If you are wondering how to do Preschool at home in this season of life, I have great news-it is totally possible.
As a mom of three kids, I have done preschool for my kids at home successfully. We have had our oldest and youngest at preschool at one time or another, but our Giggles never went to preschool and she did just fine when she went to Public School for a little bit when I had my brain infection.
But, we are a homeschooling family and I have great information for you on how to get through the Preschool time with some ease.
Unbelievably, play is very important. You might think that play is just, well, play. But, increasing your child’s imagination is the way in which they explore the world. Getting them away from electronics is pretty important. So, make sure they have plenty of time to explore their imagination and have time to dramaticize (act out) what they see and do in every day life. They will want to do what you do in a smaller version. Do they have a new baby brother or sister? Get them a little doll to play with. A pet? Maybe a stuffed animal so they can help take care of the pet too. Does mom or dad have a job? They might want to pretend they have a “real job” as well.
The world is there for them to explore. Having conversations with them at their level is the perfect way for them to explore.
Big movements and little movements are important. Make sure you are stretching the big muscles (Running, skipping, jumping, hopping, throwing) and doing things like art to practice fine muscles skills too.
Art is a form of play, and a way of getting out their creativity and imagination. I suggest having crayons, markers, glue sticks, scissors, and colored pencils available while under a watchful eye. And, for special occasions-get out the water colors and tempera paints too! These are great for fine motor skills, mixing and comparing what happens when you mix colors too!
Reading is essential at this age. But, don’t expect for your little one to start to read to you yet. In fact, don’t push the reading! Cuddling up to enjoy books with your little one is wonderful. I actually encourage you to check out REAL books from the library, ones that the child can hold, see and feel instead of e-books. E-books are fine if you cannot get anything else, but real books help children see the the words, know that there are pages to be turned, the covers on the books, that there are spines to the books and really see and feel the book. While audio books are ok for in the car, there is nothing quite like being read to by an adult who cares. And this can be mom, dad, grandma, grandpa or whomever is around!
Letters are so fun at this age because you can find them at the dollar store, in magnet form, in wood form and so many other ways for kids to hold, play and even throw. It is fun for the kids to touch and feel. I suggest getting some for kids!
Colors & Shapes
Colors and shapes are ways that kids can sort our the world, and make sense out of the things they see. While they might not get “Parallelogram” or “Taupe” the basic colors and shapes are important to teach and can be found in the dollar store too. You can find toys that have the colors and shapes too-like blocks and bricks as well!
Address, Phone Number, Full Name, Mom/Dad’s Name
Your child should have this information known too-or the name of a caregiver. This is stuff that takes time, so don’t expect it to happen all in one day. It takes practice. I actually made it into a little song for my kids.
This is something even adults need more work with, especially with having everything on demand! Our children are able to get TV shows, computer games and access to so much in seconds. But, giving preschoolers ways to exercise patience is a great tool. Such as “you can have a snack in a few minutes after you clean up your mess.”
Formal Preschool vs Informal-Am I doing enough?
Preschool is really to get your child ready to go to school. In the past few decades, preschoolers are expected to do more and sit for longer periods, but really, this can all be done in the home through an enjoying and enriching experience. You can get a lot done in a short amount of time through informal learning, listening to your child, answering their questions and following their lead.
We have also supplemented our children with phonics online using Readingeggs.com to start them off once we felt they were ready and were interested in learning how to read. We paired this with Bob Books, which are easy beginning reader books. Not all “Beginning reader” books are the same. I suggest looking at the beginning reader books before purchasing. Some will say “pre reading” and some will say “level one”, but they are not all on an equal playing ground. I really enjoyed the Bob Books for this reason. After our children Mastered Bob Books, we went onto Elephant and Piggie Books.
Please Check out our Sensory Bins for Preschool Board
What other things will you be working on with your preschooler this year?