I am only a beginner when it comes to homeschooling. My oldest is in 2nd grade. But, this gives me the advantage of knowing what kinds of ideas may be helpful for other new homeschoolers. If you have been schooling for several years, I probably do not have anything to offer you... in fact, you can share some of your know-how with me! But, if you are a new homeschool parent, or hope to some day be a homeschool parent, I hope to help you out with these few practical ideas.
- Play board games with your little ones as soon as they are able to hold the little pieces without being tempted to chew on them. Candy Land, teaches simple life lessons like taking turns, and being a good winner or a good loser. Memory is another excellent game for kiddos!
-Play UNO with preschool aged kids. You can begin by matching colors or numbers only to make this game simpler. I was surprised at how well my kids learned their numbers and colors this way!
- Play dominos with little ones (who will not chew on/choke on the pieces). Matching numbers is good for little ones. And, as they grow older you can vary the rules to include addition and subtraction games.
- Cook with your little ones. Not only with this teach you great patience, but it will be basic math!
- In terms of actual school lessons (you know, the kind you do sitting at a table), do not feel like you have to do every subject every day! It is very important to be consistent with math and phonics/reading. BUT, most other subjects can be done every other day to lesson your load (Especially if you are like me with soon to be 5 little ones age 7 and under).
- Read, read, read! We were reading to my oldest when she was less than one. She developed an amazing vocabulary very early! As the kids age, I move away from Dr Seuss and such, to more advanced books. I prefer non-fiction books about reptiles, bugs, animals, oceans, body parts, etc. Just this week, we read a book about how the body heals from a skinned knee. The older kids really enjoy these kinds of books! I think that our reading with them from an early age, more than any other thing, is the reason for their desire to learn more. My kids want to learn new things. They want to read books (or have them read to them) to learn about new ideas or objects. Even when a homeschool mom is sick/disabled she can read to her kids! And, this is not to be under-rated!
- When they ask any question about something like "what is a star?", or show interest in a particular topic, I go to the library right away! We strike while the iron is hot!
- We set Friday apart as our arts and crafts day, because -frankly, I cannot deal with that kind of mess daily. So, we do Play Doh on Friday. One of my friends paints with her kids every Friday. Bigger kids can play with glue, glitter, and scissors. It is fun to have one special day to look forward to! Vinyl table cloths are great for paint days. And, you can likely find cheap mens' button-up shirts (at a thrift store) to put on kids backwards while they make messes.
I write these simple ideas to show that homeschooling can start early and easily. It does not have to start with a curriculum and a planner! You can start small and add things as you go along! It has taken me far to long to realize this!
What ideas can you share with me? I encourage you to write me a comment, or write your own post and add the link to my comments. I really mean for this post to be a great resource to new homeschool moms, or someday-hope-to-be homeschool moms! I look forward to hearing for you!