The ABCs of How to Home Preschool

The ABCs of How to Home Preschool

I’ve been writing this blog about what we do in lieu of preschool for the past year and a half.  And yet, I’ve never really shared a post on how to home preschool.  With my oldest turning 5 in a month — say it ain’t so!!! — and kindergarten looming only a few short months away, I am about to graduate a child from my home preschool.  Now I feel confident enough to finally tell you a little about what we’ve done over the past 2+ years.

How to Home Preschool

Who can home preschool?

I have a BS in elementary education, a MA in reading education, and National Board certification in reading-language arts, but you don’t need any sort of degree, paperwork, or classroom experience to be a teacher for your child.  Mostly you just need a genuine drive and desire to do it.  It’s not for everybody, but if it’s something you’re considering, then it probably is for you.  You know your child best of all, and so that gives YOU the advantage over everyone else in the world when it comes to teaching your child.  You can always give it a try and see how it goes.  I constantly evaluate where we are and where we want to be and then make decisions for the future based on my evaluations.  You don’t have to commit to a 2 or 3 year program.  Just take it a day at a time.

School vs. Homeschool

Some teachers and parents don’t like the idea of homeschooling, and some homeschoolers don’t like public or private schools.  I just want to be clear up front that I love both!  In fact, I am still torn over whether Luke will go to kindergarten or continue at home for K.  There are so many pros to sending your child to school and so many pros to homeschooling.  I worked at a preschool throughout college, I have 7+ years experience in K-5 public school classrooms, and now I’ve homeschooled my own two children for 2+ years.  While both school and homeschool have their flaws at times, I see nothing wrong with either choice.  Whether you send your child to school or you choose to home preschool or homeschool needs to be based on your particular situation — your family, your children, and your needs and wants.  It’s not a decision you can make based off of what someone else is doing, because if you do, it’s very likely not going to work for YOU and your family.

Why preschool at home?

I home preschool for lots of reasons, but here are a few of the most important ones to me:

  • I know my children better than anyone, so it’s easy for me to feed their interests, work on their weaknesses, and challenge them while keeping their frustration levels in mind.  It’s also a lot easier to teach when your class size is small, and for me, it’s 2.  I have to say I do a heck of a lot better job with my 2 children than I did when I was a teacher with 30 kids in a classroom.
  • I’m not an attachment parent to the book, but I do have a lot of the same ideals.  My husband and I have done a lot of babywearing, co-sleeping, and cloth diapering over the past years, and we’ve loved it.  Home preschooling just seemed an extended way to bond with my children and I hope that we are creating special memories that will stay with them forever.
  • I quit my teaching job by choice to stay at home once my first was born.  I wanted to be a stay at home mom so I wouldn’t miss a minute of their childhoods.  When time came that everyone else was sending their children to preschool, I thought, well, I’m certainly capable of teaching them, and I enjoy watching them learn, so why don’t I do it myself?  I’ve never regretted it for a moment.  My absolute favorite part so far has been teaching my oldest to read.  I’ve helped lots of kids in school learn to read, but there is just something so touching about hearing your own child as a beginning reader and knowing you helped him get there!  It’s really special.


Is home preschool working?

I didn’t perform any kind of scientific tests, but overall my kids seem happy, healthy, and curious, so I feel that they’re thriving.  My almost 5 year old can already read at an end of kindergarten level, do addition and subtraction with numbers up to 10, and has a pretty awesome vocabulary.  But even more importantly he loves to lay in his bed at night looking at books on his own, will pretend play with his little sister for hours at a time, is great at puzzles — he’s recently advanced to 100 pieces — and he asks questions that stump me All. The. Time.  I’d like to think I’m pretty smart but lately my standard answer has become, “Let’s Google that!” and to be honest, I love it!
how to home preschool

The ABCs of How to Home Preschool

I have two main goals in our home preschool.  One is to encourage my children’s natural curiosity for learning, and the other is to get them to love books.  Anyone that has similar objectives should benefit from my ABCs of How to Home Preschool series.  Even if your child goes to preschool, keep reading!  So much can be done at home, and most of it is easy.  Really easy!
This week I will be sharing with you the ABCs of How to Home Preschool.  It’s really more of a “how WE do preschool at home” list because there is no one right way.  And I’m not going to pretend that I’m an expert by any means!  I’m just going to show you what we’ve been doing in hopes it will help support and perhaps even inspire you.

Read more in “The ABCs of How to Home Preschool” series:

I hope if you are considering doing preschool at home, if you already are homeschooling, or if you just want to find some additional ways to work with your child whom also attends school — I think that’s called afterschooling — that you will find this to be a helpful resource.  It is meant to be a help for EVERYONE, no matter where your child attends school.  After all, YOU are your child’s first and best teacher!

