You’re not quite ready to send your little one off into the great big world, but you value early education. You know you want to teach your child but you have no clue where to begin. Well, you’ve come to the right place!
A Guide To Teaching Your Preschooler:
CHOOSE A CURRICULUM
A great preschool curriculum focuses on all areas of your child’s development. Whether you buy a pre-made curriculum, or you choose to build your own, it’s important to make sure these important developmental areas are being covered. To find some great options for preschool curriculum check out our article BEST HOMESCHOOL PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM.
Your preschooler needs to learn important social skills such as:
- Expressing emotions
- Following directions
- Problem solving
- Cooperating in groups
There are two separate physical skills your preschooler needs to build:
1. Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills build the small muscles in your child’s fingers, hands, and wrists. Fine motor skills are important for developing skills such as cutting with scissors, writing, drawing, and brushing teeth.
2. Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor skills build the large muscles in your preschooler’s arms, shoulders, back, and legs. Gross motor skills are important for developing skills such as running, jumping, throwing, hopping, and climbing.
Cognitive skills help your preschooler think, read, remember, problem solve, and pay attention. Important cognitive skills for your preschooler are:
- Understanding the concept of bigger and smaller
- Asking a lot of questions
- Understanding the concept of time
- Matching, comparing, and organizing
- Understanding cause and effect
- Knowing the difference between fact and fiction
- Counting to ten
- Recognizing objects in a book
Your preschooler needs to learn important language skills such as:
- Recognizing rhyming words
- Following two step directions
- Understanding directional words such as top and bottom
- Speaking in complete sentences
- Knowing basic colors and shapes
FOLLOW A ROUTINE
Routines are important for your preschooler to maintain a sense of control by being able to anticipate what is coming next. Throwing a task at your preschooler unexpectedly may cause them anxiety, and cause your preschooler to back talk. When your preschooler knows what’s coming next, transitioning to new activities may be more welcomed.
To learn how you can incorporate fun learning into your child’s routine from the time they wake up to the time they go to sleep at night, check out our article CREATE A HOMESCHOOL PRESCHOOL SCHEDULE.
CREATE A LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
It’s important for your preschooler to be in an engaging environment that promotes play and hands-on activities. In a preschool, your child will learn through interacting with different centers set up throughout the classroom. You can create a similar learning experience at home by having these things available to your preschooler:
Dramatic Play Items
Dramatic play allows your preschooler to fully engage their imagination by allowing your child to step into the role of something other than a preschooler for a while. Your preschooler can put on their chef hat and whip up a gourmet meal in their play kitchen, or bandage their teddy’s ouchie in their very own dr’s office.
Head over to Pre-k Pages for some great dramatic play ideas you can set up at home. You can even grab some adorable printouts while you’re there and save yourself the trouble of making your own.
Manipulatives are tools used for teaching that keep your preschooler engaged through hands-on play. Examples of manipulatives are:
- Colored counters
- Magna tiles
- Linking cubes
You can never have too many books. Reading to your preschooler is important in developing language skills, and promoting imagination. You should read to your preschooler every day. If you’re running out of room to keep books, head over to Epic to get access to over 40,000 online children’s books.
Music and movement are important to your child’s development. Preschoolers build a variety of skills while listening to music and dancing, and it’s a great excuse to get silly and have some fun for a while. Help your preschooler get hands-on with their music and explore different sounds with these instruments:
- Egg shakers
- Hand bells
- Rhythm sticks
Sensory Play Items
Sensory play stimulates your preschooler’s senses. Sensory items are often set up in bins for your preschooler to explore on their own. For some great sensory play ideas head over to Hands On as We Grow.
Deciding to teach your preschooler at home truly gives you a unique opportunity to spend a little more time with your child before they have to go off to school for the next 12-13 years. Being the person to build your preschooler’s skills and help them discover the world may come with some challenges, but will also be incredibly rewarding.
Don’t forget not to take things too seriously. Preschool is all about learning through play, so have some fun teaching your preschooler and don’t forget to laugh along the way.