I recently was given the opportunity to read The Homegrown Preschooler by Kathy H. Lee and Lesli M. Richards ($29.95) from Gryphon House Publishing. We are basically on the very upper level of the "preschool" stage, but I found this a very interesting and informational read.
In our culture today, it's believed that the only way that children can learn is by having a very structured and expensive curriculum. Parents spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars to ensure their children have the best education from the start. If they are homeschooling, they spend large amounts of time researching the best box curriculums and structured schedules for their kids. All the while forgetting about how much that kids (as well as ourselves) learn from just living daily. How much kids can learn from just baking cookies with their parents.
Some parents start planning for their kids schooling from the time they discover they will be parents. That's a lot of planning to do. But expensive preschools and box curriculum does not work for every child.
The Homegrown Preschooler is broken into two sections. First it helps parents to evaluate your priorities for your children and what your family can invest. It paints a picture of what life will be like if you embark on this journey. In the first section there is also information on how to organize your home to maximize the educational benefits. There are lots of helpful tips from parents who have lived the life and know what you will be experiencing. They know the hiccups that life can pose and show you examples in how to overcome these obstacles.
The second half of the book gives you lots of ideas for activities that will help to give your child a life long love of learning. There are examples for teaching science, art, sensory, math and a love of nature. And best of all, the section on how to help organize yourself to take on what seems like an overwhelming task.
Spread throughout the book are tons of recipes that you can make with your children for lunches or quick and easy dinners. They even include the plans how to make a really fun light and sensory table and a Plexiglass easel. There is also a full list of where to get the fun things that they use in their own homes.
I really like the advice that is spread throughout the entire book. One of my favorites....Quit comparing yourself to others. No one can be the Duggar family, except the Duggar family. What works for one, will not work for another. But it is possible to homeschool your children through high school.
Even though we are basically on our way out of "preschool" now, I really enjoyed this book. They presented some wonderful ideas that even our elementary students will enjoy. The Novelty bins are a great way to steer kids away from the computer for more imagination time. The Baggie On-the-Go ideas are some that I will be putting together for when we travel with Joe. And I know I mentioned recipes, but there are some super yummy recipe ideas for snacks and meals....even some gluten free options.
There are also ideas for helping your kids with learning daily life of cleaning, organizing, gardening, and helping children with special needs take on these tasks also.
Would I recommend this book? Yep...in fact, this is a book especially for all those parents that are planning for their child's preschool life while they are yet unborn. I can see this being a great gift for their baby shower!!! Homeschooling can be overwhelming but this book can really give a boost to those new to homeschooling and also help the veterans to remember how simple it really needs to be.
There are several ideas that I plan on using for all our kids, so really for me it was not just a book for those with preschoolers.
Several members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew were given the opportunity to read The Homegrown Preschooler as well as Global Art from Gryphon House. Please take a few moments and read how these products worked out in their homes.