Here's a nice article by Michelle Caskey, a fellow homeschooler, with some good ideas for homeschooling the preschool age kids. Enjoy!
Homeschool Preschool Curriculum
By Michelle Caskey
Need a homeschool preschool curriculum? Have you thought about homeschooling your child - but aren't sure you have what it takes to persevere? Homeschooling during the preschool ages is a great way to try everything out and see if it's going to work for your family.
Homeschooling preschool children also has many side benefits. It gives you something constructive to do during those long daytime hours while your husband is at work. And it will help you bond with your children in a way that nothing else will. Watching your preschooler learn and grow is a wonderful experience - and one that you and your child will both enjoy.
You can purchase a great homeschool preschool curriculum that is all ready to go, if that's what you're interested in doing. Or, you can come up with activities on your own. When we first started preschool activities with our boys, we came up with things for them by searching the internet. This does take a lot of extra planning time; however.
Later on, we did work through the Bob Jones 3-year-old preschool program and also the Bob Jones 4-year-old preschool program. We really enjoyed these programs and they saved me a bunch of time trying to figure out what to do next!
Here is a list of fun preschool activities for you to try with your child.
Preschool Fine Motor Skills:
- Let your child play with pattern blocks. See what kinds of patterns they can come up with on their own. And you make a pattern and let them try to copy it. This is lots of fun for little ones.
- Have two bowls, one empty and one filled with cotton balls. Give your child a pair of kitchen tongs. Let your child use the tongs to pick up the cotton balls and transfer them from one bowl to the other. Depending on the age of your child, they may need to use two hands to operate the tongs at first. It takes more coordination than you may realize to grip and release the tongs.
- Give your child some animal crackers, a can of frosting, and a plastic knife. Let them frost their crackers and eat them. This is a huge hit with children of all ages. For a healthier alternative, let your child spread peanut butter on a piece of toast.
- Buy a large whiteboard and some dry erase markers for your child and let them go to town.
- Let your child finger paint with whipped cream and construction paper. This is another huge hit with kids - and it won't hurt them if they're still at the age where they put things in their mouth. You can even use food coloring to give them different colors of "paint". It's easier to clean up, though, if you leave the whipped cream white and let them paint snow pictures.
- Give your child markers, crayons, pencils, etc. andlet them scribble to their heart's content. This really helps with their hand-eye coordination. You can make rudimentary dot-to-dot pictures for them to follow, if you'd like. When your child is really young and first starts working with paper and writing utensils, I'd recommend taping their paper to the table. They will have enough things to concentrate on without having to try to hold down their paper at the same time.
- Give your child lace-up cards to play with.
- Give your child different types of blocks to play with. Let them stack them, make roads for their car with them... however they'd like to play with them. Kids have more active imaginations than we do so follow their lead.
- Lincoln logs are another fun activity - especially when dad can also be involved. Children will be delighted to see the wonderful creations that they can make together with their fathers.
- Puzzles are a great way to help preschoolers develop their fine motor skills. Have a variety of puzzles on hand because that will be more visually interesting to your child.
- Give your child a piece of scrap paper and a pair of scissors and let them fringe the paper. This is the first step in helping them learn to cut. After they master this skill, draw a thick outline of a square or circle on a piece of paper and have them practice cutting on the lines.
- Paper dolls are a fun activity for more advanced preschoolers.
- Give your child a set of beads that they can practice putting on the string.
- Give your child some playdoh, a rolling pin, and some cookie cutters and let them play.
More Preschool Fun:
- Draw a rainbow on a large piece of paper. Give your child a bowl of Fruit Loops cereal and let them match the cereal pieces to the right colors on the rainbow.
- Read to your child. When they are very little, they might not want to sit still through an entire picture book. But the more you read to them, the longer they will want you to read to them. This is a wonderful way for them to develop a longer attention span, to develop their speech and grammar skills, and many other valuable skills.
- Have old clothes in a box let your child play dress-up. Try having them act out stories or nursery rhymes as you read them, such as The Three Little Bears or Little Miss Muffet.
- Give your children empty boxes and let them climb in them, store toys in them, draw on them, make teepees out of them, do whatever they'd like to them. As your child gets older, you can also let them cut up the boxes to make other creations from their own imaginations.
- Let your child sample different types of fruits and vegetables than the ones you normally buy. Make it a special event where they are thrilled to try an exotic fruit or vegetable. Be sure to let your child help prepare the food as there is so much learning that can be done in the kitchen helping Mommy.
- Pull a variety of spices out of your spice cupboard, have your child close their eyes and let them smell them. You will be amazed at how this simple activity will thrill your child. See if they can identify the spices the third or fourth time around.
- Put a 2x4
- Print off pictures of events from a story and let your child put the pictures in the right order. This is called Sequencing.
- Clap or slap a rhythm on your legs and let your child try to copy the same rhythm.
- Label common objects around your house to help your child become familiar with some words.
- A fun science experiment is to fill a small glass with water and another glass with milk. Put a straw in both glasses. Let your child blow into each glass and see what happens. Be sure to have towels handy for this one!
- Take a walk with your child. The object with this one isn't to see how far and how fast you can go. Slow down, observe objects around you, listen to what your child has to say. Let your child carry a bag with them to collect rocks, leaves, and whatever else catches their eye.
- Let your child make crowns, Indian hats, etc and dance around the house. Try making costumes to match characters in books that you are reading (i.e., make rabbit ears when reading Peter Rabbit.)
- Let your child dictate stories to you and you can write them down in a book or journal for them. Also, let your child illustrate the stories.
- Give your child sidewalk chalk and let them doodle all over the driveway.
- Take fieldtrips with your child. Take them to the zoo, a children's museum, plays and concerts which are geared for younger children, etc. Let them experience the world around them.
This is a sampling of some of the fun activities that you can do as part of a homeschool preschool curriculum. The more time you spend with your child, the more you will get to know where their individual interests and talents lie... and you can explore those in more depth with them. At this age, the main thing is for your child to enjoy learning and to build your relationship with them. Relax, have fun with your child, and watch them blossom.
Michelle Caskey has been homeschooling her sons for five years. Michelle graduated from the Western Michigan University with a degree in English and Computer Science. Read more of her homeschooling articles at http://www.homeschool-your-boys.com