Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Homeschooling Preschool

As I was searching for the right preschool for my 4 and 3 year old this summer I thought I finally got lucky. When I was filling out the paper work I saw a BIG number that would be due every month. Being a one income family with mortgage, utilities, bills, and a car payment we couldn’t see how we could afford preschool.

"MOM! I can see the ocean!"
About 8 months ago I started thinking about homeschooling my kids. When I would mentioned the word homeschool to others I would instantly get a lot of weird looks and questions like “don’t you need a break?” and “Why?!” I even got a very negative “You’re brave…” from someone. Of course none of this altered my thinking. If I wanted to homeschool, I was going to homeschool darn it! With major support from my husband, I felt I was on the road to success and no one could stop me.

So when I did the math and weighed the pros and cons of sending my kids to preschool vs. homeschooling, the answer was clear as crystal.

Let me lay it out for you…

Tuition $75 per kid
Monthly fee $125 per kid
Gas, driving to and from
Other fees; field trips, school t-shirt, etc.
A schooled teacher, who knows what she’s doing and how to teach kids
I would get a small break from 2 out of my 3 kids
It’s over 20 minutes away
It’s only 2 and a half hours (a lot of money, little time)
Supplies (paper, crayons, markers, pencils, paint, printer ink, etc.)
Field trip fees
Curriculum (work books, etc.)
We don’t have to spend $250 a month of preschool
I don’t have to go shopping for school clothes, shoes or backpacks
One-on-one learning
My kids won’t learn bad habits from other kids
I know 100% what is being taught
I can teach values, manners, etc.
I can teach them how to cook and do chores
I don’t get a break
I only have a high school education
It’s a lot of work!

Personally these are my reasons. Others may have different reasons. As I said before the answer is clear as crystal. Homeschooling came out on top.

I made our decorations

So I began to prepare. I bought supplies, read a lot of positive (yet realistic) blogs, sot out and asked questions from homeschooling mothers and did a lot of googling. I’m very lucky to have a mother-in-law who owned her own preschool for years. I also had to mentally prepare myself. I knew the first week or so of school would be fun but the excitement would wear off eventually. I had to find different motivations that worked for me.

I spent a lot of time (and probably too much money) at my local craft store (I would buy the whole store if I could). I did my best to shop around to get the best deals on things. I ended up doing a lot of returning and exchanging. I also found my local teacher supply store. And I found out I could not only spend all day in that store but I could spend a lot of money there as well (I really had to watch myself).

Google became my new best friend. I found a ton of FREE pintables! Flashcards, learning coloring sheets, etc. I also became a HUGE fan of Pinterest. I found most of my crafts, tools and ideas on there.

Here are a few of the many helpful sites I found with FREE printables:

My printer has been working overtime. I've printed pages I've found online, worksheets I created using Word, numerous ABC and 123 pages, plus I copy pages from workbooks (so I didn't have to buy 2). If you are even thinking of homeschooling then invest in a good printer. Having ours has saved us more money then I think we realize...  

So far my kids love school. It did take some getting use to, but now they look forward to learning time!

Counting with beans
Michael’s favorite things are~
the calendar and weather wheel
writing and numbers.

Emily’s favorite things are~
coloring and crafts
snacks, story time.

We do school Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and try to do it during Sam’s nap time on those days. Here is a summary of our week:

Calendar and weather wheel
Letter of the week coloring page
Letter of the week worksheet
Seek and find the letter of the week (find things that start with the letter of the week)
Snack and story
Number worksheet
Seek and find letter of the week game

Calendar and weather wheel
Activity worksheet
Snack and story
Number game

Calendar and weather wheel
Letter of the week worksheet
Snack and story
Letter of the week craft
OR field trip (once a month)
Our first field trip
This is really just a guide. Plans change and you go with it. Some days it flows smoothly while other days do not. The kids (or myself) are in a bad mood and listening is a challenge so we take a 10 minute break. But then we get back to work. I’ve been doing this for over a month now and only a few days we ended still in bad moods. Mostly it’s a happy and fun filled learning experience for both myself and the kids.

I love being able to spend one-on-one time with my kids. I love watching them get excited about learning. I love how happy they are to tell others about their day and show them their crafts and worksheets. Sometimes they surprise me with their skills and knowledge. Soon they will be passing me up and I’ll be learning with them. Until that day we are enjoying the fun of learning.

Watching two colors come together to make a new color

Thanks to my husband, my parents and my in-laws, I have the never ending support to keep me headed on this amazing new chapter in my family’s life! Chad, without you my life would not only be lonely but I wouldn’t even have the willingness to get out of bed each morning. You have made me the strong, independent women I am today. If it wasn’t for your unfailing support and love this would not have become a reality in my life. Thank you!


VC said...

Hi Tiffany,
I read about home schooling else where too. But how to get the kids' education (obtained via homeschooling) , get recognized formally so real schools or educational institutions would accept them for next grade/class at their facility/(ies) ?

Am sorry if I confused you.
Eg: if I homeschool my kid till 4th grade and decided to put him/her in a formal school from 5th grade, I am afraid if the school comes back saying - Sorry, because you do not have completion certificate issued from a accredited/state-recognized school etc..

How to plan to handle such a scenario?

About me: my kid is in very early stage and am exploring the various available options.

Any ideas/thoughts you share would be great.


Tiffany Angell said...

Hello VC!
For some reason blogger isn't letting me reply... So I hope you read this!

I live in Oregon. Oregon does not have a law that all kids MUST attend a registered preschool. But if I continue to homeschool my son (who will be in kindergarten this coming September) I need to register with the state as a homeschooling parent. Luckily Oregon make this easy. :-) We (Oregon) has a homeschooling conference this coming June with everything I'll need to know, classes (for parents), books, curriculum, etc. I will be attending for the first time this coming June. I'm excited to learn the state laws and get my kid(s) registered!
I hope this helps and answers your question! :-)
Thanks for reading!!!