Homeschooling Preschool: Tips and Insights

Homeschooling preschool tips and insights Laura McKinney Adams homeschool conversations
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In today’s Homeschool Conversation we enjoy the experiences and expertise of Laura McKinney Adams, a seasoned second-generation homeschooling parent and former preschool teacher, as she shares invaluable advice and reflections on navigating the preschool homeschooling journey.

With a background in classical education and a deep commitment to nurturing young minds, Laura offers practical tips and thoughtful insights that resonate with both experienced homeschoolers and newcomers alike. Whether you’re seeking guidance on curriculum choices, philosophical approaches, or simply seeking reassurance and inspiration, this conversation provides wisdom and real-life homeschooler perspective to guide you through the joys and challenges of homeschooling preschool and beyond.

Homeschool Conversations podcast homeschooling preschool

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Embracing Individualized Education

Laura’s journey into homeschooling was deeply influenced by her own experience of being homeschooled from kindergarten through 12th grade, alongside her husband who also received a homeschool education. This background set the stage for their decision to homeschool their own children, rooted in a belief in the value of individualized education. No matter what homeschool method you ascribe to, this commitment to individualized education likely resonates.

Homeschool Conversations podcast homeschooling preschool

Laura reflects on the importance of embracing each child’s unique strengths, interests, and learning styles. She emphasizes the need to recognize that children are individuals, not mere reflections of their parents, and shares examples of tailoring education to suit her children’s interests, such as incorporating birdwatching into science lessons. Even preschool summer activities can be tailored to both learning and fun.

Both Laura and I discuss our personal experiences as homeschoolers and the natural decision to continue the tradition with our own children. Homeschooling offers great joy, flexibility, and customization, allowing us to nurture our children’s education while maintaining a sense of autonomy and freedom.

second generation homeschooling joyfully homeschooling amy sloan misty bailey

Homeschooling Preschool: Practical Tips and What to Prioritize

Laura shares insights into homeschooling preschoolers, stressing the importance of prioritizing love and connection above all else. She outlines practical goals for preschool education, such as letter recognition, counting skills, and reading aloud, while also advocating for flexibility in curriculum choices based on the child’s needs and the family’s circumstances.

Homeschool Conversations podcast homeschooling preschool
  • Children need to know they’re loved by their parents and by Jesus
  • Count to 20
  • Write your own name (especially if going to traditional Kindergarten)
  • Letter identification
  • Letter sounds
  • Daily read aloud
  • Bible verse memory
Homeschooling Preschool: Tips and Insights with Laura McKinney Adams homeschool conversations

Books for the new homeschooler

There is great diversity of homeschooling approaches and it’s important to find a philosophy that resonates with your own family’s values and goals. Laura encourages new homeschoolers to explore different educational philosophies and trust their instincts in finding the best fit for your unique circumstances.

Homeschool Conversations podcast homeschooling preschool

Most of all, Laura emphasizes the importance of lifelong learning, flexibility, and humility in the homeschooling journey. There is great value in community support and the empowerment that comes from embracing the responsibility of guiding our children’s education.

rethinking school by susan wise bauer
Homeschool Conversations podcast homeschooling preschool

Other homeschooling preschool resources you may find helpful:

homeschooling preschool
Messy Mangers Christian Homeschool Family encouragement by Mary Kathryn Cone on HumilityandDoxology.com

Listen to the full podcast episode “Homeschooling Preschool: Tips and Insights with Laura McKinney Adams,” Homeschool Conversations with Humility and Doxology Season 9, Episode 4

Laura McKinney Adams is a wife and mother to three and the author of the ebook How to Homeschool Preschool. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Liberty University. While at Liberty, she met her husband, who is a fellow homeschool graduate. She writes about classical education, lifelong learning for moms, and homeschooling the early years at lauramckinneyadams.com.

Amy Sloan: Hello, friends. Today, I am joined by my friend, Laura McKinney Adams. She is a wife and mother to three, and the author of the e-book, How to Homeschool Preschool. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Liberty University, and while there at Liberty, she met her husband, who is a fellow homeschool graduate. Laura writes about classical education, lifelong learning for moms, and homeschooling the early years, at lauramckinneyadams.com.

