Teaching at home with younger children who are not yet in school requires a little bit of planning, creativity (whether yours or someone else’s), some scheduling, and a whole lot of patience. But, the good news is that is can be done and you don’t have to come up with all of the ideas yourself. Consider the following when planning a great year for your preschoolers.
Have “school only” activities. Toddlers and preschoolers like to be involved in what is going on and want to do school just like your older students. Select activities that can only be done in order to keep their attention and have them be in the mind frame of “school time”. Fill up a container (plastic bin, box, drawer, etc.,) with activities that can only be done when your other students are are in class.
Begin your school day exclusively with them. A little one-on-one time is well worth it because in my experience, the younger children will be interrupting and performing attention-getting tricks until you pay attention to them. At that point, this is not the best time to try and start a school activity because you are most likely having to take care of a mess or something of that matter. Get them started on an activity after cuddling, hugging, and kissing.
Make a big deal out of them being in school. Your preschooler should be close by to where you are doing school with your older students. This could be at the table with all of your scholars, in the high chair or at a workstation . If you don’t place importance on them being included and train them that they are “in school” then it is difficult for them to see that school is nothing more than time that is not spent with them.
Ideas for Activities:
chenille rods or straws and a plastic colander or plastic lids with holes punched out to insert (or thread) through the holes
stickers and sticker books
color with water books
heavy-duty board books
magnetic letters to use on a cookie sheet or the refrigerator
foam or wooden puzzles
plastic food, old cereal boxes that the ends are taped to play store
tennis ball (roll on floor to a fellow sibling)
pompoms to count, or sort by color (You can include plastic tweezers and a muffin tin for the pompoms. Color code by adding a colored sticker to the bottom of the tin.)
plastic bowls to nest
Do you have any suggestions? Please post so others can enjoy your ideas.