What does it mean to teach homeschool preschool from the inside out? Any change or growth whether it’s physical or mental starts from the root or inside and comes to the surface. After 20+ years of homeschooling, I’ve come to appreciate deeply that teaching preschool is a similar approach.
I’ll give you a bird’s-eye view of preschool skills, but more than anything I want you to understand that unless you work from where your child is on the developmental rung and go up and out your teaching efforts could be in vain.
Even more important than perhaps wasting your time is that unintentionally you could be holding back your preschooler from higher learning instead of giving him a solid framework to build on. A hate of learning can then emerge with burn out in only second grade. You can avoid it. I’ll show you how to put the odds in your favor of succeeding at homeschooling from the very beginning.
Homeschool Preschool First Things First
Most parents are overly worried about having a child that will be behind. It’s a valid concern. Key to reining in that fear is understanding how a preschooler learns. It’s differently than other ages.What I’ve learned after homeschooling three homeschool graduates and now helping to mentor my fourth preschooler is that foundation is everything. And the foundation at home looks a LOT different than public school with all of its research-based reports. More on that in a minute.
What does homeschool preschool curriculum look like?
I’ll say it once, okay, maybe not. I will say it many times. Homeschool preschool is not about worksheets. I know you’re wanting a guide. Some guideline to follow to be sure your child is on track is really useful.
Here is the problem with choosing structured formal curriculum. Most of it is not developmentally appropriate. A lot of curriculum use worksheets as the spine. A spine is the framework for which all learning is based. From the beginning, you can set up your preschooler to have problems because worksheets are not age appropriate.
That is a key phrase to remember when homeschooling preschool from the inside out. Why? Because kids this age learn primarily through play. They learn through being with YOU. They learn by you modeling what you want your preschooler to learn.
Your role is not just vital, but it’s essential in how a preschooler learns. Research-based reports can leave out that significant component.
Bottom line: You’re teaching pre-reading skills, pre-writing skills, learning through dramatization, fine and gross motor skills as well as a whole set of skills dealing with cognitive development.
At this age, a child needs to learn how to remember things, learn how to think about thinking which is also called meta-cognition (not as easy as one may think), along with how to plan, take care of their needs, and organize.
I’m don’t want to overwhelm you, but to empower you and inform you by pulling back and looking at this from a bird’s-eye view. Preschool skills like coloring and cutting aren’t a waste of time, but were valuable precursors to the beautiful cursive and handwriting my kids had later.
Repeating Old Goose nursery rhymes over, over, and over again are not foolish childhood dawdle and rereading the same Dr. Seuss book for what seems the fiftieth time are ways to train my kids to hear the subtle differences in words.
Without hearing the subtle differences in sound there will be spelling struggle later. Not making time to read aloud beautiful literature to a preschooler now could mean hitting a brick wall with a kid who is book hater.
Teaching preschool does not mean you shouldn’t have or use some laid out programs. I’m not saying that.
I will be sharing more of the components I hand picked for teaching preschool, but one I love is ABCmouse. You get ABCmouse.com – First Month Free – Click here!
The key to remembering how to use it is that it means YOU teach and model. The program should recognize how a preschooler learns which is through play, hands-on, and moving.
Homeschool Preschool Foundations
What does it mean to go out on the developmental rung? Hint: It’s knowing the value of enrichment and not just skill-based teaching.
A colossal mistake of many homeschoolers is constantly pushing ahead to the next grade or level. They don’t know the immense value of pushing out and away from the same level a child is on.
It reminds me of how a tree naturally grows. As a tree is growing higher, it also widen flourishes out. That is the exact thing that should happen to kids as they grow.
What I want you to know is that unless a child has special needs, he will go up in his development. What he may not do without your guidance is go wide or branch out. Anything that does not grow out as it grows up is stunted.
Going sideways on the same rung is just as vital as going on to the next level. Here is why.
Not IF but WHEN a child has a slow time in development, he can still grow and be enriched on the same level he is at. This enrichment is vital to being a well-rounded learner. Slowing down is a natural way for a child’s mental development to catch up.
Enrichment is a test in self-respect, self-worth and pursuing passions. When kids are constantly graded or taught from a skill-based approach, they learn to compare their advancement to others.
Teaching a child how to learn from observing, experimenting, expanding, and deepening his knowledge on a topic gives him time to master it. Becoming a master scholar happens when a child is allowed to delve and dwell on topics at hand, but peer at them in a close up manner.
Bottom line: Homeschooling is self-education. Let me repeat that again – homeschooling is self-education. A preschooler loves to learn, but as a child grows older his love for learning wanes. It doesn’t have to IF we allow them to explore trails, discover new twist and turns on information they already know. They are learning to self-educate. This skill will last them through to high school and beyond as they take a college or career track.
Homeschool Preschool Skills
Now that you understand how important it is to work with a child’s developmental stage, not set up a formal environment, and to allow a child to stay at his level until he feels mastery, you want to know what skills to teach a preschooler.
I’m sharing a few of the things I’m using as I watch for signs of developmental delays and developmental milestones. In addition, these help me to lay a foundation for Munch King’s next developmental level.
I’ll be sharing more of how I’m using them, but here is a partial list:
- Slow and Steady Get Me Ready For Kindergarten: 260 Activities To Do With Your Child From Age 0 to 5
- IQ Booster Kit: Developing the Early Learner Levels 1-4.
Also, look below at a good rule of thumb guide that I’m using. Remember, just like you waited for readiness before your child crawled or walked, this stage of learning is the same. Be ready with arms open to help him as he reaches for the next rung.
- Context Clues
- Visual Discrimination
- Rhyming Words
- Fine Motor Skills
- Action Words
- Gross motor skills
- Simple chores
- Explore the world around him
In some upcoming posts, I have some pointers to share on additional things we’re using for preschool to help you lay a foundation that is as unique as your child.
You’ve GOT this and I’ve GOT you all the way to High School and a bit beyond! With me?
You’ll also love these other tips:
- Help! I Can’t Teach My Homeschooled Child How to Read – 5 Step Checklist
- What Makes Reading Painful for Homeschooled Kids. Let Go of Busywork to Raise Lifelong Readers
- Teach Your Homeschooled Child How to Read in 20 Easy Lessons
- Homeschooling Kindergarten : What Subjects to Teach and For How Long?
Hugs and love ya,