You’ve decided to homeschool! YES! Welcome to the most amazing journey you’ll ever take. Now look, I know you’re excited and want to do the best you can for your kids. I know how exciting it is to make this decision, you want to get started right away!
It’s hard to pick a curriculum, there are so many things to consider. Your child’s learning style, your teaching style, what you can afford…so many decisions. Yet, the very best in preschool homeschool curriculum has 5 things in common.
Characteristics of the Very Best Preschool Curriculum
The best preschool curriculum is grounded in nature.
Children need to be outside, to feel the grass between their toes. Being outside not only gives kids all sorts of practical knowledge (What happens if we bury this seed? What side of the tree does moss grow on?) but it helps develop their muscles. For some tips on getting outside with kids check out The Nature Conservancy
Literature of all types has a big role in the homeschool preschool.
Board books, chapter books read to your child while they color, audiobooks played in the car…exposure to literature is priceless for language development! Allow your child to browse books even if they aren’t actually reading. Point out letters on occasion. Use your finger to trace sentences from left to right. And don’t worry about genre, the classics are great but so is modern literature! Kids love to listen to stories of all types. If you’re looking for good read aloud suggestions might I suggest getting your hands on a copy of The Read Aloud Handbook? The Read Aloud Handbook is a handy guide to books categorized by genre, author, and topic.
Preschool curriculum must be hands-on.
Children learn best when they use all five senses to explore. I’m not talking about coloring in worksheets, I’m talking about painting and making collages, gardening and stacking blocks, dancing and pouring water…for kids, learning is DOING. No worksheet can teach a child as well as being involved in an activity with their whole body.
A good preschool encourages children to explore and develop critical thinking skills.
Ask your child questions, give them all the time they need to think about an answer. Ask them questions all the time. “What color is the sign?” “How did that make you feel?” “How can we help?” “What would happen if…” Let your child ask you questions. Talk about what you’re doing. Make up silly songs. Count as you put groceries away. Point out animals.
Do you see what the qualities of the best preschool curriculum have in common? The very best preschool curriculum for homeschool isn’t curriculum at all. It’s YOU. It’s your time, your interest, your love.
It seems really simple, and I promise it is. Preschoolers don’t need curriculum, workbooks, and lesson plans. Learning is their job, they were born for this! Slow down and let your child learn naturally and I promise you won’t regret it.
Meg Grooms is a decades-long secular homeschooling mother of 6 children, ranging in age from preschool to married with kids of their own. Always a vagabond at heart, Meg and her family have embraced a slow travel lifestyle, currently calling Southern California home. Your guess is as good as hers as to where they’ll end up next.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool.