Homeschool Preschool: What My Toddlers Are Learning This Spring
Happy Monday! Last week, I shared two posts on what my son Elijah (high school) and my daughter Mj (jr. high) are studying this spring for homeschool. Today I am going to share with you what my toddlers are doing for homeschool preschool.
**Now my youngest son is 22 months old so he is not exactly a preschooler yet, but I do have him join in activities with my 4-year-old.**
This is my first time homeschooling for preschool. When I started homeschooling my children, Elijah and Mj were in middle school and junior high. Therefore, teaching preschool at home is a new concept for me.
Many years ago, when Elijah and Mj were in elementary school, I worked as a preschool teacher at a child development center. My experience at the child development center has helped me greatly with planning for homeschooling my toddlers. I also do a ton of research on teaching preschool and early childhood education.
We’re very blessed to have access to a plethora of early childhood education resources at our local libraries, too. I recently discovered there is a section in the children’s library which features early childhood education books, teacher’s manuals, and preschool workbooks for parents to checkout. You can even make copies of the workbooks to have worksheets for personal use.
Learning Through Play
Right now for homeschool preschool my main teaching method is learning through play. I believe my children learn best when they are playing or doing more hands-on activities which they enjoy.
“Learning through play is a term used in education and psychology to describe how a child can learn to make sense of the world around them. Through play children can develop social and cognitive skills, mature emotionally, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and environments.” (“Learning through play”. Wikipedia.org)
When my toddlers are learning through play, they are learning many different skills, such as language and social skills, science concepts, and how to be creative and use their imagination. For example, Zhen and Zechariah love to play Dramatic Play or Dress-up. Dramatic Play is when they get to put on different costumes (princess costume, superhero costume, or doctor scrubs) and pretend they are different characters.
- When we have cooking lessons, they are learning math and science concepts.
- When we go to play groups or library time, the toddlers are learning valuable language and social skills.
I connect the toddlers’ learning through play with various activities such as fun and interactive field trips, library time, online education learning, and hands-on cooking lessons. I explain more in detail down below.Learning through play is a great way for toddlers to enjoy learning and have fun while doing it! Click To Tweet
Bible Education for Homeschool Preschool
In a post I wrote about “Why We Homeschool Our Kids”, I mentioned one of the reasons why we homeschool is to include our faith and religious beliefs in our children’s education. We also teach our toddlers about our Christian faith through homeschooling.
I have a children’s bible for the toddlers and we read Bible stories from it. We also use Bible-themed workbooks. The workbooks are really inexpensive, too. You can find Bible workbooks at The Dollar Tree or on Amazon.
Learning About Our Faith
When it’s a particular religious holiday, like Advent for instance, we work special art projects and checkout books from the library to learn more about the holiday. Last Christmas, I taught Zhen and Zechariah what Advent means by using a chocolate Advent calendar (fun!), checking out library books about Advent, and working on Advent-themed worksheets.
I also bought a Little People Nativity play set. It was such a joy to see Zhen make the connection of Advent and Christmas when we went to church and she saw a Nativity display. She got so excited and started pointing out the different people she learned about from our activities.
Library Time for Toddlers
We go to the library at least once a week. The toddlers love playing in the different learning centers at the library. This also gives them the opportunity to interact with other children and play with them. This is when they are learning social skills such as greeting a new friend or sharing with others.
They also like to participate in various library events like “Pajama Story Time” or “Read to a Dog” (reading to a therapy dog, which they both love!). And of course, we check out books and videos to take home with us. Side note: I feel like I need to set aside money for those ridiculous late fees we are always accruing. That’s how much we go to the library!
Zhen gets computer time about four times a week. Zechariah is a little too young for the computer right now. Honestly, he’d just bang on the keyboard. LOL! Instead, he uses the tablet to play preschool games. He usually plays for about 20 minutes or so and then he’s ready to do something else.
But Zhen is now at an age where she understands how to use a computer properly. I reserve computer time for her during Zechariah’s nap time. That way he doesn’t bother her while she’s playing on the computer.
Zhen enjoys online learning programs such as ABCmouse.com, PBS Kids, and Starfall. All three websites are educational and fun for children. I like how Zhen learns through playing the activities and games. To her, she is playing a game, but for me I know she is also learning many concepts such as language and reading skills.
Fun Field Trips
Just like with my teens, I like to take my toddlers on field trips. Our field trips are usually all four children together, but sometimes we take the toddlers out separate from their big brother and sister, like when we go to the park and the teens want to stay home or they have a previous engagement.
Zhen and Zechariah LOVE going to the park! Since we live in a large metro city, we visit many different parks. We don’t stick to just one. I imagine visiting the different parks feels like a new adventure for my little ones. 🙂
They also enjoy going to the lake and exploring nature or playing on playgrounds at the lake. Other events and field trips we have done are attend the African Festival in Detroit, visit local farmer’s markets, explore a street art park, and visit an aquarium.
Cooking Lessons for Toddlers?
Yes, even the little ones get to cook, and they love it! You can definitely include cooking lessons as part of your homeschool preschool.
Most times when the teens are working on a cooking lesson, Zhen and Zechariah want to help, too. I give them a task that fits their age and ability, like stirring the ingredients together in a bowl or putting frosting on a cake. My little ones also love to help their dad cook. Whenever my husband cooks, they start pulling up a chair to stand next to him and help him out. It’s really cute. 🙂
Other Homeschool Preschool Activities
We also have structured activities we work on for homeschool preschool, such as working on preschool workbooks and other projects. We do art time, learning the alphabet, practicing cutting skills (with preschool scissors), practicing writing letters and Zhen’s name, putting together puzzles, and so much more!
What learning activities do you like to do with your young children?
Thanks for reading!