Even though it’s not inherently necessary to homeschool a preschooler, some Mamas are really ready to start helping their kids learn a little more formally.
The following tips are simple suggestions to start preparing your preschooler for homeschool, but please keep in mind that formally teaching your kids at such an early age is not necessary.
Having said that, here are some simple ways to prepare your preschooler for homeschool if you so choose. But please use these suggestions without pressure or expectations.
The biggest thing your child needs is your love and encouragement and he will learn when he’s ready.
Let’s take a look at a few suggestions you can do now if you’re really chomping at the bit to start teaching your little one!
Your Child Needs You to Create a Learning Environment for Him
Creating a learning environment may be one of the best things you could do for him. Encourage him to explore everything around his little surroundings.
Avoid keeping everything off limits. Let your child explore and use all of his five senses. Teach him that it’s rewarding to be inquisitive.
Keep books and educational toys on hand so your child can always be learning without the formality of you teaching him.
Teach Your Child to Be a Problem Solver
One of the best ways that your little one can learn is by not doing everything for him. Avoid stepping in when you see your child trying to figure something out. Rather, guide him into figuring out the solution for himself. Offer guidance as necessary.
This can be as simple as learning through doing a puzzle together, or helping your child figure out how to build a tower out of blocks.
Do Lots of Puzzles
Speaking of puzzles, puzzles are great critical thinking skills activities. They teach so many different skills.
This nice thing is, doing a puzzle with your child doesn’t feel like you’re actually teaching. It’s fun and non-threatening.
Do Crafts to Prepare Your Preschooler for Homeschool
Kids love crafts and what better way to gently teach so many different skills than to create something fun together!
Check out this great list for DIY craft ideas you can do with your little one!
Make Sure to Read Books Together
Read, read, read! You can’t read your child too much. Helping your child explore the world through books will help him develop a readiness to learn. I am a firm believer in books being one of the best foundations you can lay for early education.
When you’re reading to your child, not only can you teach him logic and the ability to follow a story, but you can also teach him how to hold a book and that reading is done from right to left.
Ask questions about the story as you read through the book. Then when you’re finished, ask your child to “read” the story to you. You’ll be amazed at how much he can reiterate back to you.
It’s Not too Early to Begin Working on Sight Words
With a gentle approach, it’s not too early to start teaching your little one how to recognize sight words. But be very careful not to expect too much.
Simply point out the shape of the word, the letter it begins with, and help your child experiment with the sounds of the letters.
Have fun with it! You should never be forcing anything.
You Can Start Working on Gross Motor and Fine Motor Skills
Simple activities like hopping on one foot, or kicking a ball, are both educational and fun. You can do a lot of teaching simply by playing games that involve gross motor skills.
Most activities will involve growing gross motor skills.
It’s also important to work on fine motor skills.
In our house, my little kids love to sort out dried beans and noodles into a muffin tin. In fact, it makes a great quiet time activity when I need to work on something like getting dinner ready.
Sorting small objects will help your child develop his motor skills.
Make Sure to Do Lots of Hands-On Activities
Let your child get involved! It’s so important that kids experience things for themselves. Therefore, allowing your child to actively participate with things that you’re doing well teach him so much and will help prepare him for homeschool.
It might come at the sacrifice of a mess or two, but your child will learn so much just by being able to do (and make messes).
The next time you’re in the kitchen, give your little one a mixing spoon and a bowl and let him dig in and get to work! I’ve cleaned up more messes than I can count, but our kids have also had a lot of fun and learned as they played!
You Can do Specific Academic Activities
If you’re careful to do it gently, then it’s not a bad thing to teach specific academic activities. But, again, it must always be done without pressure on your child. Keep very low expectations and realize that anything he learns right now is a bonus.
Practice the ABCs
Teach your child the ABCs through song. It’s very fun and no pressure at all. Sing when you’re together and you’ll be amazed at how much he picks up on.
Play With Educational Toys
Look for educational toys at thrift stores and garage sales. Then just spend time playing with your little one as you sit alongside him. Educational toys are a great way to prepare your preschooler for homeschool.
Work on Language Skills
Language is best taught through song, reading books, or talking to your little one using adult-like conversation (not baby talk.) Spend time talking to your child and he will learn to hone his language skills.
Don’t feel like it’s necessary to correct everything your child says, but be sure to speak clearly to your little one and help him articulate what he wants to say.
Make Sure to Get Your Child Plenty of Physical Activity
Again, most learning comes through play, so it’s so important that your child is getting enough activity time.
Please, whatever you do, avoid the temptation to stick your child in front of the TV or a device. It’s imperative that he is getting enough exercise.
This will help your child grow and develop accordingly and will help prepare him for homeschool.
Give Your Child Lots of Affirmation
Be sure to praise your child a ton. Kids need love and affirmation and when your little one knows that you care, he will learn much easier.
It’s simple enough to give your child a hug and tell him that you love him and that he’s doing a great job. Don’t neglect this step! It will carry you a long way in preparing your preschooler for homeschool.
You will give him the self-confidence he needs to believe he can learn anything he sets his mind to!