Friday, June 21, 2013

At Home Preschool

Just over a month ago, Luke suggested that I start a more structured approach to teaching Augustine at home. 

The conversation started when Luke asked me:
"Are you supposed to be, like, teaching him something?" 
Lol. :) 
"Of course, I am," I thought, "And I do."  Luke knows that I spend all day teaching the kiddos in one way or another, so he wasn't being offensive at all {though, truth be told, sometimes I am teaching them the wrong things...sigh}.  Yet, it also made me realize that there was a lot more I could be teaching him if I made it a priority and had a little guidance as to what was appropriate for his age.
What he meant by his question was:
"Maybe you could start doing some preschool lessons at home with Augustine."

Our back door where we hang lots of our preschool masterpieces
and colors, numbers, & letters to practice.
He thought Augustine {and I} could benefit from a more organized and formal curriculum, as opposed to Augustine mainly learning through conversations, observations, explanations, and books.  We read a lot of books.  So I spent like 5 minutes researching online and came across a free curriculum at     

And it's awesome.  If you have a preschool aged child who is not in preschool {or even if your child is in preschool and you want some fun supplemental material}, go check out the site. 
A watercolor "Noah's Ark" and verses to practice.
We have been doing preschool for five weeks now, and Augustine loves it.  Some of the stuff we are learning he already knows {see, I was teaching him something, Luke :)}, but it is still a good review.  We have been doing a ton of coloring, pasting, singing, practicing, and reading!  His mind is a huge sponge, and I had no idea he was ready to do so much learning. 
"Adam & Eve" and A is for ants.
I am planning on adding in one specifically Catholic activity or coloring sheet or song each week just to make it a better fit for our family, but I really love the Christian emphasis already in place.

Salt, glue, food coloring, paper, and water.  Good times.
Augustine is enrolled for preschool two mornings a week in the fall {since you have to sign up for those things like forever in advance}, and while Luke is still leaning toward sending him, I am definitely on the fence.  I am enjoying teaching him at home so much!  If we don't go the "out of the home" preschool route, I will definitely find some other social activities for him to do where he also learns to take instruction from other adults.  But even if we do send him to preschool, I am planning on continuing the abcjesuslovesme curriculum with him at home.

One of the best--and most surprising--consequences of following Luke's suggestion is that I actually feel more productive and less stressed out...even though I am putting more time and effort into our days than I used to.  Feeling like I am doing good by my kids, regardless of the time/energy/etc involved, goes a long, long way in bringing me personal fulfillment and peace.  And I also thrive on the added structure and routine to our days, though we only go by a very loose and totally flexible preschool schedule. 

There you have it, my thoughts on preschool at home in the summer.  Probably a topic that is not on anyone else's mind--because who {especially those with school-agers} would want to think about school in the summer?! :)       

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