Homeschooling the early years, part 12, Final Words

NOTE: This series is for newbie homeschoolers that are in overdrive…overplanning, overscheduling and overthinking your child’s preK or kinder year….WE’VE ALL DONE IT. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

This is the final part in a 12 part series….read part 1234, 5, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11

This is the final part in my series on “Homeschooling the Early Years”.

I have spent a long time talking about what can be done instead of using a preK or kindergarten curriculum during the early years.

I shared all kinds of things our family did during these years, including:

  • setting up an enriching environment
  • spending lots of time reading great books
  • making sure to have daily creative and play time
  • schedule as much friend time as possible
  • spending lots of time outside
  • having the kids in 1 or 2 weekly clubs and classes
  • learning from age appropriate media, such as computer and tv time
  • enjoying special days with friends and family
  • going on lots of different kinds of trips…both local field trips and out of town trips
  • And finally, when they were a little older and ready, starting to introduce some planned learning activities here and there…

Wrapping this series up….

I’ve spent a lot of time showing you how there are so very many wonderful things you can do with your littles that can be every bit as educational and enriching…and probably even more so…than any curriculum.  

You CAN do it!!

And lest you think that all the previous posts’ pictures show a very together mom, organizing a smoothly running household…let me assure you…

Our house was usually a disaster (though not always everything at once):

My journal entries from that time nearly always start with some form of “I’m SO STRESSED…”
(I know, because I recently was going through them…I saw a real pattern there…)

I had many many struggles…potty training was a real challenge with both kids…and my son HATED getting his teeth brushed so much I often had to hold him down to make it happen:

Oh the toothbrushing struggles…

There were, of course, sick days….

And lots of crying…

My daughter was REALLY sensitive up through like age 10 and there really wasn’t a day that went by that she didn’t cry multiple times.

My son was a screamer. THAT was fun. He screamed for everything…happy, sad, angry, excited…

High.Pitched.Ear splitting Shrieks.

Plus he was a very high needs baby that never wanted to be put down. And large. Very heavy. Even with slings. Very. Heavy. Fun stuff.

But when you also have these faces to look at daily…

And lots and lots of fun, silly moments like these:

How can you be upset with them for long?

And what helps greatly is making sure to make time for yourself…Any way you can…

Journaling helped me keep my sanity.
Sneak in reading wherever you can!

Because many days I just felt like this:

So I was VERY GRATEFUL that my husband took our oldest out for “Daddy/Daughter Day” every week, starting before our son was born, and then again when he was an infant…to spend special time with her and give me a break… CHERISHED TIME FOR ALL!

These were all taken on Daddy/Daughter Days…

And when they start doing exciting things like writing for themselves for the first times…

Maeve: “I have a mouth full of noodles”

It’s ALL worth it. Every harried moment.

I won’t say the cliche “enjoy them while they’re young”, or “enjoy these times while they last”, because I do remember how hard it is.

It’s NOT all enjoyable…and in the moment, you really can’t enjoy it all.
You just can’t.
Because…life is still happening to you.

You will enjoy the micromoments, and that’s all you can ask for. And you will survive the hard times.

And hopefully you can use blog posts like these to help you know that you don’t have to over work yourself into some unrealistic and overtaxing plan for preK and kindergarten. The kids don’t need it. And you will do better without it. And if their mom is happier and less stressed, they will be too. And honestly, I really do think that this way is far better than any curriculum out there.

Just live and play and connect.

At these young ages, LIFE is learning. It’s all still so new to them! There’s time to learn all the rest still. So just live life with them and discover with them. Make their environment enriching and get them out of the house and interacting with a variety of interesting things and people regularly…and you’re good!

Don’t stress. ENJOY!

Oh look! I actually finished the series! Bet ya didn’t think I was gonna! SURPRISE! The squirrels didn’t keep me away forever!

Now here’s something exciting…

I’m working on something for newbie homeschoolers that need more guidance with preschool than this series provides. I know there’s still many of you that feel like you need more hand holding. I get it. It’s scary when you’re starting out. It helps to have someone with more experience tell you step-by-step how to get started…so I am working on it. 

Make sure you’ve liked my Facebook page and have notifications on so you don’t miss when I post new products for sale! I have lots of things in the works!

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