Kind of a random post, but I’m big into Preschool Coops. And I’ve been teaching my first round for this year the past couple of weeks, so I wanted to blog about it. (This year we’ve added site words to our curriculum and the kids are doing great with reading and spelling them.)
I’ve done one with almost all of my kids in the past. Basically it’s a group of kiddos that do home preschool together, and we rotate through houses, so each of the moms take turns teaching (taking my turn teaching is a small price to pay to get FREE preschool – love it!). The past few years we’ve taught two weeks in a row, so T/Th for two weeks, which I like because then it means my “off” weeks are more (last year, 2 weeks on teaching, then 8 weeks off!). I think the perfect amount of kids is 6.
A few things in case you want to do this:
–Set a year-long curriculum – different topics, letters, site words, etc, for each week. Then whomever is teaching that week can find their own specific lessons and ways to teach to the assigned topic. It’s not hard – there’s tons of info online for preschool topics. You can also find fun preschool video clips and songs to play related to topics.
–Supplies – you can pass around a basket of things like the weather chart and calendar – things that will be used over and over. A box with enough scissors and glue sticks for everyone. Other than that, whomever is teaching supplies what is needed for their day. This year our basket included a folder for each child filled with a worksheet for each letter, etc.
–Stock up on topic-related library books. You’ll have something to read during storytime and for the kids to browse through while they’re waiting for their parents to come pick them up.
–Keep a consistent daily schedule. That way there’s continuity and no matter who’s house it’s at it will feel like “preschool”. For example, start with gathering activities, circle time (weather charts, welcome songs, etc), lesson time, table time (worksheet activities), free play, snack time, books, etc. Same order everyday. Oh, and I like to throw in an “exercise time” where we do exercises to the number of the week – count as we do 4 sit-ups, 4 push-ups, 4 jumping jacks, etc. I was killer when my number was like 17!
–Have fun! Kids this age are really fun – I really enjoy interacting with them and seeing them interact with one another. Don’t stress out about an intricate lesson plan, etc – just have fun.
–Lunch Time? this year we extended our day by 30 minutes and the kids stay for lunch. It has been a HUGE hit – they love toting in their lunchboxes like big kids and eating together.