Homeschooling Younger Children

Last week, I explained our homeschooling philosophy. Now, I want to give you an idea of what that looks like for younger children. Philosophies are great, but what people want to know is how to apply it. Our oldest daughter isn’t even four years old, but we have already started applying our philosophy.The most important thing, especially with a young child, is to teach them to love to learn. No matter how much information you drill into their little heads, if they don’t love learning, you’ve wasted your time.

One of our key ideas is for our children to learn through real, everyday life. These are all things we do or have done with our three-year-old. As we do these things, we also explain them.

  • Math: count tomatoes from the garden, count ingredients for cooking, basically anything she is interested in!
  • Science: gardening, cooking, cleaning (we explain how things work, on her level of comprehension)
  • Health: herbs, cooking, play/exercise
  • English: family reading, sandpaper letters
  • History: tell her about how things were done
  • Cultural: ethnic foods, picture books, art (viewing and creating)

With younger children, we parents have to take advantage of their natural curiosity. When Pumpkin asks about something, we often pull out a book or get on-line. We will look at pictures, watch videos, look at maps and tell her what we can about the subject for as long as she expresses interest. For example, she asked several questions about mountain goats, so my hubby got on-line with her and they watched videos about them. She learned about where they live, what they eat, what they do and more! Another example is with herbs. She helps me make herbal remedies and she even knows what many of them are for. At only 3 1/2 years old, she can go into the yard and find plantain for bug bites and stings!

Children love hands-on activities and games. Make learning fun! Having art supplies available is a given, but go beyond the basics. I’ve already posted about how much Pumpkin loves “doing shapes”, and I will be adding more homeschool activities as we do them.

Homeschooling young children doesn’t take a special teaching certificate or lots of expensive curriculum. Use what you already have and teach your kiddos from the things in their everyday lives.

This post has been included in the Weekend Whatever at Your Thriving Family!

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