This is the final year of preschool before Kindergarten. How can you prepare your 4-year-old for formal school and still have a blast? We’ll tell you what you need to know about homeschooling preschool in Pre-K.
Pre-K is a fantastic year to homeschool because it is flexible and adventurous. You’ll enjoy playing and learning with your child. You are your child’s first teacher, and no one loves your child more. This year together can forge an unforgettable bond and create sweet memories for both of you.
Homeschooling preschool is easy when you know what to expect and you have the right tools. So let’s get started!
Homeschool Preschool Routine
You don’t need a rigid schedule to homeschool preschool for 4-year-olds. In fact, you want to make sure your child has plenty of time to play. In the early years, play is learning, and learning is play.
Instead of a schedule, have a daily routine. Plan fun learning activities that help prepare your child for what’s next. Some she may love; others may not interest her for long. That’s okay! By having a routine, both of you will know what to expect; everyone likes a rhythm to their day.
Weekly Lesson Plans
It helps to have a framework in place for the week. What math concepts will you work on? What sort of gross motor activities will you do? A weekly lesson plan can help you stay on track with your child’s learning goals for the year.
If you need help crafting lesson plans, we’ve got you covered. You can have weekly lesson plans delivered free to your inbox! Sign up here to receive them.
Some people like to have a formal curriculum to follow for preschool. You don’t need one, but you may find comfort in having one. Before purchasing a curriculum, think about what you want and need, and think about how your child learns.
Do you love the idea of spending lots of time reading together? Pick a curriculum with plenty of great books (such as Before Five in a Row or BookShark). Is your little learner full of energy and always on the go? In that case, a more hands-on curriculum is best (such as Oak Meadow or Winter Promise). Do you think an online program is more in line with your needs? Try a program like Time4Learning.
Whatever the program, make sure it is gentle and fun. These are the preschool years; formal school will come later. Take comfort in knowing that your active and exuberant child is learning by exploring as he bounces from activity to activity.
Preschool Motor Skills Development
Your 4-year-old will continue to work on his motor skills, both gross motor (involving the whole body) and fine motor (involving the small muscles of the hand). Plan activities each day that help your child advance these skills.
Gross motor activities for 4-year-olds involve pedaling and steering a tricycle or bike, jumping with both feet, bouncing and catching a ball, doing basic somersaults, skipping, and climbing playground ladders. Plan games, activities, and outings where your child can practice these skills.
Fine motor activities for 4-year-olds include drawing basic shapes, using scissors, assembling basic puzzles, shaping playdough into objects, stringing beads, stacking 10 blocks, and writing some letters.
4-Year-Old Preschool Subjects
Cover all the subjects with fun learning activities–make them as hands-on as possible. Incorporate games, crafts, and anything requiring imagination and exploration.
Read aloud to your child books that spark delight. Your little learner may also be ready to tackle some early readers on his own. Read them to the child first, read them together, and then he can read them on his own.
Preschool Language Arts
4-year-olds are not yet ready to write sentences, but they can work on writing their first name. Prepare for future writing success with fine motor activities, and build toward reading success with songs, chants, and rhymes.
Preschool Social Studies
4-year-olds are ready to explore the basic unit of the community: family. They can also learn about jobs in their community, especially community helpers: teachers, firefighters, police officers, nurses, and other frontline workers.
Your 4-year-old will learn the digits 0-9 this year. He can also begin to understand basic addition as long as you represent it with manipulatives like counters, linking cubes, or plastic animals.
Science should be as experiential as possible. Simple science experiments and nature exploration are surefire winners at this age.
Field Trips for Preschoolers
For a 4-year-old, every trip is an adventure. In addition to outings to parks and the library, consider visiting community spots for formal field trips. Contact your local fire department, grocery store, ice cream shop, recycling center, and city hall to see if they offer behind-the-scenes tours to residents.
Homeschooling Preschool with Your 4 Year Old
Your 4 year old can do more each day, so take advantage of the increased capability and curiosity to learn together in this pre-Kindergarten year. These are precious times, so enjoy every minute of homeschooling preschool.