Parents who decide to home school their pre-school children have researched the value of teaching your own children at home. Beginning home school at the pre-school age is an excellent way to get the parent and the child used to the idea of learning at home. This is also a great way to ease into learning how to teach and organize the home school schedule. The child is not used to attending a school; therefore there is no adjustment period. Also, pre-school children are incredibly easy to teach because it is mostly in playing that they learn.
When creating a tailored preschool curriculum, parents provide a safe environment with interactive toys. Believe it or not, the parent is the child’s first teacher. Children at this age imitate everything their parents do by observation, playing, helping, talking, and listening. Reading to children at this age is one of the best ways to develop avid readers. At this age, a standardized curriculum isn’t necessary. Children learn from coloring, cutting, pasting, counting, singing, rhymes, games, playing with clay, playing in the playground, and learning to get along with others. It is important to include some of these activities daily in an unstressed, relaxed manner. Children at this age need your love and attention more than they need academics and structure.
The key to learning at this age is to provide a lot of hands on projects, particularly with arts and crafts. Many children in this age group have play dates where they meet with other children and go to parks, farms, even shopping trips. Pre-schoolers love to be included in everything you do, whether it be emptying the dishwasher, or sorting mail, and especially baking. Even though it may seem that their short attention span doesn’t allow for intense learning, they are learning real life experiences.
Parents who home school do not have to have an advanced degree. There are a few qualifications of successful home school parents: love for their children, understanding of their children, desire to keep learning and growing, desire to spend time with their children. Although it may seem awkward at first, especially if your child has been in a public or private school, teaching will eventually become second hand. Parents need to learn flexibility and also organization at the same time. Open communication and a strong bond between parent and child is key to successful home schooling.
Home schooling is legal in every state in the United States. Each state has its own guidelines for home schooling. There are also plenty of support groups for parents who home school. Some private schools offer home school support and/or curriculum. After school group activities, such as sports, or science are also offered by several different programs. Friends and family can also help with home education. Sometimes there are co-op home school groups, where one person teaches math and another parent teaches history.
There are also support groups for parents of home schoolers who feel burned out or frustrated. There is guidance on teaching and teaching classes parents can take. Continued education helps a parent feel confident in their teaching skills. But keep in mind that every parent in a teacher at some point, it is unavoidable when you are a parent.
Parents document the progress of their home schooled children with testing, some are annual, and some are alternative assessments. Keeping records of your child’s daily activities and learning is essential to monitoring the child’s progress. When parents find it difficult to teach a certain subject, they turn to private tutors, online classes, CD tutorials or community college classes to supplement their studies.