Are you thinking trying home preschool? Does the thought of homeschooling completely overwhelm you? You are not alone! One of the most asked questions I get is about creating a homeschool schedule. I’ve completed home preschool with my three boys, so I hope my tips on setting up a home preschool schedule will give you some ideas!
Home Preschool Routine
Have you ever heard the phrase, “kids thrive on routine?” Well, it’s true! Kids don’t have a lot of control in their lives, but daily routines can give them a sense of organization, stability, and comfort. Just like having a routine for bedtime or mealtime, having a routine for teaching preschool will help you in the long run.
Why Routines are Helpful
- Gives organization to the day
- Helps the child feel secure and know what is going on
- Makes the day run more efficiently
- Leads to better behaviors
When you homeschool, it’s important to start the day the same way so they know that school time has started and it’s different from other parts of the day.
This can be with something simple:
- Sing a song to signal the preschool time has started
- Sit close together and read a book
- Circle time (such as calendar and weather)
- Do a dance or movement activity
- Complete simple lesson plans
At the start of the school year, you will really have to teach this routine to your child. Don’t be discouraged if it takes some time. Preschoolers are young and they may need a few days or a few weeks to really start understanding the routine. I always recommend starting small. For example, at the beginning of the year when your child isn’t used to school time, just to it for 10 minutes. Work your way up to longer periods of time. But start small so you can have success with it and also so it doesn’t overwhelm your child!
How can you make sure you stick to your routine?
Here are some suggestions that I’ve found worked well for me:
- Get up early and start your day first – get some self-care in before having to take care of your children
- Make a visual routine chart
- Prepare more complex activities the night before
- Make weekends (or days off of preschool) different so they know that it’s not a school day.
I know that not every day will go perfectly, and that’s ok. But just know that you’re not alone in this and we all have times where we’re just not on a good routine.
The big takeaway is this…your job is to create a routine for your child so that they feel good about school. This may take time to set up and learn for your child, but in the long run, it will be so helpful.
Components of Preschool
Here are common activities that are in homeschool preschool:
- Circle time (calendar, weather, counting the school days, read aloud books)
- Outdoor time – SUPER important for kids to go outside and get fresh air!
- Free play – this may seem obvious, but kids need lots of time to play and explore. You should have a lot of this added into your day
- Literacy – reading stories, alphabet activities, prewriting activities, oral vocabulary activities, or learning the letters of the alphabet
- Math – math activities, such as counting, sorting, patterns, and number recognition
- STEM – I love implementing simple play-based STEM activities into our day…the kids love it, too!
- Snack time – you never want to forget snack time!
- Rest time – depending on your child, you may need to add a nap or rest time to your day
- Sensory play – I like to create invitations to play, which means I set up a sensory bin or a similar type of activity and then I invite them to explore and play with it.
- Music – preschooler loves music, chants, and rhymes! Even poems are fun and model rhyming to kids.
- Crafts or processed art
- Fun activity – such as puzzles, games, or anything in your child’s interest
- Dramatic play
- Sports or dancing
Did you know home preschool doesn’t have to take very long? Check out this graphic below to see how long direct instruction is needed for each grade.
Sample Preschool Schedules
I have three sample schedule to share with you for home preschool. The first two schedules go along with my preschool curriculum, Home Preschool Made Easy. If you want to simplify planning with fun, hands-on activities, then this curriculum is for you! Find out more here.
The first schedule is for lessons with The thematic activities.
The second schedule is what I used with my children. In my curriculum, Home Preschool Made Easy, there is a read-aloud and letter activity for each day. The daily lesson plans include several hands-on activities for the day, which include components of literacy, math, science, sensory play, process art, fine motor skills, etc.
There are TONS of activities over 18 different themes.
This third schedule is if you want a literacy and math block of time each day.
Of course, there is no perfect schedule. Like I said earlier, you may have to work up to your schedule and start small. You may even find the schedule doesn’t work for you and you need to tweak it. We did that several times when we started homeschooling! Here’s another sample schedule we’ve done.
I recommend sketching out a rough draft for your schedule and trying it for a week or two.
I hope this blog post gives you some motivation and encouragement for home preschool.
If you are interested in a checklist with the skills children should work on to prepare for kindergarten, you can get that by filling out the form below.
I am very impressed with your Pre K Homeschool information. I’m considering starting the idea of Homeschool for family and friends. I guess it should start with the Pre K Homeschool information, but what to do with K-5th. Can you give me a clear run down on materials for doing Elementary Homeschool?
Angela Thayer says
Thank you! I only have a home preschool curriculum, so I don’t have anything for K-5th right now. We used The Good and the Beautiful for curriculum when my kids started kindergarten and beyond. There are some great curriculums out there! Hope that helps.
Wow, no wonder when homeschool children come to the classroom they are so behind. Why not homeschool for the same amount of time your child would spend in a school? Also hopefully, you actually have a bachelors degree in something.
Angela Thayer says
Hello! I’m sure some kids come to school behind, but that is not all kids. We’ve done both (homeschool and public school) and my kids were not behind when they returned to the classroom. In fact, they were ahead of their peers and were in advanced classes. I do have a bachelors in elementary education, so yes that does help. The reason why a homeschool schedule is shorter than a public or private school is because you can get the work done much faster! You don’t have wasted down time and when you are working one-on-one with a student, you can get the work done quickly. This preschool schedule I posted is for children 3-4 years old. They do not need 7 hours of direct instruction. Hope that helps!
What a graceful response.
My aunt homeschooled me and several other children. She didn’t have a degree, but all of her students regularly tested in the high 80s and 90s for state testing. It probably helps to have a degree, but definitely isn’t necessary.
We spent loads of time outside and were very active in extracurricular programs! I loved school and am so happy to see more parents taking on the challenge of teaching their children.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge with those of us who don’t have a degree!
Hi, do you have the soft copy of the pre-k schedule which i can buy and edit and print it out? Thank You!
for the main lesson, is it different everyday or the same lesson for the week?
Angela Thayer says
The main lesson is different every day.
can you give examples of main lessons?
Angela Thayer says
Sure! The main part of a lesson is doing activities that we’re focusing on for that day. So if we’re focusing on letter A, I’d go over how to write the letter, provide activities to practice this, go over the letter sounds, etc. Hope that makes sense.
I couldn’t find you Number formation rhymes print out. Could you direct me to where to find it?
Angela Thayer says
Sure! I’ve emailed you.