I'm new to homeschooling and am a little lost on how to start. We've developed preschool goals and broke those into weekly lesson plans for our 2 year old. What I'm wondering is how much of our day should be set aside for preschool? I was thinking 3 hours; broke up into 20-30 minutes blocks within the day. Wanted opinions on if you think that is to much time, not enough time, etc. Should it be a few days a week or every weekday? How much time do you usually spend on preschool activities with your kids and how many days a week? Is it all at once or in short bursts? I just kind of want to see other parents are doing it. Thanks
It seems like I've heard a recommendation somewhere that was 15 min/year, which is about what my 3 1/2 year old can handle - we read stories, practice writing, color, do some workbook pages (about 45 min) and she's at the end of her ability to concentrate. At other times of the day we may do math or alphabet while doing something else.
I kinda view preschool as living life. I set up activites for her as time permits. Sometimes it's everyday, othertimes its 1x a week. It really depends on what else we have going on. When I set things up she probably spends on average 1.5 hours on the activities. I believe very strongly in play in the preschool years though so YMMV. :)
As a rule a two year old will have about a 5-10 minute attention span for most activities. I'm not sure what types of things you were planning on doing but if you're viewing preschool as flash cards and workbook pages 3 hours is very, very long for a 2 year old. A typical 3 yr old preschool class is about 2.5 hours 2-3 days a week. They should be spending at least 1 hour on free play time, then there is snack, story time, group games, circle time etc. Not sure if that helps at all.
here's some of my weekly wrap ups on my blog. We did simalar things at age two minus the book themes.
by ShadowWatersApril 24, 2012 at 4:33 PM
I wasn't actually planning on introducing any real workbook type things for at least another year. My main way to do preschool is going to be more activity based like one week is themed A. I'd do coloring a page with the letter A on it, reading a kids book about alligators, doing apple stamp art work, going through the house or yard pointing out things that start with an A, etc. Free play is going to stay a big part of his day. The practical skills he's learning by being mommy's helper is at least half the years goals and that stuff flows natural through the day. I know he's able to focus on things he's enjoying for about 20 minutes which is why I was thinking that would be a good time frame for different activities but maybe 3 hours is still bit to high of a goal at his age.
If you're meaning planned, structured time, I think 3 hours is a lot for a 2 year old. DD is 3 (almost 4) and we've been homeschooling "officially" since she was about 2.5. We do anywhere from 0min to several hours a day. It is completely up to her. I gave up a long time ago making up lesson plans and having a set idea of what we'd do that week. She learns so much more when she's in control of when and what. At this age they learn so much through play. I would rather her be interested in and love learning than to force any amount of time doing school work.
That said, we do have several structured programs that we make use of, but we don't follow the schedule for them. They are just available to her to use as she wants. If she wants to do school, we go to the school room and she picks what she wants to do. If she doesn't want to, we don't do anything. I don't foresee sticking to any sort of schedule or plan that I make until she's closer to 6. Maybe even 7.
But if your lesson plans are really more like ideas for different crafts, outings, or activities that are play based, then it might be okay. I'd just remember to stay flexible with it and not force anything. Don't let yourself get stressed if you don't do everything on your plan that week, just go with it. I know sometimes it helps to have things in writing to have an idea of what you want to do. You just can't let that run your day when they're this age.
In that case, I would just block out a few hours of your schedule, but follow their lead. When they get bored, switch to something else. You should get a good idea of attention span and what they enjoy in a few weeks/month. :)
I started setting up M's shelf (which is kinda preschool activities) around 20 months. She started out spending about 30 minutes on it. Now at 3 she generally spends 1.5 hours. It's often times though 5 minutes on one activitiy then 45 on the next. Have fun! Keep us updated. :)