Homeschooling the Pre-Schooler
© Beverley Paine
It wasn't until our daughter was almost five that we discovered home education. As a result, and with the encouragement of her kindergarten teacher, we modelled our early homeschool environment on the the preschool April had attended.
This meant wWe used the lots of hands on learning, activities and games, with a focus on multi-sensory learning and physcial activity. I tried to include a focus in each subject area each day, covering the eight subject areas over three or four days. What I quickly discovered was that learning in one area usually covered two or three other areas which meant we didn't have to spend all day doing 'school-at-home' (or preschool-at- home!)
Modelling April's first year of homeschooling on her last year of kindergarten helped to gently ease us into home education. It was brilliant for her four year old brother as naturally everything she did he was keen to have a go at. An activity, play based curriculum was also helpful for me as homeschooling mum, as I'd only just had our youngest...
There were a lot of good quality 'fill in the blanks' student work books, or student homework books, for sale at the local newsagent back then. I can't remember the company that put them out but they usually had a centrefold of colour reward stickers which April could put on each completed page. She romped through these books - which meant that in her first year she had covered the equivalent of three years of curriculum in maths, spelling and grammar.
We then bought 'Words and Sounds' and 'Sentence Strength' - each year level book cost less than $10 and was meant to last a year. I thought of these books as our 'curriculum skeleton' which we then fleshed out with lots of activity and play based learning. We did the same with maths.
Our youngest had a completely different approach to learning by the time he was six, but that's because I felt a lot more confident with learning naturally and unschooling.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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