I’ve had the chance to actually meet Laura in person, which is always fun when an internet face becomes a real life friend. She has guest posted at humilityanddoxology.com before, but this is the first time I actually get to interview her for the podcast, so very fun. Laura, can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, and how you guys got started homeschooling?

Laura McKinney Adams: Sure. My name is Laura, and I am married to Daniel, who I met in college. We met studying for an honors theology test at seven o’clock in the morning, and we are every bit as nerdy as that makes us sound [laughs]. I’m married to my college sweetheart, and we have three sweet children. We have a seven-year-old boy who is in second grade. We have a five-year-old boy who is in kindergarten, and then we have a daughter who is three, and so she is my last home preschooler, which is very fun.

As far as how we got started homeschooling, I was homeschooled kindergarten through 12th Grade. My husband was homeschooled 1st Grade through 12th Grade, so just about as long as I was. I think for us, that was our default normal, if that makes sense. I think a lot of people, they grew up in public school, and so that’s what they’re used to, which makes total sense to me. This is what I’m used to, and so this is what my default setting was.

I really believe that individualized education is a gift. That’s a gift that I had, and that’s a gift that I wanted my children to have. My husband also felt very strongly about this. This was something that we discussed when we were dating, so that was just always the plan. We started officially for real homeschooling when my oldest was in kindergarten, but I did do a preschool at home year with him before that, unofficially.

Amy: I can relate so much to that perspective. Whenever someone’s like, well, why did you guys, or when did you guys decide to homeschool your children? It was a very similar thing. As a homeschool graduate myself, my husband, who was homeschooled through 7th grade, we had had very positive experiences with homeschooling, and so, to me, it was just a natural decision. It didn’t actually ever feel like this big, difficult, scary decision, for which I’m very thankful, because I know it can feel like completely going outside the box for so many families.

Laura: For sure. I definitely have friends and people I interact with, both in person and online, who will be concerned about something like, will my kid turn out okay? I’m like, “Well, I think I’m okay.” [laughs]

Amy: We’re relatively normal.

Laura: I’m relatively normal, right? [laughs]

Amy: I think one of the things that’s interesting to think about and discuss when I interview other second-generation homeschoolers, is how your own thoughts and philosophy of education has grown or changed, especially as you maybe reflect on some of the similarities or differences as being the homeschool student versus the homeschool mom. Has anything surprised you in this transition time?

Laura: I think for me, the most important thing to realize has been that my children are individual people, and they aren’t all carbon copies of me. Really, none of them are carbon copies of me. They’re all individual people. They’re not carbon copies of each other either, even though I have a fairly tight age range. I have four years from my oldest to my youngest. They’re all pretty close together, but they still definitely have– they have different strengths. They have different personalities. They have different interests, and just really embracing them for who they are. A lot of those things, I feel like with homeschooling, you can really do a lot with.

I have one child who loves birds and learning about all the different kinds of birds, and going to the Nature Preserve. I have this app, I think it’s Merlin Sounds, and you can listen to the bird and it’ll tell you what kind of bird the chirp is coming from. Super cool. Anyway, he loves that. He thinks that is so much fun. I’m like, sure, we can work that into science. We can make that happen. I probably had a different set of interests than my kids do, which is fine. Now, I’m getting to learn new material, right?

One of my children in particular, he is very strong at– he’s very mechanical. He loves math, he loves problem solving, and he loves learning how to take things apart and then put them back together. That would have never occurred to me to do when I was that age. We can celebrate that in him and enjoy that and find constructive outlets.

Amy: Yes, I think, as a homeschool nerd, right? What do you want to do? You want to just keep learning for the rest of your life, right? It’s actually fun to get to see our children pursuing maybe different areas of interest than we had when we were growing up and things like that. Do you find yourself homeschooling with a similar approach or philosophy as you experienced yourself, or is it different?

Laura: I would say, when I was growing up, we were probably a little bit more eclectic. I usually use the classical label for myself. I have been known to eclectify as I need to [laughs]. I have one child who really needs very explicit language parts instruction. He really does better if I can get him a worksheet, and he can punctuate the sentence while he’s looking at it versus reciting when you use a period. For him, it seems to sink in better that way. Sometimes I’m like, is this a purist? Maybe that, but it’s okay, because it’s what he needs.

