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The Messy Truth about Homeschool Preschool

Hello, fellow mama of littles! If your kids are anything like mine, they are currently napping (oh the lovely nap), tuckered out from hours of jumping off the couch, dumping all the toys, and spreading all the sticky fingerprints. This, of course, is also preceded by a 6am wakeup where they hit the ground running whether you were ready for it or not. You're reading this with eyes half open, trying to rest AND be productive before the littlest one climbs into your arms and begs you to play.

Being a homeschool mom of littles is something no one can prepare you for. I spent a decade as a formal preschool teacher, and thought I understood the three-year-old brain better than I ever thought possible. In class, I was generally able to facilitate learning, love, and discipline in a positive and constructive way. "I've got this in the BAG when I have my own kids." I thought. HA!


Fast forward to today, with kids of my own (ages 3 and 1), and I'll tell you how quickly realized that homeschool preschool is a LOT different than formal preschool. When you add the responsibilities of cleaning the house, doing the laundry, planning the day, making the meals (and endless snacks), and meeting every need of every child in the house, no matter what their age, suddenly life becomes a lot more complicated.

The wonderful thing about preschool is that while life is complicated - school doesn't have to be. In fact - homeschool preschool is perhaps the most natural, lovely, and enjoyable things you will ever do. But it is messy.

I don't mean messy like dirt and spilled milk (although there should be plenty of that too!) I mean unorganized, informal, and natural. Homeschool preschool isn't some neat circle time with 5 creative activities planned and prepared ahead of time. It's the 5 minutes of reading when they first wake up, the stacking of cans from the pantry while you do the dishes, the measuring cups pouring water in the bathtub before bed. It's the unorganized activities and informal learning where our kids learn life skills and academics through play.

Children are wired to learn - that's why a baby can already recognize their name, a toddler knows which brand of cereal you always buy, and a three-year-old can retell their favorite story. A child is designed to figure life out by listening, observing, and experimenting, and this happens all. the. time. It's natural. It's messy. It's beautiful.

Children learn through listening, observing, and experimenting. If we simply give them opportunities to do those things, preschool will happen.

As moms, we get to embrace every moment of learning with our kids. We get to listen to their thoughts, answer their questions, and ask them things that will get their minds moving in new directions so that they can discover different things. As a homeschool teacher, we are less an instructor and more of a guide, inspiring our kids to think and learn in new ways that will lead them down the learning journey they are ready for at that moment.

We have a very special opportunity as homeschool preschool moms. And when we embrace the messy, informal, constant stream of learning our kids are going through - especially at this young age - not only will we enjoy the process more, but our kids will too!

So let your eyes close for the last few minutes you have of that precious nap time, resting in the blessing of raising littles. And rejoice in the mess - both literal and figurative - of this amazing and fleeting time called preschool.


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