I asked myself what was it about preschool that I felt my 2-year old needed? It was the social interaction, the teachers, the structure that I couldn’t replicate at home all by myself. As I mentioned in my previous post A Home School Preschool Co-Op I decided to contact a few friends through my MOMS Club that had mentioned they were not planning to send their child to school the following year to create a co-op. We had many moms ask us if they could join us or how exactly we created our school. So, what is it exactly you would need to set up your own home school preschool?
Find a group of people with your same goals in mind.
You need to meet and make sure you all have the same goals in mind. Do you want your preschool co-op to be a school setting? A play date setting? Is this where most of the teaching for the week will occur for your child? Will everyone take turns teaching? Will one person be in charge of curriculum or will it be a group effort? How many times a week will you meet? It is very important that everyone has the same concept of what your preschool should entail.
For example, will there only be one or two teachers in the room at the same time or will everyone teach together? In this post I am going to specifically talk about the 2-year old homeschool co-op created with a more traditional setting.
Decide on a schedule.
Our schedule changed a few times during the year when we found what did and did not work for us, but the core schedule still existed and is important to how well your day runs. Our schedule included: Circle Time, Craft, Story Time, Music, Play. Each one of us was in charge of one section.
We began every morning with a Circle Time.
For circle time I used a calendar I had purchased from a teaching store, here in Jacksonville we have School Aids, but you can purchase this and many other teaching products online as well. I put the calendar on a cork board and also hung a sign for seasons, weather, and our letter and number. After our Hello Song we talked about the month, the date, the day, the season, the weather, and our letter and number for the week. We would sing a short weekdays song and then move into the lesson we were learning for that week.
Here is an example for teaching Seasons:
- Fall– I bought fall leaves and leaf platters from the $1 store and let the kids pick them up and let them fall to the ground. We talked about the different colors we saw in the leaves, what the weather was like in the fall (compared to the summer we were getting out of), and different clothes you might wear.
- Winter– I brought a bag of ice for each student and let them hold and feel the bags. We talked about how water turns to ice in the cold, the difference in weather in the winter. I also brought pictures of snow and snowflakes and we talked about the type of clothing and activities you could do in the winter.
- Spring– I bought flowers from the $1 store and they each got to hold different flowers. We talked about how in the Spring flowers spring up from the ground and how the leaves grew back. We also talked about the colors we saw in the flowers and what kind of clothing we would wear with the warmer weather.
- Summer– I brought a beach towel with a heating pad. I put the heating pad under the beach towel and the students all felt the warmth. We talked about the change in weather, the different activities we could do in the summer, and what types of clothes we wear in the summer.
Craft, Story Time, Music, & Play
We created Units and then broke it down into Lessons. As you can see above, our Seasons Unit was broken down into the four seasons: Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. The crafts, stories, music and play were then created around these themes. Well, as best they could! Music and Play was more for the movement and exposure to following directions, sharing, and doing social activities like standing in lines, and waiting their turn. These were all important aspects of preschool we felt our children could gain from having the co-op.
Want to start your own homeschool preschool?
Here is a free blank printable Lesson Plan to get you started, and check out my previous post, A Home School Preschool Co-op, to see one completed along with the different Units we decided on to teach our 2-year olds.