Homeschool 101 Article

Homeschool Preschools and their families @randomnestfamily.org

Homeschool Preschool

When it comes to homeschooling preschoolers, many parents find that they don’t know where to start. Homeschool preschool is the very best time, for starting your homeschool journey.

I started homeschooling my nine-year old’s at age two and a half.

You might look at me crazy, and say, “What? Really!” Why yes! At this age, they are still babies, yet they have a great desire to explore and learn things. This is the cuddle bug age, where you can sit on the sofa and read them books and get dirty in homemade play doe! See my favorite recipe here.

Homeschool pre-school can start as early as age one in a half. I might have shared a video of my six-year-old, at eighteen months, reading full letters, which led her to read easy reader books, that I made for her myself, using words she knew. You can’t imagine the delight on your child’s face, when they find out they can read something, especially a book!

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There’s No Special Program

Two little girls playing in a play kitchen @randomnestfamily.org

Montessori what!? No, you do not need a special approach. These are things children do naturally. They explore, they look for things to play with. Isn’t that why all the kitchen utensils are poured out on the floor. Why we keep hearing that cabinet door open and close, open, and close? They are exploring and loving it. So, start there!

There is no need for special teaching books, unless you wanted to teach a different language. Perfect for this age. Preschoolers are like sponges, and really suck in everything they see, hear, and learn.  Read big colorful books with them.

There are tons of cute easy readers out there:

13994: Mouse Makes Words:  A Phonics Reader Mouse Makes Words: A Phonics Reader
By Kathryn Heling / Random House Books for Young Readers
845628: Panda Kisses Panda Kisses
By Alyssa Satin Capucilli / Random House Books for Young Readers

You can read any book to your child to advance their vocabulary, however, big bright books are their favorites. Simple words and phrases are great for developing readers.

390972: Rocket"s 100th Day of School (Step Into Reading, Step 1) Rocket’s 100th Day of School (Step Into Reading, Step 1)
By Frederic F. Hills / Random House Books for Young Readers
790541: Learning with Curious George Preschool Reading Learning with Curious George Preschool Reading
By Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
261077: I Like Bugs I Like Bugs
By Margaret Wise Brown / Random House Books for Young Readers

Do not try to sit preschoolers down with a worksheet. Please don’t give your baby one of my unit study printables! Instead, opt for large white paper. Easily found at the dollar tree or Amazon.

I really love this one because it comes in so many colors! The price is awesome, so it’s on my repeat buy list.

The White version only cost about $7.

Get Drawing, Writing, or Painting

Give your preschooler some fat crayons, or paint sticks, and let them go at it. I will include some cool links below. Join in on the fun with them. Draw shapes, numbers, and faces. Say each item out as you draw it. For talkative preschoolers, ask them, “What did you draw, can you tell me what this is?”

Homeschool preschooler drawing a picture @randomnestfamily.org

As they tell you, and some will not slack on the details. Write it on their paper for them. Draw an arrow to the drawing from the label. This helps you show them what they have drawn, as you read it back to them. They are also learning to write and spell, just by watching you.

Some might even copy your writing. Yea! Now you have given them copy-work. A word or sentence your child copies correctly is called copy-work. Word for word, punctuation for punctuation. I start giving words at two or three years of age and a small sentence at four, depending on the ability.

Furthermore, there are so many programs aimed to keep little ones learning, they only need the basics every day. They will watch an educational show, but take nothing from it, except that they liked the character. Why waste your time?

Grab a big bag of blocks or Legos and start building. This covers math, geometry, and art. All at a preschool level. Sit with your child and try to build something together. Start easy, then increase in difficulty depending on ability. Get a Lego building set and make that a project for you to do together.

Ready for Writing or Math

Some older preschoolers are ready for writing. It doesn’t have to be boring. Allow them to write letters or words in glue, then give them colorful noodles, beads, cotton balls, buttons, or stones to put on top of the glue. That just covered preschool language arts, art, and creative play. Do this also for math.

Preschool math consists of learning the basic numbers, and shapes. This is easy to add into any project.

I also would allow my preschoolers (when I had some), to draw in the dirt using sticks. Similarly, they can also write in the sand.

Then, for a little sit down, on days when you want them to show their skills: little writing or tracing pamphlets, are perfect for copy-work. These can be found at Dollar Tree, Dollar General, or Amazon.

