Thursday, April 14, 2011

Playful Learning: An Alternative Approach to Preschool

Parents who are planning to homeschool sometimes still want the social aspects of a preschool experience for their children.  One way to do this is by creating a cooperative preschool with a few other families.  A great resource to get your co-op preschool started is the book Playful Learning, published by La Leche League.  This book takes parents through all the steps of creating a preschool at home in cooperation with other parents as an alternative to sending children to a traditional preschool.

The first third of the book is about the reasons why you might create a co-op preschool and many details about the logistics of doing so including schedules, finances, organizing the space, etc.

The rest of the book is a treasure trove of activities perfect for small groups of children ages 3-5. Art, nature, cooking, math, early literacy, movement, and music are all given their own chapters. The activities are usually inexpensive and just right for preschool aged children. There's plenty here for several years of home based preschool!

There is a checklist in the appendix of the skills that are considered part of kindergarten readiness. This is an excellent tool for parents who want to know how their child is progressing and a great way for the parents planning a co-op preschool to make sure that they are including a variety of activities to develop a broad range of skills.

If you are a parent who has considered creating a co-op preschool as a way of creating the ideal environment for your child, this book has all the details to get you started. As a bonus, the skills you learn from creating a co-op preschool will transfer perfectly when you start to create learning clubs for your older homeschooled child!

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