Wondering if you should be doing preschool at home or sending your child to a traditional preschool?
Many parents are choosing the option of homeschooling preschool full-time or as enrichment and learning activities at home.
Surprisingly, many of the skills preschoolers learn are through play. Creating a play-based preschool curriculum for your child can be fun and educational.
How to Homeschool Preschool
So much of the “foundation” of your child’s interests and temperament is being nurtured and awakened. They are also developing skills that they can use in school for years to come.
This is going to be lots of fun because preschool really emphasizes the importance of play with all educational activities.
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Preschool Homeschool Curriculum
Developing a preschool curriculum for home don’t have to be scary. Even though that sentence sounded scary. Think of your lessons as guided play with a goal of developing certain skills. What do you want your child to know when they start kindergarten? Those are the things you should start with.
If the whole process seems a little overwhelming, don’t worry! Because we have homeschooled preschool with our own kids and have experience as a former classroom teacher, we developed a preschool at home program that has everything you need, all in one place. Yes, we are that awesome.
<<Click here to get our Preschool at Home program.>>
Preschool Skills Checklist
What exactly does a preschooler learn in a traditional preschool program? What are the skills that a child entering Kindergarten needs to know to be at grade level? When we were setting up our Preschool at Home program, we did a lot of research alongside the teacher who created it.
In that research for the best curriculum for preschool, we established a Preschool Skills Checklist that might be helpful to you to identify what might be the most important thing your child should learn…today!
Download & print a copy of the Kindergarten Readiness Checklist:
If you’re the do-it-yourself kind of parent, we hear you! Keep reading for some of our favorite preschool at home resources you can use throughout the preschool years and beyond…
Some of our favorite preschool activities make great additions to your young learner preschool curriculum for home.
Daily Schedule for Home Preschool
The first thing you should think about is how much time can you reasonably devote to the different activities you might want to include in a homeschool preschool day. For me, the thought of a homeschool schedule was scary and seemed counter-intuitive to the freedom that homeschooling would bring to my preschool children on a daily basis. BUT when I got into it, the daily routine a good thing. It put boundaries around the homeschool schedule and held me accountable to the things I wanted to accomplish.
Here are are a few great resources for developing your home mom schedule:
- Check out this recommended home education schedule
- Daily schedule for preschoolers at home
- School things to do at home
Our favorite learning program is on sale! You can try it out with 2 months for only $5!
ABCs in the Preschool Curriculum
One of the first steps to learning to read is recognizing the letters of the alphabet. Children should be able to identify letters, sounds, and to be able to match the capital and lower case letters to each other.
- Start with toddler alphabet activities to help identify letters and sounds.
- Exercise through the alphabet with these activity ideas.
- Make an alphabet museum. Search through your house and fill the boxes with a different item each day.
- Play a lid matching game. You can even fill the jars with alphabet letters.
- Print a set of alphabet workbooks. These are perfect for kids who sit still.
At Home Preschool Curriculum – Letter of the Week Ideas
We love Letter of the Week activities! Every week pick a different letter to craft with and explore with your little learner. You can have your child hunt for the letter in sensory bins, or objects that have that letter’s sound, etc.
You can also do a weekly craft. These are cute and fun!
A is for Apple. B is for Bear. C is for Caterpillar. D is for Duck. E is for Elephant. F is for Fox. G is for Giraffe. H is for Hippo. I is for Iguana. J is for Jaguar. K is for Kite. L is for Lamp. M is for Monster. N is for Nest. O is for Octopus. P is for Parrot. Q is for Queen. R is for Road. S is for Snake. T is for Tiger. U is for Umbrella. V is for Volcano. W is for Watermelon. X is for Xylophone. Y is for Yak. Z is for Zebra.
Homeschool Preschool Writing Skills at Home
At bare minimum, during preschool, your child should be able to recognize the lower case letters – but even better, your child should learn how to form the letters – at least the ones in their name.
Here are some ideas for preschool at home that is more play than lesson…
- This is the perfect time to check out how to hold a pencil to start little kids off on the right path with fine motor skills.
- Practice writing in a salt tray. Your kids can write or “paint” their letters. Lightly shake the tray to erase and try again. Add a light under your table for more fun.
- Create a gel bag. Place worksheets underneath the bag and your kids can practice tracing. As they write they will see the letters.
- Trace letters that were written with a highlighter. They can trace it once with a pencil and the second time with a marker.
- Review sight words as your kids learn to write. Every time they trace the word they can use a different color of crayon = rainbow letters.
- Check out our list of best preschool workbooks — or order a few straight from our homeschool preschool store!
Teach My Preschooler Kit
Teach My Preschooler is designed to give preschoolers a head start, develop fine motor skills, encourage parent/child interaction and increase school readiness skills with preschool lesson plans.
It comes with 293 pieces and is a complete all-in-one learning system. Plus, there’s a step by step teaching guide for mom and dad!
Preschool Work Books
The good news is there are a bunch of readily available preschool workbooks that make it easy for teaching children in an organized way. We have picked our some of our favorite books that teach without screen time.
Age-Appropriate Fine Motor Skill Development for Preschoolers
Many of the skills kids will need in Kindergarten require fine motor control. If your child struggles to hold a pencil, practice with some of these activities to help your child develop their grasp and hand-eye coordination. These are simple play ideas that can easily be included in any preschool at home schedule…
- Fine motor skills will help your kids develop the finger “grasp” coordination that they will need as they begin writing.
- Develop hand and eye coordination with your kids as they cut shapes along lines. This activity will keep my three-year-olds engaged for a good hour!
- It’s hard for some kids to grasp the concept that there is a wrong way to hold a pencil or crayon. But learning the “right way” early will save them handwriting woes later.
