Whether you intend on homeschooling your child right through graduation, or if you are just homeschooling your preschooler give your child a jump on Kindergarten in a public school, there is no better foundation you can give your child than some undivided attention in the form of play-based learning. Using the child’s interests to keep them engaged, making it fun, and moving at their pace.
Top Tricks and Tips to Homeschooling Your Preschooler!
There really needn’t be a strict curriculum for the early years, nor do you need to turn an entire room into a schoolroom at this age. Rather, focus on turning your whole home into your child’s learning center. This doesn’t mean you have to cover your walls in primary colors or hang a 4-foot map on the wall. The simplest objects in your daily routine can be turned into a learning tool.
Counting cheerio’s in the morning, calling out the colors of the flowers in your garden as you play in the yard, cutting a sandwich into squares at lunchtime and asking your child to identify the shape. Singing the ABC’s in the car on your way to the post office.
If you are looking for something with a bit more structure I love the “teach my preschooler kit”, you can find in many stores and online.
Related: Teach My Kindergartener Review
Preschool Motor Skills
Don’t forget to incorporate lots of motor skills, and skills that develop hand-eye coordination, so your child can master them, many are skills they need to conquer to move on to more advanced skills.
Start with; running, jumping, hopping, skipping, walking a straight line, throwing a ball, clapping, walk backward, and marching. For fine motor skills supply your child with play dough, lacing cards, paper to tear, beads to lace, safety scissors for cutting, tongs, and pompoms for transferring.
Don't forget there are sneaky ways to teach your kids fine motor skills and they won't even realize you are homeschooling your preschooler.
As your child responds positively and gains some knowledge you can add more structure. Color flashcards, worksheets or workbooks (in my opinion, however, this should be very minimal in the youngest years), alphabet puzzles, matching games, and things of that nature.
Videos can be extremely helpful in teaching your child as well, I am not advocating using the TV as a babysitter, or teacher. But there are several videos that teach your child in a way that is so fun and engaging they don’t even know they are learning. In small doses, I feel they can be a great resource. LeapFrog: Letter Factory is a favorite at our house, and is requested almost daily it teaches not only letter recognition but also letter sounds.
Some kids will pick it up at 2 years old, some won't until 5. Don’t stress your little one or yourself if they are in the older category. Every child learns at a different pace, this is the beauty in homeschooling. You move at your child’s speed, instead of forcing a child to fit a teaching style, you can format your teaching style to match your child’s learning style.
For videos, we love the Preschool Prep 10-DVD set. It covers the basics from letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. Then moves on to phonics and sight words.
The S Word
Incorporate some socialization. This doesn’t mean you have to enroll your child in daycare. A trip to the park where there are other kids around, encouraging conversation between your child and the librarian, visiting grandma, and interacting at church, the hardware store, or museum with adults or other children are all important to the development of your child’s social skills.
Read, Read, Read. This cannot be stressed enough. I don’t think anyone would disagree that this is a key way your child learns. Read to your child, not only at bedtime but throughout the day. Read the names of stores or words on packaging, this is called Environmental Print and is a very natural beginning point in your child’s reading skills. Ever notice that a child can read a McDonald's sign before anything else? Keep books at the child’s level in their room.
Keep a basket with a wide variety of books in the living room, good for a mid-day snuggle/reading session, or your child can “read” to themselves. Visit the library, talk about different types of books that are there, let them get their own library card and teach them how to treat the books they borrow. These are all basic and important skills for your little one to learn. For more tips check out How to REALLY Teach Your Preschooler to Read.
Keep it fun, don’t move faster than your child, and let everything you teach come from a place of love and a desire to watch your child learn and grow, and you will be successful as a momma and homeschooling your preschooler.