When my oldest child was a mere 3 years old, I began diligently researching homeschooling. I needed to learn all about it to ensure that I chose the best possible path for the education of her and all of our other children.
It’s rather common for parents to start to consider preschool options around the time their child is 3, and it was no different for me. I didn’t want to miss out on any important activities that I should be doing with her. I wanted to make sure she would be ready for more serious homeschooling.
But I wasn’t really sure what I needed to do in order to homeschool a preschooler. Flash cards? Handwriting readiness workbooks? Wall charts? Structured lesson plans? Set school hours?
As a new homeschooling mom, it was a little overwhelming to consider at first!
Thankfully, as I kept reading, and now as time has gone on and I’m homeschooling multiple children, I learned what is really crucial when homeschooling a preschooler.
In fact, this piece of information is so vital that I’ve ventured to call it The Key to Homeschooling Preschoolers. Yes, it’s really that groundbreakingly crucial.
Are you ready for it?
Do you have a notepad handy?
You don’t want to forget this.
Ready? Here it is…
Play. Let them play.
Play: The Key To Homeschooling Preschoolers
I know that it is so very easy to think of play as just fun leisure activities with no serious value. But mommas of littles, that just isn’t so!
Play is so very crucial for preschoolers.
Play allows them to interpret their world and make sense of all they are learning in life. They practice interaction and put their colorful imaginations to excellent use. They are laying a foundation for their future learning, too.
For preschoolers, play is serious learning!
Preschoolers don’t need alphabet and number flashcards (I’m guilty of pushing those too early!), learning to read DVDs, or even costly preschool curriculum.
There isn’t anything inherently wrong with most school materials designed for preschoolers if they are used in an age appropriate way. But it’s really important to realize as homeschooling parents that our preschool children don’t often require special materials to learn.
They will benefit tremendously from simple toys that encourage imaginative play, time outdoors experiencing play in nature, and interactive play with their parents, siblings, and friends. You don’t even have to tell them what or how to play. They just do it.
Of course, reading to your preschooler is an excellent way to both play with, bond with, and gently teach your child. They learn about books, storylines, and gain phonemic awareness (a fancy way to say that they learn how language sounds) all through hearing you read.
But it’s so important to remember that these children will have their entire lives to learn through more structured methods. From the time they are 5 or 6, most children will spend at least twelve years of their lives under structured learning methods. There is no need to rush the process along.
Let them play, and when you can, come along side them and play with them, too.
What value have you found in playing for your preschoolers?
Free Fun on the Farm Activity Pack
Have fun with your preschooler, as they practice writing, color, and enjoy educational activities that are perfect for little learners.