Amy: Yes. As a homeschooler, we’re like, don’t fence me in [laughs]. Don’t make me follow your rules. I can do what I want.

Laura: Don’t put me in a box.

Amy: Exactly. We’ve never been in a box. Don’t put us in one now [laughs]. What have been some of your favorite parts of homeschooling, either from your own experience, looking back, or in these early years with your own little ones?

Laura: I think when I look back on it, I think particularly for me, in middle school and high school was when I really started narrowing down interests and trying things and that sort of thing. For me, one thing I really enjoyed a lot was theater. I did a lot of theater for 10 years, from when I was 8 till I was 18. As I got into middle school and got a little bit more serious about that, I had the opportunity to be in three different professional productions, which I would not have been able to do if I had not been homeschooled because I couldn’t have made the rehearsal schedule. That was just really cool and something that I think even now, I decided, not to do that for the rest of my life.

I think I learned a lot of really valuable life lessons. I learned about being a professional and what does that mean, and working with people from different backgrounds. I think that was just something that was really formative for me. I think I learned a lot of really good skills that I still have with me now. I also got to do some voiceover work, which was super fun. I was on a couple of commercials for Operation Christmas Child, if you’re familiar with that. That was also just really cool when I’d get to go to the recording booth and do that thing. Again, that stuff, I wouldn’t have gotten to do if I’d been in school. Off the beaten path, but it was pretty cool.

Then also, as I got older, I got into policy debate. I was in NCFCA, which is still around. That was really a good thing for me, too. I think I learned a lot of skills that especially were helpful for college, because we had to learn how to do the formatting and have the formatting be just right on a reference page. We had to learn how to find a good legitimate source, and how do you check for biases and who’s funding this, and all that kind of thing that you don’t necessarily think about until you get in a situation where you have to think about it.

I think that was really good for just critical thinking skills, learning how to network and how to share the information you have with others and how to win and how to lose, and a lot of good life skill type things. Those are some things that I would not have been able to put the time into, policy debate, if I had been in school. Also, when I did my government and economics credit for high school, I thought it was like, you could probably teach me a class on government economics at this point. I had a nontraditional government and economics class and it was a lot of writing I’d done for debate and a lot of papers and stuff. I really enjoyed that. That was really neat.

I think on my end, that’s the thing I’ve enjoyed the most. I think for my children, now that I’m at the mom end, I really appreciate that I am able to work at people’s paces, even if that’s not everybody else’s pace, we don’t care. We work at our pace. If we need to go faster, we go faster. If we need to go slower, we go slower. If we need to switch math levels in November or some weird time of the year, we just do it. It’s just really nice. I think I’m able to stress my kids out less when I’m like– We do what we need to do and I’m not worried about it and I’m still here.

Amy: Yes, that’s really good. I love that flexibility and customization that we have with home education. It is really such a gift. Both in the little years, like you’re describing, and then also, it’s really that same idea when you were older, your own experience, being able to customize your experience with these unique opportunities. It’s such a gift. It really is. We love homeschooling. I think that’s clear, but it’s also sometimes hard. What have been some of the challenges of homeschooling, and how have you sought to overcome those challenges?

Laura: I would say, we are always together, because I’m home full-time with my kids. We would have a sin nature, whether we homeschooled or not, right? We would have a sin nature, whether we were married or not, we would have a sin nature, if we were parents or not. I think sometimes, things like parenting, or being a parent, or being married, or homeschooling, it takes a magnifying glass on that sin, and you could maybe get away with coasting a little bit with that sin. Then it’s like, no, we’re going to put this magnifying glass on, we’re going to see it, we see it. You’re like, oh, no, I didn’t realize I was this impatient, or whatever the thing may be. I think that’s a common one. You’re like, oh, no. I think when you initially realize that is really hard, right?

I think there’s a lot of growth that can come through that, and being like, “Okay, maybe I do need to work on being more patient. Okay, we do need to maybe work on being respectful of each other’s needs.” I feel like the big thing I have is, I have all younger kids, so nobody’s really like doing a whole ton independently, because he’s seven. What are we going to expect? That’s totally normal and fine, but that doesn’t mean I need to rotate who I’m helping. One thing I’ve really worked with on my kids is like, I am going to get back to you as I rotate around. Don’t panic, I am coming. I think that’s character building for all of us. Sometimes, the process of building character is not always the most fun thing.

