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Homeschooling your preschool child might feel daunting, but it really can be fun for both you and your child! Read on for 5 tips to get started on the right foot!
There is no one path to homeschool preschool; every child is unique. You can meet their needs by following their lead. Avoid comparing your child to others; at this age, learning looks different for everyone. This is a special opportunity to see your child learning and make their early educational experiences fun.
Here are five tips to ease your mind and help you get started on your homeschooling journey.
#1 Your Preschool Homeschool Room
Your home doesn’t need to look like a preschool.
You don’t need hundreds of learning toys or a library full of books. When you’re homeschooling preschool, your classroom extends beyond your house. You can utilize libraries, parks, playgrounds, or even your friends’ houses. Learning can happen anywhere and everywhere!
#2 What Your Preschooler Needs to Know
Some children at this age are eager to learn, so many families begin covering academics early on by introducing the concept of numbers, letters, and even counting. Other families decide to delay academics.
Both of these options (and anywhere in between) can work. In your homeschool, you decide when to introduce new learning opportunities. Whenever you decide to begin, you can ease into academics with play.
Follow your child’s lead. Take note of their interests. When you’re homeschooling preschool, you can form an educational experience around your child – rather than trying to get them to conform to a specific set of expectations.
#3 Learning Through Play
Homeschooling preschool should include lots of learning through play! A hands-on, playful approach to learning letters, counting, and writing will be fun for your child and help them explore. Through playing and exploration, they will begin to understand.
- Singing songs
- Finger plays
- Sensory experiences- sensory bins, kneading bread, washing dishes, playing with different sized cups and bottles at bath-time
- Fine motor skills- cutting and gluing, making beads, crafts
- Gross motor skills- climbing, jumping, swimming
If you’ve read this far, and it all seems overwhelming, or if you’re wondering, ‘What the heck is a finger play?’ you might want to check out some pre-k curriculum options at the end of this post. Don’t worry; you don’t have to be a preschool teacher to succeed at homeschooling!
#4 Homeschooling Preschool is More Fun Outside
Take the time each day to get outside a little, even when the weather isn’t sunny! Encourage your children to explore the seasons and talk about the changes they notice in the world – like changes in weather, temperature, and seasons.
Seasonal activities can be as simple as:
- Jumping in muddy puddles
- Building a snow fort
- Planting a garden
- Taking a nature walk and looking for signs of the seasons and animals
My kids LOVE to look for “signs of…” for each season. It’s always exciting when one spots the first changing leaf and shouts, “I see a sign of fall!”
Tip #5 Get Some Support
You don’t have to do it all alone! Homeschooling can feel isolating – especially when you see other parents & kids heading off to preschool or pre-K.
Look for programs in your area like story-time at the library, preschool open gym, and park programs for families or preschoolers.
Find other moms in your area with little ones. You can check your local Facebook groups or Meetup. It’s nice to get out a little and see some other families – for you and your child!
No groups in your area? Try reaching out to a friend or family member with little ones and scheduling regular playdates. Or coordinate a “recess” time each day on your street.
Our Favorite Pre-K Homeschool Curriculum
You don’t need a curriculum for homeschooling preschool, but you might want one. There are all kinds of programs, from flexible and fun activities and ideas to more dynamic programs that offer more structure.
Below are two programs that we recommend. More options can be found in our Homeschool Curriculum Guide.
Home Preschool Made Easy
Find a hands-on , multi-sensory approach to early education with a 30 week preschool curriculum by Teaching Mama. This curriculum makes it simple to guide your child through preschool in preparation for kindergarten with printable games, activities, and read alouds. Parent guide features daily plans with material lists and key skills to focus on.
This flexible preschool program by Homeschool Mastery Academy offers a full year of hands-on preschool activities based on learning through play. The monthly guide includes printables, daily hands-on activities, and reading recommendations that coordinate with each monthly theme.
For more reading on this topic:
- 85+ Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers- Guaranteed to Keep Them Busy!
- Natural Backyard Playground: A Space for Experimentation & Play
- 10 FUN STEM Activities for Toddlers!
Hillary is a former teacher who went rogue and became a freelance writer. When not offering support and advice to homeschooling families, she tends to her own garden, family, and cat. You can connect with her on her website, homegrownhillary.com.