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What Should My Preschooler be Learning?

Preschool

If you have wondered, “What should my preschooler be learning?”, you are not alone. I’m asked this question over and over again when it comes to homeschooling. Parents, even as early as preschool, want to make sure they haven’t missed any critical steps in the education of their children.

The good news is, you’ve got this! If you’ve put enough thought into it to do the research that led you here, you are more than capable of giving your preschooler what they need.

As your children are moving from being babies towards becoming ready for kindergarten, they need to achieve certain milestones in growth and development to help them.

What should my preschooler be learning?

What Should My Preschooler Be Learning?

Well, let’s take a look at some of the milestones that begin taking place during this age.

Motor development makes great improvement during this stage. Hand-eye coordination begins to come together. Kids develop a sense of self and begin to get a sense of others. They become interested in learning about their bodies and the world around them. The beginning stages of genuine empathy develop as kids learn to identify emotions. Huge jumps in language take place during this time.

During the preschool years, children go from using 2-3 word sentences to speaking in full sentences and forming complete thoughts and ideas. Letter and number recognition, and the foundation for reading is formed. In the preschool years, children learn to recognize the pictures that go along with a story being read to them.

Their minds begin to associate what they are seeing with the story they are hearing, and they begin to think creatively and make simple predictions about what might happen next.

There is a extreme amount of growth and development taking place during the ages of 2-4 years old.

Preschool

Planning Your Preschool

With the expected milestones in mind, we can prepare a suitable plan for the learning that will take place during this time. Keep in mind that each child is different and will master various skills at different times. These goals and intentions should provide an appropriate guide for your home learning.

Physical Well-Being and Motor Development

Movement and coordination improve with practice as does hand-eye and foot-eye coordination. The great news is that simply doing things that preschoolers love to do are the key to success. Let them practice catching, aiming, kicking, throwing – all which can be easily done by tossing a ball back and forth. Let them learn to ride, balance, climb, and dance. Singing and clapping, and jumping can be done during a music time. Any good music will do, but songs they can learn to sing or follow, such as: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes and other preschool songs with movement, like these.

Practicing commands like “walk” “stop” “run” “freeze” “down” “up” (you get the idea), practicing such commands can actually help protect them. By playing little games in the yard or across the house where you shout a command and they comply, perhaps taking steps forward one at a time until they reach you – well, it could save their life. If they have actually practiced responding to “freeze” or “stop”, they are more likely to respond to it in a potentially dangerous situation.

Of course, that is just an added benefit of practicing such things. What they are really doing is learning to control and develop muscle movement and coordination. In the process, they are becoming familiar with the vocabulary of movement. Challenge them to find different ways to move across the room. For example, they might crawl across, scoot across, walk backwards, sideways, roll. Discuss what they are doing and give it vocabulary. “I see you can jump across the room” or “Oh, you can go sideways across the room, how else can you go?” Songs and movement should be part of an every day “curriculum” for preschool development. Why not combine the two? Schedule it once of twice a day, depending on your child, for about 10 minutes each session. As a matter of fact, you’ll find that most preschool learning takes place in 10 – 15 minute increments.

preschool learning

Sense of Self and Others

Preschoolers gain a sense of self, of their role in the family and learn they can contribute as they learn to care for themselves and help around the house. They can take a sense of pride (and love sticker rewards) for properly brushing teeth, helping make the bed, even setting the table and helping with laundry. While it’s true that having them participate in such activities in the house can sometimes be extra trouble, you might actually have to do it over when they aren’t looking, it helps them understand that they are a valuable and contributing member of the family.

If you are sweeping, you’ll find they are also interested in sweeping. Why not let them have a section of the room? While you sweep one part, they work another, then trade. These things help with motor skills development as well as teaching a sense of self and an introduction to important life skills and habits.

Especially if they have made a mess, teaching them the words to use and what to do is a part of helping them develop needed skills. “Oh boy, you have a spill. Let’s get the cloth and wipe it up so it doesn’t stain.”

What should my preschooler be learning?

What Should My Preschooler be Learning – Language Development

Oral language development takes place not only in everyday conversation as we have noted above, but also by exploring.  Nursery Rhymes, Poems, Songs all play a critical role. Storybook Reading and Storytelling are important. Kids soak up the information, the language, critical thinking, creativity, imagination, and so much more as they listen to daily stories.

A morning story and a later story is suitable, but take the lead from your child. If they cannot yet sit still for an entire storybook, try reading part of it before a quick stretch and little break. Then come back to sit and finish the book. Over the course of the year, their abilities should improve greatly. After reading a storybook, you can reinforce the language vocabulary by talking about the story. Ask questions like, “Why was the little girl sad?” “I felt bad for her at first, did you?” “What was it that made her happy again?”

Language instruction, usage, and development all take place as kids play. It grows as they hear stories, sing songs, look at pictures, and carry on conversation. Free play is an important part of childhood learning.  Guiding some of the play time in a more constructive manner can be helpful to reinforce lessons.

Preschoolers are eager to learn. They are curious by nature and if you are engaged with them and excited about something, they will be too. Help them to enjoy learning by playing games, singing songs, and including these types of things as you go throughout your day:

  • Recognizing things that belong together and things that don’t belong.
  • Identifying opposites
  • Arts and Crafts – coloring, finger painting, brush painting, stringing beads or pasta & more!
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What is Dyslexia?

What is dyslexia?

