When most people think of homeschooling, they tend to think of older children. Initially, I did because I didn’t know much about it. Years ago, my cousin was the only person that I knew homeschooling. I had never planned on homeschooling. Yet, here I am homeschooling little ones, two toddlers. What a journey it has been. I’ve had people ask me when I was going to start homeschooling them. When I tell them that I already have, they are quite surprised.
If you are not familiar with homeschooling, you may have a differing opinion of when formal education can begin. But with homeschooling little ones, you can start anytime! It’s no secret they are like little sponges so why not start early? And just exactly HOW do you homeschool the little ones? Easy. You just go for it friend! Check out the three ways that you can incorporate fun into educating your little ones.
Written by Angel Penn of Living Life Well
3 Tips for Homeschooling Little Ones
#1- PLAY, PLAY AND PLAY SOME MORE.
The first thing is of course play! Play time is very important to small children. It helps them to develop social and emotional skills. It also encourages creativity and gives them the opportunity to let their imaginations contribute to their expression and learning style. Play (recess) has always been an integral part of the childhood learning experience. By educating your children at home, it is no different. Friends, don’t hesitate to utilize play as a way of homeschooling little ones. It’s been beneficial for my boys and will be for your children as well.
For example, we have use the nearest toys for lessons on counting, colors, letters and practical application. My little guys love trucks! They can spot trucks on the road, name them and describe what they do. But also with taking it a step further to explain to them, what letter the truck name starts with, how it is used etc… Play encourages conversation with your children. It’s amazing some of the things that they come up with.
Unstructured play provides opportunities to make choices while playing alone or in a group. It also fosters independence. Children learn to think independently and how to entertain themselves. With homeschooling, playtime is never just play. It’s an enjoyable way to incorporate school lessons into the day — sometimes without your children even knowing it.
#2- INTEREST LED LEARNING IS WHERE IT’S AT.
Maximize interest led learning. I had to shift my thinking regarding schooling during the summer. We have embraced year round schooling. With young children, you have to be comfortable NOT always following a schedule. After all, they are just little. They are fun, unpredictable and sometimes they just want to do their own thing. That’s what makes interest led learning so fun! By embracing interest led learning, you are empowering and encouraging your child to define and pursue their interests. My eldest son (now an 18 year old high school graduate) LOVED dinosaurs. I don’t think that love is a strong enough word!
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He wanted to learn everything that he possibly could about dinosaurs, what they ate and the environment they lived in. As he learned about them, he also learned different things about climate, minerals, dirt and a host of other things. I was simply amazed at how curious he was. But what made it so awesome is that the material he WANTED to learn when he was just a little guy was the same material that he would be introduced to when he was older….and he already knew it! Can you say proud mom moment?
#3- HAVE FUN WITH IT!
One of the things that I love most about homeschooling little ones is seeing the excitement in their eyes as they are learning. As parents, that is one of the greatest feelings. And do you know what makes it even more special? That fact that you can be a part of that. You can be part of unlocking that creativity that your child has. Fun projects that you come up with (or find on Pinterest) will start to decorate your home as your budding artist hones his or her skill. Speaking a new language is possible as your budding linguist starts counting to 10 in French, Japanese, Spanish or whatever language you decide. Homeschooling offers an incredible flexibility for all families but especially those with very young learners. The world really is their classroom. Embrace all that homeschooling can offer you and your preschooler and have fun with it!
Homeschooling little ones shouldn’t be work, work, work keep it fun, fun, fun and they will thrive from toddlers to kindergarten.
This is day 18 of my Homeschooling 101 Blog Party. I’m so glad you are here! Stay tuned because we have more veteran homeschoolers sharing their tips with you almost every day right here. Oh and don’t forget to enter the HUGE giveaways and join the exclusive Facebook group to chat it up with our bloggers, ask questions and just be a part of our amazing and growing community!
Angel is a follower of Christ, wife to James, mom to three princes and a ministry speaker. This counselor turned homeschool mom loves to provide daily adventures for her boys while encouraging them to learn about the big, busy world around them.
During her spare time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, live music festivals and searching for the best desserts that she can find.