751674: Beginner"s Bible Preschool Workbook: Early Learning Activities for Reading Readiness, Numbers, Handwriting, and More Beginner’s Bible Preschool Workbook: Early Learning Activities for Reading Readiness, Numbers, Handwriting, and More
By Zondervan Kidz Books

All You Need Is Fun and A Desire

If you have a desire to teach your child, you can do it. Make it fun. Preschoolers are fun. These days, there are a lot of complaints of how hard it is for parents to work with their kids. These kids are used to a sort of “programming,” and because their parents are not apart of that program, it’s hard to work with their kids.

Your preschooler has not been programed. Thankfully, you can teach them however you want. Every child is different, every parent is different. It doesn’t mean you can’t learn from that parent. Which is why I want to share another homeschool mom. She does awesome things with her students and her style is completely different than mine. I love reading her blog, and she just recently did a series on “The Homeschool Morning Makeover.”

Learn and adapt from different parents but find your own groove. Watch your preschooler, what are they into? What gets them to want to learn? Go from there.

A dad playing with his kids at Randomnestfamily.org
Just a nice play area!

Therefore, all you need is fun and a desire. No fancy trinkets, just you and your preschooler, or preschoolers. Some parents are balancing two or three preschoolers. I know what that’s like. Take your time, and just play with your kids. If you have the outdoors, it’s a good place to start for science. Pick up small planters from a dollar section, some seeds, and a little dirt. Plant flowers with them, explain to them what happens. Maybe watch or read a story about flowers. It’s just that easy. This teaches the them the beauty of waiting and growth, besides being a science project.

They do not need a fancy classroom setting. A play space is fine.  Preschool is all around!

Homeschool Preschool outside @randomnestfamily.org

Limit Monitor Learning

This is age of monitor learning. Therefore, I advise to limit it with your preschooler as much as possible. Apps like ABC Mouse are awesome, but they will keep your kids on the tablet or computer and for too long. Toddlers and preschoolers can also become addicted to wanting these and throw crazy tantrums. Real life story here. If you must distract your preschooler, but also help them to learn at the same time, keep tract of their minutes.

Provide it as a reward for helping mommy or daddy clean up their own messes. If you’re like I used to be, reward them if they sit quietly so you can shower or start dinner. I’ve dealt with twin toddlers, with another baby added on and another baby after that! I know the feeling parents, so I will not say “don’t.”

For some parents, it’s their only means to surviving a few hours to get something done. Just be aware of the impact of these devices and the health issues associated with too much.

I love the way Very Well Family laid it out, in their article:

Here’s what some of the research says:

Behavior problems: Elementary school-age children who watch TV or use a computer more than 2 hours per day are more likely to have emotional, social, and attention problems.

Educational problems: Elementary school-age children who have televisions in their bedrooms do worse on academic testing.

Obesity: Too much time engaging in sedentary activity, such as watching TV and playing video games, can be a risk factor for becoming overweight.

Sleep problems: Although many parents use TV to wind down before bed, screen time before bed can backfire. The light emitted from screens interferes with the sleep cycle in the brain and can lead to insomnia.

Violence: Exposure to violent TV shows, movies, music, and video games can cause children to become desensitized to it. Eventually, they may use violence to solve problems and may imitate what they see on TV, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Parenting

Family Bible Study at Randomnestfamily.org
Limit Screen time for ALL kids.

Giving your child interrupted care—by repeatedly checking your smartphone—could also affect his development and his mental health. A 2016 study suggests looking at your digital devices could increase your child’s chances of developing mental health problems, like depression. I have been guilty of that in the past. If you are a work at home parent, you know exactly what I am talking about.

However, we strive always to do better. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you feel like you have failed or might be failing your child. Children are always learning. Our job is to make sure they learn and take in only the good stuff, as much as we can. That’s the mission of the parent when it comes to education.

You Got This!

There are so many things you can do and try with your preschoolers. Don’t hold yourself under one rule of thumb, or approach to the subject. Explore as a little child, get to know your little one. Preschool is everywhere!

I hope this article helped you get started with your preschooler. For questions, contact us or leave a comment below.

Have a blessed day.

Randomnestfamily

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One Comment on “Homeschool Preschool

  1. Pingback: The difference between PSP and PSA | Randomnestfamily

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