Preschool. It has changed a lot since our generation of moms were children. Now there are so many options. 3-year-old preschool. 4-year-old preschool. Nursery school. Its something that has filled me with dread since my son was born. Personally, I have decided to skip the 3-year-old preschool in favor of homeschool.
I have a few reasons for this. One being that preschool can be super expensive. Secondly, I am home with my son. I have a little bit of background in early childhood, so I am confident I can teach him the things he’s learn. Also, he gets the social aspect of school from rec center classes and his skating classes.
Many families choose to send their children to school at 3 years old. That’s fine. You have to find what works best for your family.
If you are thinking about doing preschool at home, I have put together a checklist of things we are working on that may be helpful.
My son can sing his ABC’s well. We are starting to work on learning the individual letters. We are starting with capital letters.
For resources, we have flash cards, alphabet books, and also a chalk board easel we use for practicing writing them.
My son is working on his numbers. He can count up to 20. Sometimes he forgets 16, but mostly he has it down. Our goal between now and when he starts actual preschool is to be able to count to 30.
We are working on number recognition as well. The goal is to be able to recognize the numbers from 1 to 10.
Another numbers skill we are working on is counting objects. My son could recite the numbers at a young age. However, he is only now getting the correlation of counting objects, and that each object has its own number.
Our preschool resources for these activities are things like flashcards, number books, small toys or candies for counting, and the chalk board easel for writing numbers.
This is one of my favorite preschool things to work on. Simply because there are so many ways you can teach colors. Our goal is to learn and identify all the colors by the time preschool starts.
There are endless resources for this. You can use candy, crayons, paints, toys, or almost anything colorful to help your child learn this. There are plenty of books on colors as well.
Another preschool learning goal for us is patterns. We haven’t started this one quite yet. But the idea is to teach the child to identify patterns and be able to continue them.
Again, most anything that you have multiple of can be used. Personally, I am thinking of using different shapes because that has the added benefit of helping learn the shapes as well.
Being able to distinguish between different sizes of object is another skill we are working on. The concept of big, bigger, and biggest is a skill that is useful for beginning mathematics.
The different parts of the body are another concept we are working on for preschool. Being able to name and distinguish the different body parts is very important.
For this, we play a game during bath time. I will give my son a cup of water and tell him “wash your elbow” or “wash your knee” and he has to pour the water over the correct part. He thinks it is great fun, and he is learning all the different parts quickly.
Coloring, Writing, Cutting, Painting, Gluing
These are basic skills that children learn in preschool and perfect in kindergarten and elementary school. I try and do at least one activity a day that involves one of these skills.
Resources are simple. Coloring books, construction paper, washable paints, and glue sticks will all come in handy. You can check out my complete list of Must-Have Craft Supplies HERE.
Reading to children is so important. It helps them develop language skills, and comprehension. It also encourages the use of their imagination which is developing in a big way at the preschool age. The goals we have with reading include being able to listen to a story read aloud, to explain what happened in the story, and eventually to start learning and identifying site words.
Any children’s book can be used. Just take the time to read with them. Local libraries are also an excellent resource for new and exciting stories.
Toddlers tend to be little walking balls of energy. Another thing that I feel is important is to get them up and moving. We like to sing songs and dance.
Songs that encourage movement are favorites in our house. We like The Wheels on the Bus, 5 Little Monkeys, The Itsy-Bitsy Spider, and any other song that you can incorporate movement.
One thing that is missing when you choose homeschooling for preschool is the social aspect. We combat this in several ways.
Playdates are great. The preschool age is when most children really start interacting with each other and enjoying playing with one another. We make sure to set up frequent play dates with children of similar ages.
We also do classes at our local rec center. You can read about those HERE. This allows my child to be around and interact with other children.
Sports or activities are another way to gain that social aspect. For example, our son does ice skating lessons, and will eventually start hockey.
These are all great ways for children to learn how to interact properly with their peers. It also teaches them how to listen to and behave with other adults. This will be a needed skill when they eventually start school.
Preschool at Home
This list probably doesn’t include everything a child would learn in preschool. I’m sure I will find more as I continue to teach my son at home, and do more research. However, when I made the decision to do preschool at home, I was kind of lost on where to start. So I am sharing this in hopes to help others who are considering this path. Hopefully, this printable will get your preschool at home experience off to a good start!
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