Things you “need” to Homeschool Preschool and Kindergarten

Recently, I’ve heard a lot of people promoting the idea of enrolling in a public charter school for Preschool (Transitional Kindergarten) and Kindergarten so that a family can get funds for classes and supplies. But exactly what kind of classes and supplies do you need for kids under “school age”? When we first started homeschooling it was because we wanted to do things differently than the public schools. It wasn’t that I thought I could do school better at home. And we didn’t start off as unschoolers. Especially for Pre-K and K, I thought my sons just weren’t just ready for a classroom situation yet and wanted to hold off on academics. I’d read about delayed academics and thought it was a good fit for my sons. They were active and inquisitive and really didn’t seem to look like they were ready to sit still and learn to read and write yet. I had already started to look into homeschooling and I knew preschool wasn’t required in California. I knew that kids were just as ready for school if they played freely and were read to instead of going to preschool, so we held off on that. Then I found out that Kindergarten is also not mandatory. My sons were perfectly happy not going to school so far. They were reading and writing, playing games, going places and learning every day. Why would I send them away to learn?

So my husband and I decided that we would use Kindergarten as a test kind of year. We would make and keep all the records required of us as a private school, but not file as one since Kindergarten isn’t mandatory. If it was working, then we’d file the following year when our oldest entered first grade.

It worked very well and we’ve continued for the last 11 years!

So what do you need to homeschool Pre-K and Kindergarten? Here’s a list.

  1. A public library.
  2. An internet connection and a way to print things.
  3. A car to get places, or a bus pass and time.
  4. Food. Lots of it.
  5. Happy and loving parents.

You don’t need a curriculum. Everything your child needs to learn in Kindergarten is available online for free. They need to play, explore, create and have a loving parent around to help them find things.

They also don’t need classes. They may want to explore something like scouts, though. And the city’s parks and recreation classes are pretty cheap for experiencing some new thing and socializing with other kids. The park is a great place for finding friends and cooperative play. Local homeschool groups on Facebook are great for finding friends to go to the park with!

If you live near a museum, zoo, or regional/national park, it’s a great investment (if you can) to get a family membership. If you can’t swing the cost, watch Facebook groups for free days and group tickets. Or put together a field trip/tour yourself and invite your local group.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that you really don’t want to be distracted by what a third party (school) is going to tell you that you NEED to do to give your child a good start. Take your child’s education into your own hands, especially for Pre-K and Kindergarten. Give it a try on your own first, when your kids really do just want to be with you.

Take this time to learn about education, read books, go to conventions, talk with veteran homeschoolers, follow blogs. There’s so much more out there than the public school route. If you find later on that your kids would like to take outside classes or buy science kits and curriculum you just can’t afford on your own, then by all means, use the public charters! That’s what public education should be, something to boost people up so that all kids can have access to education supplies. But don’t let the system tell you that your 4 or 5 year old needs to be in several classes, learning to read and write formally, and studying math and science through a step by step curriculum to succeed in this world. They don’t. They need you showing them what it means to be a human. They need you to read to them whenever they want and to introduce them to new stories, places, and experiences. They need you to ask them questions and listen to them talk. They need you to answer their questions and show them how you find the answers. They need to see the wonder that you express when you find something interesting. All of that is free and unregulated. Try it!

Deschool Yourself

I just finished listening to an overview of these podcasts and I can’t wait to listen to the next eight! Many of my favorite authors and speakers in one series of awesome talks to get US, the adults, to deschool ourselves, take the responsibility for our own education, and become better people. It’s the path to greater home education!

Deschool Yourself – An Eight Part Audio Production on Healing the Fifteen Thousand Hour Infliction of Public School

Homeschool Day at Riley’s Stone Soup Farm!

Located in Oak Glen, Riley’s Stone Soup Farm is hosting two home school day
programs in the near future and YOU are invited! Programs like these are what made up MOST of my children’s elementary education. There’s so much you can do to prepare before you go and follow up with afterward! For the Farmhand Adventure, find some books set around the 1860’s. What was going on in the United States at that time? Who was the president? How many states did we have? Who was a prominent scientist at the time? What was going on around the rest of the world?

