I am about to join the ranks of stay at home Mums and am taking my 2 year old out of daycare (she has been in daycare from the age of 5 months). As it is entirely the wrong time of year to be applying for preschool I'm planning to team up with 3 other mothers to create our own "preschool". I'm wondering if anyone has experience of doing this and has any pointers to literature that might help us put together activities that are appropriate for our childrens' develpmental stage. Also we're planning to teach the kids French (my undergrad degree, one of the other mothers' native tongue) but have no idea what is the best approach to teaching a second language to 2 year olds so would appreciate pointers on that topic too.
It sounds like you will have your hands full! Homeschooling preschoolers can often be challenging given that they have a relatively short attention-span. Teaching short "lessons" that last no longer than a few minutes is often a great strategy. In addition, folks generally recommend that you develop activities around your child's natural interests and talents (help them to feel successful!).
As it happens, there is a group in the education.com community for homeschooling parents - http://www.education.com/communities/groups/profile/103/.
Based in Baltimore, Calvert Education Services (http://www.calvertschool.org/home-school/) is one of the U.S.'s oldest non-sectarian homeschooling companies, actually a non-profit sub of a private day school. While the curriculum is geared for PK-8, you might well consider using some aspect of the boxed curriculum for your needs. I'm sure if you contacted Customer Service at CES, they could point you in the right direction.
For literacy, though similarly advanced for the average 2 year old, is Seattle-based Headsprout (www.headsprout.com), which is the likely the most interactive web-based, early literacy program out there.
I agree that basing your curriculum around the interests of the children is a great way to teach preschoolers.<br />
If you are interested in teaching the children in the group French I suggest having one parent always speak the language. Having one parent always conversing in French will help the children acquire the language as they develop a bond with her. When children are this young they tend to learn new ideas and concepts when they come as a natural part of the day!<br />
And I would add this advice to the other great links and info you have gotten already-allow yourself and the lessons to change and revamp the more you are around the kids and each other.
You are not a failure if your kids are not all reading and reciting the US Presidents or know the periodic table by age 3.
Take lots of field trips without the guided tours, allow for a lot of natural learning meaning just take them somewhere and let them explore and investigate on their own with you just there as the role of safety advisor.
Allow the play time, the down time, it is ok and tell yourself it is ok just be with them and see their faces light up when they figure something out for the first time.
I would suggest that you look at the free preschool bible curriculum at www.abcjesuslovesme.com It has everything done for you. The lesson plans are ready for you to use! There are suggested activities, crafts, songs, books, etc.
What an exciting time! I am a stay at home mom with two kids. The best type of learning for your child is hands on. Provide an environment that is fun. Throw the worksheets out and engage in play. When you are learning about bears, built a cave with blankets and go on a bear hunt. With flashlights find bears in the cave that have the letter B on them. Surround them with learning opportunities and they will learn. Take a look at www.myhomepreschool.com. It is a great resource!
What an exciting time! I am a stay at home mom with two kids. The best type of learning for your child is hands on. Provide an environment that is fun. Throw the worksheets out and engage in play. When you are learning about bears, built a cave with blankets and go on a bear hunt. With flashlights find bears in the cave that have the letter B on them. Surround them with learning opportunities and they will learn. Take a look at www.myhomepreschool.net. It is a great resource!