Preschool at home?

I have been asked often about how I start my youngest children’s education.  Truth is many are afraid of teaching their own children at home because they don’t know how to give them a good education. But I personally believe that anyone can teach their own children, especially the younger grades. More than that. I believe that we, as parents, can be their best teachers. Why? Because small children only learn from people they feel connected to. They have to feel a personal connection  with their teacher before they can open their mind and heart to learn from them. Trying to succeed can be scary. They need to be able to trust this person asking them to try, trust that if they fail they will be loved and supported still. Charlotte Mason (author of The Original Home Schooling Series by Charlotte Mason ) called a child’s education “A parent’s sacred duty to God and to that child. That said a preschool education is a fairly easy one to give.

Preschoolers are naturally curious, and always trying new things. Some that amaze us, some that require our patience. We want to cultivate this natural curiosity, and give it direction. We want to celebrate every accomplishment. At this tender age we want to cultivate the love of learning. Learning must mean at least three things: –
– Connection (Positive attention and connection from the teacher)
– Fun (Hands-on, fun experiences)
– Success (enough chances to feel succeeful)
The most important goal at this age is to help them fall in love with learning. So when a child does something wrong, it helps to use gentle language and say “Almost, try again”, or “That is a good try! Lets try it this way.”
The skills I expose them to at this age are, cutting with scissors, gluing, sorting, recognizing numbers and letters, counting, tracing, listening to a story, finding things in pictures, identifying colors, and some physical skills such as crawling, catching a ball, jumping a rope, and skipping.
Here are some things I like to have that help the children discover these skills.

This fun game gives the children a chance to sort, recognize and corelate numbers, find and identify shapes and numbers, and match them up! It is a great favorite at my house.

Lacing cards are great for helping children coordinate their little hands and fingers. Even toddlers love to try to get the lace through the holes. This can also help teach patterns.

These are a great way to intrduce puzzles. At only twelve peices they are not too long that the child wants to give up, but not so easy that they get easily bored. And four come in one box! One of my two year olds used to pack this box around every where he went. Then he would sit for two or three hours ptting them together, tearing them apart, putting them back together!

With these wipe off dice you can make up endless games. Just write a letter, number, or dot of color on each side and toss it! Whatever it lands on have the child identify. Super fun!

These blocks are so much fun! They help the child match, and think creatively about spaces. These and other skills they teach, are important for math success later.
As for tracing and writing, I teach cursive first, and have my preschoolers make sandpaper letters. But other options are

The other thing I do for scissor skills  is give them the ads from the grocery store, and have them cut their favorite things out. Or one day we will cut all the red things, another all the blue. We even fold papers in half and glue ( the things we have cut out on to pages labeled with the right color.
One more thing: collect lots of good literature! Good stories and beautifully illustrated books to read them. Have a great time incorporating learning into your Daily Life! Check out our post on favorite bunny books!

Just thought I would share my favorite treat to keep on hand!