When I started planning our preschool year, I read a million blog posts and ideas from other preschool at home moms and I thought I had come up with the world's most perfect plan.

I wrote a detailed plan for every subject, every week from the end of August until the beginning of June. I printed out cute little schedule cards for each moment of our preschool day, laminated them and hung them up in a neat row and imagined exactly how each perfect day was gonna go. I had a big long chat with Kinley about exactly how school would be, beginning with when we would wake up all the way through to "afternoon recess."

And, then we actually started. 

The schedule didn't even happen once. No joke. Not one single day.

We still wake up whenever we please and spend an hour snuggling and reading stories. We haven't even had one timed recess or designated choose your own activity time. And you know what, despite being terrible at schedules and waking up, we are rocking this preschool thing!

And that perfectly planned planner? After Week 2, we took a trip back to my hometown to visit family and friends and we were instantly one week behind. Which I realized was a problem when I checked out the schedule for the first week of November and found it packed full of Halloween activities. Whoops.

We needed a new approach, preferably low on stress. That schedule was seriously giving me an eye twitch.  

Instead of my planner full of perfectly balanced days, we now pick what we are going to learn about the following week on the Saturday before and I make a list of fun stuff on the topic that I've pinned to my millions of Pinterest boards for us to try. I reserve some fun books from the library and that's that. That's our whole plan. Totally flying by the seat of our pants over here. And let me tell you, our days are so much happier now than ever before. I've eased up on the must-do-it-all attitude.  We just pick a couple of things from the list each day and have fun together.

We don't do circle time anymore, or calendar, or poem memorization or planned singing time. We just sing and dance together, make up stories and funny rhymes, go on walks and play instead.

I try to follow her lead--if she wants more art or another science experiment, that's what we do. If she is over it and whiny and we are both driven to the edge of freak-out, we call it a day and head to the movies or outside for some fun or take an impromptu zoo field trip. I think it's much easier to have happy, stress-free school days when your whole approach is a little (or a LOT) more relaxed.

We don't stress over letters or tracing. In fact, three of the six letters Kinley has trouble recognizing were ones we actually spent a full week each on while we were trying out a Letter-of-the-Week method. She's learned all of her letters from playing ABC games with me and doing letter puzzles and talking about letter sounds as we read millions of books.  

We don't do "crafts" anymore, I find a process art project for us to work on every day or put out some collage materials and a big cup of glue (that cup of glue is almost as inviting as a jar full of Skittles to Kinley--she just can't help herself!) and we put on some music and get our art on with no instructions or wrong way. And we are lovin' every minute of it, baby!

Preschool doesn't have to be torturous or stressful. It doesn't have to be perfectly planned or uber expensive. The most important part of preschool is having FUN! Enjoy each other and this time before mandatory worksheets and essays. Don't listen to Pinterest. Follow your little's lead. 

Relax. Just play. Trust me, it's totally working for us!


  1. Girl. I swear we have so much in common I am endlessly entertained. I could have written this EXACT post because YES YES YES!! I love following you and Kinley!! Keep it up!

    1. That's exactly what I thought when I read your blog for the first time! Total kindred blogging spirits! :) Can't wait to guest blog on hashtagteachermom--although no one will even realize I am a guest host because we write EXACTLY THE SAME WAY!

    2. PS. I just noticed your schedule in the background behind Kinley. Ha! Throw that mess away! ;)

    3. Noooooo kidding. That thing is LONG gone! Haha