Amy: Yes. Sometimes I like to joke that parenting is the hardest part of homeschooling. It’s the same idea. It’s just that being together, having to constantly face my own sin, let alone, the sins in my kids. It’s also such a joy, because God loves me too much to leave me unrefined, right?

Laura: Yes.

Amy: There’s been nothing that has grown my faith more, grown my humility more, than this process of parenting in general. I think homeschooling in particular, has sped that up or shaken it a little bit a little bit faster. One of the things I especially wanted to chat with you about today is homeschooling preschool. You wrote an e-book on the subject last year, and have a lot of experience with this personally, as a home educator and a background with preschool education. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, Laura, but people on the Internet, they have a lot of opinions.

Laura: Oh, yes [laughs].

Amy: They feel very strongly about their opinions. I see this in many places. I definitely see this with homeschooling preschool. I don’t mind people having opinions. I have opinions, too. One of the things that can make me sad is when I see this idea that there’s only this one right way to homeschool preschool, and if you don’t do it this way, you’re going to ruin your child forever or something. That just feels overwhelming and discouraging, especially for a new homeschool mom who’s thinking about it for the first time. I wanted to hear your perspective on homeschooling preschools.

Tell me all the things, what are those things that we should really care about and prioritize? Maybe, what are some of the things we just don’t have to think about?

Laura: I want to preface this by saying, it’s so hard on the internet, because I get messages from people and I do my absolute best to answer. Also, I don’t know you and I don’t know your life. At the end of the day, keep that caveat in mind. I taught preschool in a classroom setting for two years, and I’m on my fourth year of teaching homeschool preschool. I feel like I’m finally settling into what I’m doing now. I think for me, first and foremost, we want our children to know that they are loved, that they are loved by their parents, that they are loved by Jesus. We start there. That’s our number one most important thing.

Then past that, I have a list of what I like for my kids to know, going into kindergarten. Your list may not look like my list. Your list probably also depends on, do you intend on sending this child to kindergarten in a classroom setting, or do you intend to continue homeschooling them? Because if they are going to kindergarten in a classroom setting, I would push writing harder than I would for a child who’s going to be home, because the kindergarten teacher does not have time to walk around and write 25 names on 25 papers. Just for that context, I think it makes sense to push like, learning how to write their name, that sort of thing, harder.

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For me, I like for my children to know how to write their name, going to kindergarten. I have one child who has a very long first name, and we may or may not get there. We’ll see what happens. We’re trying. We’re working on that. I like for my kids to know how to count to 20, because then you can start to see the pattern. Then when you go into 100 chart later, it’s like, oh, 12, 22, 32. Our 10 places going up or one place staying the same. It gets that concept started. That’s why I like to do 20 versus just 10.

I like for my kids to know their letter sounds and their letter identification, because when you’re trying to learn how to read in kindergarten, if you don’t have your letter sounds down cold, that’s just more of a slog than is ideal for anybody involved. Let’s see. I also try to make sure I read to my kids every day. Now, this was something that was very intuitive that I did not need to put on a list with my oldest child. My preschooler is my youngest child, and I’ve got a second grader who’s got a lot more work that he needs to be doing. I literally have on the weekly checklist, to read to her every day, which probably sounds crazy.

If you’re listening to this, and your oldest child’s three, you’re like, this lady is nuts. Trust me. There comes a day where there’s just so much executive function going on and there’s so many pieces in your day. It’s like, you don’t need it on the list. Yes, we very much try to read.

I try to do a really gentle introduction to Bible memory. That’s one of those things that– Bible memory has been easier for some of my kids than others, but I think it’s important. Even if it’s hard, we just take longer in a verse. We’re going to learn it because I think that’s really important.

That’s something that when I’ve gone through difficult times in my life, what I’ve really turned to is those Bible verses I know cold from my childhood. I want them to have that because I think that’s just good to have your mind stocked with that. Those are my things. I think sometimes, people hear somebody be like, “Oh, I’m looking for a preschool curriculum,” and they’re envisioning it being a super worksheet heavy, intense thing. It doesn’t need to be. There are several different companies that sell preschool packages. It pretty much is reading to the child and doing a craft.

