In the last few months, I’ve had a few friends ask me how do I homeschool my preschoolers. So, for anyone that is interested in gaining some homeschooling tips for their preschoolers, I’ve written this blog post for you!
Let me preface most of my experience as a former Educator has been with middle and high schoolers, although I’ve had the pleasure of working with kindergartners from time to time. Needless to say, my toddlers probably know more than they need to know at their age because I’m used to teaching an older audience. Regardless, I hope my routine can inspire others and/or provide some helpful tips.
Since both of my toddlers are under 4 years old I don’t homeschool them every day. On a weekly basis, I homeschool them about twice a week with a set schedule (which I’ll mention later). I aim to do a third day (usually Friday) where it’s child-led learning (I let them lead me to the subjects they want to learn more about). On the other days, we’re very active so when we’re home they’re excited about learning. Ultimately, my goal is to cultivate an infinite desire in my toddlers for learning.
What’s great about being a Stay-At-Home-Mom, I can be flexible with our schedule. As much as I love a routine, with two toddlers anything can come up: from “melt downs” to longer naps, to extra wiggles. In fact, last week both of our home-school days started at 10am even though I have it scheduled to start at 8:30am. My former self would’ve totally “freaked out” but being a Mommy to two toddlers, I’m learning not to sweat the small stuff. Overall, it’s helpful to know even though you have a schedule, when homeschooling preschoolers the content is more important (and consistency) than the time frames.
So, on a perfect day (if there is such a thing), our schedule looks like this:
8:30 am Morning Routine
- “Good Morning” Song
- Recite Psalms 118:24
- Open in Prayer & Review Memory Verse
- Praise & Worship
- “Today Is…” (Go over day, month, weather & season)
- Months of the Year
- Days of the Week
- Pledge of Allegiance
- Prayer for our Country
- Affirmations with Stretching
9:00 am Math
9:30 am Snack Time
10:00 am Writing
10:30 am Phonics & Reading Readiness
11:00 am Science/Social Studies
11:30 am Lunch & Recess
12:30 pm Arts & Crafts
1:00 pm Computer Time
1:30 pm Reading (child reads) & Story-time (Mommy Reads)
2:00 pm Nap time
**Lately the norm for us has been Reading right after Recess and then Nap. I then, move Computer and Arts/Craft time to after their nap.
At first glance it looks like a LONG day for two toddlers but I’ve given us a lot of wiggle room for bathroom breaks, little sister melt downs or things that come up. Again, it’s about the content more than sticking to the time frame. In fact, I rarely use the times, it’s more for a point of reference for the “flow of the day.”
My two top places for acquiring learning materials, aside from Amazon, is Target and Dollar Tree. They always have little gems for learning that fit into any budget! Just the other day at Dollar Tree, I grabbed counting blocks (great for math problems), timed math worksheets and posters! I was thrilled with my findings.
I also love Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Junior. It’s a great resource in teaching life skills such as hard work, economics, giving and integrity. It’s amazing to see how excited my son is about work, giving and learning the value of a dollar!
In regards to where I get the scriptures for my kiddos to memorize, you can check it out here. You can sign up for a free download of all the scriptures we learned last year. If you are interested, I’ve also written a blog on How My Toddlers Memorize Scripture.
How I started…
When I officially started to homeschool my toddlers, I had to make our playroom appear different so they knew change was in the air. I would talk about it every day before we had our official start day. The anticipation grew curiosity and an eagerness to get started. I was creating a learning atmosphere! When the big day came, I started off with 3-fold display board with our schedule visually displayed so they could easily anticipate our next activity. Is it necessary? No but it is very helpful. You’ll find your little ones easier to guide to the next activity when they know what is next. For a free download of the visual cards I used, click on the link! They’re adorable!
Beginning this year, my husband and I agreed we would turn the office we no longer used into a “Learning Center”. The kids received new desks and I was able to separate our learning tools from our play toys. It’s made a wonderful shift in our learning curve and has brought more definitive lines between playtime and homeschool time. Overall my toddlers love it and often sneak into their Learning Center when homeschool is not in session.
Some days my little Man will give me a look like “Mom, don’t you dare give me one more worksheet!” It’s important to break up the learning time with variety of activities. The more hands-on materials you use the better! Kids are kinetic learners and it helps if they use their hands and move while they learn.
Another wonderful way to cultivate a desire for learning is to take routine trips to the Library, Zoo or other Learning Centers. We go to the Library weekly for Preschool time and typically come home with a stack of books to last us the month.
A note to the working parents: It means the world to your preschoolers when you come home and are interested in what they’ve learned. If you can take it further and spend 10-15 minutes working with them on any particular subject (math, writing, reading, etc), even if it’s INCONSISTENT they’ll soar in their studies. There have been times when my son was struggling with his studies. I knew it had nothing to do with his capabilities rather he was screaming for change. Once I voiced my concerns to my husband, he gladly jumped on board. He only began to work with our 3-year-old a few minutes randomly at lunch or in the evening, yet those few minutes set our little man on fire for learning again!
Lastly, avoid frustration and disappointment. I know I’ve been there. Keep in mind, learning should be fun! If either you or your child is getting frustrated, take a break! You don’t want to create any negative emotions your child will grow to associate with learning. Furthermore, they’re always absorbing more than you realize. Last year, my baby girl wasn’t very involved in our every activity but she was always around. She would participate in my morning openings and I would have learning toys available for her but my focus was on her big brother. I was astonished recently with how much she knew just by observation. Whatever you do, either little learning sessions or elaborate home studies, you’re helping you preschoolers tremendously.
Now it’s your turn! Please share any tips you have or comment with any questions you have for me.
Best of wishes to those that are on this venture with me! May your little ones grow in wisdom, stature and the favor of God and man (Luke 2:52)! God bless!-Angelita