Preschool Concepts


The name of our homeschool is Firelight Academy.  It is based on a quote often attributed to poet William Butler Yeats:

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."

Here are the subjects we are studying:

  • Language and Literacy (Reading Readiness): the alphabet, begin developing listening skills, begin discussing stories (comprehension), learn an understanding of new vocabulary, develop expressive language including asking questions to gain information and solve problems, engage in turn-taking conversations, telling stories, writing readiness skills,
  • Math readiness: develop an understanding of numbers, sorting and classifying objects, create and duplicate simple patterns, develop a sense of space and understanding of shapes, develop measuring skills
  • Science Readiness: Use processes of science (observation, identification), learn about the sciences (health, life, earth, physical)
  • Social Studies Readiness: Develop awareness of family, school, and community, develop a respect for differences, begin geographic studies (directions, landmarks, etc)
  • Artistic and Visual Skills and Readiness: Explore creative expression through visual arts, music appreciation, movement, and expression (drama). 
  • Physical Development: Work on gross motor development (climbing, walking, galloping, running in rhythm), develop fine motor skills (tearing, writing, scissors, stringing, dough and clay, pouring, transferring)
  • Spiritual Development: Begin teaching the foundations of our faith, reading and exploring Bible stories, character development through stories, begin to understand her relationship to God and Jesus, learning songs and verses to enhance understanding
  • Life Skills: Manners, playing together, cooperation, domestic tasks, intro to money management

Our preschool curriculum is all about getting ready.  I’m not doing math drills.  I’m not even getting into sight words yet.  But I find as I go through this list that there are so many things that my daughter is already excelling at.  I will likely tweak this list as the year goes by and by the time my son is 4, I’ll have completely rewritten it!

Preschool Resources – So Far

IMG_0686 When I first started considering homeschooling the kids, I went into what John calls “research mode” which I think is his nice way of acknowledging my obsessive nature.  I found about 17,000 resources – give or take - for high school curriculums and information about 3rd grade nature studies and 5th grade English composition.  But information on preschool was lacking. 

I’m putting together a page of preschool resources but thought I’d do a quick run down of what I’m using right now:

Main curriculum: Calvert


  • – Covers tons of subjects and Phoebe loves computer time. Runs about $8 a month.
  • Starfall – Teaches reading through fun songs and games and stories.  Mostly free.
  • Living Montessori Now – Talks a lot about using Montessori methods in the home where I think it should be… but that’s my opinion.  Has links to lots of activities.
  • Calvary Curriculum – Technically, this is a Sunday school curriculum but I’ve found the resources here are great for integrating Bible studies and stories into our daily studies.
  • Mama Jenn – has tons of printables and advice for new homeschoolers.  I love her calendar printables.
  • Progressive Phonics – Another reading site.  Some fun learning books to print out and start reading with.
  • Kids Learning Station – Lots of printables here including some great scissor printables.  We spend the first 3 years of their life trying to keep them away from sharp things and then we need to hand them a pair of sharp scissors and say “here ya go, kid!”

Do you have any websites that help you with preschool?

Organic Homeschool

IMG_0772 Some folks would call it “Unschooling” or “Eclectic” homeschooling.  But I like “organic”.

Phoebe, as I’ve mentioned before, has a good understanding of counting to 20.  She was forgetting 12 but now seems to be over that little hump.  She’s working on counting up to 30 but has trouble remembering 21.  Once I remind her of 21, she jumps in and counts to 30. 

I never set out to teach her to count.  I started when she was a baby and I could count and kiss each delectable toe and finger and make her laugh.  Then, I’d sing “5 little monkeys jumping on the bed!” complete with finger gestures and she’d laugh some more.  That’s what I mean when I say that I taught her organically.  It happened as a result of play.

I’ve read about Maria Montessori and Charlotte Mason and other homeschool/preschool educational giants and the gist of everything I’ve read is “PLAY WITH YOUR CHILDREN! READ TO YOUR CHILDREN” and I’d like to add one more “ENJOY YOUR CHILDREN!”

The day that we make a mess and discover that yellow and red finger-paint turns orange when mixed together is a great day.  We figured out that pink play dough and green play dough make kind of a fleshy color when mixed together.  We make our own bubbles while washing hands and brushing teeth.  We sing songs and act silly and still she learns something new every day.

I’m also working on what I call “THE ABSOLUTELY MUST READ TO YOUR CHILDREN LIST!” and I regularly add books from this list to our reserve list at the library.  Once a week, I go, pick up our reserved books, and maybe another one or two for insurance, and bring them home.  Everyday, in addition to the reading story or poem in our Calvert reading readiness work, we read one of the library books. 

This week, we’re reading several of the “Llama Llama” books by Anna Dewdney including Llama Llama Mad at Mama.

We’re working on learning our home address and remembering everyone’s FULL name.  We are memorizing the Pledge of Allegiance and a little prayer for the beginning of meals (Yes, that old standby “God is Great, God is good…”).

She’s very interested in writing and mazes, so we’re working on holding the pencil correctly and using logic to get through the maze. She’s also interested in words and we’re starting to do some sounding out of words when we read. We have a couple of workbooks that I pull things out of and printables here and there that we use to supplement our learning.  But right now, they are all fun and she asks if we’re doing school almost every morning.

The one thing I don’t forget is that she’s four.  Four years old.  Still a little child.  Still young enough for me to pick up and hold in my lap and tell her little stories.  Still young enough to believe everything I say.  So young and so full of the spirit of God without even knowing it.  Too young to force into a chair and force knowledge into her head.

No, we’ll keep playing and she’ll keep learning.

Friday Wrap Up

I'm a busy girl here lately.  But I thought I'd drop by and tell you what all's happening.
  1. Yep, we're still homeschooling and no, we don't hate it.  It's a lot of fun to see a concept dawn on your kid's face as it starts to make sense in their brain.
  2. We started going to a new church back in June and I joined a small group a couple of weeks ago.  We're going to be studying 40 Days of Love Video: We Were Made for Relationshipsby Rick Warren. We're working on a church wide study right now that is nearly over.
  3. I am doing my own personal Bible study.  I'm working through Breaking Freeby Beth Moore. It's a study of Isaiah and is pretty intense.
  4. We've started a website called Disney Preparedness about our love of Disney World.  I hope you'll check it out if you love the MOUSE!