Homeschooling preschool can feel intimidating. There’s so much information and it can be hard to choose which path you’ll take right out of the gate. Today, I’d like to share some of the things I’ve learned about homeschooling preschool with you.
They say hindsight is 20/20 and it’s true. Looking back on our preschool years, there are some things I wish I had known and some things I’m really glad we did or didn’t do.
You’ll get the scoop on how to keep preschool simple while still learning tons of important concepts through play. Plus, I’ll share how to keep your preschoolers little and foster a love of learning for years to come. Keep reading to discover all the homeschool preschool do’s and don’ts I learned the hard way.
Homeschooling Preschool Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated
Don’t worry, homeschooling preschool doesn’t have to be complicated. The preschool years can be tons of fun! Here at the Waldock Way, we had tons of fun learning through play during the preschool years.
Spending lots of time outside and playing together was the key to keeping Emily little while learning a lot about the world around us and our community. We read amazing picture books, played games, and explored the world around us together during the early years. It was 100% worth it and I’m so glad we did!
If you’re beginning to homeschool preschool this year, I want to encourage you not to overthink it. Our little children are learning every day during activities like making dinner together, gardening, going for a walk, and coloring pictures together. Embrace this time and don’t get caught up in too much lesson planning or formal schooling.
Homeschool Preschool Do’s and Don’ts
So how do we put this no-pressure preschool into play? Check out my favorite “dos and don’ts” for homeschooling preschool to help you get started.
Do: Allow for tons of imaginative play
Imaginative play gives kids an opportunity to practice and develop social skills and verbal communication by merely being with and talking to others. Imaginative play boosts problem-solving skills too. Kids can explore different situations, careers, and experiences through imaginative play.
You can use imaginative play to teach important early learning skills with real-world application. Plus, it’s one of the very best ways I know of to encourage our kids to use their wonderful imagination and keep them active. There will be plenty of time for table work later, take advantage of this preschool season with a whole lot of play!
Don’t: Pressure Your Child Into Academics Too Soon
I was so excited to dive into homeschooling and all the amazing resources that I may have pushed academics too hard initially. It didn’t take long to discover that Emily was learning so much more from our daily life and time spent playing together. If I could go back and do it over, I’d be more careful not to push academics too soon.
Let them be little this year and the academics will come. Pressuring our kids to begin too soon just leads to burnout and destroys their natural love of learning. Instead, keep the pressure off and let yourself move at their pace in your homeschool preschool.
Check out my low-pressure Purposeful Preschool program to discover more creative ways you can let them be little while learning a lot during these early years. It’s filled with fun ideas for teaching the alphabet, colors, shapes, and numbers through play.
Do: Get Outside For Active Play As Much As Possible
Don’t be afraid to get outside as much as possible. There’s so much to discover in your backyard! Outdoor play isn’t relegated to summer alone, you can explore the world outside year round with a little planning and preparation.
During our homeschool preschool years, we were very active in Free Forest School. This program seeks to nurture kids by helping them to connect with nature and each other through outdoor play. It was a great way for us to begin exploring the great outdoors, our community, and build relationships with other homeschoolers in our area.
Don’t: Worry If Your Child Doesn’t Sit Still
During the preschool years, sitting still isn’t mandatory. I probably would have worried more if Emily did sit still during those early years! Little minds are always going and little bodies move around a lot!
Preschoolers are busy building gross motor skills, learning important things like balance, and exploring the world around them as they move about. Embrace the wiggles and teach your preschoolers with songs, fingerplays, and dancing. Just because they can’t sit still doesn’t mean they aren’t learning.
Do: Have Fun!
Homeschooling preschool should be fun for everyone! Embrace this season and have fun with your kids. If they aren’t having fun, be willing to change it up. One of the most beautiful things about homeschooling is the ability to do what works for our individual children.
If what you’ve been doing isn’t working, don’t be afraid to change it up or go back to the basics. Sometimes a change of scenery is all that’s needed. Sometimes we need a break, whatever it is, do it.
Try to make homeschooling preschool fun for you too. If you’re not an artsy-crafty kind of person, a preschool year filled with cut-and-paste crafts probably isn’t going to go well. When we aren’t enjoying it, our kids pick up on our mood and it can affect them too.
Don’t: Spend a Lot of Time Comparing
Comparison is the thief of joy. With so many amazing homeschool groups on social media, it can be easy to get caught up in comparing our own homeschool preschool experience with others we see online. Instead, try not to spend so much time comparing your preschool with theirs.
We are all different and our kids are different too. What works best for one child might not work for another and what my family loves might not be any fun for your own family. Instead, try not to compare your journey with anyone else’s homeschool experience.
Resources Designed For Play-Based Preschool At Home
If you’re looking for a play-based preschool at home to keep your little ones little, don’t miss my Purposeful Preschool curriculum. It’s filled with fun activities, themed snacks, and all kinds of easy ways to learn through play with your preschoolers this year.
Check out my free printable Homeschool Fun Packs for lots of fun activity ideas you can do with homeschoolers of all ages too. Activities like directed drawing, candy science experiments, and family game nights are great for the whole family to enjoy learning together.
So what’s your favorite “do” or “don’t” when it comes to homeschooling preschool? Do you have a preschool tip you’d like to share? Tell me about it in the comments, I can’t wait to read them!