Learning is a continuous process and generally a really broad term as kids are learning new things and new words from their environment since the day they were born. But the pre-skills that lay the groundwork for the school-based learning to come is what I’ll discuss today.
As cliche as it sounds it’s true that every child is different and that’s why mental development and early learning can seem different for different kids. What works for one may not for other. So it’s completely up to you and your child when and how you want to start. What I’ll share is solely based on my idea of educating my child who is turning 3 in few months and what suits our family. And I hope you can get an idea from where and how to start and find good useful resources to start homeschooling.
Early learning or preschool learning can be done in various ways and at all the times. Some of them are:
- Pre-writing skills (pen control/ hand grip, tracing)
- All-in-one Workbooks (ABCs, 123, shapes, colors, fun activities etc)
- Art work ( drawing, coloring, painting, cutting, pasting)
- Vocabulary building (reading books, stories, introducing new words in everyday talk)
- Printable Worksheets
- Games and activities
Every kids have innate unique abilities and interests in different subjects for example I know my kid loves doing maze and matching activities and every kind of activity involving vehicles but doesn’t particularly enjoy tracing and writing practice. So do what your kid likes more.
I would recommend choosing Youtube and cartoons very minimal for learning and as an extra resource and not rely completely on these for learning of your preschooler. Because there is so much content on these platforms that it will be really difficult to filter out educational content from them. I have gathered some resources that I found useful for all of these learning mediums and made a table for you. You can also download it here if you want. I am sure there will be a lot more so use according to your preferences and what is easily available to you.
I have added few things according to my preferences for my kid (for example I added Taleemabad app which has some urdu content that I want my child to be exposed to and similarly there are some cartoons and channels that are important for me ), which might not suit your kid and family so feel free to add or subtract from it.
What’s my strategy and approach for preschool learning and homeschooling my son.
- Rough framework: It’s important to search homeschool activities according to your child’s age and having a rough idea on what you want your child to learn. Like I want to teach him not just ABC and 123 but also science, arts and Urdu. So I’ve bought books to target these subjects.
- Study zone: I have set up an area for his learning where he knows he sit whenever I say ‘let’s go study’. It’s not a fancy set-up at all, just a small chair for him and an old wooden small table that works just fine. With minimum but necessary stationary: a pencil, eraser, sharpener, a copy, some workbooks, lots of crayons and coloring books.
- Healthy balance: Creating an age-appropriate homeschool schedule is important. A schedule that is consistent but relaxed. So once in a while I engage him in other activities like painting, coloring, puzzles, mazes and blocks.
- Kid-led learning: For 2-4 age, my main focus is on play-based and kid-led learning without any specific goals or haste to complete tasks. We roughly do study 3-4 times a week and for half hour to 45 min. We are going on what pace suits him and not me.
- Being flexible: Some days, he is super active and wants to do more and more pages and some days when he become frustrated and confused, I change the page or end the study session for the day.
- Including rewards: I try to encourage my son with new specific words for homeschooling that I not generally use in everyday. Also like all kids he loves stickers so small sticker rewards after a page completion gives him motivation and small achieving feeling. Plus I regularly discuss his new learning and achievements with my husband in front of him so he feel proud and happy.
Lastly I see this study time as a bonding time with my kid and strive to make it something fun that he look forward to everyday.
Teaching preschoolers at home for first time parents can feel exciting and fun but I know it’s a lot harder than it seems. Kids of 2-5 years are so active and with this digital age where they are used to engaging content it’s very difficult to keep them interested and focused in one activity. It requires a loooot of patience and consistency to see results in your kid so keep doing in small steps everyday.
If you found this post helpful, leave a comment and maybe share any useful resource or tip you know for me and other moms. Follow me on instagram @iammishabilal for more useful content on motherhood and skincare.