If you are considering teaching your preschooler at home, you may be feeling huge waves of enthusiasm or you might be deeply apprehensive. The thought of teaching preschool lessons can be intimidating to some of us. However, I’m here to tell you that teaching your preschooler doesn’t have to be hard or take up lots of time.
In fact, this might surprise you but you are already teaching your preschool-aged child. You’ve taught him how to walk and talk. You’ve taught him how to lay still while you change his diaper. You’ve taught him how to roll a ball, ride a riding toy, and hundreds of other skills since he was born.
If you want to teach preschool at home, you most certainly can!
Why You Should Teach Preschool at Home
Our young children are like sponges. They are learning constantly whether we are intentionally trying to teach them or not. I remember when my boys were toddlers, their pediatrician would often say that he could tell I worked with them at home because of how they behaved. He said he could tell the difference between children who were paid attention to and children who were left to their own devices for hours at a time.
Our kids crave our attention.
They want us to read to them, to roll a ball back and forth, and to help us with tasks around the house. Preschool-aged children will usually choose to be underfoot if we let them. They want us to include them in whatever we’re doing.
There are lots of reasons why teaching your preschooler at home is beneficial:
- Gives you something constructive to do – The days are long and can drag on if we don’t have anything planned. Working with your child gives you something fun yet productive to do with part of that time.
- Make memories – Teaching your preschooler helps you to be more intentional about including a variety of fun experiences throughout your day.
- Bond with your child – The more time you spend with your child, engaging with him, the stronger relationship you will build with him.
- Save money – Sending your child off to preschool is an expensive proposition. Even if you choose to purchase a preschool curriculum versus making one on your own, you will spend MUCH less money than the average preschool charges.
- Parental influence – Once you start sending your child away from home for hours at a time, your influence on him will lessen. He will be taught behavior and sometimes ideas that don’t agree with your family values. Keeping your child home during the preschool years allows you to teach him what you feel is right.
- Test drive homeschooling – If you’re considering homeschooling but aren’t sure you will be able to handle the responsibility, homeschooling during the preschool years is ideal. This gives you a chance to test your own resolve and see how much you enjoy teaching your child.
Some people say that it’s better not to teach our children until they are older but I disagree. Our children are capable of learning so much. If we have fun with it and we don’t push them too hard, there’s nothing wrong with young children receiving some instruction from a loving parent.
How To Teach Preschool at Home and Have Fun Doing It
If you decide to teach your preschooler at home, you shouldn’t feel compelled to try to duplicate the experience he would have if he were in a school environment. One of the huge benefits of teaching at home is that your child can tackle concepts when he is ready versus being told to learn things just because it is expected at that age.
Preschool lessons at home should be fun!
Don’t make your child sit at a desk or table with a pencil in his hand for long periods of time. It’s good to do some fine motor and other pre-writing activities, but keep the lessons short. Once your child loses interest, allow him to venture off to do something else or to engage in some free play.
Set up lessons in such a way that your child is able to use all of his or her senses. Tasting different types of fruit is as valuable of a learning experience as listening to you read aloud. Expose your child to different types of music. Talk to him about the pictures in beautiful books. Take him to a local petting zoo or farm. Build a snowman together. Let him help you make lunch. Allow him to run, jump, play make-believe, and explore the world around him.
What To Teach Your Preschooler
So, you’ve decided to teach your preschooler at home. What activities should you be doing with your child?
Some people go out and buy a workbook filled with worksheets and have their preschool child sit down and fill out a few of them every day. I don’t advocate that approach. Our goal should always be to help our children develop a love for learning. While some kids may tolerate worksheets, most of them enjoy learning much more in other ways, especially in the early years.
Here are some things you should focus on with your preschooler:
- Life Skills/Chores
- Work on Fine Motor Skills, which are good for improving handwriting down the road
- Work on Gross Motor Skills, which are good for coordination and balance
- Basic Educational Lessons:
- Read aloud lots of books
- Sensory activities which allow them to use all of their senses. Sensory bins for touch. Smelling spices. Tasting different foods.
- Crafts, which allow your child to develop creativity and fine motor skills
- Educational toys
- Lots of exploration. Science is learning by observing, so allow your child to go out and explore the world. Look at bugs. Collect leaves. Lay in the grass and watch the clouds pass by.
- Enjoy art and music with your child
- Expose your child to lots of different experiences
- Talk to him
- Spend time with him
- Do things with him that he enjoys doing such as rolling a ball, playing with dinosaurs, or running through the sprinkler.
- Character Lessons, such as learning to obey right away and with a smile, sharing, playing with others, and being kind
When I first started teaching preschool at home, I would spend hours pulling together lessons from Pinterest and from other places on the Internet to try to come up with different activities for us to enjoy together. I soon found that doing this research actually took much longer than actually teaching the lessons. If you want to teach your preschooler at home but don’t want to spend hours doing lesson planning each week, I recommend you purchase a pre-made preschool curriculum.
If you’re looking for something which is filled with fun, hands-on lessons then I invite you to try out my Learn and Grow preschool curriculum. The activities are perfect for younger kids who enjoy learning by doing. Whatever you decide to use, a pre-made curriculum can save you hours of work each week.
As you can see, teaching preschool at home doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’ve ever wanted to give preschool a try, I highly recommend you go for it. The extra time and attention you spend with your child will reap a huge reward down the road.
Are you considering teaching your preschooler at home? Are you excited about the process or are you apprehensive? Do you have any questions? Please leave a comment below.