Monday, August 23, 2010


This isn't a great post for those who don't have toddlers at home, but I still wanted to share what I've been doing. I know I'm not the only one looking for other options right now!

So I can't help but be all into the hype of school starting.  My kids aren't even old enough to be in school but can I say that I'm a little jealous?  Not that I want them out of the house or anything but the 5 year old in me is saying "me too, me too!"  It's actually something Brian and I frequently talk about.  Ella is 3 now so she can go to preschool.  She needs the interaction with other kids her age and she is practically begging me to teach her.  She's already starting to read words and write her name.  I thought I had 2 more years of lolly gagging around until I had to start being a real parent!

Well as much as we want her to be in preschool, it won't change the fact that we can't afford it.  So last week I finally got tired of sitting around and bumming about it.  I'll do preschool myself!  I'm an educated individual with a little craftiness up my sleeve.  I mean how hard can this be, right?  A little ABC's here and some counting sweat.  (OK I have to admit though, I did spend practically all of my 'working' years in schools and kindergarten classes.)

So my first order of business was to set up my curriculum.  I Googled it of course, and found a couple of websites to get me on the right track. These are the ones that I've bookmarked:

I had already decided to do a letter a week, and I found this:
not too shabby for what I had in mind.  I also had a song I really wanted for the kids, and with the few lyrics I could remember I managed to stumble across it on YouTube.  I don't know what it is, but something about this lady's voices seems to mesmerize little kids.  Unfortunately, though there isn't a free download of the song and I'm not paying $15 for the CD.  I'm on a budget here!
I also found this website, and the kids love it for 'computer time'.  Let's get real here.  Our kids are growing up in a technology dependant world now, so it would be crippling of me not to expose and teach them how to use a computer.  I'll step down from my box now...
I've also decided to implement, days of the week, weather, colors, counting and a word for the day.  So our 'school' basically goes as follows:
8:30 Breakfast:  they watch the YouTube ABC video while they eat.  They also listen to a hand me down Kindermusik CD (which I've basically done their whole lives...breakfast has just always been music time, I don't know why) then they get bathed, and I put Riley down for her nap at 10...that's when school is officially in session.
I don't know if I can call it Preschool, because the way it's set up will not prepare them for what real school is like.  I've got limited space and no room for a school setting.  So I've used my refrigerator as my board and they sit in our kitchen floor on little foam puzzle pieces.  So for kicks, I'll call this Refrigerator School.  Or just plain ghetto.  Hey, it's better than nothing!
I start with them sitting on the floor on their mats in front of the fridge.  We do the days of the week song, then today is...yesterday was...tomorrow will be...   Then it's weather time.  They look outside to see what the weather is and we dress 'Weather Bear.'  We then move to colors and mixing colors, blue and yellow make green...  Next is counting 1-10.  Then the letter of the day and the word of the day (starting with the same letter).  I let them trace the letter and learn to draw connecting lines. They do a worksheet or two (printed from that preschool website) and we do a craft with the letter.  
Today we did 'A', ant, and they glued cheerios onto Aa.  After that is computer time.  Our whole school experience only lasts an hour.  Mainly because Riley wakes up at 11, and because they're only 2 and 3 years old.  I think an hour will suffice for now.  They really enjoy it.  I can't say that I'm surprised though.  I knew they would.  It just took me actually sucking it up and finally doing it. 

Now you can buy all this stuff online, but I made ours and I have to say, I'm happy with the results.  I tend to brush it off, but I know I'm good at what I do.  OK, there I said it.  I'm awesome.  Can I just mention too that I haven't spent a dime...these are just scraps I've found around the house.  FreeSkool-PreSkool we're going to Refrigerator Skool!

All of these are just made out of scrapbook paper. No, I don't have a's clear packing tape. There is magnet tape on the back of each piece.  Since Aiden and Ella take turns dressing Weather Bear I've made clothes for a boy or a girl...I might have gotten a little carried away with the wardrobe choices.  What can I say?  Every season coordinates!                  


  1. This is awesome!

    Last year when Eliza did the co-op with some of the children from our the ward, the Moms decided on a manual that came from We were all very impressed with the material and I know that I'll be using it again next year with Henry.

    Also, talk with Amber and Becky about getting together for the social stuff as I know their kiddos are home based. Henry and I are also around too!!

    By the way, do you do story time at the main library? Henry and I will be going to their Tuesday at 10:00 class if you're interested in meeting us there.

  2. Thats so fun Brit! I bet they are having a blast! It looks like some really good ideas you have going on there! Love you!

  3. Oh my Gosh Britt...This is awesome! What a fantastic idea! Your Refrigerator school will be the best ever! I tried Homeschool with Trey when he was little to no avail...he got bored in the middle of my first lesson and ask me, "Hey Mom, can we make a slingshot instead?" I decided we would make a slingshot and then I made him a certificate for the slingshot along with the starting and ending dates of school on the same day. I knew this wasn't going to work with this kid! He needed the structure with someone fact he still does after twenty years! Good Luck with yours, you are well on your way! Love- The Grammama

  4. Wow...! Impressive! You are AWESOME!! I've been trying to teach Maythan some stuff. Its quite hard! LoL! Your system is great, especially for someone just starting all this pre-school stuff out. I might steal a few ideas and use it for May. Keep up the good work! The kids will totally love you for it later when everyone else is learing what they already know!!!