Homeschooling with preschoolers

From the archives. Originally published November 10, 2007

I have been homeschooling now for eleven  fifteen years. During those years I have pretty much always had a preschooler around. I get asked a lot what do you do with them when you are teaching the other children?

I have found the hardest age is when your preschoolers are between one and two. It is a challenge to watch them. They seem to be everywhere at once leaving a trail behind them. :) Just know in hindsight it will be over before you know it. It doesn’t seem that way in the midst of it. There were days that I thought I might lose my sanity, but now looking  back I wish I had treasured more of the moments instead of letting it rattle me.

Here are a few things that have helped me home-school with preschoolers.

Before you start school spend some time with your preschooler. That way they feel like they have had some mom time too. If you want some activities I have listed some below. When I do activities with them I call them their school so they don’t feel left out.

Activities:
Monday- play-doh or clay. I like clay better.

Tuesday- Cut and Glue. I give them old workbooks and ask them to find certain things and glue them on paper. The best way to work with glue it to pour some in a bowl and give them a paintbrush to use.

Wed. Wash dishes in the kitchen sick. This has usually been a favorite. Since we school in the kitchen I can keep an eye on them. I will fill the sink about 1/2 full of water. Pull a chair up to the sink. Give them a few plastic dishes and have instant entertainment for a while. If your smart you might want to put a towel under the chair. :)

Thursday. Give them muffin tins and counting blocks. Have them sort the colors in to each section. I have also used beans for this. When they are done sorting they can glue the beans to a paper plate.

Friday- If it is warm I give them several bowls of water with paint brushes and toys on the back deck. I will put a security gate over the steps to keep them from leaving the area. I am fortunate that my deck is low to the ground and right off my kitchen. They usually love to “water paint” all over the deck.

If it is cold you can have a block, Lego, duplo or Lincoln log day.

Some other ideas.

You can also schedule each of your other children to have 30-45 minute blocks of playtime with the preschooler. Mine love this. They look forward to playing alone with their brother or sister. It gives me a chance to concentrate on the other children I am teaching at the moment.

We don’t turn on TV during the day at our house. It has been a long-standing rule. But, there have been a few days that Dora was a life saver :)

7 responses

  1. Great ideas! I never thought of “Painting” with water! =) We have the same daytime tv rule with occasional exceptions. Makes for a peaceful atmosphere! I love the idea of having the older sibling play with the preschooler. We did that, too, and they sometimes read their reading assignments to her.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:30 pm

  2. I love all these ideas! Thank you for encouraging. I’ve used your ideas lots. And, I remember when you first published this – because I was in the throws of toddler AND new baby :)

    July 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm

  3. These ideas are fantastic! I especially love that they are with things that most people have around the house anyway. Thanks for sharing these!

    July 22, 2011 at 9:55 pm

  4. Heather

    Great ideas! I’ve been at this homeschooling adventure for 12 years. My preschoolers loved to wash dishes in the kitchen sink too :)

    April 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    • Thanks so much for the comment. Twelve years…you are a pro. :)

      April 17, 2012 at 5:25 pm

      • Heather

        Definitely not a pro! Still learning every day :)

        April 17, 2012 at 9:58 pm

  5. Pingback: I Can’t Homeschool Because of the Little Ones

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