Do you need to teach preschool at home? Should you use a formal curriculum? What are the skills that preschoolers need to know? Be sure to download a preschool skills checklist in this post.
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If you have young children, you may be wondering how to teach preschool at home. Is it difficult? Do you need a special program? And what skills should a preschooler have? Here’s what you need to know about teaching preschool at home.
How to teach preschool at home
Teaching preschool at home is really rather simple. Just live life with your child! Include them in the errands, like grocery shopping. << you can grab a free grocery store scavenger hunt download to keep them busy!
Create a general routine but not strict schedule. If you’re not schooling other kids, you can carve out 30 minutes to an hour of dedicated time each day with your preschooler. The rest of the day can be play, resting, errands with you, read alouds, coloring, time in nature, and so on.
If you’re trying to fit in time with your preschooler while also homeschooling older siblings, then you can still carve out that 30 minutes but put it in a strategic part of your day. Maybe everyone gathers for morning time, then when your older kids go to work independently, you can sit with your preschooler.
Children work best with some type of structure. Most kids like to know how the day will flow. So break your day into sections, like morning time, lunch, afternoon, dinner, evening, bedtime, and have a main focus for each time. Maybe morning time is your preschool time, then the afternoon can be outside play. Maybe evening is inside play with a read-aloud.
Listen to the Podcast: How to teach preschool at home
On episode 201 of the Homeschool with Moxie Podcast, we answer all the questions you have about teaching preschool at home.
Do you need to teach preschool at home? Should you use a formal curriculum? What are the skills that preschoolers need to know?
Listen below and don’t forget to subscribe!
Free preschool curriculum
If you want to find free preschool curriculum, you certainly can do that! Keep in mind that at this age, you don’t need to overwhelm your child with loads of academics. Most of the learning comes naturally through play, games, working on fine motor skills, reading, and such.
But if you do want to find a free preschool curriculum with lesson plans, then I’d highly recommend checking out The Gentle + Classical Preschool FREE Digital Teacher’s Guide.
Preschool homeschool curriculum
Yes, you can download the digital teacher’s guide from The Gentle + Classical Preschool for FREE, but they also have a complete preschool bundle that you can purchase if you want to round-out your preschool homeschool curriculum choices.
It’s time to walk away from Pinterest- scouring for ideas and piecing things together from scratch- and ENJOY this time with your child. The Gentle + Classical Preschool (2nd edition) brings the joy, creativity, and simplicity to the early years that you’ve been craving.
One other fun resource you could use is a Preschool Morning Binder. This allows you to hit on the most important skills and concepts in a few minutes each day. Plus, you can download 30 pages for free to put together your own Preschool Morning Binder!
What skills should a preschooler have?
So here’s where a lot of parents get anxious – although you shouldn’t! Remember that every child is unique and will develop at their own pace. However, it you’d like to have a preschool skills checklist to keep on hand and periodically see how your child is doing, you can download yours for free below.
Download a FREE Preschool Skills Checklist
Here’s one other great piece of advice from none other than Mr. Rogers himself.
The Importance of Play
Play IS their job. Unstructured play is crucial for children. Toys that allow for open-ended play are the best investments – blocks, toy cars, dolls, farm animals, puzzles, playdoh, and sensory bins.
What can I teach my preschooler at home?
You can teach everything your preschooler needs to know at home! Even though some “professionals” may tell you that your child would be better off in a preschool classroom, that’s just not correct.
Children do far better with a loving parent than in a classroom during the preschool years.
Don’t ever underestimate your role or ability to teach your child. In fact, you don’t need a teaching degree to homeschool your kids in K-12 either!
What should parents teach their preschoolers at home?
Once you download the preschool skill checklist in this post, you can start evaluating how your child is doing with the main preschool skills.
There are skills in different categories, such as gross motor, fine motor, writing, cognitive, and self help skills. Remember that not all children will learn at the same speed nor progress in the same way. You know your child best. Just help them to keep moving forward.
What skills do preschoolers need?
While you may think that preschoolers need a lot of academic practice, that’s not the case. While there are certainly cognitive skills that will set them up for academic success during the grade school years, the preschool years are also a time of huge development in their physical capacities and motor skills.
In other words, it’s just as beneficial to play a game of catch with a big ball than it is to practice letter sounds or recite the alphabet. It’s all important, even the non-academic skills.
What should I teach my 4 year old at home?
When you’re wondering what to teach preschoolers, focus on improvement and progress in these areas:
- Gross Motor Skills
- Fine Motor Skills
- Life Skills
- Cognitive Abilities
Once you download our FREE Preschool Skills Checklist in this post, go ahead and check in using that list at least once or twice a year. Date the checklist and check off each skill your child is showing proficiency in. Remember, the preschool years are roughly from ages 3 to 5. So your three-year-old won’t necessarily be proficient in each skill. But your five-year-old should certainly have mastered most of these skills before kindergarten.
How do preschoolers learn best
Preschoolers learn best in a warm and loving home environment. And you are absolutely qualified to teach your preschooler these basic skills. No, you don’t need an early childhood education degree!
Here’s an example of some of what to teach preschoolers.
Preschool skills to practice at home:
- name shapes
- identify colors
- numbers 1-20
- identify letters
- write their name
- follow simple instructions
- simple chores
- using scissors
- pencil grasp
- life skills like toileting independently
- washing hands
- brushing teeth
- listening to a read aloud
- retell events
- social development – sharing, cooperation
Download a complete preschool skills checklist in this post to keep track of their progress!
Preschool Curriculum – activities
So many of the natural activities you do with your young child “counts” as preschool activities. Anything from working on gross motor skills (jumping and throwing a ball) to fine motor skills (using scissors) to life skills (zipping a coat) is all essential at this age.
Here’s an example of preschool activities that you can do to help your child mature and develop.
- read alouds
- nature walks & outdoor play
- gross motor skills activities – running, skipping, hide and seek
- fine motor skills
- music & rhythm
- cut & paste crafting activities
- dressing up & acting out a story plus other forms of imaginative play
- responsibility for morning hygiene (dressed, brush teeth, etc)
- simple chores
- learn a foreign language through PLAY
- constructive play – forts, blocks, crafts
Final Thoughts on How to Teach Preschool at Home
In short – yes, you can absolutely teach preschool at home! No, you don’t need an official curriculum but as long as you encourage a natural love of learning, whatever resource you use should be fine. Download our preschool skills checklist to keep track of how your child is doing. And most importantly – enjoy these years! They really do fly by way too fast.
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