What does preschool look like?


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  • Grace


    I am wondering if someone can share what their preschool looks like? I have 5 kids ages 9, 6, 4, 2, and baby. I am teaching my 3rd and kindergartener ( I start my kids in kindergarten at age 6) but my 4 year old wants to do school too. I don’t want to start her on formal academics until 6, but I am wondering what preschool can look like for her? She participates in the family subjects but wants one on one time with me. Any thoughts?


    I’ve had a couple kids want their own ‘school’ at that age. Depending on the child I buy a couple Kumon preschool workbooks (they have themes like a cutting book to work on scissors skills, mazes, pasting, numbers, etc). Then I gather a few hands on manipulatives or games (dominoes, counting bears, puzzles in varying difficulty levels, a Melissa and Doug wooden clock puzzle, playdoh, etc). Then I grab stacks of picture books and put them in a bin just for us.

    Here is the KEY: I never say “Hey 4 year old, it’s time to do school. Come sit down with me.” Never ever. Instead, any time they come to me and say “Can I do school?” I say sure and point them to those bins just for them. They choose an item and we do it together. When they get bored/distracted/done we’re done. I never try to do “one more page, one more book, one more letter”.

    I have had some 4 year olds who will ask every single day for weeks and months on end to do their school. I have had some who ask once every few weeks once they have their bins. They just like knowing it is an option and go about their play instead.

    Right now I’m on 4 year old #8 of 10. He’s usually playing, but there are a couple activities he regularly asks to do. One is using a chalkboard for writing letters. So when he asks, I say yes. When he doesn’t, I don’t suggest school.


    I just brainstormed for my 4yo as well.  I printed a little alphabet letter booklet/page (one mini booklet for each letter) from notebookingpages and we’ll do it first to fill her love tank.  Or read a book together.  It’s very basic…I show her the letter on a whiteboard (hand-over-my-hand) and then we do it on the paper…color the little apple, fold it up…list other ‘a’ words if interested…done!  And she has something to show others.  It’s cute and very simple.


    I’m trying to spend 20 minutes with my preschooler each morning before starting school with the bigger kids.  We read books, sing songs, pray, play games, play with toys, blowing bubbles, etc.  I also have some activities to keep him busy during the day—play dough, large stringing beads, toy cars, etc.  He has his own watercolors and color pencils so he can join in with art if he wants.  Also, things to work on large motor skills—balls, riding toys, making mini obstacle courses, chores, etc.  And of course as much outdoor time as you can fit in.

    I used the book Preschool Activities in a Bag by Paula Reetz & Shirley MacLean with my younger ones.  I’m getting a few of these ready for my youngest.  Pinterest has lots of similar ideas.


    Before Five in a Row is literature-based and has suggested activities to go with each picture book you row.  This can be used individually with just the four year old or with the younger kids together, ages 2 – 6.  There is also a section in the back that lists suggested preschool aged activities like playing with a ball, blowing bubbles, doing fingerplays, etc. It is not very formal and does not use workbooks.  But it does help prepare them for school and emphasizes the importance of family relationships.


    Another option for literature-based activities are the Literature Pockets for prek – grade 1.  http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/sku/014017

    Playing a preschool game during this time is another option for you: matching, Old Maid,  Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, etc.


    Thank you for your responses! This is all very helpful. I will try these different ideas.


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