Skip to main content

Getting Started with at Home Preschool

I decided that I want to start focusing on skills with my son. I do not want him to notice that this is going on but I want to know that we are working on skills he should be learning. Play-based learning is the best strategy for this practice- Structured Play.

Ok, ok..... I miss teaching!!! I taught for 9 years before being a stay-at-home mother. (Do not get me wrong, I LOVE being home with him!) I just miss teaching. I know I will go back to it someday soon but in the meantime, I have these skills I might as well use them! AND share them! :) I have a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master degree in Curriculum Development. These degrees along with my experience should help me to put together something that will really be helpful.

In my search for 1-year-old 'curriculum', I was not satisfied with what I found. So I have decided to figure it out on my own. This way I know it will work for us. I am NOT an expert and do not claim to be! I am using my background in child development, methods in teaching, and curriculum writing to put together something that will attempt to stretch my son as well as something that may get you started with your child/children.  

I am one of those 'crazy' people that are uber organized and like to do my planning that way too. I have decided to work on Monthly Themes for two reasons. First, themes can be inspiring and a great place to start. Themes also facilitate repetition, that is very important in learning a new skill. 

When working with children it is important that they do not think they are being taught. That can sometimes take the fun out of an activity especially when it comes from a parent. The way I will be preceding will include activities that you would normally do but just slightly more planned out and goal-oriented: Structured Play. 

Feel free to take what will work for you and your family and leave what will not work. Every child is different and can learn in different ways. My little man is very active and does not sit down. Given that knowledge, I am aware that my planning must include movement. I acknowledge that when I read to him it is ok for him to be moving around the room or babbling. He is a multi-tasker! ;)

The million dollar question: When to start? I hope that you have been reading, singing, and talking to your baby from the womb so you have already started. A curriculum is not recommended before the age of 18 months because most children will not be responsive. I am facilitating play time, not a particular curriculum. With that being said, I will be starting this with my 12-month-old. We will see as we go what needs to be changed, modified, or thrown out. 

Check out these posts on the best ways to get started:

These are the Monthly Themes from when my son was 13 months through 24 months. For examples of each activity look through the Labels List on the side of the blog.

September: Apple Theme

October: Pumpkin Theme

November: Leaves Theme

December: Christmas Theme

January: Snow Theme

March: no plans because of illness

April: no plans because of illness

May: Flowers Theme

June: Beach Theme

July: Animal Theme

August: Construction Theme

These are the Monthly Themes from when my son was 25 months through 3 years old. For examples of each activity look through the Labels List on the side of the blog.

September:  Apple and Farm Theme

October: Pumpkin Theme

November: N/A

December: Christmas

January: Snow


March: Dr. Seuss

April: Hiatus 

May:  Plants and Flowers


July: Animals

August: Construction

The following plans are grouped by monthly themes starting in September for my three-year-old son.

September.... Apple Theme
October......Pumpkin Theme
November.....Fall Theme
December......Christmas Theme

June.....Beach Theme

August......Airplane Theme

Popular posts from this blog

Play to Write- Week 3

We participating in a Wednesday Play Group called Play to Write over at Cherrios and Lattes. This is week 3- Write/Spell Your Name.  We started this week's practice with some name tracing. Cherrios and Lattes provides the printable for some dotted letters. She suggested doing rainbow writing with this sheet. I showed Jacob but he was more interested in writing all the Jacobs. I started by modeling on the first name. Then I held his hand and we did it together. Finally I let him do the last three on his own with only my verbal prompts.  He took this very seriously and was very proud of himself! I was surprised at how much he liked doing this activity. He has a long way to go but he did pretty well! One thing I had to repeat was not to go around the o and a more than once. He wanted to go around and around. This is an activity that I think he will want to do again! The next activity was Missing Letter Name Practice. We started by singing a little song I sing for Jake to teach him h…

Name Writing Practice

Jacob did a little name writing practice today. He was asked to trace the dotted lines to write letters for his name. This is good practice with spelling as well. I had him say each letter as he wrote the letter.  As you can see he is very choppy and not exactly on the dotted lines. His motor skills are not quite sharp enough yet to be able to hold the crayon and he especially loses control as he works on towards the end. We also did a Missing Letter Name Practice. Both of these ideas came from Cherrios and Lattes' Play to Write, Write to Read. These are good ways to practice names and writing. He gets very angry if he thinks he made a mistake. See the scribbling. I have to reinforce that it is ok to make a mistake and that everyone makes mistakes but we just keep trying. Practice is the only way to get better. When this happens I cannot help but think of my former students that did the very same thing and proceeded to throw fits and give up. I hope to help Jacob get over this fr…

Learning Colors

Pin It

Every month I try to include a new color activity in our Structured Play time. Colors are probably the item that gives him the most trouble, or at least give me the most trouble! He doesn't seem to be able to say his colors after over a year of practice! Sometimes he will get them with no problem and other times get can't get them right to save his life! I was actually starting to worry that he was color blind! I found these cute little colored organizers in the $1 section of target. I loved them and got some inspiration. (I picked up one of each color I could find. No luck on green, boo!) I then printed these color cards from Home School Creations. This website has a plethora of resources. Set aside some time if you are going to check it out because you will be sucked in! :) I placed the cards face up, mixed up on the floor. The pictures are fun I knew Jake would find them interesting. I asked Jake if he wanted to sort the cards into the bins but he said no, so I started …