Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How to Start Your Own Preschool

School is underway, and maybe you've thought about starting your own preschool with your child/children in your home. 

I have a few ideas to get you started!
1. Create a Specific Space
If you have an empty room, use that, or just have it in the same place every day.  Create a place for your child to sit.  In our preschool co-op we use cloth place mats. It helps them learn how a school setting works, and makes them feel like they are in school!

2. Decorate Your "School Space"
Nothing will make them feel like they are really going to school more then by making your "school space" look like school.  A great place to go for items to create your school space is All a Dollar, they have tons of school posters and signs!

3. Create Curriculum Centered Around Your Child
Yay! This is the most fun part! This is the only time in their life (if you send them to traditional school) that you can focus on their strengths and interests and cater to that.  And, because they're your kids an added bonus is often that their strengths will be the same as your strengths!  If your child loves fairy tales and stories, then focus on story telling through puppets, dress ups, re-telling stories, and creating their own stories. If your child loves animals, nature, and the world around them, focus on non-fiction and learning facts about the things they love.

Just remember, it's not about creating a genius, it's about enriching your child's education. If you push your child too hard at first, they will not have a fun experience.  Just take it slow and let them go at their own pace, and then if you see they need to be more challenged, give them more!
4. Stock up on Craft Supplies
I like having some supplies on hand.  That way, if we read a library book togethe, and I have an idea how to make the book come to life, I can do it without a lot of stress.  Here is a post on what I personally like to have on hand. {Scroll to the bottom.}

5. Go on Field Trips to Erich Your Curriculum
Go to story time at your local library, check out seasonal events in your area, visit local shops like pet shops, grocery stores, and bakeries as field trips. You can take what you are learning and turn it into real life in your children's minds.  For example, if you go to a local farm to pick berries you can read the classic book Blackberries for Sal.  Or, if you are learning about Jack-o-Lanterns, go to a local pumpkin patch and pick a pumpkin and go home and measure it and weigh it.

6. Don't Re-create the Wheel
If you are stumped, or looking for an activity, search online!  There are tons of sites already doing the leg work for you.  Some of my favorites are Preschool Daze, Teach Preschool, and Strong Start. They aren't too over the top, but they have great ideas.

Here are my favorite sites for free printables (You have probably already noticed I use these sites a lot!).  Confessions of a Homeschooler and 1+1+1=1 have some of the best free resources, as well as curriculum ideas to help you.

7. Have Fun!
This is the most important!  Use your strengths and make it fun. Make memories with your child and it will all be worth it!


  1. Kate, I love all your fun ideas, and I'm excited that Heather wants to try something similar with Cami! I have a friend in Lindon who's thinking about starting her own preschool and was asking me for ideas. I sent her to your blog- and lo and behold, you wrote on starting your own preschool! Perfect! With lots of links to other sites too- thanks! Keep up the good work and creative ideas!

  2. Yay, I'm glad I asked for your tips- this is perfect! Thanks for doing the "mock calendar" too- I'll probably use it pretty much just how it is! Cami loved her first week of learning about "A"...and it was fun to set up her "classroom" in our basement empty bedroom. I think she really feels important and likes feeling like she's going to school. Question- how far in advance do you get books you need from the library? I couldn't find any on apples cuz they were all checked out, so I need to plan ahead and put them on hold. Hopefully I'll get the hang of it. Thanks again girlie.

  3. You are offering great opportunity for kid to learn and joy. This seems to be the great pre school.
    To start a Nursery Play school in India


Thanks for your great comments!