Whenever I hear this exchange it frustrates me. The poor young homeschool mom did not even get an answer to her question. She asked for some resources and everyone told her to just play and not worry about formal learning.
Well, don’t tell me not to do preschool. Don’t tell me not to have a plan, to create ideas, and to use a curriculum. I need and want a preschool curriculum and I don’t enjoy homeschooling without it.
With my 4-year-old preschooler I spend about 15 minutes on a short math lesson with manipulatives (with Right Start Math) and about 15 minutes on a reading lesson with cursive handwriting practice on our small whiteboard (with Logic of English Foundations). We then spend about 20 minutes reading a stack of books through a booklist that I created just for our PreK year using ideas from Sonlight, Veritas Press, Memoria Press, and Heart of Dakota (as well as recommendations from friends). I actually have things planned out, written down, and stacked neatly in a shelf in our school room.
Little Bee looks forward to our preschool time every single day. She crawls up in my lap with her snack while I read to her. She looks at the pictures, asks questions, points out words she knows and we just talk and snuggle. We then work side by side on math and reading and she can see the progress she’s made and she knows she’s close to reading words, being able to write them on her own, and do simple math. She is so excited about our learning time!
Without having a curriculum that I follow and use I would let my little preschooler fall through the cracks in our homeschool schedule. I would not spend the amount of time dedicated solely to her as I do now. I would be too tired to look up learning games and find Pinterest-inspired learning projects for her. I would miss all the fun learning moments we have together.
No, I don’t think you need a curriculum for preschool. But I like having one. It gives me the security of knowing that I spent quality time with my preschooler and she’s so proud of her progress. I love knowing that I have activities and books that are only for her. There’s nothing wrong with needing a little help in the planning and organization department.
So, if a mom asks for preschool advice I gladly give them some curriculum ideas but I also mention that preschool takes about 45 minutes at our house and never any more. We fill the rest of our time with free play, outdoor time, art projects, and extra reading time. Preschool is such a fun time and the structure is needed to make sure our time is never neglected.
I also have a structured time with my 2 1/2 year old, Ladybug. It’s not quite preschool but I do use some curriculum (Flowering Baby and ABC Jesus Loves Me) for ideas. Ladybug loves our time together and asks to do school every day. Soon she’ll be moving into the things Bee used during her 3 year old preschool year and reading through the giant pile of books that I have waiting for that year. Both of my little girls have some quality time with me during our school day.
So please don’t tell me to skip the curriculum or stop doing a formal preschool time! It’s our favorite part of the day! And I absolutely LOVE reading through all the precious picture books that are part of our preschool year.