You are decisive. You know before your children reach school-age that you are going to homeschool them. Congratulations! You’ve saved yourself much time and angst. However, as your child pushes past three and into Pre-K territory, you might find yourself anxious about how to find the best homeschool resources and support for your new venture. You are suddenly on the threshold of accountability, and it can be scary.
Good thing you found this article! The world abounds with homeschool resources for the very young. Odds are you are aware of these resources but have yet to see their educational value. Please see the list below of the most valuable homeschooling resources for Pre-K, but know up front that YOU top the list as the most valuable homeschool resource your child possesses at such a young age! Truly. Your level of education does not matter, your level of interest does.
One Of The Best Homeschool Resources For Your Child Is YOU;
If you are already committed to homeschooling your child before they reach school age, you are their most valuable homeschool resource they have! Very young children are like sponges. They absorb everything around them. Every single thing you do with your child at age 3-4 is educational if you choose it to be.
- Turn off the television. Television in any form should be a treat, not a daily activity. A little television is great – gives you a break and some free time – if it’s become a crutch for you or your youngster, turn it off for a week or two and start over. Make screen time something that you’ve given some thought to.
- Build a garden. No matter where you live, you can grow something. Dirt, seeds, and something to eat at the finish? There is not a better way to get kids thinking about a multitude of things! Your local 4H, big box DIY stores, library, and any neighboring gardeners are your first stop. Try peppers and beans for your first garden. They grow quickly and tolerate a lot of bad weather. You’ll be amazed at what your child will eat after working in their own garden!
- Play Picasso. Do a quick online search of beginner painting, and you’re own your way! Set up a space – if the weather is good an outside picnic table is ideal, if not, put a drop cloth under and over the kitchen table – and get to painting. Show your child how to mix paints to make different colors. Put on some music and paint your moods. You’ll be amazed. Pick up frames at a local thrift store to preserve your child’s best efforts.
- Make food. Don’t roll your eyes. Teaching young children how to cook is a tremendous way to develop fine motor skills and communication! For children with special needs, this activity makes learning fun, develops self-skills, and lets them get their hands dirty (most children LOVE that part). Find a sturdy step stool and get your child involved in daily meal preparation. They can cut (yes, with a knife) vegetables. Teach them about the difference between simmering and boiling. Do some baking. There is not a tastier way to introduce fractions – double, triple or halve your recipes as they get the hang of it. For additional benefits of cooking for children with special needs, do a quick search for special education resources related to culinary skills.
- Let them own the place. Home things happen. If you find yourself having to measure for new rugs or windows or anything, put your kids in charge (don’t take their final measurements, but let them get it started!).
2. Your Local Library Is Filled With Homeschool Resources;
- Story Time – Pre-K kids mostly love story time. It’s free, and it’s fun. Librarians make the story of the day interactive and often include music. Schedule this into your week whenever you can. Also attend special events at your library – magicians, interesting animals and more.
- For You – With libraries being online, they are a fantastic place to find homeschool resources! You can often search a subject that is of interest to you and your child, mark the books you want and simply pick them up at the library. If you get to know your librarians, you can have a real influence on books they buy in the future whether they’re homeschool related or just something you’re interested in.
- Develops Social-Skills – Even the biggest introverts will make connections if they are regularly visiting the library. Their kids will meet. You’ll meet. You can build the beginnings of a support network for the future homeschooling years. If you don’t have a library card, go get one. Most people do not realize that you can do more than check out the latest best seller at their library. As far as homeschooling resources go, your librarian is your new best friend. Librarians know how to find things. They love books and information. They can not only help you, they can teach your kids as well.
3. Find A Style Of Homeschooling That Works For You;
There are so many ways to homeschool. If you can narrow down the style that feels the most comfortable for you – you can narrow down the homeschool resources you want to use. With very young children, there are three main approaches – with all kinds of variations.
- Charlotte Mason – Charlotte Mason, was an educator back in the late 1800’s. She believed that children learned best through experiences – being outside and observing the world around them and by reading “living book” – books that let them experience things rather than books that tell kids what is and is not. Over a century later, she remains one of the top homeschool resources for parents of young children.
- Classical – Classical homeschooling relies on an old model of education. Students are taught on three levels called the trivium. The first level is the grammar stage. The second level (around middle school) is the logical stage. The final level is the rhetorical stage. Many like to get a jump start on these levels by starting in Pre-K. The link here gives you some insights on how it can be done. The homeschool resources at the link can work for pre-K up through to the logical stage.
- Traditional – Most parents are comfortable with a school model based on how they learned in their own public/private schools. The traditional method usually involves textbooks, workbooks, and worksheets. In terms of the homeschool resources availability, you will not lack. There are pages and pages of free and inexpensive models available online.
Homeschooling is a unique experience for every family. Experiment with various methods and combinations of method until you find the right fit for you and your child. Use your local library and the internet to find the homeschool resources that best fit your needs. Keep in mind, your needs will change as your child gets older. Focus on one year at a time and make the best of the time you have.