Homeschooling preschool doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are 7 things I wish I had known before I started homeschooling preschool.
Homeschooling Preschool can seem overwhelming and exciting at the same time. You are excited to start your homeschooling journey (officially) but you are overwhelmed with what to do and how to do it. Everyone approaches homeschooling differently. Hopefully, after reading the post you can take a deep breath and enjoy homeschooling your preschooler.
What I Wish I Had Known About Homeschool Preschool
Prep Time Takes Time
Everything isn’t open and go. Homeschooling preschool may look like you sitting on the computer looking up ideas for what to do the next day. It may be that you follow a curriculum (we have one all set for you!) but that you need to gather materials. Either way, check the activities you have planned to make sure that you have everything you need before you start the activity. Set aside a time each week to plan. Have a craft box stocked with items like construction paper, glue, coloring tools, etc. and it will help minimize your prep time.
You Don’t Need All The Things
It is so tempting to head online and to order everything you see people posting about. Books, hands on activities, subscriptions, a homeschool room, the list goes on and on. You could spend thousands on homeschooling preschool. Is is necessary? Nope. Will your kid know any different? Probably not. Preschool can be taught in every day life. You don’t need thousands of dollars in supplies. A library card and printer will go far while you are homeschooling preschool.
Sure, you have creativity while doing crafts and activities with your little one. But, you can also be creative in other parts of homeschooling. How you homeschool, where you homeschool, and when you homeschool all take creativity to fit homeschooling into your life. If you are heading to the store, there are so many things your little one can learn. Talk about signs and what they mean, colors, numbers, letters on signs, and shapes of signs. The possibilities are endless when it comes to going places and homeschooling. Learning how to act in the store and picking out items are both skills that a preschooler needs to learn. It all counts as school.
Play is Paramount
We have a saying around here that if you have to choose between doing school and play, choose play. Play is important to brain development. Play helps with fine motor and large motor skills. If your little one is playing with others, communication is being worked on. Decision-making and spatial awareness are both being used when choosing where and what to play. Energy is being used and hopefully your little one will take a nap. There are so many benefits to playing!
Keep Nap Time
Are you having a hard time thinking about getting rid of nap time? Don’t! If your little one starts to say he is too big for nap time, call it quiet time. Everyone needs time to decompress and to spend some time alone (or at least in the quiet). Teach your little one what you expect and what he is allowed to do during quiet time. This is a great opportunity for your little one to make a choice about what he is doing and to follow through with that choice. Having quiet toys and books are great options for things to do during quiet time. Keeping your little one in the same spot that he did during nap time will help with the consistency of your routine and there is no excuse for him to be out of his ‘quiet time spot’. It may take some practicing but soon enough he will be a pro at quiet time.
An Hour is Enough
Having a fully loaded schedule for preschool is sure to end with someone crying in the corner. More times than not it is mom in the corner crying. A preschooler can only sit for 5 minutes maximum, but realistically it is more like 3 or 4 minutes. That means that if you are trying to have your little one sit for longer then that it will end with tears. Preschoolers are made to move. Spending an hour on school is enough time to teach them what you want them to learn without overloading them. Movement is key to having your preschool lessons be successful.
It’s Not Always Butterflies and Unicorns
People love to show the highlight reel. It’s easy to feel like you aren’t doing enough or that everyone else has it all figured out. That isn’t the case in either situation. There will be tough days. That doesn’t mean you are doing something wrong. It doesn’t mean that your kid is (or you are) broken. It means that it may be time to take a break and to make time to play together to reconnect. If your kid is struggling to do a task, share the task. You model how it is done or you do part and he can do part. This takes the load off of your little one and he gets to see how it is done. Plus, you get quality time to work on something together.
There is always going to be someone that homeschools differently than you. That doesn’t mean you are doing it wrong. As long as you are doing what is best for your family, then you are doing it right!