Pre-K Homeschooling Overview
While many homeschoolers don’t feel the need to do any kind of “formal” homeschooling with their pre-kindergartener, others want to start creating some learning structures. Even so, it’s important to remember that the work of a preschooler is PLAY. Thankfully, at home, play and learning can be integrated so closely that kids will rarely know where one ends and the other begins.
If this your first year of homeschooling, you couldn’t have begun at a better point. Every concept you introduce is an exciting adventure for your Pre-K student, and they are eager to learn and eager to experiment with what they are learning. Your home and yard can be one big educational playground. While traditional pre-k classrooms are usually set up around “centers” of learning, you can mimic some of that at home. You could have an area of your house with an aquarium, child microscope, and water/sand table for your “science” center, and a corner of a room stocked with dress-up costumes for “social studies.” The possibilities are endless.
Preschoolers are actively building pre-reading and pre-math skills with activities like learning to rhyme words, learning to count and find patterns, and mixing and measuring ingredients for a recipe. To view a comprehensive list of the types of lessons that are included in a pre-k homeschool curriculum, explore Time4Learning’s scope and sequence page.
Ten Tips for Homeschooling Pre-K
- Homeschool routines during the preschool years should be very relaxed, but young children respond well to knowing what to expect at certain times of day.
- Planning lessons for pre-k can be as involved or as simple as you want it to be. Some homeschool parents find that they need to plan out most every detail of their homeschool day or week, while other parents are fine with jotting down some general things they want to cover and letting the flow of the day dictate how they get lessons accomplished.
- Homeschooled kids and homeschooling parents both benefit from regular outings with other families. Find out if your area has a local homeschool support group and get involved with field trips, play days and clubs they offer.
- Resist the temptation to compare your homeschooling methods or your child’s progress with other homeschoolers. In fact, one of the brightest benefits of homeschooling is finding a learning path that is unique to your family.
- Learning with pre-k students happens everywhere and all through the day: when spotting insects on walks, doing puzzles together on the floor, and reading books in the hammock.
- Any focused academic time with your pre-kindergartner should be spread out throughout the day. 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there on building specific skills is plenty at this age.
- There’s never “too much” reading at this stage. Read-alouds and picture books should be integrated into your schedule every day. Nursery rhymes, songs, and finger plays also build pre-reading skills.
- Any activity, from setting the table to playing with playdough, that builds fine motor skills is also preparing your child for writing.
- States do not usually have laws regarding homeschooling preschool, so this a wonderful time to just have fun learning together without regard to guidelines or curriculum requirements.
- While convenient, there is no reason that families have to have a dedicated “homeschool room.” Families living in smaller spaces often find that as long as they have a dedicated area of their home to store their supplies, they can learn equally well in any room and even outside!
Pre-K Homeschool Curriculum
Time4Learning’s Pre-K curriculum is designed with pre-readers in mind. The only requirement is that students understand how to use a computer mouse or navigate a tablet and be able to understand simple auditory instructions. As pre-k learners build skills, they will progress to lessons involving multiple commands and greater options.
For pre-k, the activities build skills in a variety of areas. Notably: pre-reading literacy, math foundation, creative expression, music, art, and science. The lessons are interactive and engaging, with simple verbal directions, appealing graphics and some great music. The program is organized around themes such as colors, shapes, tools, or foods. These are introduced with a story or song, and are followed by activities tied to theme.
Homeschool in Pre-K at Time4Learning includes multiple benefits for parents and students:
- Detailed lesson content so that parents can explore lessons in advance
- A secure, ad-free online learning environment
- The ability for students to access their lessons on a computer or a mobile device (via the Puffin Academy app)
- An automated system that grades lessons and keeps reports for homeschool portfolio usage
- The option for parents to set grade levels independently for each subject
- Flexibility to use the curriculum as the core of their homeschool or as a supplement to other programs
Have other questions about homeschooling Pre-K? Visit our Pre-K homeschool information page for an overview of everything Time4Learning has to offer your student.