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Homeschooling Preschool: 12 Practical Tips You NEED to Know

Preschoolers are like sponges and our jobs as homeschooling parents are to provide our littles with as many hands-on opportunities and resources as we can.

Excerpts are taken from The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas: 55 Moms Share Their Expertise on 103 Topics, a book that goes beyond the basics of academics and delves into the practical, but delightful ideas that you need in your life. The 55 experienced homeschool moms who contributed to this book don’t hold back from sharing their best advice.

Read on for twelve big ideas for homeschooling preschoolers and grab a copy of the book for only $3.99. 

1. Have realistic expectations

In uncharted territory, it helps to understand what’s on the horizon. With babies and toddlers in your homeschool, it’s likely that your schedules will be shifted or even upended altogether. That’s OK. Go into your day with a more relaxed approach and know that you simply cannot control everything.

Create a list of “must-dos” and “bonus” tasks. Some days you’ll tackle all of your must-dos and even knock out some of the bonus items. Other days, you won’t.

From the chapter Keeping Babies and Toddlers Occupied while Homeschooling by Dianna Kennedy

2. Fill the little tanks first

Babies and toddlers aren’t very patient, so you’ll need to tend to their needs first. They have physical and emotional needs just like their older brothers and sisters. Before starting your homeschool day, make sure babies and toddlers are well-fed and hydrated. Starting out the day with a healthy breakfast is vital for everyone. You’ll also need some nutritious snacks during the day, too.

From the chapter Keeping Babies and Toddlers Occupied while Homeschooling by Dianna Kennedy

3. Develop a tot school plan that works for YOU

I believe there a few simple options when it comes to deciding how to homeschool your tot.

  • No plan (otherwise known as Life School)
  • Theme-based (literature-based, interest-based, concept-based, letter-based or Bible-based)
  • Program-led (like Tot School Printables or Animal ABCs)
  • Full curriculum (think a box curriculum for the very youngest of kids)

From the chapter Homeschooling Tots by Carisa Hinson

4. The benefits of scripture songs

We all tend to remember things better when accompanied by song. Learning Bible scripture songs is a great way to help your children remember God’s word. You can play scripture songs around the house, in the car… anywhere, really!

From the chapter Bible Activities for Preschoolers by Heather Greutman

5. Bible nature scavenger hunt

An activity that I enjoy doing with younger children is a scavenger hunt. I usually type up a Word document with a list of nature items to hunt for on our walk. Some ideas items you could use are feathers, seeds, leaves, and rocks. I search for Bible verses that go with each nature item and I list the verse next to each item on the list. After we go on our walk and find all the items, we find a table or just sit on the ground and talk about each item.

From the chapter Bible Activities for Preschoolers byHeather Greutman

6. Art stations

Young children enjoy exploring materials and mediums freely, so provide a variety of materials for them to use during art sessions. Depending on the maturity of your preschooler, you might wish to leave some of the materials easily accessible. In our home, we have an Art Cart – a rolling cart with drawers filled with art materials. When my kids are feeling crafty, I pull it out of the laundry room so they have access to all of the art materials. When they are through, we clean up and return it to its spot in the laundry room.

From the chapter Music and Art for Preschoolers by Sara McClure

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7. Homemade instruments

Musical instruments are easy to make! Kids will like to participate in making the instruments and will most likely be more than happy to perform a concert with you afterward. Here is an easy idea for a homemade musical instruments with limited supplies:

Paper Plate Shaker: Fold a paper plate in half. Staple around the edges of the curved portion of the plate, leaving a small section open. Place a small handful of beans inside the paper plate pouch and staple the small opening closed. Children may decorate the paper plate shaker with stickers or markers.

From the chapter Music and Art for Preschoolers by Sara McClure

8. Teaching the alphabet

One way to teach the ABC’s is to create alphabet boxes. An alphabet box is a box filled with objects that start with the letter you are learning about. You will want to display the uppercase and lowercase letter somewhere on the box so they will associate the letter with those objects. Make this a fun activity! Act like it’s Christmas morning when your children open the box. Make them excited to see what’s inside! Then have your children tell you what each object is and have them point to the letter (either uppercase or lowercase) in the box. Make sure to talk about the sound that letter makes.

From the chapter Literacy for Preschoolers by Angela Thayer

9. Listening and speaking skills

Developing listening and speaking skills are an important part of literacy and are important to work on during the preschool years. To work on listening skills remember to be a good listener yourself! When your child tells you a story, don’t interrupt them, but let them finish their thought.

A fun way that we work on following directions is baking. I give my son one-step directions for adding ingredients or mixing. I will often have him retell me what the directions were to make sure he was listening!

From the chapter Literacy for Preschoolers by Angela Thayer

10. Fine motor skills

Activities do not need to be grand or elaborate. Remember that children under the age of 6 learn more through using their hands than they do with their eyes. Have items out that are safe for them to handle and accessible for them independently.

Fine motor activities can include things you normally do around your house as well! When your child gets dressed in the morning, things like tying shoes, pushing snaps together on pants, using zippers on jeans or jackets and pulling shirts or dresses up over their heads are great fine motor activities.

From the chapter Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers by Heather Greutman

11. Why? How? When?

For young children, science is simply observing the world around them. Preschoolers are naturally curious and ask a lot of “Why?” questions. This age is perfect for exploring science without much prep work!

Give preschoolers a magnifying glass and take them on a nature walk! They will love to get a closer look at tree bark, small insects, and more. Encourage preschoolers to use their five senses to notice things during the walk by asking them questions. Examples include, “What sounds do you hear?”, “Is the tree bark rough or smooth?”, and “Can you find something red?”

From the chapter Science for Preschoolers by Sara McClure

12. Hands-on math

Math at this age is all about introducing simple concepts: patterns and relationships, number concepts, simple geometry and measurement. You can teach math to preschoolers through hands-on activities. Graphing is a way to introduce ordering objects based on one attribute. For example, you could take a basket of toy animals and have the child sort by type (land, sky, water), then place each category in a row to make a bar graph. This way they can see which category had the most and least.

From the chapter Math for Preschoolers by Angela Thayer

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