I'm constantly being asked what preschool curriculum I use with my littles. So often families get so excited to start homeschooling that they decide to jump in “full-steam ahead” with preschool. That was our story (but I'll get to that in a bit). My answer to this curriculum question usually makes people laugh–I believe in “sneaky school” for my preschoolers.
When my boys were little and enrolled at a private Christian preschool the thought of homeschooling terrified me. I wanted to do it, but was afraid I'd fail. So, I did what any logical parent interested in homeschooling would do–I pulled my kids out of preschool and spent a year “trying” to see if I could “pull off” homeschooling.
You see, I bought a ton of homeschool curriculum and then proceeded to try to teach my 4 and 3 year old boys for a few hours a day. Ha! Bad plan! If you are a veteran homeschooler you know exactly why I failed. Too much. Too soon. Too long.
Needless to say, I enrolled them back into the private preschool again the next year. I had burned myself out before even starting.
Fast forward several years to today. I now have a completely different preschool philosophy. For preschool I teach “sneaky school.” I want my littles to have so much fun with learning they don't even realize that they are learning.
One of my top goals for our homeschool is to instill in my children the desire to be life-long learners–to have a love for learning! I've talked a lot on my blog, Periscope shows, and on my YouTube channel about the fact that I believe that learning should be fun–especially for young kids. I love trying to find new ways to teach my kids without them knowing they are actually doing school work. I'm always trying to find new games or activities for my preschoolers that are exciting and fun–and educational.
My Recent Discovery…
Oh my word! We recently found a new game to play that is helping my 4 year old to learn to read–uKloo! She's too busy being really impressed with herself that she's “reading” that she doesn't realize she's actually starting to learn. Her statement after our first time playing it, “Can we play again?”
uKloo is a treasure hunt! What could be more “sneaky” than a treasure hunt? Ha! It's really easy to set up. I keep her “treasure” to something simple like a book to read together, game to play together, or some gum.
She starts with a card that has a written clue on it like, “Look under the couch.” There is a poster that is her “decoder.” She looks for the action word, “Look,” and finds a picture of two eyes. Since we started by reviewing the poster, she knew that these eyes meant “look.” Then she moves through the clue card and finds pictures that have the matching word on them.
What I really like is that the “answer key” poster is listed alphabetically. It's been great to work with her on her letters as she searches for the clues.
The idea is that she'll reach a point where she'll start recognizing some of the words on the card–and voila!–she's reading sight words. Very cool!
Speaking of my 7 year old…I got the game for my 4 year old, however, my 7 year old has been loving it, too. I'm using Level 2 for him for now. I think I'll start trying some Level 3 cards soon. It's a great way for him to practice his reading. If he gets stuck on any word (like “toilet”), he can use the answer key. He loved the “toilet” card! Boys! Once he has mastered his reading a bit more, I'm going to get the older kids version.
Other Ideas for Using This Game…
uKloo has been so much fun! My kids really love it! As we've been playing it, I've thought of a few other ways to play it.
- Motivating Reward! This game is great to use as part of your homeschool fun! Definitely a game to use as a motivator for getting some work done–a special reward for hard work.
- Rainy Day Activity! As I watched the kids running back and forth throughout the house to find the clues then bring them back to answer key, I realized this game would be a great way to have the kids get some energy out on a rainy day (or snowy day if you live where it snows).
- Use Flashlights! My daughter thought of this fun twist as we were playing. It was daytime, but still fun to have a flashlight in hand. It did make me realize that it would be a fun bedtime game to play–making the clues even more fun to find in the dark.
Best Place to Find It…
You can get Ukloo at Educents–along with other great “sneaky” school products. I've been really impressed with their site.
To get the lowest price, use this fun code Educents gave me to pass along to you–10% off!–CLOVER10
Other posts you may like:
- My Preschool Activity List! Here are more fun ideas that I use for my preschoolers.
- Help! I Homeschool & We're Behind! I have a bunch of fun “sneaky” school ideas on this post for all my kids (my “bigs,” too).
- Homeschool Curriculum Revealed! This post has a list (& video) of all the curriculum we are using in our homeschool.
- I is for Incorporating Your Littles into Your Homeschool Fun! This is a guest post I did last year. I talk through all the various ways I get homeschooling done with littles in the house.