Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Homeschooling for Preschool and Kindergarten

The preschool and kindergarten years are the perfect time to test-drive homeschooling, especially if you’re not sure that homeschooling will be a good fit for your family. The good news is that, at this young age, you really don’t need a formal curriculum to homeschool, and it doesn’t need to cost a lot, either.

There are plenty of computer programs, both online and on CD-ROM, to get kids started learning colors, shapes, numbers, and even building letter recognition skills. Some even use cartoon characters to catch children’s attention. Many such programs also have some type of assessment or informal quiz periodically, which can really help parents to see how well their child learned the material.

Generally though, most preschool and kindergarten kids do fine without all that. Sometimes simple is better. Kids this age need plenty of parent interaction, reading books, playing games, doing fun craft projects, and just learning about their world through everyday activities.

If you need some general guidance, one helpful thing is to work on fine and gross motor skills. Building blocks, lacing cards, and even coloring and painting will help with fine motor skills. Even teaching kids to tie their shoes is an appropriate part of school at this age. Frequent playtime with running and jumping, or playing with a ball, for example, will improve gross motor skills.

At the preschool and kindergarten age, kids will benefit from a wide range of teaching methods, and the materials don’t need to be anything fancy. It’s all about building a strong foundation for the future, and if you’re new to homeschooling, it’s a great age to try homeschooling on for size.

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