One of the biggest struggles homeschooling families battle is which curriculum is best for their children. We become overwhelmed by the amount of curriculum available, struggle to find the right fit for each of our children, proceed to doubt each choice made for at least the first several weeks, and continue to search for new ways of teaching well after we’ve already begun our year.
To this end, we thought we’d spend the month of September launching discussions on all things curriculum.
You want to know a secret? I love homeschooling little people. Their energy, their thirst for learning, and their cute little faces just melt my heart. Unfortunately, all our little people are growing into bigger people and preschool is a thing of the past.
What’s a mom to do when she misses having tiny babies to hold and little fingers to help count forks? Borrow her friends’ kids as often as possible, of course!
Because it’s always fun to review those moments of initial learning, and perhaps some of you are in the midst of those preschool years yourselves, here are a few lessons in teaching pre-k we’ve learned along the way:
Spend Lots of Time Reading – If you don’t already have one, start building a home library and read. Read a lot. Read as often as possible. Point out words as you read, use inflection to act out character voices, pick stories you loved as a child and share them with your children.
Play Games, All Sorts – You don’t need a fancy curriculum to teach preschool, just time and perhaps a collection of fun board games. Find, or create, games which teach numbers, letters, colors, and more! Play several games a day and enjoy this time with your babies.
Get Over the Mess and Craft Already – Messes are hard, especially if you’re a perfectionist. However, kids need time and space to be creative. They need to learn hand-eye coordination through using scissors, crayons, and other supplies. So, let’s momentarily put aside our need for a clean table and allow our children to explore artistic possibilities.
Built in Helpers – While little kids don’t often get chores right the first time, now is the perfect opportunity to help them develop those life skills. Never mind that their bed is slightly wrinkled, the bathroom mirrors still have spots, or that their floor has a few dust bunnies. Sure your kitchen counters are going to be covered in flour and egg shells will end up in your cake batter. Our kids are learning and increasing in wisdom. Given time, they’ll be perfect helpers and working alongside them will be a blessing.
Build a Solid Foundation – Above all, use this time to increase your children in Godly wisdom and teach them about Christ. During your reading time, read them Bible stories and teach them God’s Word. Find Biblical games to play. Listen to children’s Bible songs, and start memorizing Scripture together. Use this time to center your learning and your home on Christ.
As I mentioned, our home no longer has little, little people. Unfortunately, children need to grow up. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun having teenagers. Each new stage brings fun things to learn and exciting ways to spend time together. But, those years when they were content to merely sit on our laps and nap, are over.
Cherish each new stage of your children’s lives. Use your time wisely. And, build a strong foundation upon which all their future learning will be built.
Now, it’s your turn!! Do you have preschoolers in your home? How do you keep them occupied while helping your older children with their learning?