So you and your spouse have a little tot aged infant to five,
want to homeschool.
Answer this question:
a.) read to the little tot great board books, Bible stories, picture books
b.) go to Amazon and you buy every workbook you can find for pre-kindergarteners
c.) read and educate yourself with great books and subjects that interest you
d.) sit down everyday with your tot at the dining room table and offer them “table time”
e.) answers a & c
If you answered, e…you are correct.
There are Facebook homeschool groups out there that offer every sort of advice you can imagine, and often a parent of a young person (0-5) will say, for example, “hello, my husband and I have a wonderful, inquisitive 3 year old little girl. We’re interested in homeschooling and want to know how to begin.”
STOP RIGHT THERE!
If you or your spouse stay home with the child, (and technically even if you don’t stay home with the child) you are already “homeschooling” a child under 6. I’ll get into what homeschooling actually is in another article, but when you spend time paying attention to and talking to your little one you are schooling. Put down your phone and other electronic devices and spend time, making eye contact, talking to that little one.
Even if you have your child in full-time daycare, you must at the very least take time to read-aloud…from birth. Hearing your voice, read good books, making proper sentences, and maybe even being silly using funny voices, will do more to help your little one on a successful path of education than just about anything else you could offer them.
Do not buy pretty workbooks. Do not buy preschool or prekindergarten curriculum. Just go to the library, pick some beautiful picture books and read aloud!
If you do not already know this fact, the most important time period for brain development in a child is between 0-6. More learning occurs during that vital time than at any point in a child’s life. And all you need to do is be attentive to safely showing them the world around them, keeping them clean, allowing them the time they need to sleep, feeding them healthy food, hugging and loving them, talking to them, letting them play and reading aloud to them. If you accomplish those things, you have given that babe the best start possible.
A few of you parents are still thinking there is more to this business of schooling a little tot than what I said above. Try to be introspective and make sure you are not just trying to push your own desires upon that little tot.
There are zillions of wonderful, non-pushy, age appropriate ideas for some guided play/learning. The “art of strewing” is a technique you will probably love using. Start with a clean coffee table, floor, shelf or an area the child knows is for their things. Gather board books, picture books (if your little one has been taught to be respectful to books), a few simple puzzles or toys to set out for the child to encounter on their own. Set out a new collection of purposefully strewn items at least weekly. If you have an entirely new item the child has not encountered yet, model playing and exploring the item for the child. Or sit back and watch how they play with them item.
Now, if you are the parent of a child between 0-5, get off your phone or computer and go read-aloud a picture book or 3 to that little babe while you snuggle on the sofa!
Still here? Stop wondering about homeschooling that tot and continue your own education. I HIGHLY recommend educating yourself on methods and philosophy of teaching and learning and let your little one be little. You have lots of time to formally school that child when they are a bit older.
My favorite method/philosophy of teaching/learning was put together by a woman named Charlotte Mason. Do a google search with her name and let your education begin!