We’ve wrapped up a year of preschool at our house (majoring in algebra and anatomy), so we’re kind of experts. At least we’re at the stage where we’re thinking about what worked and what we want to do differently for our next official year of preschool.
So we thought we’d share our lessons learned. Freshman preschoolers, these are for you.
Sophomoric Experienced preschoolers, we’d love to hear your own lessons learned!
Create and post a detailed routine at preschooler height. Use clipart so your preschooler can follow along and keep you in line. “I CAN’T do my reading lesson now. See, this schedule shows I have to play outside first!” Yeah…
White-out the print button on your computer monitor. Metaphorically, of course. There are millions of awesome free preschool printables online on every topic under the sun. I’ve printed enough to last us through third grade, assuming we are still reviewing shapes and colors and farm animals then. My ink cartridge rebates cover our grocery bills some weeks. So now I’m wise and simply save all the stuff, printing it on the day I need it.
Teach your preschooler to recite on demand the answer to 12 times 12. This will give you a public boost whenever you’re feeling a little unsure of your teaching ability or homeschooling decision. We’re working backwards on the 12 times tables at the moment. Overachievers can throw in a few Latin words as well. Or exotic country capitals.
Don’t overplan. And don’t overspend. At this age, your little student will change and grow so rapidly that his learning needs change overnight. Keep plans simple and flexible. Some of the best experiences we’ve had are impromptu tea parties, bear studies in an under-the-table den, outdoor frog hunts, and science experiments gone awry.
Do surround your preschooler with learning opportunities. A nature table, lots of writing tools, books and more books, learning games, adventures and excursions - whatever she finds engaging.
Put it to music. We’ve effortlessly learned continents, days and months, Bible verses, and a whole lot of other things with music.
Treasure these days. I’m pretty sure these are my favorite years of childhood, and they are whipping by ever too fast. Every day shows evidence of more learning than I ever thought possible, though not always through the lessons I had planned. Don’t rush the growing up. “When they tell you to grow up, they mean stop growing.” (Tom Robbins)
Do you have any tips to share with those planning their preschool year?
Jane and 4yo Esmé write about their daily adventures at Mozi Esmé.