The Best 12 Tips for Homeschooling Preschoolers

Do you want to homeschool for Pre-K? Here are the top 12 tips for homeschooling preschoolers & toddlers.

 

Whether you plan on homeschooling just for preschool- or beyond- there’s certain things you’ll want to keep in mind.

In this post, you’ll learn several tips for homeschooling a preschooler, from a mom who has done it.

Please Note: We use the words ‘toddler’ & ‘preschooler’ interchangeably, as many preschoolers are toddlers. Most of these tips will still apply to any preschooler you’re homeschooling even if they’re a bit past the toddler age by the time you start.

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How to Preschool Your Child at Home

 

1.) Choose a basic curriculum.

 
a mom researches a preschool curriculum to choose
 

The pre-K curriculum I used for my son last year was The Big Preschool Workbook from School Zone, which you can find on Amazon here.

This is an inexpensive curriculum option, (which is the next best thing to a free preschool curriculum.)

It’s a big book with 320 pages, so I definitely think you get your money’s worth. It’s also very colorful & full of activities that appeal to toddlers/younger kids.

 

Some Skills This Preschool Curriculum Teaches:

 

*Tracing- Both Straight & Curved Lines

*Shapes- Identifying & Drawing Them

*Identifying Colors & Coloring

*Uppercase & Lowercase ABCs- Identifying & Writing Them

*Introduction to Letter Sounds- Words that Each Letter Starts With

*Numbers 0-10 – Identifying, Counting, Writing Them, & Number Sequence

*Identifying Differences in Pictures, Sorting Items that Belong Together, & Matching the Same Items

 

School Zone Big Preschool Workbook: Kids Learning Skills Ages 3-5

This company has both a big book for preschool and a kindergarten curriculum. (I’ve been using the Kindergarten one this past year since my son is older now.)

Note: I do think it’s important that you supplement any online or written curriculum with hands-on activities & real-life learning. (We’ll discuss this more in tip #3.)

 

2.) Research the preschool expectations for the area you live in.

 
a mom meets up with a preschool teacher to find out what other kids her daughter's age are learning
 

Whether you plan on homeschooling your child for just one year, a few years, or for all of their schooling, you’ll want your child to stay on track with the level other kids are at in the same grade.

This will help your child to make progress along with their peers. And it also protects you as a parent, so no one can accuse you of not educating your child properly.

Preschool expectations may vary in different regions. So you’ll want to look up the general curriculum expectations for the area you live in.

If you live in the United States, you can usually find information about this in an online search for your state, if not the local school district.

The school district we live in has information online about expectations for each grade level, which I was able to look at in advance.

You could also set up a meeting in person with a faculty member at a local school that teaches pre-K.

Your child’s pediatrician may have some resources on this as well that they can provide to you.

But not every district, state, or country is going to have the same guidelines for each grade. So that’s why it’s important to research what the norm is in the specific area where you live.

 

3.) Incorporate fun & engaging activities to support & supplement your preschool curriculum.

 
a mom does a number learning activity with her 2 toddlers that she homeschools for prek
 

In the last tip, I talked about researching the preschool expectations in the place where you live.

However, I don’t personally base a preschool curriculum solely around the expectations our local school district has.

For grades 1 and beyond, I take the district’s expectations into consideration before choosing a curriculum. (In the state where I live, I need to provide a curriculum plan to the local district starting with first grade. And there are specific requirements that need to be met once you get to first grade.)

For pre-k, I personally didn’t worry about all the expectations when choosing a curriculum to start with, because at that age it’s easy to add supplemental activities to fill in any gaps a curriculum has.

And even if you choose a curriculum that covers most or all of what a school district will teach a preschooler, you want to still involve your child in fun activities where they can learn hands-on.

I chose a basic book for preschool curriculum for the purpose of teaching my son skills related to writing, especially when it comes to ABCs, numbers, etc.

But it’s also important for toddlers and kids to learn things hand-on, play, and have fun.

So we go outside, we do arts and crafts, make recipes, learn life skills, do activities with shapes, sorting, colors, and so on.

Having a toddler or young child do written or electronic lessons for an extended period of time is often too much on them.

