A Young 4 Next Year--Not wanting to do Homeschool Preschool? Ideas?

I am trying to plan purchases for next year (I buy in the spring each year) and had not planned to do anything formal with my youngest (he will turn 4 in September). This is largely because we are taking a more relaxed approach compared to what I did with my now 1st Grader when he was in his Pre-K year. My youngest will not be ready to do his Kindergarten year until the September he turns 6 per our State guidelines and that is how I’d like it anyway, so this fall wouldn’t even be Pre-K, it would be Pre-Pre-K :smile: so I hadn’t planned on doing much, just letting him play while I school my older two (who will be 4th and 2nd grades in the fall). However, as he grows (now 3 1/2 years old), I’m starting to realize that may be a lofty goal to think he’ll remain content with just playing and may want something more offered to him.

I really don’t want to do anything formal or any Letter of the Week type activities. I have my hands full with the older two and we are starting a new curriculum in the fall that will require my attention with them. We have homeschooled from the beginning. I did not do any preschool with my oldest child. I started right into her Kindergarten year and she thrived wonderfully. I have nothing against homeschooling preschool, but I did do that with my middle child and I went all out and did WAY too much and his preschool year ended up being more like Kindergarten and took way too much out of me along the way–way more than was necessary. I really want my youngest to enjoy being little–school comes soon enough and I really want this next year to remain relaxed even though it seems I need to do something. But what? I’d love ideas from other homeschool moms who took a very relaxed approach with their preschoolers and find out what you did to keep them occupied and engaged without rolling out formal preschool activities. Thanks in advance!!

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Hi! You might just want to lay out a few fun games for him to go through as he wants to. I have a ton of fun ideas for little ones, you’re welcome to sift through my posts and you can see what we did to help keep our toddler busy during school!


I usually just put out some hands-on type of activities each day. Sometimes she did them, other times she didn’t. I kind of left it up to her. I also got a set of workboxes for her that were her very own. That helped make her feel part of the group, plus gave her a few special things to do each day.

I also have a homeschooling with toddlers post here that might help too!

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I have been using Study Time’s Activity books: http://www.milestonebooks.com/list/Study_Time_Preschool/ , for 3-4 years old, and then moving right along to Rod and Staff’'s ABC and GHI series: http://www.milestonebooks.com/list/Rod_and_Staff_Preschool/ , for the 5-6 years old.

I also have two plastic boxes with activities they can do if they are really wanting something to do and are done with their books. One contains things that I found around the house like lacing cards, geoboards, number and shape puzzles, etc., and the other contains messier things like playdoh, watercolor paint, finger paint, do a dots, etc. This one is only for special times :wink:
And, there are these really sweet color-by-number books which they really enjoy: http://www.milestonebooks.com/item/27-6106SET/

And actually, I should mention that I am using these books alongside Character Concepts for Preschoolers: http://characterconcepts.com/store/product.php?id_product=1572&ps_full_site=1 ,which is a curriculum, and the most excellent and easy to implement one I have personally tried and seen. It is not overwhelming, and I love it. The workbooks I mentioned in the previous reply I use instead of the one suggested, of another company, only because I was already using these and I really like them. This curriculum is based on building character in the children, and I apply it easily to the older ones so the whole family benefits. It is not really based on everyday lessons, and that makes a huge difference to me because I don’t have the time to do formal lessons everyday with the preschoolers, nor do they need that much.
I would suggest using it for the pre-K year but that really depends on the child I think. My pre-pre-K child listens in but doesn’t seem to respond as much to it as my K child. I’m sure she’s storing it all in though.
Just thought I’d share :slightly_smiling:

You might like MFW Preschool. We don’t follow a schedule with it, but there is a recommended schedule with it. You can even just buy the cards to help with different activities and the other pieces elsewhere or used. There is exposure to the alphabet and numbers, but it is more focused on fine and gross motor, building working memory, and learning some visual discrimination activities along with fun books. You can see samples and the recommended layout online here http://www.mfwbooks.com/products/4/Pre-K-for-4s-and-older-3s-/#Overview .

ETA: Here is a description from their website: “Pre-K
Activity Cards to accompany six educational toys: These easy-to-use
4×6-inch cards, developed by My Father’s World, include 72 activities to
build readiness skills. The numerous activities suggested for each
educational toy are designed to develop these skills: fine and gross
motor, math and reading readiness, memory, patterns and categories,
auditory and visual discrimination, and creative thinking.”

Thank you everyone for these tips and links!! Some of these are new ideas and some are great reminders of things I’ve used in the past and had forgotten about (funny how that works as our older children grow and we forget things we had on our shelves!!) :smile: @Bookworm the activity cards especially were something I had not looked at before from MFW, so thank you for that tip!

@erica, thank you for your links and tips! Your resources are always engaging and well-planned. I am sure I will refer to those often!! You are so helpful not only to respond but also to provide this online resource to connect us all together! Thank you thank you!

@GC123 once again, thank you! I have actually used Character Concepts for the past two years but we had finished the preschool level Character storybook and set it aside and I had forgotten about it! I can bring that back out with my younger child and I think he’ll really enjoy it even if I don’t use the full curriculum with him yet. And I had not looked at the nice, simple Study Time books you linked to, and again, I am very pleased to have your recommendation!! I also had not realized that Pathways Readers have preschool level books that are to be read to the child! I may look into those :slightly_smiling:

In addition to these tips, you all reminded me to look into what I have that I had set aside, and I forgot I have the Five In a Row book (but it is the older age book for ages 4-8 which I am not ready to start with my youngest yet), so I am looking now at the Before Five In a Row material for ages 2-4 as it looks so gentle and easy going and literature based–does anyone have any experience with using this with a young 4? I am looking for something very easy going that will provide some time for him and me to spend together each day but nothing extensive or even very learning/goal focused at this age yet since he is still 2 years away from starting Kindergarten. If anyone has used this I’d love to hear your experience :slightly_smiling:


You’re welcome! I’m starting to think we must think very much alike!!
I didn’t know about the preschool Pathway readers, where did you see those? Thanks for mentioning them, I would like to take a look into those as well.

@GC123 Yes, I am starting to think the same thing! :smile: I was surprised to find the Preschool Pathway Readers when I did a Google search for them. I found them here: http://pathway-publishers.com/pathway-books-for-preschoolers/

They look like some smaller books and then some longer books to be read aloud to the child. Not all of them are coming up available when I tried adding them to the cart, but they can be found on Amazon too if you search by the individual title of the book, although the price is higher there. Some can be ordered directly from the site listed above though. I hope that is helpful!

Great! Thanks for the info. I’ll look into it.