Homeschooling my four year old has been an absolute gift. What an experience it has been to watch her learn before my eyes. But when it came to figuring out what my preschooler should be learning I was really unsure. I did a lot of researching and reading. I joined facebook groups. I looked at a lot of preschool planning material. What I found was various opinions but what rang true to me personally was that, while academics are important, learning should just be plain ol’ fun. So when I set out to create our preschool theme unit plan, I knew what I wanted was a hands on, activity based plan that incorporated the topics I felt were important to us.
What is Important In Your Child’s Preschool Education?
I’ve never really wanted to try to replicate an exact traditional school experience for my daughter. Homeschooling comes in so many shapes and sizes. Research will become your best and worst friend, simply because the amount of information out there can be both useful as well as overwhelming.
When I started planning our basic preschool theme unit plan I decided to break it down into subject areas I wanted us to cover throughout the week. I wanted to cover art, writing, phonics, phonemic awareness, math, science, and fine and gross motor skills. I also wanted our learning to include dramatic play, sensory experiences, technology, and books. The blank planner printable included below leaves space for all of these things.
I also included a space for the question or topic of our theme. I felt it was important that if we were learning based on a specific weekly theme, that we also learn a concept related to that theme. So for example, when we did our spring theme our question was, “what are the signs of spring?” Overall, I wanted her to understand that although there is still six inches of snow on the ground around here, spring has officially arrived and we can see it in subtle ways.
Lastly, I included a spot for vocabulary. This doesn’t have to be words that I want her to memorize. I wanted a space to include words that may come up throughout the week that she may not be familiar with or may not remember. Her language is constantly expanding and I do want to support that by being prepared to explain what something means when she asks (because she is always asking).
My daughter loves art. My goal for our studies is to include art projects that use a variety of mediums. We even have a theme unit on artists in order to introduce her to different styles of art. You can check out our themes for the year here. My daughter focuses a lot on realism and gets frustrated when she draws, say a cat, and it doesn’t look exactly like a cat. I want her to know that abstract art is beautiful and her art is unique to her.
Our writing goal for this year is to identify and trace the alphabet. She is also learning to write the letters without tracing.
We have just started delving into the idea that letters have associated sounds and those sounds, when put together, make words.
Math can be such a difficult subject. For our preschooler, I really just want to focus on making math fun at this point.
Our goal with science is to encourage asking questions like, “what if,” and “why.” Curiosity, at least for us, is important to foster because I truly believe it leads to lifelong learning.
Creating Your Preschool Theme Unit Plan
Once you’ve decided what is most important to you, your family, and your child’s education, creating your preschool theme unit plan becomes much less overwhelming. Below is an example from our spring unit study. I’ve also included a blank planner you can use to help you create your own plan.
Hope this helps you along and as always, happy learning!
Preschool theme unit planner– Blank/Editable/Printable