You need to find ways to engage preschoolers in fun activities where they can learn and use their imagination.

This has allowed my kids’ creativity to thrive.

Both of my kids that I’m homeschooling will make crafts on their own, beyond what I ever was able to do at their ages.

But this is also balanced with using a base curriculum appropriate for each grade, so they are learning things similar to what’s taught in public school.

 

4.) Make a toddler homeschool schedule & write it down.

 
a mom of a toddler girl makes a homeschool schedule for her on her laptop
 

It’s important to have somewhat of a consistent routine.

Try to keep things like meals, bedtime, and written work at the same times (or close to it) on school days.

On the other hand, you don’t want to keep a super strict, rigid schedule for a toddler. You want to be flexible to their needs and give them breaks throughout the day.

 

2 Tools I Use for Our Homeschool Schedule:

 

There are 2 different planners I use to stay organized with my schedule and to keep track of my kids’ homeschooling.

Together both of these tools make it pretty smooth sailing for me to stay organized with keeping up with lesson plans and sticking to a homeschool schedule, (as well as sticking to a regular schedule with other tasks I need to do.)

 

1.) A Regular Daily / Weekly / Monthly Planner

 

✅ I like planners like this one that have hourly time blocks.

Homeschooling is a big part of each week during school weeks. But it’s only part of several other tasks I need to fit into my schedule as a busy wife and mom.

Scheduling out all the tasks I need to do, (as well as time for things such as my own self-care & family time,) is crucial to helping me stay on track with when I need to do my kids’ homeschooling and other important things.

I like this undated planner, (which you can get on Amazon,) because it has hourly time blocks and other features to help you stay organized and manage your time, budget, and goals.

2.) A Homeschooling Planner

 

In addition to a regular planner that I use to schedule what time of day to do homeschool lessons and other tasks, I also use a planner specifically for homeschooling.

My homeschool planner allows me to plan out detailed lessons for each week and day, along with any supplemental activities I want to incorporate.

I find it helpful to have another planner just for homeschooling & lesson planning because it gives me the space to stay organized with homeschool lessons that I just wouldn’t have in my regular planner.

I use my regular planner to plan out when I homeschool. But the specific lesson details I keep in the homeschooling planner.

I really love this homeschool planner, which I order from Amazon every year.

They usually have both a dated homeschool planner and an undated homeschool planner.

(I personally use the dated version. Once my kids hit first grade, I need to keep attendance records for the state we live in.)

5.) Keep lessons short & simple.

 
a mom does a simple homeschool lesson with her toddler daughter
 

Especially when it comes to written work, you don’t want to have your preschooler doing too much for too long in one sitting.

Toddlers and youngers kids have a short attention span. And they will get more out of their lessons when they’re kept shorter.

Long lessons or several pages at one time for a young child can be overwhelming to them.

They will likely behave better when you keep lessons shorter too.

 

6.) Let your toddler learn to help with real-life tasks.

 
mom teaches her homeschooled toddler to sort laundry
 

Younger children love to help with things.

And when you homeschool it gives you more time to teach them skills at home that they’ll need to do in real life.

A lot of tasks that are mundane to us as adults are intriguing and fun to a toddler.

You can teach your toddler to help clean up and assist with chores.

For example, toddlers can help adults sort laundry by colors. This is something that many people do as part of their laundry routine. But it also helps toddlers learn the skill of sorting and practice their colors.

A preschooler can also help you cook or bake with supervision. Forming cookies with dough and learning to shape them into a certain size helps them learn shapes and estimation. It also improves their motor skills.

And there are many other things your preschooler can do that will help them to learn within their grade level, but will also help them to develop real-life skills.

 

7.) Take your toddler outdoors and to different places.

 
mom takes toddler daughter on walk
 

Kids get bored easily, but your preschooler will enjoy having a change of pace and environment from time to time.

It’s important for children to play outside (when the weather is appropriate.)

You can also take them on little field trips or bring them other places.

This will expand their learning experience, allow them to interact with different situations, give them screen-free activities to do, and make homeschooling more enjoyable.

 

8.) Socialize your preschooler with other kids.

 
preschoolers playing together
 

In my opinion, the biggest benefit of a child attending a school with other kids is that they can socialize with their peers.

