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There is so much stigma about homeschooling your children. There are parents out there who praise putting their kids in daycare/school because they need to or have to. Then there are those parents who are afraid to put their children in public care where they don’t know what’s going on day in and day out. But what about those parents who can’t afford daycare/school or can’t afford a babysitter/nanny??
I, for one, am one of those parents who couldn’t find a job in my field and couldn’t afford daycare/school or a babysitter/nanny. I was overhearing some moms at my daughter’s class one day and they were saying how much homeschool was cheaper and a better environment for their older child. Later, that day, I thought that maybe there could be a preschool program for homeschool, so I went and researched and couldn’t find any resources for homeschool preschool programs. So, what do I do? I decided to homeschool my toddler myself. My mom is a kindergarten teacher, so naturally I went to her for some advice on how to start homeschooling my daughter.
My mom gave me some terrific tips about how to get started with homeschool. Remember, not everything is for everybody, but I have found out that by using some of these tools helped me and my daughter on that path.
Here are the tips:
1. Setup an Account on ABCMouse.com:
ABCMouse has been amazing for my daughter. You can start at Preschool level and it advances your child every time they graduate from the program. My daughter LOVES this program and gets so excited every time I tell her it’s time for her lesson! She only knew a few words when we started, but after doing the program for a year, she knows sentences, reads, sings, and can count! If you are interested, then simply go to www.abcmouse.com to get started. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed!
2. Make some file folder games:
File folder games is an awesome alternative to helping your child learn. I remember doing them as a kid in kindergarten, so my mom offered to send me some ideas to start on my own file folder games. They are super simple and easy to make plus they are fun to do with your child. You just need a file folder, a sheet of paper with numbers or a game, and some m&m’s, plastic colored bears, toys, etc. Or just look around your house and find something that your child likes and make it into a game where they must count while picking them up and putting them away. There are endless possibilities for this type of learning tool!
3. Get a workbook:
Before the Summer season started, we happened to be shopping at Costco where I found a Preschool workbook and a box set of Preschool Pete the Cat books. We purchased those and we were surprised at how amazing these turned out. With the workbook, my daughter learned how to write, learn patterns, count to 20, matching colors, learn to cut, and learn her ABC’s. She always got a sense of joy when finishing her pages and she loved figuring out what she needed to do next. In addition to the workbook, Pete the Cat has also been a great tool for story time. My daughter loves animals so it was easier for her to get involved and learn how to read. All in all, this has been an amazing find plus they were super cheap at Costco, I paid less than $15 for all of it!
4. Setup an account through other websites:
There are also other websites that are just as good as ABCMouse. For instance, Teachers Pay Teachers is a great source to find different activities and pages to print out. I have printed out multiple things from the website such as tracing pages, counting, holiday crafts, etc. The best part is that it is FREE to sign up. There are no subscriptions, however, there are some pages and activity pages that you do have to pay for. I set up my account putting homeschool as the teacher option and the grades as pre-k. If you are interested in Teachers Pay Teachers, here is the website: www.teacherspayteachers.com. In addition to Teachers Pay Teachers, my mom also told me about these two websites called ABCYA and Starfall. They are game based, but they are neat. I have not setup an account yet because they do need a subscription, but maybe in the near future we will setup an account. If you are interested in those websites, you just go to www.abcya.com and www.starfall.com.
5. Learn from Experience:
What I have learned most of all through this homeschool adventure is that it’s a give and take experience. There will be times where your child (including mine) will not be interested at all, but that’s when you get creative. For instance, there were some times when my daughter simply did not want to listen or follow what I was asking; so, I got creative and let her decide on what she wanted to do. She wanted to play with her file folder game bears, in which they are colored bears where you can color coordinate, etc. Well, I made it into a game where she had to form the bears into a letter or she would have to put the bears in a color pattern. Needless to say, that everyday is an adventure and I incorporate what she wants to do that day as a learning lesson for her. Of course, there are other ways such as craft time, which we do twice a week, and there is story time, which we do everyday. So, there are multiple ways to homeschool, but you just have to find what fits for you and your family.
In conclusion, my hope is that whether you are a stay at home mom, career mom, or a mom who is trying to figure everything out, there are ways to help your child learn without having to feel pressured or judged because you simply can’t put your child in school. Figure out what your child likes and go from there making it a learning lesson/game for them. I hope this helps…see you next post!