Parents who are planning to homeschool their young children are often eager to get a jump start on the process by implementing a formal and rigorous preschool homeschool curriculum. However, the preschool years can be so much more. In this post, we’ll take a look at what makes the best homeschool preschool curriculum, how to homeschool preschool children, and helpful resources for new preschool homeschoolers.
With Scribblers at Home: Recipes from Lifelong Learners, you can lay the foundations for lifelong learning through a simple routine of play, discovery, and creative language-building activities.
The Three Ingredients of a Homeschool Preschool Curriculum
Let’s take a look at the three main ingredients for any successful pre-K homeschool curriculum, and then we’ll share why we think Scribblers is the best homeschool preschool curriculum around.
So, how do you homeschool a preschooler?
The First Ingredient: Play
The true object of all human life is play. —G. K. Chesterton, “Oxford from Without”
The preschool years offer an incredible opportunity to set the tone of your homeschooling relationship with your child.
They are a season in which to cultivate a relationship characterized by mutual delight and trust. They are a time for learning through play. They are a time to engage in shared exploration and discovery. They are a time to read, read, and read some more.
During the preschool years, set aside ample time for play. Often this can be free, unstructured, unscheduled play while you tend to the needs of other children (or your own!), but don’t neglect the opportunity to play with your child as well. Laugh and giggle and tickle. Play tag and Candyland and house. Build with blocks. Put together puzzles. Color and draw. Spend time at the park.
This kind of play invites children to use their creativity and imagination, to explore and interpret their world, to develop problem-solving and motor skills, and to practice language skills. All of these skills are foundational to their development and crucial to their future success in formal academic endeavors.
So don’t rush through or skip over this special time in your child’s development. Take time to play with your preschooler, make lasting memories together, and invest in his or her education at the same time!
For a witty look at the importance of play and imagination in early childhood:
The Second Ingredient: Discovery
As an extension of play, enjoy shared exploration and discovery.
This can be planned and structured time such as visits to a children’s museum or an aquarium. But be prepared: often the richest experiences will take place at the moments you least expect.
Go for nature walks, plant a garden, turn over stones to find out what lives beneath them. Visit the zoo, take a trip to the local pet store, or enjoy the birds flitting right outside your window. Marvel about the weather—what remarkable clouds, what a stunning rainbow!
Talk about what you see and experience. Discuss, compare, wonder out loud. Share additional information (“Those wispy clouds are called cirrus clouds! Did you know that cirrus is Latin for curl or ringlet?”) without overwhelming your child (“Cirrus clouds are formed when water vapor undergoes deposition at high altitudes”).
If anything catches your child’s interest, suggest a trip to the library for a book on that topic.
Looking for ideas for activities with your little ones?
The Third Ingredient: Language
An inexhaustible area for exploration and discovery is language.
Revel in poetry together; the pleasures of rhythm and rhyme captivate even very young children. Read aloud with your child; keep a constant supply of books with beautiful language and excellent pictures. Make visits to the library the highlight of your week because they mean special time with mom, discovering new books and revisiting old favorites. Tell stories, chant rhymes, sing songs.
Repetition and memorization are key to a child’s development at this age, so gladly reread their favorite book, knowing that you are building irreplaceable memories and yes, even contributing to their education (though it may be hard to fathom how on the hundredth pass through the same book).
How to Homeschool: A Guide (or Scribblers at Home: Recipes from Lifelong Learners)
. . . do not use compulsion, but let early education be a sort of amusement . . . —Plato, The Republic, Book VII
Because young children are designed to learn through play and exploration, and they naturally soak up incredible amounts of information about the world around them, it can be beneficial to think of a parent’s role during this special time as facilitating learning rather than teaching.
Scribblers at Home: Recipes from Lifelong Learners is the premier classical, Christian resource for homeschooling families looking for a learning blueprint for children 4–8. This resource offers 250 pages+ of activities that foster a love of learning through play, exploration, and reading.Through these activities, this resource will both show you how to homeschool your preschool children and lay the foundation for future learning. Furthermore, these activities are ready-to-go and easily modified for your child’s learning needs. Scribblers understands that play is the work of childhood and learning takes place in the family!
Frequently Asked Questions about Scribblers at Home
Q: Can you homeschool a preschooler?
A: Of course! In fact, you’re already homeschooling your child whether you realize it or not. Your child is watching you, learning language from you, learning to count from you, and learning more and more about the world from the things you say and the things you do. A homeschool preschool curriculum simply helps you direct that learning toward positive and joyous outcomes.
Q: Who can use Scribblers at Home?
A: Everyone! Scribblers is a resource designed for children ages four through eight, but the activities in this book can be scaled to different levels. Furthermore, Scribblers at Home is a family resource, which means there’s no Classical Conversations community component. (However, Classical Conversations members will find useful program information in the resource’s charts as well as additional resources on CC Connected).
Q: Is Scribblers for parents or students?
A: Both! Scribblers introduces parents to the idea that play is the work of childhood and that playing with intention actually builds the skills of learning we all want our children to acquire. The charts alongside each activity show parents what the emphasized skill looks like as it matures in their child—where this knowledge is taking us all! Meanwhile, children benefit from activities that lead them to explore the world as they grow in their ability to think, to express, and to articulate what they see around them. These activities encourage families to play and think together, having fun as they read, explore, and talk about things.
Q: How long will it take to use this resource?
A: Families can set their own pace. Your family may use the 108 activities and charts as often as you like. Furthermore, you can use the book for multiple years with several children.
Q: What sort of activities does this resource include?
A: Activities in phonics, exposition, arithmetic, Latin, science, history, and the Bible are included, as well as a poetry section.
Other Resources for Your Classical Preschool Homeschool Curriculum
If you’re brand-new to the classical education model, be sure to read “Classical, Christian Education: A Brief Overview,” and we’d strongly recommend that you grab a copy of The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education for a greater understanding of both the whys and the hows of classical, Christian homeschooling.
Also, Scribblers is an at-home resource that pairs well with other resources for young children.
The Lyrical Life Science series offers a fun introduction to many scientific concepts in a format that young children will enjoy.
The American Language Series, meanwhile, contains short story readers that you can read aloud with your little ones, all while practicing the most common phonics word families in English.
Practice cursive and handwriting skills with the PreScripts series.
Introduce your littles to Latin with Song School Latin.
Check out “Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child” for a witty look at the importance of play and imagination in early childhood.
As you consider these resources for your child, resist the urge to reflexively think of learning as working through a specific preschool homeschool curriculum, and remember that these resources are designed as preparation for—and not the beginning of—formal academics.
You will make the most of the preschool years if you slow down, treasure this time with your young ones, and enjoy the journey as you set the tone for your home school in the years ahead.