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.

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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.

Other examples:

  • 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
Homeschool Preschool
Learning through play for little ones is a great way for them to learn about the world around them while enjoying their time learning!
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Water play is very popular at our house.

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.

 

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The toddlers coloring an Advent worksheet.
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I used a chocolate Advent calendar from Trader Joe’s to make learning about Advent fun!

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!

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The toddlers love playing at the different play centers at the library
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Zhen loved reading a book to a dog for a special reading event at the library.

Computer Time

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.

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Zhen playing an educational game on the computer.

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. πŸ™‚

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.

Daddy and the toddlers buying produce at the farmer’s market.
Lincoln Street Art Park
Zechariah exploring a street art park in Detroit.

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. πŸ™‚

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The toddlers helping their big brother with cooking a meal.
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Making a cake with big sister.

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!

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Zhen loves puzzles! Here’s she’s working on a tangram puzzle.

 

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What learning activities do you like to do with your young children?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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20 Comments

  1. robin rue

    April 25, 2017 at 11:57

    How awesome that you found something that works for you. Homeschooling can’t be easy, but you are making it happen.

  2. Tara Pittman

    April 25, 2017 at 13:39

    I homeschooled my kids for preschool too. These activities are so fun.

    1. Jennifer

      April 26, 2017 at 12:15

      Wasn’t it so much fun? I’m loving the time with my little ones. Thanks!

  3. The Iuvo Omega

    April 25, 2017 at 18:13

    This kind of learning is definitely more effective. Good job πŸ˜‰

  4. Shirley

    April 25, 2017 at 22:17

    Homeschooling can’t be easy but you are doing great job. I love it and will share it with my sister.

  5. GΓ‘bor

    April 26, 2017 at 02:14

    Thats really cool that you are doing all this… isnt it tiring?

    1. Jennifer

      April 26, 2017 at 12:14

      Haha! Sometimes I have days that I feel really tired, especially when I am pregnant. On the tiring days, we do light activities and rest as much as we can. πŸ™‚

  6. Blair villanueva

    April 26, 2017 at 06:28

    I think homeschooling produces smarte kids than letting them go to school. The attention and study are well curated and you can attend to your kids always. I think i will also opt this way when I have my own kid.

  7. Carol Cassara

    April 26, 2017 at 06:54

    I really admire parents who homeschool their kids! I don’t think I can ever pull it off. This is a great way to make learning fun, I am loving your ideas!

    1. Jennifer

      April 26, 2017 at 12:17

      Hi, Carol. Homeschooling is a lot of hard work. I’m glad you like the activities I presented. πŸ™‚

  8. jason

    April 26, 2017 at 07:27

    I was homeschooled for preschool when I was little. I remember that I would learn something faster when my mum explained me something. So when I went to the school for the junior high, my headmaster pointed out that I was way smarter than most of the kids who went to the school for preschool. It is ofcourse a good idea if you are equipped with good resources. Saying that it reminded me my childhood. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Jennifer

      April 26, 2017 at 12:17

      Hi, Jason! Thank you for sharing your homeschool experience. I am finding more and more parents are opting to homeschool their little ones for preschool. It’s such a fun time of exploring and learning. It’s so great you had such a positive experience when you were homeschooled. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Michelle Waller

    April 26, 2017 at 12:29

    There are so many advantages to homeschooling. It looks like your kids have so much fun. I am considering homeschooling my rising 3rd and 1st grader next year.

  10. Danielle

    April 26, 2017 at 13:32

    I’ve been homeschooling my preschooler, too. He just recently got his own library card, so now he enjoys picking out his own books for us to read and there’s certainly more to choose from at the library than there is from home. I also like finding free printables online, and we’ve used preschool and kindergarten workbooks to assist. But I agree, at such a young age it’s great to learn through play and simple everyday activities have so much room for learning.

    1. Jennifer

      April 27, 2017 at 11:57

      Very cool! At our library, the kids have to be a little older to get a library card. I think it’s so cool that your library offers library cards to young children! The kids always get so excited to have their own library card and check out their own material It’s SO much fun! I need to start finding free printables online, too. Great idea!

  11. Katrina gehman

    April 26, 2017 at 22:56

    you are doing awesome. my kids learn though hands on too. same as me. i can watch someone do something but it’s not the same as if i do it myself. learning though play is fantastic.

  12. E H

    April 27, 2017 at 01:34

    I have a toddler now and am always looking for new activities with her to do. We are playing a lot together, and she is doing very well with her studies at our home preschool. I think this is a great way for them to learn in the comfort of the home with the parents and older siblings!

    1. Jennifer

      April 27, 2017 at 11:55

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience! That quality time with the little ones is so precious. Happy to hear things are working out for your family! πŸ™‚

  13. stacey veikalas

    April 27, 2017 at 06:36

    Love this I homeschool my older kids but my little one I send off to school a few hours a day for socialization, since we live overseas and we have no friends or family. I love your idea they are all great and super that it is working for you – Homeschool can be a lot of work!

    1. Jennifer

      April 27, 2017 at 11:55

      Hi, Stacey! Yes, you’re absolutely right about homeschooling being a lot of work! πŸ™‚ I think that’s great that you are able to send your little one to a preschool for a few hours. I have actually been thinking about enrolling my toddlers in a class once or twice or week for learning enrichment and to play with other kids their age. I think that’s a great idea! Plus, it gives Mom a little break. πŸ˜‰ Best of luck to you on your family’s homeschool journey!

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