For Parents, Nannying 101, Uncategorized

A Basic Guide to Homeschooling Preschool

There are so many parents and nannies out there right now who are trying to navigate home education while using the social distance learning plans sent out by their child’s teacher. I realize the virtual lesson plans, the Zoom meetings, and the emails aren’t a perfect substitute for in-class learning, but consider parents and nannies of preschoolers and toddlers. They aren’t receiving much, if any, sort of direction from teaches or administrators. For that reason, I want to share how I create homeschool plans for my nanny kids.

1. Plan Out the Day

In order to create a routine that allows for a good mix of play and intentional learning, I start by writing up a schedule. A carefully planned out schedule may seem rigid, but it’s a great place to start. Knowing there’s flexibility to extend an activity or eliminate something will be your saving grace. The important thing is to stick to a routine (an order of doing things) more than a schedule (doing things at set times). That way the kids know what to expect and the day runs more smoothly.

Here is our routine for an 11 to 12 hour day:

  • Breakfast
  • Walk
  • Circle Time
  • Organized Activity
  • Snack
  • GoNoodle
  • Organized Activity
  • Outdoor Play
  • Lunch
  • Nap for R/Quiet Time for A
  • Organized Activity
  • GoNoodle
  • Free Play
  • Snack
  • Walk
  • Read
  • Free Play
  • Organized Activity

As a schedule, this would look the same with times assigned to each activity. For example,

  • 6:45 to 8:00 Breakfast/Get Dressed
  • 8:00 to 8:30 Walk
  • 8:30 to 9:00 Circle Time

and so on…

The schedule helps me maintain timeframes and the routine helps to maintain an order of activities.

2. Familiarize Yourself with Educational Standards

The fun part of homeschooling is planning the activities, but we can’t do that until we know what our preschoolers should be learning. There are both federal and state standards for what a student should know by the time they enter into kindergarten. Chances are, if your child has been exposed to art (coloring and painting), several picture books, and a variety of toys, they will be just fine. However, in order to guide my lesson plans, I use the World Book Typical Course of Study: Preschool. While there are standards listed on each state’s websites, I find this one to be the most comprehensive and straightforward.

3. Plan Age-Appropriate Activities

Now that you know what academic goals to aim for with your child, you can start on the creative part — planning activities!

Aside from educational standards, I choose a theme for each week to simplify and guide my lesson planning. If I were doing a spring theme, I would plan enough multi-subject activities that involve spring ideas — like plants, insects and rain — to fill each “Organized Activity” space in our daily schedule.

In order to formulate a plan, I grab a notebook and start writing down ideas. When I need more idea, I scroll through this list of preschool homeschool resources. Once I have a long list of activities spanning all subject areas, I fill in this lesson plan sheet to organize all of the week’s activities and necessary supplies. Now everything is in one neat place.

Weekly Lesson Plan Example

4. Create a Learning Environment

You may be ready to teach now, but what about having a designated learning space? It’s important not to overlook this step. You don’t have to go overboard and turn your child’s bedroom into a classroom. The same seat at the same table in the same room is enough. The important part is that your child knows that when they sit down in that spot, or when they come to this section of the dining room, it is time to focus and learn.

On top of a designated space, I recommend having a whiteboard, easel or chart paper in the case where you have to intentionally teach a lesson or display an example. It is much easier to illustrate a point when your child can clearly see each step or each image.

Having a routine the kids know, with plans for activities through out the day, helps to moderate the kids’ boredom and the stress on the caretaker. However, planning lessons takes up a lot of time, so the level at which you want to plan is completely up to you. My hope is that I have provided some practical ways and resources to educate your children or nanny kids at home, while helping to alleviate the concerns about managing their day.

You CAN do this!

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