Are you contemplating doing preschool at home? Or wondering what your preschooler can or should be learning at this age? Today I’m going to give you a very practical list of things your preschooler can learn at home.
I’ve done preschool at home with all three of my kids. Each time has been a little different, each time I’ve learned something new, and each time has been an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world.
The preschool years are such a special time. You’ve already been teaching them up until this time with things like how to pick up toys to how to hold a spoon.
It is a natural and seamless transition to continue this teaching with things like learning colors and naming the days of the week.
When is a Good Time to Start Preschool at Home?
If you are wanting to teach preschool at home, here are a few things to keep in mind. Ages 3-5 is a wide spectrum of development. While some three-year olds are ready for letters, other kids are better suited working on something simpler.
Either way, preschool is a great time to begin gentle, intentional teaching as well as a great time to take advantage of all natural learning opportunities that present themselves every day.
So as far as a specific age, there really isn’t one. You will know when your kids are ready to start preschool at home by accessing your child’s individual level of attention, interest, curiosity, and development.
Things Preschooler Can Learn at Home
Since sharing our journey of homeschool preschool, I have been asked numerous times, “What exactly are you teaching?” OR “What specifically, can I teach my preschooler?”
Based on your child and their needs, here is a detailed list of things you can be working on…
1. Learn the Calendar With Your Preschooler
Preschoolers are naturally curious about the calendar. They want to know what month their birthday is, what is happening tomorrow, or when they get to go to grandmas again. They notice the weather and are working to distinguish the colors they see in nature.
Learning the calendar with your preschooler can be as simple as talking through their questions, revisiting the calendar regularly, and pointing out the changes they see in nature.
Along with these teachable moments, you can also gently learn days of the week, months of the year, seasons, weather, rainbows/colors through songs, memorization, and drawing.
2. Personal Information That Preschoolers Can Learn at Home
Personal information for preschoolers is understanding and naming relationships (grandma, grandpa, uncle, aunt, etc), naming and identifying emotions, knowing and naming body parts, spelling/writing their name, demonstrating knowledge of self care, and differentiating between right and left.
A lot of the instruction in this area happens throughout your day and you probably don’t even notice it.
In the car heading home from Grandma’s, your kids figure out that Grandma is really your mom or that Grandpa is your dad. When they take a bath, your preschooler learns to name their body parts as you teach them good hygiene. When you give them a set bedtime, they begin to understand that sleep is very important for their well being.
While so much of this instruction happens throughout the day, take some time to sit down and help your preschooler learn to write their name. Having this skill really gives your preschooler a lot of confidence as they move into early education.
3. Preschool at Home: Learn the Alphabet
Sometimes introducing the alphabet to our kids seems like diving into the unknown world of educating our kids and we feel like it’s time to leave it to the professionals. Let me reassure you, it’s not that complicated, and learning the alphabet is a great thing to learn at home.
Start by singing the alphabet song together. Then, talk about uppercase letters, lowercase letters, letter sounds, and upper and lowercase pairing.
As you read through books together, work on finding particular letters and help your kids to learn to differentiate.
There are also tons of great free preschool alphabet resources out there to help you cover the alphabet basics. Here are a few preschool printables that I created and used with my preschoolers at home:
- Preschool Daily Skill Builder
- Alphabet Learning Folder
- Lowercase Letter of the Day Practice Pages
- Uppercase Letter of the Day Practice Pages
- Large Traceable Alphabet Cards
4. Start Preschool Math at Home
Preschoolers are surrounded by math opportunities all day at home. Simply take the time to articulate these concepts for them.
Have your kids count their toys as they pick them up. See if they can make a pattern using their blocks. Practice naming coins and counting money together. Have fun with addition and subtraction during your meals. (eg. If dad has two rolls on his plate, and mom has one, how much do we have all together?)
Preschool is a great time for recognizing numbers, matching, counting, shapes, patterns, coins, tally marks, ten frames, positional words, and addition and subtraction using objects.
If you need more structure in your math instruction you can find lots of free preschool math resources online. Here are some of the preschool math resources I created and used with my kids:
- Preschool Learning Folder
- Counting Leaves Emergent Reader (number words, ten frames, counting)
- Seasonal Busy Books (patterns, counting, numbers, shapes)
5. Writing for Preschool at Home
Handwriting requires quite a bit of fine motor coordination. So any exercises that including coloring, painting, drawing, play dough, and even eating, helps to build the hand muscles needed for writing.
Intentional preschool writing practice can include: how to hold a pencil, prewriting pages, writing fluency practice, as well as, beginning letter and number formation.
Here are some of the preschool prewriting resources I have created and used with our preschoolers:
- Prewriting Book 1
- Prewriting Book 2
- Prewriting Book 3
- Seasonal (winter, spring, summer, fall) Prewriting Books
- Christmas Prewriting Book
6. Preschool Reading at Home
Some kids, as early as preschool, are beginning to recognize words and are ready for more than just letter recognition.
