schooling her with these other mommies has been one of the best experiences of my life. I love watching each of them learn, having Taylin jump in my arms to hug me when she accomplishes something new, and sharing in all the experiences with her. Our first school year was such a success that we decided to do it again this year. One of our students moved on to VPK, we added the babies as students, and we changed our lesson plan into a more Montessori-based learning. What does that mean? Read about it here in Create a Center-Based Home School Preschool.
We’ll be interviewing other home school mommies on our Mom Complicated Show, having guest bloggers with great tips and explanations on home schooling, and taking questions from all of you on this very hot topic!
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