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At our house, we don’t worry much about formal education before the age of 6.
However, that doesn’t mean we don’t learn! We’re big fans of open-ending learning during the preschool years. With a simple approach like this, how to homeschool preschool for free is actually quite simple!
Original photo source.
Why We Don’t Use a Preschool Curriculum
When Monkey was in preschool, I purchased Calvert preschool, because I love their program for older kids. However, for Monkey, this particular preschool program just didn’t work for us. She was both bored and overwhelmed at the same time. I really wanted her to learn academics at a young age, however, so I started teacing her to read and do simple math right before her 5th birthday.
Since Monkey was in preschool, I have since learned that for many kids, learning early has no benefit on their future academic success. So, with Bo, we decided to skip the stress and go with her academic pace.
How to Homeschool Preschool for Free
We like to use a lot of play-based learning in our preschool. At birthdays, Christmas, and other holidays I like to choose educational and open-ended toys for Bo to play with. While this part of her education isn’t exactly free, it also doesn’t come out of the school budget. Some of our favorite educational preschool toys include:
- Baby dolls
- Kitchen supplies
- Art supplies
- Puzzle solving toys (this was a particular favorite)
- Little People
- Small plastic animals
- Stuffed animals
This is what a typical school day for Bo looks like:
Morning: Watch 1 educational video, play with open-ended toys, play with something kinetic like water, play dough, sand, or kitchen pots.*****************
Afternoon: After a nap, Bo sits with us while Monkey finishes school. During this time, she may color, paint, draw, or scribble in a notebook. When she gets a bit older, we plan to give her some basic pre-writing worksheets and cutting practice to learn additional fine motor skills.
Evening: We try to help Bo learn numbers, letters, colors, and other basic “academics” throughout the day. I also try to allow them a period to play outdoors at least once a day.
Our general preschool philosophy is to teach Bo with hands-on methods. Whatever I am doing, she is usually right there with me. She soaks up a lot that way without the need for formal preschool.
How to Homeschool Preschool for Free: Formal Edition
If you are not quite ready to completely let go of preschool academics (I certainly wasn’t with Monkey), you still don’t have to pay anything to find a good preschool curriculum. There are so many amazing homeschoolers and teachers online that offer tons of free curriculum for preschool.
Here are some of our favorite free preschool curriculum resources:
- Activity bags
- Unit studies
- Tips for homeschooling preschoolers
- Preschool curriculum picks
- How to motivate preschoolers
- How to choose a homeschool preschool curriculum
- Teach preschool with Netflix
- Pinterest boards for free preschool activities
- Education.com for preschool worksheets
- Reading Eggs
Other Tips for How to Homeschool Preschool for Free
- Visit your local library. Most libraries have a children’s non-fiction section that is perfect for preschoolers.
Attend free events at your library or homeschool group, such as field trips.
- Ask other homeschooling parents for any unfinished preschool or K curriculum.
- Look in the free bin at book sales.
- If you have kids in older grades, use their curriculum and scale it down to a preschool level. A lot of projects and assignments can be modified to work for any grade.
- Watch educational videos on Netflix and Youtube.
- Create a preschool learning kit with simple everyday items; such as art supplies, simple toys, discovery bottles, magnifying glass, small items to count, items to feel or smell, items with different shapes or textures, and other items that help a preschooler explore the world in a hands-on way.
It may seem impossible, but homeschooling preschool for free is not that difficult, particularly if you use curriculum-free, hands-on learning like we do. The best thing you can do for your preschooler is allow them time to play, experience life, and have fun!
Do you have a preschooler or have already finished preschool? Share what you are doing/did do with us!
Join the Homeschooling 101 group for more hands-on teaching ideas!