What is dyslexia? As part of my series for homeschooling – we’re learning about teaching students who struggle and those who are kinesthetic learners. We begin by defining what it is.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke definition describes dyslexia as “difficulty with spelling, phonological processing (the manipulation of sounds), or rapid visual-verbal responding”. It is considered a cognitive disorder, not a problem with intelligence. However, emotional problems often arise because of it.

 

*Disclosure – Affiliate links are included in this article. If you purchase a product using my links, I may make a profit. Thank you in advance for helping to support this site. I only recommend products we use and love, as well as ideas that I’ve found to be beneficial for homeschooling. 

Characterization

Dyslexia is characterized by great difficulty with reading despite normal or higher intelligence. People are affected differently and to varying degrees. Problems may include difficulties with spelling,  reading, and writing, sounding out words, pronouncing words and reading comprehension.

Those of us teaching students with dyslexia may witness a variety of effects from such a struggle. These include, but are not limited to – frustration, lack of cooperation, lack of focus, bad attitude, anger, hopelessness, and struggles with self-esteem. And that’s just the mom! Seriously though, dealing with dyslexia without the proper support and tools is not a good idea. We need it, and our children deserve it.

The longer you go without dealing with suspected signs of dyslexia, the bigger the chance is that your child will deal with depression, anxiety, strained relationships, and feel like giving up on their school work.

Dyslexia Resource Library

Signs of Dyslexia

In finding and understanding this disorder, we must look at the signs. Students may struggle to recognize words used regularly. Recalling sequencing of events in reading is difficult. They may appear to not be paying attention at all as they have little memory or recall of words and letters.

If you find yourself going over the same words and letters over and over again – without your child recognizing them (sometimes even immediately after review) . . . you may have a problem with dyslexia on your hands!

More Resources for Dyslexia

Learn more HERE

Learn more about the signs HERE

In this series, we will be learning more about how dyslexia affects your child, and what you can do about it! We will be sharing tips for dyslexic and kinesthetic learners with encouragement and freebies along the way.

I recommend products from All About Reading

What is Dyslexia?

 

Unit Studies and Hands on Learning

We developed our unit studies and hands on learning kits in the process of many years of  successful homeschooling. I’m happy to share that our oldest is graduating 2020 with a full academic scholarship to his favorite university! 

Adventure Pack

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Nature Homeschool – Kinesthetic Learning Style

Nature Homeschool

The Nature Homeschool is extremely compatible with the Kinesthetic Learning Style in your homeschool. Kinesthetic learning is active learning, hands on learning. It works well for all kids, but especially for those with dyslexia or who simply learn best this way.

Getting students outdoors to explore God’s creation, gets them excited about learning and is the perfect backdrop for tactile, kinesthetic and dyslexic learners. As a matter of fact, it’s a wonderful backdrop for all learners. 

Nature Homeschool Walks

From the beginning of our family homeschool, nature walks have played an important role in the education of our children. It is an easy and engaging kinesthetic learning style technique if you apply a few interesting learning strategies. I’m so glad we learned early on to incorporate this style of learning! It makes for some terrific communication and conversations with my boys! We walk, we listen and look at the flora and fauna all around us. I’m amazed at the impact it has had on their education.

I used to be the teacher . . . these days as we walk and explore – they are often telling me what type of bird or bug we are looking at!  They have become inspired by this style of learning . . . to investigate further, read and research more about the animals and habitats we come across. Best of all, they have learned to recognize the fingerprints of the Creator on His masterpiece! 

Nature Homeschool

Kinesthetic Learning Style Tools

We find these nature walks and tools to be extremely beneficial to our dyslexic learner, and all our boys! They are all different, yet this hands on learning style works well for each of them. Some of the tools we use to enhance learning (and have put together in our exciting adventure packs) are listed below. 

  • Backpack 
  • Binoculars 
  • Journal 
  • Sketchbook 
  • Magnifying glass 
  • Bug viewer 
  • Measuring tape 

On one of our nature walks, we spotted and observed a stone crab, kestrel, robins, blue jays, fish, wild coffee, caterpillar, cicada, garden pineapple, and an alligator. Although, your nature walk doesn’t need to provide quite such diverse options, it was a fruitful nature walk! While alligator sightings may seem more exciting, it can be just as interesting to take a close up look at pretty weeds to discover the tiny insects hiding there. 

The boys used their magnifying glasses to take close looks at those they were able. They used their binoculars to spot the kestrel and look closely at the robins. The boys measured the width of several different trees and compared the bark and leaves in their nature journals. They sketched pictures and entered scientific data and we will continue the study by looking up additional information on the flora and fauna we saw. 

These are some of the favorite tools which have allowed us to take a deeper look into nature. Our boys are learning to recognize the fingerprints of their Creator, and to learn more about Him and the world around them by the careful study of His design. 

FREEBIE

For best results, print on cardstock, cut out cards, place on ring. 

Nature Homeschool

Nature HomeschoolNature HomeschoolNature Homeschool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enter your email for our newsletter and go immediately to the download page to print these Nature Activity Cards to use on your homeschool nature walks. 





Interested in our Adventure Packs?

They come with 12 weeks (or months) of unit studies, a seashell kit, a fossil and sharks teeth kit, and an owl pellet kit for terrific hands on nature homeschool! 

HUGE SALE on ADVENTURE PACKS  - LIMITED TIME ONLY

Adventure Pack