Granted, this can also be a bad thing in some instances when children are influenced negatively by other kids. However, when you homeschool, you have a little bit more control when it comes to choosing who your kids spend time with.

There are likely other families who homeschool within the same region as you that you and your family can connect with.

You can also socialize your child with kids their age who attend public/private/charter school.

My kids enjoy playing with other kids in our neighborhood after school hours, along with other kids whose families we know.

Note: You do want to be cautious as a parent about supervising your child when they spend time with others to keep them safe. Not everyone is trustworthy for your child to be around, and sadly this is sometimes even the case for other parents, even though they may seem friendly and have their own kids.

 

9.) Read with your preschooler daily.

 
a mom reads with her preschooler while she homeschools her
 

Reading is such a great activity to do with toddlers and kids. It helps them to learn, to enjoy learning, and to expand their imagination.

According to The Ohio State University, even kids who read only one book daily “will hear about 290,000 more words by age 5 than those who don’t regularly read books with a parent or caregiver.”

It’s also a wonderful opportunity to connect more with younger children. And they’ll be more likely to enjoy reading as they get older.

If you don’t have a lot of books, you can take them to your local library or order books from there for them. And then they’ll never run out of things to read.

You can also purchase books for your toddler online.

Below are some of my favorite books for toddlers/younger kids, which you can find on Amazon.

10.) Be patient and give your preschooler grace as they make mistakes and learn new skills.

 
mom patiently teaches her toddler son as she homeschools him
 

Toddlers and younger kids generally learn fast, but certain skills take a while to develop.

It’s important to be kind and patient with your preschooler as they learn. Understand that they’ll make mistakes, and it takes time for them to fully master certain tasks.

They aren’t going to write perfectly or perform most tasks perfectly- especially at first.

Strive to always respond in a positive, encouraging way that will inspire them to do their best.

At the toddler/preschool age, you don’t need to correct all their mistakes at first. If their letters aren’t fully formed at first, that’s okay.

Praise them for their efforts and for doing what their best is currently.

Children will be inspired by the approval they receive from their parents and naturally aspire to do better. Their writing and motor skills will improve with time. And they’ll feel loved and in a safe space in the process.

 

11.) Make sure your toddler has time to play and relax.

 
a homeschooled toddler takes a break to play with dough and make different shapes
 

Remember that your preschooler is still a kid, and they need to play and have fun.

This is why it’s important not to expect them to do more than is reasonable for their age. And as we mentioned in an earlier tip, you want to keep lessons short. This not only helps their focus, but also allows them to have their own time to play and to choose how they want to spend their time.

If your child is overworked with schoolwork, they may end up feeling burned out, exhausted, and even depressed.

This is why I give my kids breaks between schoolwork. And I let them play for a certain amount of time after they finish a portion of their work. They also often get to play for a bit before we even start school for the day.

 

12.) Reward your preschooler for lessons they complete.

 
a mom gives her preschool daughter ice cream as a reward for finishing her homeschool lessons
 

For both of my kids that I homeschool, I’ll have them do a set amount of work and let them know that when theyre done they can take a break, play, or have a snack.

This gives them something to look forward to when they’re done with a portion of their work.

For toddlers and younger kids, you can download & use our free sticker toddler reward chart for each lesson or homeschool day they complete. And you can decide what reward they get after they’ve used a specific amount of stickers.

 

So those are 12 tips for homeschooling preschoolers. By being balanced and organized, you and your child can have a great homeschool experience.

 

Don’t forget to download our free toddler sticker reward chart, so your child is able to feel the benefits of their hard work.

 

DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional or expert. Articles on this website are for informational purposes only. We are not responsible for any decisions you make acting on or failing to act on info from our site. Parents are responsible for making their own parental decisions, for seeking advice from medical professionals, & for doing their own research. See our full disclaimer policies here on our Terms of Use page.

Note: This post is not intended to convince anyone to homeschool, but to be a resource to parents who are already interested in homeschooling for pre-K. Every parent has to decide what is best for their child & circumstances.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

 
preschooler homeschooling supplies
 

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