About Preschool Me

About Preschool Me
I'm a part-time stay-at-home mom trying to provide my children with preschool-like experiences through a loosely formed co-op preschool. My kids go to story times, sing-alongs, and other educational or group activities, but I wanted to provide them with something a little more structured to prepare them for Kindergarten.  Specifically, I want my 4-year-old to practice listening, sitting still, working with other children, following directions, and writing letters and numbers.  Although I've found some great resources online for preschool content, I have found most free preschool websites are heavily supported by advertising and the content is hard to navigate.

So I've decided to share my lessons for free.  These lessons have been planned for a small group of children.  Since I've done preschool lessons at another mom's house as well as my own and plan to do some in public places too, these lessons are designed for not having a set preschool location.  We don't have "stations" like a traditional preschool - as the one preschool curriculum book I bought assumed.  All crafts and activities need to be portable and need to be able to be completed in a short time frame.  This rules out some crafts that include drying time in between steps

I'll admit up front that I am not an educator.  I don't have extensive experience with preschool children.  I have a BA in Mathematics and work as a software engineer.  But I have been a parent for 4 years and I have a love for learning that I hope to instill in my children through these preschool lessons. And I'm learning as I go, modifying things as I see what works with the kids and what doesn't.

About the Content
Each lesson is centered on a theme.  Most themes are based on nature or science.  Although the content of the lessons is secondary for me to just providing a structured format for learning, I do have a science bias.  There are a lot of opportunities in my community for arts and music and sports for preschoolers, so I tend to focus more on the sciences.  I do include music, crafts, stories and activities, I just center it around a science theme.  Some of the content may be too advanced for preschoolers, but I think we tend to underestimate what they are capable of learning and I see no harm in exposing them to material that is a little advanced for their age.

About the Format 
My lessons usually take about an 60-90 minutes and are roughly based on this format:

Circle Time
  • Opening Song (one of several that include naming all the children involved)
  • Announce date
  • Announce and discuss theme of the day
  • Possibly do a worksheet related to that theme that is not letter or number based
  • Spanish vocabulary
  • Read a story
Activity Time
  • Talk about Letter of the Day and do worksheets on that letter
  • Talk about Number of the Day and do worksheets on that number
  • Craft
  • Other activity or game (optional)
Closing Circle
  • Sing a theme-related song or rhyme
Sometimes I mix it up if the kids are antsy or can't sit still.  But this is the basic format we follow.