For these kids, you can begin working to identifying vowels (a,e,i,o,u,), letter sounds, beginning and ending word sounds, and sight words.
Of course with all kids, of any level, read together everyday! This builds knowledge of sight words, letter recognition, vocabulary, spelling, sentence structure, language, and more!
What should you read with your preschooler? Check out this huge free list of picture books available in the inspire the mom free resource library to get started!
7. Fine Motor Skills for Preschoolers to Learn at Home
Building fine motor skills in our preschooler involves learning things like scissor cutting, painting and drawing, stacking and building, pincer skills (coordination between index finger and thumb), as well as, operating buttons and zippers.
Many of these muscle skills are learned through play. From feeding dolls and making breakfast in their play kitchens, to collecting rocks outside or drawing on the sidewalk with chalk; kids learn to use their hands to their fullest capacity.
For intentional instruction in fine-motor skill building, encourage all kinds of play, let your kids experiment with all types of writing utensils, let them use child-safe scissors, and even explore other options for fine-motor activities for preschoolers.
8. Gross Motor Skills for Preschoolers to Learn at Home
Gross motor skills are the large motion skills like balancing on one foot, tricycle riding, tossing and catching a ball, walking up and down stairs while alternating feet, and skipping with a halt.
Once again, let them play! Find some screen-free activities for preschoolers, get them outside, and take them to the park.
Teach your kids how to balance on a curb, pump their legs to swing, toss a ball to their brother, or run across a field.
9. Character Training for Preschool at Home
Character training starts with building attention spans, bringing an awareness of right and wrong, honesty, and cooperative play.
I wish I could say character building happens on its own, but it doesn’t. I love this quote by Martin Luther King Jr., “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”
It’s intelligence PLUS character! Alongside reading, writing, and arithmetic we need to do character building activities, habit train within our homes, and nurture our kids hearts to think of others, learn self-control, and lay an overall foundation for good character.
10. Music for Preschool at Home
Preschoolers love music. Let you preschoolers experience all types of music: jazz, classical, opera, folk, etc. Involve them in trying instrumentation, rhythm clapping, dancing, and even preschool music classes.
At home, you can work on differentiating the sounds in music as high or low, loud or soft, as well as, fast or slow. Practice dancing or clapping with a beat. Lastly, work on identifying basic instruments, as well as, learning how to sing in unison.
For more ideas, you can check out some fun musical activities for preschoolers online.
11. Science Topics to Explore for Preschool at Home
The best place to start for preschool science is nature study. Doing nature scavenger hunts and simply getting outside and letting your kids explore the world around them.
And if your preschoolers get extra curious about a certain type of animal or plant, take some time to learn more about it. Check out books, watch videos, and find other ways to discover more!
Here are some fun science topics and units you can do with your preschooler:
Free Printable Preschool at Home Checklist
Download this free “What I Can Learn In Preschool” checklist that is available in the Inspire the Mom free resource library.
If you are already a member, you can simply the Inspire the Mom free resource page. If not, fill out the simple form below and join our community for access to this freebie as well as and other great content.
Printable Resources for Preschool at Home
Here are some of the top preschool resources my readers enjoy (that cover all all of these things your preschoolers can learn at home):
- Preschool Learning Folder– This is a learning folder we used before they were ready to write. Our kids matched the pieces and worked on their fine motor skills while learning the preschool concepts.
- Preschool Daily Skill Builder– This preschool resource covered all the subjects, as well as, introduced writing.
- Prewriting Books- These books were great for beginning writing. With this prewriting resource, they were able to learn and practice the basic lines and shapes needed for letter formation.
Don’t Forget to Read Aloud
Lastly, if you do nothing else, read to your child! (Fifty Top Literacy Statistics) It has been statistically proven that children who are regularly read to, from an early age have a significant academic advantage.
Preschool at Home – Keep it Simple
Preschool is such a fun time, let your kid be kids. Here are a few simple tricks to make your homeschool preschool a good experience:
- Let them play! Giving them ample time to play is essential because kids process information through play.
- Teach life skills. Take advantage of the daily opportunities to teach your kids how to tie their shoes, brush their teeth correctly, or make a sandwich. These things may seem insignificant but they are things they will need to learn.
- Have a daily routine. Kids find so much comfort in familiarity. By giving them a basic routine they are able to grow in their habits and academics.
What preschool concepts are your kids learning at home?
More Preschool at Home Resources
- How to Teach Preschool at Home
- Benefits of Reading Aloud to Your Kids
- Preschool Learning Folder
- How to Raise Preschoolers Who Love Books
- Easy Handprint Heart Tree Craft
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