Sometimes, if you’ve got a child who’s three, a lot of moms who have a three-year-old, they’ve also maybe got a toddler, or they also have a baby or they also might be pregnant. Who knows what else is going on in people’s lives. Sometimes, just having that done, and I just need to go down this list, is a help. I think for any age, curriculum is a tool. If you’re in a situation where you feel like the tool is going to help you, use the tool. Use the tool. I would rather you start homeschooling and feel comfortable with it and really confident in what you’re doing using the tool.

There’s no shame in the tools. I will say right now, this year, I am not doing a formal curriculum with my three-year-old because I’ve done this so many other times, that like I’ve pretty much got a shelf. I’m like, we’re going to work through the shelf. I remember what projects we do with the different things. I’m at a point where I don’t need that anymore. With my other kids, I did, and that’s okay.

Amy: Yes, it’s still good to remember. I love what you said about, use the tool if it helps you. If it’s going to make you feel confident and peaceful and actually do what you want to do, then use the tool. If you don’t need the tool, that’s okay, too. We can do what we want. It really will depend on the season of motherhood. It will depend on the individual child. I really didn’t use a curriculum for preschool, really, with any of my children. Like what you were saying, with your youngest, you’re having to write, like read a book to this child on the list, something which seems maybe silly to a mom listening whose oldest is in preschool.

By the time my fifth child was preschool, kindergarten, I actually did want some just more open and go scripted curriculum way more than I had ever used with my older children, because it made sure I was prioritizing that little one’s instruction when it would be way too easy to be distracted by all the other things and the needs of the older kids. It just really depends on the season and what mom needs sometimes, even more than the child, because any preschool curriculum is going to be basically doing the same thing, right? Teaching the same basic concepts. Some of it has to do with personalities too, I think.

Laura: Yes. Personally, I’ll admit it to you. I’m very type A and I love a good list, and a good list makes me happy. Then I can get to the end of the day and be like, look, I finished this for today. I love it. Not everybody likes that. Some people feel boxed in by a list. That’s okay, too.

Amy: I hope that that’s something that moms listening come away with, both feeling equipped to do this, that you can do it, and also, to know that you have the flexibility to do it in a way that best fits who you are and who your child is and the uniqueness of your family. Actually, you have written about preschool extensively on your own site, and you wrote a post for me as well about classical preschool. I also have a preschool roundup of several different curriculums. I have my preschool plan, which was a no-curriculum plan, but then I also have a list and help you decide which of this curriculum is best for your preschool. I’ll put those links in the show notes, too, for anyone listening.

All right. We’ve talked about these ideas of homeschooling preschool, and we’ve talked a little bit about how then it’s also then the reality of your actual child, because these children aren’t just these idealized things we have in our head, right? How can we embrace our unique family’s educational philosophy and not completely throw that out the window, while also learning to love the actual little one that God has given to us, this individual image bearer of God? Have you had any experiences with maybe having different children with different needs and approaches to that?

Laura: I tell all my kids that they are in whatever grade they would be in by the public school cutoff where we live for social purposes, because that’s what people are asking. They’re not asking that you do math on this level and reading it like that. That’s not the question. Just for social purposes, we pick a number and that’s what grade you’re in and we just call it a day. I have found with my kids, I have had– I, always in my head, I’m like, okay, we start kindergarten when we’re five. We start kindergarten when we’re five. That was my idea. That was what I was going to do, especially because my older kids are boys. I have two boys.

I’m like, yes, there’s no need to start. It’s going to be fine. We’re just going to relax, we’re going to be chill, it’s going to be fine. I had one child, that was not working for him in any way, shape or form. He was not happy, and he truly needed to go ahead and start kindergarten. I fought with him about it for about a whole semester, and I was like, but you don’t need to. You got your whole life. It’s fine. He’s like, no. He’s like, I want to do this. Anyway, he finally wore me down and I took him to the homeschool store and we bought math and I was like, “Okay, we’re going to start it. Here we go,” thinking he would lose interest. No, he’s not, he’s not lost interest.

He’s a more intense kid and he needs that. Even when we take breaks, he really misses the structure of having school time, and that’s just something that he really thrives with, for whatever reason, and so I had to get over myself, and I’m like, well, nobody else says this is what a four-year-old boy needs, but apparently, this is what my four-year-old boy needs. That was my thing, where I felt like I was going out on a limb. I’m like, oh, no. Anyway, he’s still– for social situations, he’s the public school cutoff. I would say he’s my one who’s the most asynchronous from what a typical child does at a typical age.

