Alright, so you now know that you actually need a kid to start a preschool at home. Yes, you cannot simply teach crayons and the markers no matter the deal you got on them. Today we will look at the question: What Age Do I Start Teaching Preschool?
When we hear the word preschool most people automatically think of children that are four or five years old. But did you know that the preschool stage is between the ages of two and five? (Click here for some more info on preschoolers courtesy of PBS)
We now know the age range for teaching preschool: two years old to five years old. There are now certain thing you want to consider depending on the age of your preschooler.
Teaching Preschool: The 2 Year Old
Preschool at this age is going to be extremely play based and to be honest it really isn’t school. At this stage it is more dedicated play and one-on-one time with your awesome kid.
Things To Do
1) Read, read, read.
Even if you only read for 20 minutes everyday, that’s 20 minutes of exposure to literature. Think of it this way. At this age, they are rapidly increasing their vocabulary and watching you like a hawk: monkey see, monkey do. What parent would want to deprive their child the opportunity to increase their vocabulary? What parent would not want to give their child the tools to communicate effectively?
2) Let Their Imagination Run Wild
What does your child love currently? A few months back J was obsessed with the rabbit in our back yard. As a result she tried making stories about this rabbit. Our conversations would go like this:
J: I saw the bunny?
Me: Oh you saw the rabbit?
J: Yeah. I saw the rabbit. Rabbit come to my house to play with me.
Me: What else is the rabbit going to do?
J: Rabbit bit me!
Me: The rabbit bit you? Where did the rabbit bite you?
J: The rabbit bit me on my eye
Just from that crazy conversation she has learnt a few things without knowing it. She has learnt sentence structure and she has learnt that bunnies are called rabbits. You can probably tell from this conversation that I am not a fan of dumbing down a language to talk to your child.
3) Songs And Nursery Rhymes
Expose your little one to as many songs and nursery rhymes as you can. Try to come up with sill actions for them and be overly dramatic. They will get a kick out of seeing you being silly and learn that it is ok to be silly as well.
4) Fine and Gross Motor Skills
Think picking up a pencil and writing comes easily? How about having the finesse to get a spoon to your mouth without spilling? These are skills that we take for granted but its a tough job for a two year old. When we tried playing, Walk the Plank Matey last week I realized just how hard it was for J to do that task. You want to invest the time to helping your child develop these skills. For more ideas you can check out Wee Skool Wednesdays where I give suggestions for gross and fine motor activities every Wednesday.
Teaching Preschool: The 3 – 5 Years Old
At this stage the real fun starts for most kids. This is when you finally find out what has been going on in that little head and you may even end up saying, “How did they even come up with that?”
Things To Do
1) Continue with everything stated in the case of a two year old
2) Its time to up the ante.
– get them involved in the everyday activities for your house. Let them try to dust or sweep. Let them help you unload the dishwasher. J loves it when her requests for helping are met.
– When reading, point out things to your child. If you have been doing this from the get-go then fantastic. If not then it is time to start. When reading a book ask simple questions such as, “What colour is the ball?” “Where is the cat?”
– Teach subjects naturally. Want them to pick up counting? Besides the regular timeout count , there are simple things that can be done. Jump and count is one such example. Simply jump and count the number of jumps.
My next post in this series will look at the requirements most preschoolers have to meet. It will also include a check list freebie. Thanks for walking with me.