Four-year-old children are wild and wonderful. In the United States, formal education is not required for preschool children. Children of this age are at a beautiful stage of development and have a great capacity to learn. Homeschooling can be used in replacement for or to supplement the preschool experience. Four-year-old children differ in development, and some may be able to tolerate schoolwork in a traditional setting; however, all preschool curriculum should include hands-on activities in addition to paper and pencil work.
Have books available to read to your 4-year-old. Whether you buy books or go to the library, offer a wide variety of books for young children. Make sure some books are in places your child can reach. Preschool children love to pretend to read and make up their own stories based on the pictures in books.
Read to your child. Most child development experts recommend at least 20 minutes of reading time a day. This can be done easily before bed or any time that is convenient for you.
Let your child see you reading. Do not save all your personal reading time for after your children are in bed. Children will do as you do, and seeing you read will make them want to read as well.
Realise that for many 4-year-old children, this is the last year before going to kindergarten. Whether your child goes to preschool or not, it is useful to have a school area in your home. This can be as simple as a child-size table and chairs next to a blank wall. It does not need to take up much space, though you can make it as elaborate as you wish.
Use a daily calendar station with your child. This can be in the school area of your home or be your family's calendar. As often as you can, talk about which day of the week it is, how many days are in the month and what special events are coming up. School supply stores have fun calendars you can purchase, but your child might enjoy making a homemade version.
Do workbook pages or crafts at the child's school area. This helps your 4-year-old get into the routine of doing schoolwork as well as keeping mess confined to the same place each day.
Use other classroom techniques that can work at home. Working on a schedule the same time each day can help you stay on track and give your 4-year-old a feeling of consistency.
Peruse school supply stores and online providers for ready-made preschool curriculum for homeschoolers. Often activities and worksheets are availability to download, though some companies charge for these services.
Create your own curriculum. Decide on themes for each month of the year. For instance, January's theme could be winter, and February's theme could be African American history. Any topic can be taught to 4-year-old children if you use books and materials geared to their age. For instance, for February you could read children's books about Martin Luther King Jr. or African American folktales.
Make sure your curriculum offers something for all subjects. Look online for science experiments for little hands as well as math games or phonics tips. Experiments can be as simple as making a miniocean with a little dirt and water with blue food colouring in a bottle. Tilt the bottle to show how tides in the ocean work.
Homeschool your child even if she attends regular preschool. Ask to review the school's curriculum and decide what you need to supplement at home.
Coordinate with other families who are homeschooling to share ideas and resources. Look into community groups or classes in music or sports--both things that are more fun in a group.
Children's work is their play. Free play time is important for many aspects of development. Do not worry about filling every moment of your child's time with instruction.
Tips and warnings
- Coordinate with other families who are homeschooling to share ideas and resources.
- Look into community groups or classes in music or sports--both things that are more fun in a group.
- Children's work is their play. Free play time is important for many aspects of development. Do not worry about filling every moment of your child's time with instruction.