There’s a great site about Little House on the Prairie HERE, that has tons of information from and about the books. Reading one of those books out loud might be a great place to start!

Here’s a great list of books about the time of the Gold Rush in California that was going on around the time that The Stone Soup Farm was being started! They’d be great to look into before the California Pioneer tour. My favorite is “By the Great Horn Spoon”!

The Civil War was also being fought at the time. My favorite books that my boys and I read were “The Red Badge of Courage” and “Rifles For Watie”.

“The Yearling” by Rawlings, would also be a great book to read that would tie into the time period!

The tours coming up next are The California Pioneer Tour on March 29th and The Farmhand Adventure program on June 1st.

Please visit their website for more details. Reservations over the phone are required.

Riley’s Stone Soup Farm & Heritage Orchard
12131 S. Oak Glen Rd.
Oak Glen, Ca 92399

Sheep Shearing Event in Cherry Valley

I saw a sign for this on the freeway the other day and thought it looked fascinating. What a great way to learn about where your woolens come from! It looks like 123Farm has interesting events all year around.

“This special event will feature Graciano, the sheep shearer, who will demonstrate how the sheep are freed from their winter woolies at 123 Farm. Participants will also be able to see what happens to the fleece once it leaves the sheep (washing, carding, dyeing, and spinning) and to meet the sixty lambs that have been born recently.”

Details about the event can be found HERE!

Cool Free Math Find

My sons and I were looking for an online math class to take for high school. I started at “Time4Learning” but their demo doesn’t show me what the high school math looks like and it’s $30 a month per student. My second look was at Great Courses. They have video and texts for high school and I’ve bought their classes before for myself. Algebra 1 was $100, so I’d get it if I really thought they’d both be interested but I’m not even sure this would be the best way for them to learn.

I decided to try searching for online algebra classes and found a FREE one! I’ve watched the first couple videos and they seem to be in a decent order, easy to find and work through. We’re going to try it! It’s called Math Planet. They have Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry and practice tests for the SAT and ACT.

My younger son and I were watching a few of the first videos and he started to wonder about the “order of operations”. How did they come up with that order? Why that way and not another? Is there some reason for it? We searched for that as well and found this awesome article on Math Forum!

Algebra. Why do we have to learn this in high school? Being an unschooler, trying to live our lives without school, I have hard time just telling them they have to take the class because I did when I was in high school. I never really liked math in high school but when I took some electronics classes later in life I had to take Trigonometry and some Calculus. I fell in love with it because it was like playing a puzzle game and I could use a calculator for the numbers part that always stumped me. But I don’t use algebra now really. I don’t really need it other than solving for X. So why take it? Why is it suddenly so important to me? And why is it always something on the list of things you should learn? I’m planning on researching that more as well as taking algebra along with my sons to see if it is clearer to me now than it was back then. Can I see the meaning in it? We’ll see!

High Desert Pirate Fair – Hesperia

I can’t think of a more fun way to learn history than attending reenactments, and this one is PIRATE themed! What is a pirate? Are they real or just stories? How did someone become a pirate? Was there really a “code”? There’s so much to learn!

You could read “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson. The History Channel has a page called “8 Real-Life Pirates Who Roved the High Seas”. Do a search online for “pirate history” and you’ll find all kinds of links! Search for “pirate historical fiction” and you’ll find all kinds of great books! And then there’s always this Pirate Fair!

March 18-19, 2017 at Hesperia Lake Park

The 3rd Annual High Desert Pirate Renaissance Faire returns, now in an all-new, beautiful location! Fun for all ages from the smallest powder monkey to the oldest sea captain! This year we have an expanded kids zone, an expanded food court, and a 21+ adult island with booze and bawdy entertainment!

Sword fights, cannon fire, improv actors, stage shows, pirate encampments, merchants from all over the globe and much much more. Tickets will be available online as we get closer to the show, at www.hdpiratefaire.com