Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Preschool Co-op

Miles and Vivienne are at an age where a lot of their friends are just starting preschool.  I wanted to give the kids a preschool experience, but I don't want to spend a lot of money (of course, we have to multiply preschool tuition by two) and I want to spend a lot of time with the kids.  After speaking with a few friends, I realized they shared some of the same thoughts, so we decided to try a preschool co-op.

There are 4 moms in the co-op and 5 preschoolers (and a few babies who will be aging in eventually).  We rotate each other's houses and each week 2 moms are "on" and 2 moms are "off".  We did a trial month, and it went very well.  The kids love it, and it is fun for the moms, too, once we got the hang of managing a larger group of children. 

Our schedule is similar to what the kids would do at a "real" preschool.  It includes time for outdoor play, books, music, snack, craft and lunch time. We usually choose a theme for each week (trains, farms, how plants grow, nature, etc). 

Our train theme day went like this:  The kids had free play, and then we went on the porch to play with the bubble machine for a while.  We pulled out some cardboard boxes and made them into a train.  When the kids started to get antsy, we gave them sets of markers to color our cardboard box train.  After some impromptu singing and dancing (which may or may not have included the songs "Wagon Wheel" and "Call Me Maybe" - Miles' and Vivienne's favorite songs, respectively), we had our train snacks (which were egg cartons cut in half that were our "trains" that the kids could fill with grapes, raisins, sunflower seeds, cheerios, etc).  After that we went inside for a train craft (gluing shapes of different colors to pages, creating a train picture).  Next we went upstairs to read some train books, followed by some train songs and and our musical train (the kids holding instruments, marching around my friend's home and banging playing their instruments).  That was followed up by lunch and a little more time for free play.

We have also decided to add in a "fun day" each week where we also take the kids on a sort of field trip, like visiting a museum or apple or blueberry picking or the zoo.  I am really looking forward to those adventures.

So far the kids are really, really enjoying it, and I look forward to the weeks that I'm teaching and the weeks that I have off.  It's neat to see the kids in a more structured learning environment, and it's fun to see the kids building relationships with their friends.  It also gives me the opportunity to build stronger relationships with my friends.

It's fun to be Preschool Dropouts.


  1. What a great idea! I bet you're awesome at it! :) I think you should do a video of the kids singing "Call Me Maybe." That'd be hilarious!

  2. What a great idea! It sounds a lot similar to what my kids are doing in preschool/daycare. I think it's important that kids experience a somewhat classroom like setting at a place that is not home and learn to take direction from someone who is not mom in a group setting. It's amazing how much kids learn from each other as well. I think you can officially call this preschool, now your group just needs a better name. (I know many of the teachers at our daycare take early education courses, you might want to look into that, but you would do fine without it as well, it's not rocket science :-P)

  3. I think this is great. A friend of mine did this with 4 moms in her town, and it worked out well for them. They started with a home-grown Vacation Bible School for a week in the summer, and liked that a lot too. Do you do it five days a week. or just one or two?