That’s fine. That’s how he’s made, that’s how he’s wired, but sometimes, we have to get over ourselves a little bit, to give our child what they need. I think it’s important to just be in prayer and to also have the humility to change course when you need to change course, because sometimes, that happens, and you got to change course.

Amy: Yes, it does. It takes a lot of humility and prayer and being willing to be flexible, because even with my own asynchronous learners, sometimes, you start off in this way, and then they’re sprinting forward in this direction, and then suddenly, there’s some quirk, and you have a new thing, and you’ve got to pivot again, so just being willing to be flexible and pivot. I loved what you said where it’s like people are like, that’s not what a four-year-old boy needs, and you were like, but this is what my four-year-old boy needs, right?

Laura: Yes.

Amy: Just to keep that in mind, that is so good. No matter what age our children are at any given stage, someone somewhere will give a blanket statement, this is the way things are for this age or this gender of child, and you have to take that always with a grain of salt and look at the actual child in your living room. Sometimes, it may mean you need to let them run faster, and sometimes, it may mean that you need to wait, and that’s good. That’s what we get to do. That’s why we homeschool, right?

Laura: Yes. I’ve really had to let go of the type A, we’re going to finish one book per year, and we’ll finish it in one year perfectly, and we will never go over and we will never start– I just had to stop that and let that go [laughs].

Amy: Yes. Homeschooling will teach you to be very flexible very quickly [laughs]. Laura, if you were talking to a mom who was considering homeschooling for the first time, maybe she has all little ones and she’s thinking about homeschooling, starting for the first time or maybe she has older ones and is transitioning to homeschooling, I’d love to hear what advice or encouragement you would have, and if there are any resources or books you would particularly recommend for a new homeschooler.

Laura: I love this question, and one of my favorite things to do online and in real life is help people get started and cheerlead them over the finish line. I’m like, you can do it. I have three resources I’m going to suggest and it’s– Again, one of those things, it depends on your situation, so I’ll explain that the situation that would be most helpful for these three.

If you either went to classroom school, public, private, charter, whatever, and that’s your frame of reference, or if your child has previously been in classroom school and that’s their frame of reference, I really recommend the book Rethinking School by Susan Wise Bauer. That really gets into, well, why do we run classrooms the way we do with the US now? Really, there’s a whole historical stream about how we got from where things used to be to where they are now, which I think is so interesting, but also very freeing, because some of these things, it’s like, well, we don’t have to do it that way, just because that’s how we are doing.

We don’t have to do it that way and we haven’t for all humanity’s history done it that way. I just think that’s a really helpful book, if that’s your frame of reference and your background. I would say, any age of child, but if there’s any school background, I think that one’s really, really good. I enjoyed it, even with my non-classroom school background. The second one, I would say for any age child, really any experience of mom, too. I really like Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie and that’s one that I revisit periodically.

It’s also pretty short, so it’s not so dense as to be intimidating. I think sometimes, it’s good to start with one that’s not intimidating. The content is really good and just, it’s very peaceful. I think that one’s very helpful, too. Then if you’ve got little kids and your oldest is maybe two, three, four, and you’re like, “Ah, I think I might want to homeschool, but I don’t know, I don’t know where to get started,” then you might want my e-book, which is available at my website, laurenmckinneyadams.com. I have a shop tab, you can click on that. I can also send you this link, too.

That goes through– Basically, it’s my compilation of all the questions people have ever asked me online or in person about this. I just wrote the whole thing up, and so it’s all in one place. I talk about curriculum and I talk about scope and sequence and what goals do you want to set? I talk about the different philosophies of education, because I think when your oldest is in preschool, it’s a great time for mom to read about that and figure out what resonates with her, because preschool does not take a super long time, and so you have some time to explore a little bit on your end as a teacher.

That’s something I did when my oldest was young and that’s been really helpful for me today that I– I did the Charlotte Mason Deep Dive and read some of her original writings and all that, and I think that’s helpful. I think it’s helpful to know who you want to be as a teacher.

