You know those people who are so enthusiastic about very young children that it just makes you tired watching them? If you know who I’m talking about, you can likely relate to me. If you’re confused about what I’m talking about, well, then likely you are one of those people. Whether you struggle or thrive through the preschool years, you should keep reading.
My particular area of expertise, if you can call it that, is with middle schoolers. However, if I am responsible for taking care of a child between the ages of two and four, I really struggle. I seem to have forgotten how to play like a kid. The idea of getting together a bunch of age appropriate crafts seems like too much effort. And no, I do not want to watch another episode of Paw Patrol or I will pull out my hair!
That is why I decided that The Homegrown Preschooler: Teaching Your Children in the Places They Live by Kathy H. Lee and Lesli M. Richards might be just the book for me. Lee and Richards are two experienced homeschool moms with very different homeschool strategies for their families. What is great about them is that, despite their different approaches to the regular school grades, their approach to teaching preschoolers is similar, very interactive, and their personal experiences allow them to share some individual insights throughout the book to connect better with a variety of readers. The majority of the books consists of topics such as the authors’ personal journeys towards home education, the importance of play, child development, skills preschoolers should learn, helpful materials to use, the importance of involving children in housework, how to fit preschool learning into a busy life, and dealing with sickness and special needs. The final section of the book, and my personal favourite, contains about 75 pages full of lists of activity and resource ideas.
What I loved:
- See my comments on the authors in the previous paragraph
- The list of activities and resources is a gold mine for someone like me! Reading through those pages almost made me excited about digging out and purchasing art supplies and taking the extra time to involve my littlest children in chores more than I do now.
- There are lots of illustrations for inspiration.
- Though the book is close to 200 textbook sized pages, it is actually pleasantly short.
- They encourage anyone to use the suggestions in this book, even if they plan to send their children to school for kindergarten. They do not set up homeschooling as the only correct path for families to take.
What I didn’t love:
- There were recipe cards interspersed throughout the book and I didn’t feel as though they contributed in a meaningful enough way to be included. (That does not include the recipes for clay, play dough, etc, which were helpful)
- Multiple times the authors stress the importance of providing healthy food; however, a shocking number of the recipes included high amounts of sugar that I would rarely be willing to serve.
- I’m also partial to standard-sized books, rather than textbook-sized books.
So, if you are looking for more interesting ideas to try with your preschoolers, I definitely recommend picking up a copy here.
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