There are two things parents of preschoolers should keep in mind…
- The early years are the most critical learning years and set the stage for all future learning.
- A parent is the child’s first teacher.
For those of you who have chosen to provide a preschool experience at home, here are some suggestions for making the most of teaching your preschooler at home.
The Home Environment
Consider what you will need in order to provide plenty of learning opportunities for your preschooler. Where possible, provide furniture such as a child sized table, chairs, and shelves. In your home classroom you will want to have children’s books, art supplies, educational games, blocks, and other toys available that promote fine motor skills, dramatic play, and other learning opportunities through play. Unlike a center-based classroom, your classroom may not have everything all in the same room but you will want to make sure you are providing ample access and opportunity for your preschooler to explore a variety of activities.
Establishing a Routine
A daily routine is another important part of creating the home learning environment. Young children learn best when they have a routine in place. Your routine may include time set aside each morning for planned preschool activities. A routine or schedule will also allow you to observe the developmental progress your child is making over time. Every routine should allow for some flexibility but your best bet in providing a quality preschool experience is to get into a routine that you and your child can count on.
Become a Self-Educated Preschool Parent
Invest in yourself and become a self-educated preschool parent. Early childhood education is not to be taken lightly. As I mentioned before, the early years are the most critical learning years and set the stage for all future learning. Educate yourself on these three primary developmental domains and seek to provide activities that promote each domain as you teach your child.
The second area that you should seek to educate yourself is on the value of play in the learning process. Young children need time to play and providing opportunities for a variety of play helps to promote each of the developmental areas mentioned above.
Online Early Childhood Education Resources
One of the best ways to increase your knowledge of early childhood education is to surf the web for information. Pre-K Pages offers an endless supply of ideas for creating lesson plans as wells as ideas for designing a classroom environment. There are also many online social groups all designed around early childhood education. Teach Preschool on Facebook consists of people from all backgrounds and provides an ample supply of links to early childhood sites filled with ideas for early learning.
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