PALS– {Play and Learn School}– Our Home-school Preschool and Preschool Co-op

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 I'm very excited to be starting our "Home-school Preschool" with my 3-year-old son!  I have had several people asking me about it so I thought I would show you what we are up to!

I have to say that I always thought I would send my kids to a traditional preschool (and I'm not saying that I will never do that) but this feels like a great fit for us now and I'm so excited about doing this!  

I have always loved teaching children and I cherish every moment I get to spend with my kids, they are growing up too fast!  I feel like my son is learning everything and more than he would in a traditional preschool and we can go at his own pace and enjoy real-life learning together!

Play and Learn School

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The 3 main things we plan to do are:

1.  Community Bible Study- (1 day/week)  while the Moms meet to do their bible study, the kids go to classes and learn bible lessons.  The curriculum is wonderful and my son learned so much last year and had a wonderful time!

2. PALS (Play and Learn School)- (1 day/week) this is a preschool co-op we are starting with some friends.  The moms take turns preparing lessons for the older kids while the younger siblings meet at another house to have play-time.  We came up with a schedule of topics to learn about throughout the year (1 topic per week) based on letters of the alphabet, seasons, and holidays.  Our meeting time consists of about 50% activities planned around our theme for the week (Montessori-inspired learning activities, games, worksheets, songs, sensory play, art projects...) and 50% free-play.  I think Play and Learn School is the perfect name for this because that is exactly what I want it to be!

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3.  Home-school Preschool- I believe that  children are natural learners and explorers and will learn a lot from living and interacting with people and the world, but also I want to spend a little time each day focusing on learning some skills that I think are important for preschool-aged kids.  The problem is that (as a typical 3-year-old) my son often wants to do the opposite of whatever I want him to do, so I knew that would lead to frustrations for both of us.  The solution I came up with is making a "learning wall" in our kitchen that provides a daily ritual for us (my son totally loves rituals).  Each morning we talk about all the pockets on the board and change the ones that need to be changed out, then I provide him options for Montessori-style learning activities or craft projects based on what we are learning about that week.

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 I turned part of our kitchen into our "learning area" and I'm really happy with how it turned out!

To make the "learning wall" I built a wood frame and stapled fabric on it, then made the pockets out of sheets of clear plastic and colored duct tape, which I glued onto the fabric.

On the lower part of the wall I installed hooks that hold boards that can be switched out.  We have a magnetic chalk board, dry-erase board, and felt-board, and I have lots of fun learning activities planned for each of these.

I also hope to put some open shelves here at some point so my kids can choose their own learning trays and activities to play with, but since I also have a 1-year-old I thought it would save us a lot of frustration to keep those things in cabinets for now.

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I'm hoping that having this special learning area in our kitchen will make my son more excited about our "school" time.  I really want it to be a fun time for him and so far it has been because he really loves learning!
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I have found so many great resources for home-school preschool!  Here are a few of my favorites:

Montessori at Home ebook

Totally Tots

1+1+1=1

Confessions of a Homeschooler

I would love for you to share any advice about doing home-school preschool, or links to your favorite resources in the comments below!  Thanks!

Here is a post about what we have been learning:

Rainbow Collage

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Comments

  1. I love this what kind of wood frame did you use?

  2. Ok thanks Im going to be making this next week! Also where did you find the white board calendar? thanks

  3. Thanks I just bought mine last night Im hoping to have it up this weekend! :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] at our PALS school  we got to learn about Dinosaurs!  We had a blast all week long doing all kinds of dinosaur games, […]

  2. […] are on letter "F" for our PALS School and this week we are learning about the […]

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