Continue Reading This Series with part two…
The ABCs of How to Home Preschool: A-E
how to home preschool
ABC series

More helpful moms share their ABCs of…school activities:

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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!

  • […] preschool at home –   Click the links if you want to read the accompanying posts!   Day 1: The ABC’s of How to Home Preschool (the Introduction)     Day 2: The ABCs of How to Home Preschool: A-E     Day 3: The ABCs of […]

  • […] more precisely, the ABCs of How WE Home Preschool, as there is no definitive guide that can tell you what will work in YOUR home and with YOUR child. […]

  • […] you missed the Day One opener, click The ABCs of How to Home Preschool. If you missed Day Two,  read The ABCs of How to Home Preschool: […]

  • […] The ABCs of How to Home Preschool: The Introduction […]

  • […] The ABCs of How to Home Preschool: The Introduction […]

  • […] The ABCs of How to Home Preschool: The Introduction […]

  • […] Preschool series!   Before I get started today, I just want to remind you this is really the ABCs of How WE Home Preschool, as there is no definitive guide that can tell you what will work in YOUR home and with YOUR child. […]

  • I think we’re on the same page with this! It sounds like you’ve embraced the opportunity to stay home with your kids and made it a privilege and a benefit for you AND your children. Thanks so much for reaching out to a mother who needed guidance in this area.

  • Brittany says:

    Oh I have just stumbled upon your blog and let me just say a big, huge, THANK YOU for writing this! My son is 2 and a half and I have been a SAHM since he was born (and I love it too!). We don’t live in a great school zone, and I am considering home schooling when the time comes. But I began wondering, is there a way (or ways) to prepare to homeschool? Surely just starting it cold-turkey would not be best for him or me. As a former nurse, I really don’t have any formal training on this. Enter your blog, which is exactly what I was looking for!!!! It is evident that you have a passion for teaching children, and to have your experiences as a resource will be invaluable to us as we consider the homeschool journey! Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  • Jessica Hostetter says:

    So i have just begun & i am feeling a bit overwhelmed. My daughteris 4 1/2 & one Smart cookie. She had begged me to put her into school but due to the that we over qualified for public & i think private preK is more then we can afford i thought id give it a try. She seemed very receptive but now just a week in she seems to be more resistant. Any tips ot suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Genny Upton says:

      What kinds of activities have you been doing so far? When my oldest was that age, we focused mostly on doing TONS of reading (read alouds) throughout the day, lots of arts projects — especially messy and experimental things, and mostly real-life math (like counting out the silverware to set the table, and you can have 5 more grapes if you can tell me how many you’ll have altogether if I give them to you…sort of stuff.) We added in some science experiments, lots of nature walks, songs and nursery rhymes, audiobooks, puzzles, etc. While we did do some sit down work each day, most of our learning was hands-on and just incorporated into our daily life. I also had set up an art area with paper, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, envelopes, etc that the children could use freely and they still sit and “work” on their own there for at least an hour a day or so, drawing pictures, “writing” letters. You might also ask her some things she’s interested in learning about. My son was very into flags (so I let him practice painting the American Flag), he wanted to learn about the states (we got some state puzzles and he learned the 50 states), and he was into space (so we checked out books about planets). At such a young age, I really think it’s mostly about keeping them excited about learning and building that lifelong love of learning. You might also look for some moms’ groups or homeschool groups in your areas, or start doing some outings (museums, parks, playgrounds, etc.) Hope this helps! Best of luck!!! 🙂

  • Jessica Hostetter says:

    We have have been working on tracing letters & numbers, recognizing her letters & number, coloring, writinf her name, reading. I work on one letter & number a week & try to do an arts & craft that starts with that letter. We also do reading. But she is very into technology so i use the computer or her leap pad with thw learninf programs & apps on there. I also play game where i ask her to find something in her room that is a certain shape or color. I try to do it with alphabets but she hasn’t gotten that down just yet. We also go on walks & i ask her to find things of a certain color or shape i also do it at the store. We recently went to the library & i got info on when the do story time & other activities so that i can get her involved with that, so it’s not just mommy reading to her. Sometimes I feel like i am not keeping her excited enough & am open for suggestions on other activities or projects to do with her to keep her loving it & wanting to learn more. Thank you for listening. And i look forwars to any new ideas u may have 🙂

  • ShawnMory McMillion says:

    Thank you for sharing your insight! I plan on home-schooling my 21 month old grand-daughter and have shared this link with my daughter!

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