Amy: It helps you set that end goal. You can get that vision, that big picture idea of the human. At the end of this homeschool journey, what kind of human do I want to raise? That’s one of the questions I encourage people to think about when they’re planning their homeschool. Like you were saying, in the preschool years, the academic part is going to be not taking too much time, most likely, and so, that’s the professional development time for mom, really, to start thinking about those big ideas and reading good books yourself. Being the kind of human that you would want your children to become as well.

Laura: Yes. Something that’s really important to me that I really value is continuing to be a lifelong learner myself, because I want my kids to see that we don’t ever arrive. That there’s always more that we can be learning. There’s always somebody out there who knows more than we do. You can learn new things even when you’re a grown up. I think that’s a really important life skill.

Amy: Definitely. Along those lines, I’m going to ask you the questions that I ask all my guests. The first one is just, what are you personally reading lately these days?

Laura: I am currently reading In His Image by Jen Wilkin, with a church group of ladies at my church. It’s about the attributes of God that we are also supposed to be pursuing as believers. I really enjoy Jen Wilkin personally. I think she has good Bible-type content. She also has another book, Women of the Word, I read a few years ago. That’s very good if you want to learn how to do bible study. Yes, I’m doing that with a group. Then just personally by myself, I’m reading John Adams by David McCullough, which is a biography. I promise, this has nothing to do with my last name. [chuckles] I do really like John and Abigail Adams a lot. Abigail Adams especially. I just think she was really fascinating, really neat lady.

Amy: I had a biography of her that I must have read a dozen times as a child, and it had this story of when she gives all of her pewter and lets it be melted down for bullets in the Revolutionary War. I thought, “Oh, what an amazing heroine.” She was brilliant. Both of them were.

Laura: She was really smart. Really, if you look at her letters and things. Really brilliant lady.

Amy: Laura, what is your best tip for helping the homeschool day run more smoothly?

Laura: Your mileage may vary. Caveat. With my kids, I have found– We all have breakfast together, and then we go straight into school because if I let them scatter, this is what happens. I let them scatter. They start playing peacefully with each other, and I think, “Ugh, I should just sit here and have some more coffee. They’re being so sweet. We don’t need school,” and that’s too tempting. I’m like, “No, no breakfast, school, breakfast, school. We can’t scatter.” It’s hard to get everybody to reconvene, too, because I have little people in the mix who are not school age. [laughs]

Amy: That’s when it turns into the herding cats. Even when we’re with our kids.

Laura: I don’t know. I think it helps them that that’s the expectation, and we’ve done it that way every day for forever. I feel like I get less pushback of, I can’t believe mom’s making me do school, if it’s the same routine every day. We do this every day.

Amy: That’s actually one of the reasons why we do have a school start time. It’s somewhat flexible, of course. We can go if things are changing or there’s other life events going on, or someone’s not feeling well. In general, we know that everyone is supposed to be in the living room, ready to go at 8:00, and it just makes things run a little bit more smoothly because I’m not having to decide every morning, when we’re going to start school. It’s just like, “Oh yes, okay, this is just what we do.” It just seems to take away every decision that you can take off the plate. It just makes it so much simpler.

Laura: I think this is the boundary, and we’ve communicated it clearly, and this is what we’re going to do every day. Anything you can get into a routine with, I just feel like really helps.

Amy: Yes. Laura, thank you so much for chatting with us today. Can you tell folks where they can find you all around the internet?

Laura: Sure. I am at lauramckinneyadams.com. I am at Laura McKinney Adams on Facebook and on Instagram and on Pinterest. Same place, same name all the places. You can check out my shop, where I have my e-book. I also have lots of blog posts available. Have a page where I have all my interviews and posts I’ve written for our state homeschool magazine and some other things there. You can always DM me on Instagram if there’s something you’re looking for, if you need help,. I love to help people, so just let me know.

Amy: That is great. I will have links to all of those places in the show notes for this episode, over at humilityandtaxology.com. You guys, thank you so much for listening today. If you would take a moment to leave a rating and review for this podcast, to share it with a friend, maybe someone who is considering homeschooling their preschooler, send Laura a message, and we would love to hear from you. Thank you, Laura. I will chat with you again soon.

Laura: Bye.

Homeschooling preschool tips and insights Laura McKinney Adams homeschool conversations

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