Preschool at Home: 4 Tips to Get You Started!

Preschool at Home: 4 Tips to Get You Started!

We started homeschooling five years ago right after our second daughter, Kate, was born. Before Kate’s birth, I had been teaching at a local Mother’s Day Out program where our older daughter, Addie, was also enrolled as a student three days a week. The entire time I was pregnant, the PLAN was that I would return to the classroom when Kate turned six weeks old.

As those last few days of my (unpaid) maternity leave ran out, I just knew that there was no way we would be returning. I had glimpsed the simple joy of being home with my girls, learning together through play, and so…we made the choice to start our homeschooling journey.

(Financial sidenote: suffice it to say that preschool teachers are not paid very much. I found a seasonal part-time retail job, working evenings and weekends when my husband could be home with our girls, to make up the difference in our monthly income. About the time Kate turned six months old, I started teaching sign language classes at home and have been self-employed ever since.)

Those first few months, I did everything I could to bring “school” into our home. I created a little area in our home for Addie to do her school work, including a toddler-sized desk and an American flag. I bought curriculum, wrote out daily lesson plans, and scheduled our day into fifteen-minute increments. My teacher gene kicked in immediately, and I *may* have overdone it…just a bit. 😉

Preschool at Home: What I've Learned | child development, family relationships, homeschooling advice, homeschooling for beginners, tot school

When I compare those first few months of homeschooling Addie to our current preK schedule for Kate, it’s clear to see how much I’ve relaxed in the past four years. So many of my friends are now homeschooling their oldest children through preschool, and I find myself sharing the same advice with all of them:

  • Try not to push so hard. Children really do learn through play!
  • Reading aloud to your little ones IS enough! Worry about teaching your children to read after their 5th birthday–if they haven’t picked it up on their own yet.
  • Discover your child’s learning style. Both of my girls are auditory learners, so making educational playlists with recorded poems, favorite songs, important information like our address, phone numbers, etc. has been a great way for them to learn!
  • Enjoy these young years! Spend time outdoors, playing with friends, and answering a million questions. Teaching our children *how* to learn is the best gift we can give!
    Preschool at Home: What I've Learned | child development, family relationships, homeschooling advice, homeschooling for beginners, tot school

Have you done any homeschooling with your preschoolers? Can you think of any advice you’d give to a first-timer?


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