Planning Your Home Preschool

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If you’re planning to homeschool your preschooler you may be asking, “What should I do?”  “Where should I start?” There are so many checklists  out there for what your child “needs to know” that it can be mind boggling. (Here and here are a couple of lists). As I continue to share here about homeschooling, and specifically home preschool, I wanted to share some questions that may be helpful in determining what and how to teach your preschool child:

  • What do you want your child to learn? You’re the parent, so what do you want your child to learn over the coming year? Some things that may be at the top of your list are Bible facts and verses, manners, cooperation, reading, and self help (as in dressing themselves and getting their own needs met). It’s helpful to know that children are born learning so a lot of the academic stuff like colors, shapes, and names of objects will be learned without your explicit teaching. Perhaps surprisingly, as you can read in this article,  many kindergarten teachers want students to know how to listen appropriately, follow directions, cooperate with peers, and have some independence over being able to add, subtract, and spell. However, for the homeschooling Christian mom, learning about Jesus is at the top of the list. If your child learns nothing but that Jesus loves them and died for their sins, in my opinion that’s a pretty good start to the homeschool adventure.

  • What does your child want to learn and what are his interests? If your child loves animals, capitalize on that and teach her concepts through working with animals. Count how many dogs you see outside on a walk, point out what colors the different fish are at the pet store, teach her to be gentle with animals and let Little Brother have a turn throwing a stick for a dog. Learning doesn’t have to only happen at a specific time you do “school” with your child; especially for a preschooler, school is life! Children are always learning, so take advantage of the day’s events to teach your child.

  • How do you learn and how does your child learn? Most people learn better by doing rather than just completing a worksheet, and the same is true for preschoolers. Keep learning fun for your child and it will instill  in him a lasting love for learning. Instead of counting pictures on a page, count out actual objects and make it into a game. Instead of looking at a worksheet about emotions, act out the emotions between the two of you. When teaching prepositions have your child crawl under something or stand between something, rather than just showing a picture of it. This will make his understanding of the concepts much more concrete and be more memorable for your child.

Homeschooling during the preschool years is the beginning of a long and amazing journey, so there’s no need to rush into pigeon-holing yourself and your child into a rigid schedule or curriculum that might make your child dislike learning. Take your time, trust that God has your child’s best interest in mind, and have fun! Have fun exploring the world with your children and the academic learning will come. Take advantage of your child’s interests and just learn to love being with your child. They are only small enough to sit on your lap for a while, enjoy it and thank God for it!

Are you or have you done any sort of home preschool with your child?  If so, what have you enjoyed and what has been challenging? What are some of the things that you most want your child to learn? If preschool is still in the the future for your little one, are you considering home preschool? What are your top home preschooling questions?

(Post by: Addie)

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6 Responses to “Planning Your Home Preschool”


  1. 1 Ashley October 12, 2009 at 7:09 am

    We did home preschool last year (fairly informally), and it was so fun! Often if I asked my daughter what she wanted to during any stretch of free time, she’d say “preschool!” We used some online checklists, and focused on learning through play and hands-on activities. Right now my daughter is going to preschool away from home, but I love these ideas as far as being intentional (and having fun!) with the time that we spend together at home every day. We’ve been working on learning how to be a bit more independent with things like getting dressed, cleaning up, and things like that. My daughter feels like a “big girl” when she masters these new skills, so it has been fun for her and helpful for me.

    As far as preschool questions, I’d love any ideas you have for activities that are good for both an older preschooler (4-5) and a younger preschooler (2-3) to do together. I have a hard time finding things that both of my kids can do together. Thanks!

  2. 2 Ana October 13, 2009 at 2:17 am

    Beautiful post!

    These things are so basic but yet really important to learn, I’ve always had the desire of Homeschooling my daughter, she’s only 15 months old right now, but I think it’s never too early to start planning, specially because I have no idea of what to do.

    My husband and I are not from the U.S, he is from South Africa and I’m from El Salvador.

    We are missionaries to Brazil and we want to Homeschool our daughter but my Country doesn’t have a good Homeschooling system and I have no clue if I could use the U.S method to teach Emma.

    I’ve taught kids before and I just enjoyed so much, I can only imagine how much fun it will be to teach my own daughter.

    Thank you for sharing all the tips with us, it is a blessing 🙂

  3. 3 Addie October 13, 2009 at 5:40 am

    Thank you ladies! I am blessed by your comments and will round up some resources to help you in teaching your children. I’m unfamiliar with homeschooling laws in countries other than the US (actually I’m still getting familiar with the laws in my home state!). I can research a bit on that one too. Ashley to make your activities suitable for older and younger kids you can just adapt the expectations for your younger one. Like if the older one is sorting by color, the younger one can sort 2 colors (instead of 5). Or if you’re doing a craft, spend more time helping the younger one and expect that the older one will be more independent. I hope that’s helpful. My plan is to have another article addressing this…

  4. 4 Shilo October 14, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Wooosh…was this good timing or what? Just last night I said to my husband, “I don’t know if I can do this!” I don’t really know where to start and I did not come prepared with materials to help me to know how to pace things. So I am thankful for the links you gave and will check those out.
    On the other hand, I love having my little guys tag along with whatever I am doing and my four year old is so curious he is always asking questions so I know he is learning. It’s just the whole “formal” education thing that I feel unsure about. Thanks for your encouragement to focus on learning about Christ and to know and enjoy my child.
    We started using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons but I’m confused to know if I should continue on with it because my son already knows all his letters and sounds and can do some basic “sounding out” so he is bored with the first lessons we have done (7 so far, I think). Would you recommend skipping ahead? It says not to in the book but I feel like he is losing interest? If you had time to email personally, I’m at myplaceofpeace@gmail.com.
    Thanks again. This is so helpful to me. I never expected to home school my kids because my husband works at an MK school but currently they are unable to offer the lower grades. I wish I had known that ahead of time so I could have prepared myself better….but then again, this is a good chance to rely on the Lord for His wisdom. Thanks for sharing yours as well.
    Blessings,
    Shilo

  5. 5 homeschoolmentormom January 23, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Hello,
    I’ve completed home preschool with four children. Please check out my blog, Homepreschool and Beyond, at http://www.susanlemons.wordpress.com . You can also look me up on crosswalk.com and find several articles on early learning that first appeared in Home School Enrichment Magazine. They might be a help you to.
    Enjoy your children’s preschool years, they go by so fast!
    Blessings,
    Susan Lemons


  1. 1 1st Blogiversary! « Missionary Moms Trackback on February 8, 2010 at 5:05 am

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