Parenting a preschooler is a lovely challenge – they’re loud, they’re active, and they’re extremely curious. We’ll walk you through the main developmental changes of preschool, and we’ll show you how to start homeschooling a preschooler.
Between the ages of 2 and 5, children will learn plenty about themselves and the world around them. In fact, they’ll absorb so much information so quickly, that it’ll be impossible to arrange it in a predefined, lesson-type framework. Very important to know when it comes to homeschooling your preschooler.
The most important thing you can do while you homeschool for preschool is to be a real parent – you don’t have to worry about getting a solid, academic curriculum; you just have to be around your children as they grow, helping them along the way.
Preschool children need a sense of routine, to make sense of the world around them. They’ll start noticing that day follows night, meal follows meal, that they take baths at specific times, and that sleeping isn’t something that you can do anywhere, anyhow.
Getting a good sense of the basic world around them is one of the most important areas in preschool development, and it’s important to address that in the way you deal with your little ones.
Preschoolers will begin to develop basic motor skills such as hand-to-eye coordination, and different types of moving about – jumping, running, climbing, dancing etc.
Before being able to hold and use a pencil, they’ll need to be able to squeeze a sponge, open a jar, put some Legos together, draw with chalk, and do all that beautiful stuff that makes childhood so memorable.
Your little one is a curious little wonder that will just love spending time with people – even though they might still be shy around strangers.
Preschool children will love being around their immediate family, as they learn basic social skills such as sharing, taking turns, organizing into play teams etc. While it’s important that you allow your preschool children some play time with children the same age, you want to make sure that you’re around at all times, just to make sure nobody gets hurt.
Beginning with the age of 2, children begin using full sentences to talk about themselves and the world around them, rather than separate words. It’s around the age of 4 that they begin to acquire an impressive amount of vocabulary, and by the age of 5, they’ll know and use around 2,000 words. It’s therefore really important to give your children a decent example of talking, speaking clearly and articulately.
Alongside language development, at around the age of 3 children will also begin to use their imagination in making up stories, engaging in different types of simulation play, and drawing all kinds of made-up characters.
Preschool homeschool involves plenty of working alongside your children, guiding them into doing different types of activities, and making sure they explore the world around them as safely as possible. All in all, it’s not so different from good parenting, in that there’s really not a lot of schooling in the traditional sense of the word.
One of the first things you should do is set up a daily routine, and stick with it. This includes waking up in the morning, having breakfast, doing some type of physical exercise, having lunch, taking a nap, doing some more play/social activities, having dinner, taking a bath, some bed-time reading, and finally going to bed.
Make sure you get your children engaged in household activities like preparing a meal, sweeping the floor, or washing the dishes – they’ll love to help you, especially if you explain them a bit of the “science” behind what they’re doing!
It’s important to make sure your preschoolers get plenty of opportunities to exercise different types of general motor skills - jumping, running, dancing, squeezing, grabbing – as well as some finer ones, such as holding a pencil and drawing. Most of those should happen naturally as they play or help you with some of the household tasks, but you will need to set aside some time for teaching your children how to draw and write their name.
It’s also important to stimulate their imagination as much as possible, through activities like bedtime reading (having them watch the pictures as you read is great for their cognitive development), and storytelling.
Finally, make sure they get as little screen time as possible, and limit it to quality shows – avoid poor commercial cartoons, and refrain from buying them a tablet just yet.
Preschool homeschool is not so different from good parenting – it’s a mix of getting your children involved in real-life household activities and allowing them to explore the world on their own, through play, imagination, and plenty of moving around.
Homeschooling a preschooler will be a great experience, if you do it right. Making sure you cater for the most important developmental needs, such as language modelling, motor development, and socialization, should help you and your children have a great time together learning, growing, and getting ready for the first years of school.