I taught third and fourth grade for eight years before taking a break to stay home with my kids. I always wanted to be a kindergarten teacher, so I’m surprised I wasn’t more confident in how preschool at home with my own children was going to go. I’m excited to homeschool. But, I’m nervous about homeschooling. Ok, I’m all the feels for homeschooling right now!
The goal of writing this new series of posts about our preschool adventures at home is to reflect on this journey, including the triumph and mishaps that occur along the way. So let’s being with today, day ONE.
Yesterday, we made a rules chart and a schedule poster together. We planned where we would be learning as well. For about two weeks, I have been pulling resources, reorganizing, second-guessing, planning, and questioning everything in life to get “ready” (a term I now use loosely) to prepare for day one of homeschool preschool for my kids Bugzy and Buddy.
Day 1 Preschool Homeschool Schedule
- Review schedule chart & rules
- Centers (We did them together today and modeled behavior)
- Reading & Writing
- Walk/ Play Outside
- Craft/ Sensory Play
- Puzzle & Experiments
- Field Trip
Day 1 Learning Centers
We had four centers today. I kept them very simple, easy, and quick to complete to ease us into this activity and focus on expectations and understanding the routine rather than academics today. In a school with my classroom of ten-year-olds, I would spend an entire week chatting about all the different routines and procedures we need to learn. So I understand centers needs to stay simple and focus on behavior expectations, and eventually, this will become independent time.
Center 1: Tower to Ten (Math Activity)
Kids had different size blocks, and they were tasked to build it up using at least ten blocks before it crashed.
Center 2: Count to Ten (Math Activity)
I had a base-ten chart, cubes, and tweezers in a tub, and the goal was for them to fill the grid with ten cubes. They could also use different colored cubes to form a pattern on their chart as well.
Center 3: Write Your Name (Writing Center)
I premade name strips for the kids to trace and free-write their names.
Center 4: Letter Art (Art & Literacy Activity)
Paper, colored glue, gems, sequins, crayons, and markers were placed in a tub for children to create art to form different letters in the alphabet. Letters spelled out the kids’ names.
Day 1 Reading & Writing
Read aloud was Wordy Birdy by Tammi Saur and illustrated by Dave Mottram. We discussed the importance of the life lesson in this book to listen and follow directions.
Read Aloud Questions: “What might go wrong if he doesn’t listen well?” “Why doesn’t he stop when his friends give him warnings?” “What might happen next? Why?”
We completed a review lesson on the alphabet and letter H from the Learning Dynamics program. I’m waiting for my Secret Stories TE to arrive. So meanwhile, I will use our resources from last year as a review.
Then another read aloud, this time the book The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael López.
Day 1 Math Activities
I am using the Go Math curriculum because it was a curriculum my district used when I taught fourth grade. However, I’m not really happy with it; I’ll probably continue researching other options and eventually switch or create my own.
We completed Unit 1, Lesson 1-3 about numbers 1&2. My daughter found it frustrating to write the number two on the given dotted lines; I was surprised to see this since she is typically excited to write. This was when I started questioning the use of textbooks. I never was a textbook teacher.
We used unisex cubes and links to practice counting. We also did our calendar and pattern work to finish the math lesson.
Craft & Sensory Activity
Together my daughter, Bugzy and I made a sensory bin to represent Wordy Birdy learning to listen. We used lentils, colored rice, kinetic sand. Then we added a “Hear Myself Phone” from Lakeshore Learning to let children listen while talking. I also filled three sensory play dough balls (also from Lakeshore Learning) with rice, gems, and connector toys. The kids shared the toys and predicted what was inside the containers. For more sensory activities please visit my other posts for more ideas.
What went well today for homeschool?
- Organization of centers
- The flow of the schedule
- Pacing of lessons
- Literacy curriculum
- Schedule and rules chart
- Location of activities
- Kids behavior during activities
What needs to improve in our learning routine?
- Kids’ behavior when I have to do something for a millisecond away from them.
- Extending activities to be longer- their stamina for learning was more than I planned.
- More activities created just for my toddler that pairs with my preschooler’s activities/ or at least take the same amount of time to complete and can be completed in the same space.
How can the above items be improved?
- Have 100% of activities prepared before the day begins.
- Create additional lessons to be used as needed.
- Review rules chart daily before the day starts, during snack, and after lunch.
What will I change to help make tomorrow better for our homeschool learning?
- We will move up snack time- the kids did well when we changed this today in our schedule, and it feels like a good transition of activities.
- Prepare more extended backup plans for after field-trip activities are over if kids don’t nap.
- Have experiment and craft activities prepped entirely before the day starts.
- Add a review meeting after our trip to recap and check out the day; even though it is still mid-day, this reflection will help with behavior and keep us improving daily.
- Breathe/ meditate/ watch a TED talk before starting the day with kids!
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If you found this page helpful, please visit other posts for more activities ideas for little learners.