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Need to know how to Homeschool your Preschooler?
More and more parents are choosing to homeschool their children from the very start, or to keep their child away from mainstream school until the age of around 7. If you have decided to do this, you may be wondering just how to start homeschool your toddlers or preschooler.
Homeschooling, particularly in the early years, is all about responding to your child’s varied interests and learning needs. If they are interested in dinosaurs, print out an alphabet decorated with dinos, take them to the museums near you, get some dinosaur fossil dig kits, or take a trip to the desert to try some palaeontology.
A great place to start is a weekend trip to Glen Rose, to visit Dinosaur State Park. It’s the Dinosaur Capital of Texas!
Meeting your child’s needs and encouraging them to pursue their interests is the key to developing a lifelong love of learning.
And do not think you have to stay awake for hours every night learning before you can teach your child, it is better to learn together and find out about what interests both of you. Your child’s interest will be infectious!
Why Moms love ABC Mouse
“Love the progressive activities! I don’t have to take the time to search for activities for my 3–year–old, and my 5–year–old just follows along when she’s playing by herself…
So I know everyone’s doing the right things for their ages!”
—Crystal, mother of 3- and 5-year-old girls
The primary thing is to be aware of your little learner’s interests and inclinations. Do they like writing, sports, arts and crafts, or some other subject?
Incorporate these into your week and begin to build a loose framework and lesson plans around them, which will evolve into your weekly timetable. You should also check your state guidelines for homeschooling to ensure you are meeting any specific requirements.
Teaching Toddlers at home
Educating your two- and three-year-old toddler involves little more than play and having fun. Children of this age will get bored and frustrated easily. However, they will also be extremely eager to learn and little sponges for knowledge.
Most of the skills they need can be learnt through play. Set up role play areas and activities so children can learn about animals by playing veterinarians or learn about writing in a mini postal office area. Providing these opportunities and interacting with your child will teach them in a more fun way than any desk learning.
Provide child-sized cleaning materials so he or she can learn to keep house alongside you, and involve him or her in gardening, shopping and cooking so he sees where food comes from and what to do with it. Answer all their questions and make everyday life interesting and fun for them.
Add in some kitchen science experiments and lots of sand and water play where he can learn about floating and sinking, volume and capacity, amongst other things.
As your child approaches 4 or 5 years of age you may wish to introduce some more formal learning, such as letter sounds and matching upper- and lower-case letters.
You could adopt the preschool approach of having a letter of the week. Have your child trace letters in a salt tray or use sandpaper letters. Supply simple equipment like a chalkboard and some letters in a tray to facilitate learning.
A similar approach can be taken with numbers, although the natural world lends itself to beginner maths too. Count flower petals, seed pods or rocks, then create simple calculations with sticks for the plus, minus and equals signs.
Make a daily walk part of your week and take the time to learn from nature. Try out any of these 23 Hiking and Nature Trails nearby. Even the youngest preschooler can start a nature journal and record their observations in it. You can annotate their drawings long before they become able to write it out for themselves.
Four-year olds can do many more things than younger preschoolers, so help them to practice their scissor skills, to hold a pencil correctly, and to develop their art skills in drawing, painting and working with other media. Handcrafts are also a great activity to begin at this age.
Let them try new things, and really listen to them as they tell you about their interests or ask questions about the world around them. Kids this age are very imaginative so give them the opportunity to develop and express this creativity.
Remember that all children grow at their own rate, and in their own ways. If you have taken the decision to keep your child at home, then make the most of your time together by trusting them and giving them sufficient freedom to explore, inquire, and ultimately learn.
Looking for more support from a Plano Mom with Homeschooling? Or Tips on how to Work from Home and still be there for your Kids?
- “I could never Homeschool – a Plano Moms story”
- Home Organization and Home Learning Environments
- Homeschool Friends of North Texas
- Resources for Preschoolers