Curious about homeschool preschool? “What does my preschooler need to know?” is a very popular question that most homeschooling families face.
There are so many ways things to discuss before giving a clear answer so today I will try my best to help you figure out how to get started with homeschooling your preschooler. Ready?
hOMESCHOOL PRESCHOOL- What Does My Preschooler need to know
How old should my preschooler be?
Before you decide to run out and buy all the curricula for your kiddo we need to talk about your little one’s age.
Trust me, I’ve been there. I went straight to Google and searched homeschooling curricula, saw the sticker shock, wondered how we would afford it, and that if we couldn’t afford it then my kids would be doomed. Luckily, none of these things were that important at this stage. Whew.
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.
Now it’s time to dig in a bit further.
Teaching the 2 Year Old
Homeschool 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.
1) Read, read, read.
Even if you only read for 20 minutes every day, 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 of 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 backyard. 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 learned a few things without knowing it. She has learned sentence structure and she has learned 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 it’s 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 help your child develop these skills.
For more ideas to add to your homeschool preschool list, you can check out 5 Fine Motor Activities for Pencil Grasp and Proper Pencil Grip: How to Teach Your Kids Handwriting.
TEACHING PRESCHOOL: THE 3 – 5 YEARS OLD
At this stage of homeschool preschool, 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?”
Continue with everything stated in the case of a two-year-old
2) It’s time to up the ante.
- Get them involved in the everyday activities of your house. Let them try to dust or sweep. Let them help you unload the dishwasher. J loves it when she is allowed to help me with the chores.
- 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.
The next thing to consider when homeschooling your preschooler is language development. You are basically helping your little ones to be effective communicators. Kind of cool, huh?
what does my preschooler need to know for Communication
Below is a list of a few of the major things to address.
- Be able to listen and respond to others in sentences
- Be able to play with their native language (rhymes, syllable counting)
- Follow and give both one-step and 2 step instructions
- Use the vocabulary that they know to connect to new experiences
- Be able to ask questions in different situations
- Use the correct vocabulary in different situations
what does my preschooler need to know for Reading
- Show the desire to read
- Have personal favorites for books and stories
- Have a basic understanding of the parts of a book and how to read a book (title, read from left to right)
- Respond to what is read
- Make predictions about what will happen next in the story
- Use the images to understand what is happening in the story
- Letter knowledge
- Be able to retell a story in the correct order
what does my preschooler need to know for Writing
- Show an interest in writing
- Realizes that words have meaning (What does this say?)
- Traces name, letters, and numbers
- Understand left to right progression
Social and Emotional Development
What does my preschooler need to know for Social Development
This simply means how well your child can handle their emotions and get along with others. They need to have some understanding that they are part of a wider community and that everyone is different.
- Be able to express themselves in different situations
- Take turns in play and conversations
- Know how to make and keep friends
- Problem solve with simple strategies
- Identify what others are feeling
- Be respectful and considerate to others
- Have an idea of their culture or background
What does my preschooler need to know for Emotional Development
This deals with all things self. Self of identity, self-image as well as self-control and how are they are of their surroundings.
- Be able to identify what they like and what they are good at
- Be able to talk about what they are interested in
- Be able to express their thoughts
- Be independent and responsible (to some degree)
- Flexible (willing to try new things)
- Show self-confidence in what they say and do
- Show that they are learning to exercise self-control
- Co-operate with others
- Identify people in the community (police, fireman, etc)
- Identify buildings and places within their community
What does my preschooler need to know for Math
Sizes and Measurement
They need to know the difference between big and little, long and short as well as sorting by size. They also need to understand the concepts of empty and full, more and less as well as other comparative words.
They need to be able to count to ten. They can always go beyond that but this is the basic. They also need to understand one-to-one correspondence as well as quantities and numerals.
They need to be able to know at least the basic shapes: circle, square, triangle, and rectangle.
Patterns and Colours
Simple patterns need to be taught at this age. Preschoolers need to know how to recreate the pattern given to them. They also need to know the names of the primary colors and be able to identify them as well as match an object based on a shape.
What does my preschooler need to know for Movement
This refers to both fine and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills activities are those geared towards doing precise activities with fewer muscles. For example cutting or writing.
Gross motor skills activities involve the entire body. For example, hopping and running. 1,2,3 Red Apple is a fun way to work those gross motor skills!
What does my preschooler need to know for the Arts
Who doesn’t love Arts and Crafts as well as Music even if we secretly know that we are not that great at it? No worries, you preschooler will not know the difference.
They will think that you know EXACTLY what you are doing. Besides, this gives them the chance to express themselves which is a very important key in their development.
Well, there you have it. We have completed the basics of what a preschooler needs to know. If they have mastered this then simply continue adding to their sponge of a brain.