Preschool Math Skills Through Play at Home
During preschool kids should learn to recognize a written number and understand number correspondence, ex: that 3 = the amount of three items. They should learn how to tell which piles are bigger/smaller, be able to put the piles in order from smallest amount to the biggest, and learn to count.
- Practice counting to 20 and recognize groups of items up to 10 (i.e. a pile of 5 items). Your child should also practice telling the difference between amounts (ex: more v. less).
- Expose your kids to color theory and time at the same time with a colorful DIY clock. Explain how clocks move in the same direction every minute/hour.
- Make large geometric shapes as you count and trace from number to number with chalk. Discover math patterns.
- Whenever you come up to a red light, count backward from ten to zero. This will help your child with subtraction later.
- Create a paper tube counting game with this genius DIY preschool math idea.
- Break out the bag of jelly beans. Your kids will look forward to counting time with a tasty treat in jelly bean math.
- Practice number correspondence and counting with monster math. Add the eye balls on the creature with googly eyes.
- Demonstrate counting with your fingers with a fun Math hand. Try to think of all the combinations to get to ten.
- Make a math station with lots of little items for your kids to count.
Have you noticed that the general theme of an effective preschool at home program is hands-on play? It really is!
Intentionally leading your child through simple activities to make sure they have mastered each skill is both easier than it sounds…and fun.
Don’t overthink a preschool math curriculum! It really is fun and games.
Play to Learn Preschool at Home Curriculum Ideas – Learning Shapes, Colors, & Vocabulary
The homeschool preschool curriculum for learning shapes, colors and preschool appropriate curriculum is just this…
Play, play and play some more! This will help kids learn in a creative way and become a well-rounded student. A sense of curiosity in learning is the most effective preschool student strategy…even if you are preschooling at home.
A well-rounded student of play!
And while you are playing, talk to your child about what they see. Your kids are learning their shapes, the colors, their body parts, the animals in the world (and the sounds they make) all through play.
- Get a set of stones out. Paint them, adding shapes. In play, sort the colored rocks by size, their shapes, etc.
- Play street, print up road shape cards. Your child can drive cars along the shapes.
- Build with shapes. You can use a pack of straws and pipe cleaners if you don’t have anything else.
- Explore shapes with a flip book – make a visual kaleidoscope.
- Use dried out playdough or salt dough to create shapes and craft with them to make a mosaic.
- Print colorful patterns onto transparency pages and layer them with your child to explore shapes and colors.
Get 3 & 4 Year Olds Ready to Read as Part of Homeschooling Preschool
I absolutely love that quote! It is sooooo true:
Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. -Emilie Buchwald
Here are some strategies for incorporating the love of reading into your preschool at home curriculum…
- Read Aloud to your kids daily. Work up to 20 minutes a day.
- Teach your kiddo to hold books the “right way” and point to the words so they learn to follow or track words from left to right.
- Time and order concepts by reviewing the story: What happened first, next, last?
- Have your child comprehend a story be able to re-tell it to another person.
- Beginning sounds. Find the letter that makes the sound at the beginning of a word.
- Encourage your kids to speak in full sentences, clearly, differentiating between fiction and reality as you are reading.
More Reading Curriculum Resources from Kids Activities Blog
Kids Activities Blog runs a FB group all about reading and encouraging the emerging readers in your house. We chat about books, ways to inspire the love of reading in kids, we have giveaways and so much more. All you need to do is click here to join our Book Nook FB Group!
What Kids Need to Know Before Entering Kindergarten
There is a list of preschool skills that kids need to have mastered to make the most of those early days of Kindergarten. The cool thing is most everything on this list is easily (and organically) added into a homeschool preschool curriculum. It is what we based our own Preschool at Home Curriculum that is packaged into weekly themes that covers all these things:
- Your child should practice describing and expressing their feelings – ex: “I am sad” or “I am sorry”.
- While active play is needed, preschoolers should also have a daily quiet time of independent play for up to 20 minutes at a time.
- Encourage your kids to be able to tell directions. Ex: left v. right.
- Encourage independence. Your kids should be learning to put their own clothes on, including jackets and shoes.
- Even at home, your kids need to practice cleaning up their space when they are finished with an activity.
- Practice waiting and taking turns, and following basic rules (board games are a great way to practice if not in a group).
- Follow multi-step instructions (ex: Wash your hands, get your lunch box and sit down to eat). Take turns playing “Simon says” with each other.
- Help your child recognize basic cause and effect relationships (drop this it breaks).
- For safety: Your kids need to know their phone number and be able to say their street address.
Our kids love using ABCMouse.com, too because the learning just looks like FUN! They have a full online preschool and you can try the first month totally free.
More Preschool Activities We Love
We have homeschooled all of our kids for preschool – including our youngest kids who are still learning and playing at home.
This list includes what we have done to instill a love of learning with our kids. We would love to hear what homeschooling looks like for your preschoolers!
- Get creative with this easy preschool craft – let’s make an egg carton caterpillar!
- This big list of preschool activities will keep the kids entertained for hours!
- Make use of Cheerios in another way with this yummy bracelet activity – it is the perfect preschool bracelet craft, ever!
- This Cinnamon Roll French Toast is so easy that even preschoolers can make it! Yum! Let’s make some french toast for kids together.
- Grab free preschool worksheets here for playful learning fun!
- Here are some fun preschool crafts that little fingers will get creative with!
- And last, but NOT least, grab some free preschool coloring pages here at Kids Activities Blog…we have literally 100s to choose from!
More Fun Activities
You can do this! You can educate your child at home. You can create or use a preschool curriculum at home.
You can homeschool preschool!