So, you’re thinking about homeschooling your preschooler, and don’t know where to start? I’m here to help you!
Getting Started with Homeschool Preschool
Preschool is a fun age to start homeschooling. The coloring, tracing, cutting and pasting, crafts and fun snacks, and trips to the playground or local park, the library – it all sounds grand and exciting. And, truly, it is! There’s no better time than to start now!
It’s not hard either. You may think that you don’t have what it takes to preschool, but I’m here to tell you that you do! It’s not all about learning ABC’s, numbers, and colors – it’s also about the social and emotional development of your child. There’s no better place to learn ALL these things than in the home, with you! You got this, mama!
Things You Can Do to Start Homeschool Preschool Today
1. Take an Inventory: What do you already have in your home at your disposal that you could use to teach your child the basics? You don’t have to go out and buy anything! You probably already have puzzles, pretend-play toys, crayons and coloring books, pencils and paper, glue and scissors, stickers, and books. Look around and realize all that you already have, and begin to consciously use them throughout your day to introduce your child to letters, numbers, shapes, colors, etc. Allow your child the opportunity to practice writing, coloring, cutting and pasting. Give him/her some stickers to help with fine motor development. Let them help you while you make snacks, talking to them about social and emotional traits you want to encourage. Go on walks and observe and explore your neighborhood. And, yes – let them play an educational app or two or watch Leapfrog or something!
2. Set your Priorities: What goals do you have for your home, your child, your homeschool? Write them down. Place them in a prominent place, and with every decision you make, refer to them so you can stay on track. Having a vision for the outcome you desire is the most effective way to reach your goals, including your homeschooling!
3. Don’t Compare: Please don’t compare yourself to other homeschool moms. Everyone homeschools for their own reasons and no family is the same. It’s a beautiful thing about the homeschooling community – we all love homeschooling, but we all do it a little differently than the next mom. And that’s ok! If you want your child to read before age 4, then go for it! If you don’t want to pressure them, that’s ok too. Make your own decisions and have confidence that you know what is best for your own child(ren).
4. Find a Mentor: If you know another mom who has been homeschooling a while, I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if you asked her some questions. Remember that she may not have the same goals and methods as you’d prefer, but she can be a wonderful resource. Pick her brain to find things that you can implement in your own homeschool. Seek her out when you need a resource or a support system.
5. Keep it Reasonable: Preschool curriculum can cost an arm and a leg. Most people will tell you that you can get many affordable preschool workbooks, coloring books, and printables online, or even at your local dollar store! I’m a big proponent of free play, natural learning opportunities with everyday objects, and free printables during the preschool years. If you can afford a full curriculum set from a publisher, by all means – buy it. But I don’t really believe it’s all that necessary!