Read Aloud Together – Start Them Young!

For the past couple of months, I have received several emails asking me how to homeschool a preschooler. I’ve responded individually to each email and  I’ve recently written a post entitled homeschooling a preschooler FAQ.  I hope I was able to answer most of the inquiries.

I’ve often written that when you are homeschooling preschoolers, it is important that you instill in your children a love of learning and I believe this starts by reading together. Even as babies, you can begin to spend time reading to them.

In our family, we started by reading them Bibles for babies and young kids. Here are some of the Bible stories for Children that we used:

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Then, we read picture stories to them. Through the years, I’ve learned to sort through which kind of picture story books is best. I suggest that you choose picture stories that show great art work, good morale stories, and books which you as an adult enjoy reading. Try as much as possible not to buy those with popular characters since they usually don’t contain much story and depth.

Here are some picture story books we have enjoyed:

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Reading aloud together brings many advantages which includes:

Fostering a love of learning in the child. Vocabulary development, reading skills, speech and reading skills development are just some of the area which grows whenever you spend time reading to a child.

Bonding with your child. It creates irreplaceable memories with your children as they grow up.

The child learns that reading is a worthwhile activity rather than immersing him with digital technologies at an early age.

Read aloud together and start them young! It’s never too early to start!

Homeschool Help: How to Begin Homeschooling Preschoolers

Homeschooling preschoolers is a challenge but it is doable. So where do I start? This is a question I often get and I would try to answer that through this post. Before you even begin looking at curriculum or activities for your child, you must decide why you want to homeschool your preschooler first. Remember that at the preschool age, it is important that you instill a love for learning on your kids so that when they go to primary grades, they will enjoy learning themselves and have good study habits.

1. It is very important that you know why you are doing this so that when tough days come, you have a goal and a reason to go back to.

2. Once you have a goal, it would be good to know your own learning style and the learning style of your child. This will enable you to know what kinds of materials both of you would enjoy doing. I have made a post about learning styles here.

3. Afterwards, you can begin looking for materials which suits your child and which you are comfortable using as well. You don’t have to spend much for preschoolers as there are many available online.

Here are some good sites to start looking for curriculum and preschool materials:

> Confessions of a Homeschooler

> Totally Tots

> 1+1+1=1

> Homeschool Creations

> An Old Fashioned Education

> Letter of the Week

If you need planners and forms, you can check out Donna Young’s site.

 

If you want some free interactive sites, you can visit the following:

> Starfall

> Story Time for me

> Progressive Phonics

 

Resources for Your Preschooler

As I mentioned in my previous post, there are a lot of resources over the internet if you are homeschooling your preschooler. I would like to share with you some of the sites I regularly visit.
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Homeschool Creations


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Choosing A Preschool

My daughter’s first school year is almost over. I can not believe how fast time passes by. Over all, I think the school year has been a good one for Kyla. She has learned to adjust in her own pacing. Leaned new things. Developed relationships with other people.

I have been thinking if I should shift Kyla to a pre-school with grade school or retain her in her current pre-school. What do you think is best? She will be an incoming prep or kinder II student.

Anyway, here is an article I found. I think its pretty useful for choosing a preschool for your kids. It is taken from Choosing A Preschool. It is a US-based article but the insights are good.

Start your search several months before your child will begin attending preschool. You want to have enough time to look around and make a decision you’ll be comfortable with.

Narrowing the Selection

Word of Mouth: Do you have a friend that raves about her daughter’s preschool teacher? Perhaps your sister’s son just loves going to preschool every morning. Talk to your friends and family and find out about preschools in your area. People that you trust with personal experience at specific daycares can be very helpful.

Accreditation and Licensing: You can look up preschools through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC is a nonprofit organization that keeps a list of accredited preschools. Accreditation is a voluntary process that demonstrates a preschool’s quality. There is a long list of criteria a preschool must meet to become accredited, which can help parents to feel secure in their selection.

Licensing shows that a preschool meets certain safety and quality standards, but the standard is not as high as it is for accreditation. Although all accredited preschools must be licensed, not all licensed preschools are accredited. Ask to see the preschool’s license, but make sure you double-check it with a call to the social services department.

What to Consider

Teachers and Staff: The teachers at the preschool you choose should be caring and enthusiastic, with your child’s best interests at heart. They should also be educated, with at least an associate’s degree and preferably a background in early childhood education. The staff should also be trained in CPR and, preferably, certified in first aid.

Operating Hours: Most preschools have sessions for a half day, to keep children from becoming overwhelmed and exhausted. If you need to work for a full day, you may want to look for a preschool with extended hours or consider a preschool that also provides daycare.

Location: You’ll need to decide whether you want your child going to preschool close to home or close to where you work. It may be more convenient for them to be near your workplace, where you can respond to emergencies more quickly, but keep in mind that it will be easier for your children to maintain friendships if they are near home.

Rules: A preschool should have guidelines that all parents follow. Besides hours that they’re open, look for a preschool with a clear sick child policy. If they are strict about illnesses that require your child to stay home, you’ll know that they’re doing all they can to keep your child healthy. Also make sure that they have a rule requiring all children to be current with immunizations.

Curriculum: Your child’s day at preschool should be varied. There should be time for physical activity, quiet time, reading, group activities, meals and free time. Look for a preschool that doesn’t make TV and video games a big part of any day. Although it may be tempting to look for a preschool with rigorous academics to get your kid off to a good start, children this young aren’t yet ready for strict learning. Look for a preschool that will nurture them and encourage them to learn, without being too demanding.

Cleanliness and Safety: Of course you want your child’s preschool to be clean and safe, and it must be to get licensed or accredited. When you visit, though, make sure that it appears clean to you, that there isn’t trash left about and that the temperature seems appropriate. Make sure there isn’t anything dangerous within a child’s reach, such as cleaning products or other hazardous materials. If the preschool is on the second story or higher, there should be screens or bars on the windows to keep kids from falling. Smoke detectors should be in working condition, and a first aid kit should be easily accessible.

Visiting: Call and ask to be taken on a tour of each preschool that you’re considering. Most likely the principal or director will meet with you to tell you about the school and answer any questions you may have. You may also want to observe the classroom, meaning you’ll sit quietly and watch what happens during a regular class day.

A preschool should feel welcoming and safe when you walk in. You may want to go toward the end of the day, when parents will be coming to pick up their children and you can talk to some of them about the preschool. Trust your instincts when visiting a preschool. If it seems that the kids aren’t happy at their preschool, chances are they’re not.