The purpose of preschool is to help prepare young children for kindergarten and elementary education. Many curriculum items can and should be taught passively with games and observation. Others will need to be taught directly. Homeschooling parents can create a checklist and observe the child for completed milestones, and make up games to teach things that the child is not learning on her own.
For preschoolers, the math curriculum doesn't necessarily look like math, with the exception of being able to count to 10. Besides that, they should be able to count objects, learn the difference between empty and full, and understand the concepts of more and less. Preschoolers should also learn their ages and know their birthdays and have a basic understanding of time, such as day and night.
Language arts for preschoolers focuses on preparing the child to start reading. Reading to the child is the first step. If the child is read to frequently, you will notice him pretending to read when looking at books and magazines, and he will tell stories when looking at pictures. The child will begin to recognise nursery rhymes, be able to answer questions about short stories and understand the meaning of words in stories.
Children must be able to recognise letters, know and write their full names, and be able to express themselves verbally. When the child is ready to read, he will be able to understand the meaning of simple words, repeat a short sentence, fill in the correct word in a short sentence, and track from left to right when looking at books and written materials.
Art education in preschool, prepares children for creative thinking and even math. A preschooler should be able to be able to name primary colours. She should also be familiar with shapes, be able to match shapes and objects, and copy shapes on paper.
Not all fine motor skills come naturally. Many must be taught and practised. In preschool, students perfect walking in a straight line, marching, running, hopping and jumping. They will walk down the stairs, alternating their feet, and be able to stand on one foot and walk backward. Preschoolers should learn to cut out shapes with scissors and paste objects together. They must be able to use pencils and crayons to draw on paper, and colour beyond simple scribbles. Preschoolers also need to throw a ball, clap their hands, and button and zip their clothes. If they can do all of these things, plus stack blocks and put together puzzles, they will be ready for the kindergarten curriculum.
Following directions is an important part of preschool. This does not just mean following instructions, but involves being able to orientate themselves in the world. Preschoolers should know the difference between up and down, in and out, front and back, over and under, and top, bottom and middle. A child must be able to follow directions and listen to short stories. Students should know hot from cold and understand fast and slow. They must learn to repeat sequences of numbers and sounds, and retell a simple story in the correct order.
Personal Life Skills
Preschool children should learn and become comfortable with personal life skills. This includes using the bathroom by themselves, getting dressed, and being able to brush their teeth and blow their noses. They should be able to pick up their toys and take care of their belongings. Children should be able to have a conversation and get along with others, know their names and their parents' names, as well as addresses and phone numbers. Preschoolers should begin helping the family with simple chores.