Preschool at Home: Seven Tips for Homeschooling a Preschooler

Homeschooling doesn't have to start when traditional elementary school begins. If you have a preschool age child, you can take steps to homeschool them in order to build their skills and prepare them for either traditional school or the rest of their homeschooling journey. By starting homeschooling activities at this age you'll be able to enrich your child's life and help them grow on a variety of different levels.
1. Have fun! This is the single most important thing to remember when homeschooling a preschool age child. They don't need a whole lot of structure and instruction at this stage. Your primary goal is to introduce them to a wide variety of things that will increase their knowledge of the world around them. Engage their curiosity. Let them explore their world and be there to answer their questions. Your child will learn so much more when they're having fun and experiencing life.
2. Start with primary colors and simple shapes. Build up the recognition of colors and shapes by using construction paper cutouts, posters or drawing stencils. Talk about shapes that you see in the house and when you're out and about. Once they have learned the shapes, ask them to look for them in their environment. You can do the same thing with colors. Play a modified version of the "I Spy" game to help reinforce their knowledge of shapes and colors. Ask your child if they see a rectangle or the color yellow and have them show you where it is.

3. Be on the lookout for good books and ideas. Share resources with other moms as much as possible. You can easily find preschool lesson plans, as well as preschool workbooks online. Here is a sample of good titles:
4. Encourage counting by incorporating it into your daily life. Count out the carrot sticks that you give your child at lunch. Count the hand towels as you and your child fold them together. Count forks, cups and spoons as you set the table for dinner. The more you count, the more your child will see the correlation between the numbers and the real world.
5. Help your children to learn their letters by printing out worksheets with each letter. Spend a week or few days on each letter. Talk about what the letter says and what words start with each letter. Sing the ABC song on a daily basis to reinforce their knowledge of the letters. Point out letters in signs as you're driving. Most importantly, read to your child on a daily basis.
6 Get your children moving each and every day. Spend some portion of the morning or afternoon outside. Encourage them to run, jump and catch. It's important that they develop their gross motor skills at this age. Pick some fun outdoor games that you can play with your child that will get them and you moving. Exercise will help your child's body and brain develop.
7. Expose your child to as many different new experiences as possible. Join a playgroup where your child can interact with other children and learn social skills, such as sharing, taking turns and cooperating with other kids his or her age. Social development is as important as intellectual development and will make a difference in how they do in school, whether you are sending them to school or continuing to homeschool.
This time in development is very important for children. Make sure you are meeting all of your child's needs and encouraging their mental, physical and emotional growth.

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