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Homeschooling preschool

Many parents are now homeschooling who didn't think they would be. And, they have preschoolers who were expecting to go play with friends and learn fun new things this year. Preschool is a fun precursor to school. Children learn interpersonal skills, and foundations for Kindergarten. Losing access to preschool is a hard hit for many families as they feel it an important part of a child's schooling. Due to our current pandemic, many are choosing to keep their kids home, or must due to closures.

Homeschooling preschool, or any grade really, doesn't need to look like seated school. As you may have read in other posts, we structure our homeschool quite loosely. Preschool is no different. In fact, loosely structured preschool days are better. Play is how kids learn in the early years, and beyond.

Nature walks and discussions about observations are perfect science. Counting cars that drive by is math. Cooking together is chemistry and math. Obstacle courses are physical education. Reading together, drawing, coloring, painting, cutting are perfect ways to engage brain and body. Weather observation and calendars are great ways to set the stage for later math and science too. Mapping your neighborhood, and making a compass to use on walks are geography. Simple discussions about other planets and stars are also science. Animal husbandry is a perfect way for littles to learn about the world too. Growing a garden together, and talking about pollinators and plant structures are engaging ways that young kids feel useful.

Preschool doesn't need to be sit down "school" time. Let the learning flow. Answer the little questions and the big ones. Read together. Talk about characters in books and movies. Plan meals, and cook together. They may seem like mundane daily chores to you, but I assure you, that little four-year-old brain is learning so much just by being around you.

You may have a young one who, like mine, WANT to do some worksheets. That is also ok. Go ahead and practice letters and numbers. Recognizing and tracing is great fine motor practice. Play with sidewalk chalk and write numbers, letters, and shapes. Write their name.Your address and phone number are important too. Don't hold them back. If they can count, recognize numbers, then start simple addition and subtraction with toys or small food. If they know the letter sounds, work toward reading. This can all be as little or as much as you and your preschooler want.

Don't get bogged down with needing to finish a certain quota of activities in a day. If your child is engaged, and happy, keep going. Watch for signs of fatigue, and shift gears. Take a break even. Tues might be a great day for loads of learning, but Thursday could be a disaster. That is completely ok. Roll with it. You will both (all) be much happier!

A simple google search will turn up a plethora of various preschool activities, for free. If your child is beyond those, try kindergarten. Don't fret if they go past that! First grade is fun too. Just let the good times roll. Play is most important, but its ok to let them learn to read or add if they are ready and desire it!

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