So, you're thinking about homeschooling your preschooler, huh? Congratulations! Get ready for an amazing year!  Preschool is one of the most fun homeschooling years. Before you dive in headfirst, there are a few things you need to do to prepare. This checklist will help make sure you have all your bases covered.

1. Understand Preschoolers
This may be the most important step and the most basic.  Most preschoolers learn best through play and hands-on activities.  You may have to throw your views of homeschooling out the window if you are envisioning your child sitting at a desk listening to you as you write on the whiteboard.   If this was your vision, it may be hard for you to change your mindset, but it is very important that you do in these younger years.  Kids who are pushed too hard, too soon will look at school as something negative for years to come.

To help you out, here are some freebies that might be helpful:

2. Choose Your Curriculum
There are hundreds of different homeschooling curricula out there, so take your time and choose one that you think will work well for your family.  

The rest of this section is going to be about what I learned on my curriculum journey.  This isn't to persuade you to do what I did but, if you are like me, I hope this will be helpful for you!

I tried A LOT of different curriculums.  
- Subscription boxes
- Paid apps
- Free apps
- Free curriculum
- Expensive curriculum
- Workbooks...

What I learned:

Every kid is different.
Every child learns differently.  Some like singing, some like getting messy, some like workbooks, and some like switching it up.   Having a curriculum that had activities that were set in stone just didn’t work out for me.   
 
Every kid is at a different level.
I found that with these curriculums, the activities were either too hard or too easy.  This led to my kid being either frustrated or bored.  
 
Every homeschooling parent’s situation is different. 
For me, I also had a baby and that made some of the activities a little challenging.  I spent money on some curriculums that ended up being super hard to use because of the current situation I was in.  
 
With preschoolers, every day is different.
There are so many things that can affect your day.
 
Do they need to eat?
Do they need a nap?
Did they sleep bad last night?
Did you have a play date that day?
 
If you can’t get to the daily activity, you don’t want to feel like you are falling behind.

I needed to know what my goals for the year were because if the day didn't go as planned, I needed to know if it was a big deal or not.

I felt completely lost with all of these curriculums.  I felt like they were throwing activities at me and I needed to know if they were okay to adjust or if I would mess everything up by changing or skipping something.
 
Unit studies are great, but…
I love unit studies!  I’ve learned so much about life and all of the things around us from unit studies... even at a preschool level.  But, I didn’t love curriculums that only focused on themes because the activities got boring.  I felt like they were trying too hard.

On the other hand, unit studies are also a great way to get together with other homeschool families for a co-op day.

 
Apps
My kids might use an app for a short time or watch a short educational video, but I would never be able to use that as the core of my curriculum.
 
What I ended up doing:
Finally, I decided I would create my own child-led preschool curriculum.  

I figured out what the preschool goals were and I created a chart.  Then I created an assessment based on the preschool goals.  This allows parents to see exactly what they need to focus on with their child and what they can use as a refresher.  

I chose to create a child-led curriculum because it allows you and your child to choose the activities you do based on your child’s interests, your child’s mood, supplies you have, and availability that day.
 
Then I threw in real-life topics. 
 
It honestly made a huge difference.  My kids love learning time now.  
 
It wasn’t easy but it was something I needed to do!  Not only for myself but for everyone else facing the same struggles I was.  

Check it out:
3. Gather Supplies
You'll need some basic supplies before you can start your year.

Books
Reading is very important.  Visit the library on a regular basis.  Keeping new books in your house will keep your child interested in reading.

Writing Supplies
Here are my favorite products for writing practice:

Hands-On Learning
No matter what curriculum you have, I think it's nice to have a couple of other products/games on hand outside of the curriculum.   This gives you the opportunity to grab something educational to play with after learning time.  

Life Skills
I like to incorporate life skills into our day.  This can be cleaning, cooking, getting dressed, brushing teeth, or anything else that they can do on their own that is helpful for getting us through the day.

Fitness
My kids need to let out a lot of energy each day.  The fitness books I recommended above in the "My Favorite Preschool Books" link are great!  I also purchased a wall gym that my kids use every single day.  We also watch Brain Break videos on YouTube and do the fitness activities from our curriculum.

For Mom
I also think it's important to have a printer and I LOVE my laminator!  You can also use the dry-erase pockets in the Writing section above rather than a laminator.

Okay, fine... that wasn't really for mom... Here is something you will need:

Being home, homeschooling, doing the housework, cooking... Finding balance in all of the things is hard physically and mentally.  Set the affirmation cards out as a reminder that you are doing enough and to bring you up when times get tough.

4. Set Up a Schedule
This step is crucial because it will help you find balance and feel accomplished.  Having a set schedule will help keep both you and your child on track. That being said, don't be afraid to mix things up from time to time; a little bit of flexibility will go a long way towards keeping everyone happy.

5. Get Organized
Being organized is key when homeschooling any age group.  You don't need to create a dedicated space for homeschooling, but it is helpful to have all the supplies and materials you'll need organized in one area. 

6. Find a Community
Join a mom group or a homeschool group in your area.  It's important for you to have people you can talk to who understand your life.  It's also important to give your child opportunities to play with other kids. 

Here are some international groups:

If you are looking for an online community, check out my Facebook Group.
 

There's no denying that homeschooling a preschooler is a big undertaking. But if you take the time to prepare beforehand, it doesn't have to be overwhelming. By following the steps on this checklist, you'll be well on your way to setting up a successful homeschool environment for your family.



Xx Jeni

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**ALL THINGS HOMESCHOOL PRESCHOOL**

Check out my preschool curriculum!  This is where you get all of my unit studies, activities, and tips!

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All of the products on this page are products my kids and I use and love or products I personally recommend!
All of the opinions expressed here are my own.  With that said, this page contains affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. 


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