The basis of all things seems to be the rhythm that we keep. Finding the rhythm in motherhood is a whole different ballgame when you add in homeschooling. Especially with a preschooler, well two of them technically! Preschool for us isn’t a strict curriculum, this month it is about developing a rhythm. It’s about finding the preschool rhythm within the parental chaos.
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We have gone weeks without a set schedule. Lately, I have just been letting my wild things, literally run wild through the house. I know, I should be present with them and focused on them but I just have been super out of it. I feel like I want to give them the world but I have been slacking off instead of pushing forward.
This “school year” things will be different! I say “school year” in quotes because Kbebe is three. At three, I believe, that play should be the center focus. However, my kids crave my attention and a little bit of structure. Plus school supply shopping is fun!
This past weekend I attended the Southeast Homeschool Expo and was blown away by all there was to experience. As a former homeschooler, I knew what programs I didn’t like as a kid but found a few things (as a mom) that I loved! When I was homeschooled, there were limited options. Mostly you homeschooled your kids because you wanted to add in Christian values as compared to Public School. Nowadays there is SO much more out there!
Now, don’t get me wrong, we want to start bringing in our Faith to our home life a little more. But, I want to teach more than Christianity. I believe in allowing my children to find their own spirituality. Keeping an open mind and an open heart is important to me within their education. So as we go along we will incorporate other religions as well. (Sidetracked like whoa, sorry)
At the homeschool expo, I found a few curriculums that I loved. One was called The Homegrown Preschooler, A Year of Playing Skillfully. I absolutely love this curriculum and how it laid out what I was thinking. I found a free trial month that we will be starting in September to see how we like it, but I know I’m going to love it! We also found an awesome music program to help guide me in teaching Kbebe the violin. The Tiny Tots Play A Lot book is one of my favorite parts of our preschool rhythm. Short lessons that will engage Kbebe and keep him interested!
Dedicated Spaces = Dedicated Lifestyle
Finding our preschool rhythm has been a little difficult with the decluttering process still in process. I deep cleaned my office/school area and truly focused on what that rhythm looks like. What did I want to accomplish, what would inspire my children, what would make our rhythm stick?
Right now we try to have toys that serve a purpose. Not quite Montessori minded, more Reggio, and a little bit of Waldorf. I just call it our Chaos Flow. We have sections in the house, the kids have a small play area, I have a small office, and then there are the bedrooms. I guess we are still aspiring minimalists but our declutter process has slowed.
For our preschool rhythm, nothing really changed. I didn’t rush out and buy a ton of stuff and I didn’t print a bunch of worksheets. I just made dedicated spaces and dedicated goals for our day. On our first day, we did Science, Art, Math, home care, handwork, History, Architecture, all through play and exploration. I also added in a “Chore Chart” aka a Rhythm Worksheet for my son. I think it helps to visualize what we are hoping to accomplish.
Enforcing the rhythm using the “Chore Chart” was my goal. Not to really work on punishment/rewards but more so on allowing Kbebe to be a part of the day. I even handmade stickers and am encouraging him to put them on in a pattern. Green star, smiley face, green star, and so on. It is a math activity and a rhythm activity all in one! Handmade as in hand drew and cut them out, preschool doesn’t have to be fancy!
Ok, so I did make a few of my own “worksheets” for him. Basically, I just made the worksheet to encourage reading and color recognition through the art and crafts he already enjoys.
On the first day our preschool rhythm looked something like this:
- Wake Up, Make Bed, Go Potty
- Breakfast, Clean Up
- I am asking that he put his bowl/plate and utensils in the sink (home-care skill)
- Brush Teeth, Get Dressed
- I lay out his clothes and encourage him to dress.
- Eventually, I will add in his help with laying out his clothes the night before.
- Fill in Daily Calendar
- I have the Melissa & Doug “My Daily Calendar” and I lay out the magnets for him to put them on.
- We talk about the day, our plans, seasons, weather (Science-ish)
- Open Play
- I made a little booklet with a few famous buildings to go with his blocks
- Yesterday he made The Great Wall of China! (History/Architecture)
- I also have a little notebook that I told him is for free play art or writing. He colored the first pages solid red.
- Outdoor Time
- This month’s theme is Water
- Pool, lake, splash pad, we are doing it all this month!
- We made a journal out of string, paper, and an old folder.
- Aroma Doh + Spaghetti + O’s Cereal = Fun Sensory and Dexterity Work
- Painting that worksheet I made
- We mixed brown and white to make light brown.
- We read, played, and sang songs together.
- With the O’s Cereal I asked him to count the colors too (Math)
- Quiet Time
- Doesn’t have to be a nap but quiet in his room.
- I think that learning to play quietly is a skill I wish I would’ve learned sooner. It’s ok to be bored and independent.
- Afternoon Home Care
- Every day I want to incorporate home care, the first day we changed the sheets on all the beds!
- Aka Lacrosse, Bikes, Walking,
- Anything to get the body moving!
- Family Time, Dinner, Bed
- We read together, do some Faith work, and the kids in bed by 7:30-8:30
- We also use Usborne Yoga Cards before bed to help the kiddos wind down.
- Kbebe also has an Echo Dot in his room right now to play soothing music. As well as a Salt Lamp and an Essential Oil Diffuser.
- He needs an extra boost of calm before he falls asleep.
Finding Our Rhythm
So far, this is working! As the kiddos grow we will adjust and flow with the chaos. I have no set times other than bedtime. We flow through the parental chaos making our preschool rhythm as we go. Up next this week is all about how the hubs and I are finding our “Adulting Flow”.
As for The Sweetness, she likes Aroma Doh, painting, and coloring. Tomorrow I am focusing all of that for her but with one single color, RED!
(Tip: Snag some Aroma Doh from The Whole Life Co., and use WHOLEHUSTLE for 15% off)