Developing an At-Home Preschool Curriculum for Your Toddler
Whether you want to homeschool your preschooler or your child already attends a formal preschool, it’s a good idea to establish a home curriculum. Doing so will help to foster a love of learning in your toddler early, helping them to cultivate a growth mindset they can carry into kindergarten, grade school, and beyond.
If you want to enrich your child’s education and encourage them to be lifelong learners, it starts now. Before they even enter kindergarten, they could find joy in learning and be curious to always know more as they continue to grow.
With that, let’s take a closer look at how you can develop an at-home preschool curriculum for your child and why setting up this kind of curriculum now will make it easier for them in kindergarten and beyond.
Develop an Itinerary
Any homeschooling parent knows the importance of routine, even when it comes to preschool. It’s a good idea to have a daily itinerary so your toddler stays engaged and you’re both able to move seamlessly from one activity to another.
As you’re developing your itinerary, think about what’s most important for your child to learn. That will vary based on your child’s age and what they already might be learning at a formal preschool.
If you aren’t sure what your day should look like or you’re having trouble getting started with a routine, try some of the following tips:
- Personal hygiene
- Quality time together (reading or talking)
- Two short learning lessons
- An activity or project
- Art or music
Nothing has to be rigid when it comes to your daily schedule. After all, some of these tips may work better for you than others. Do what works for you and your little one, make sure you give them plenty of time to explore, play, and burn off some energy, and adopt learning styles during your lessons that will keep them engaged.
You can make life easier on yourself when it comes to your lessons by creating printable PDF worksheets each week with new concepts for your child to learn. You can then rearrange and customize your PDFs so your worksheets match your lessons. Giving your little one different worksheets to try will keep their interest, and get them excited as they always have something new to look forward to.
You know your child’s strengths and you know which areas require a little more attention. Keep those in mind as you create your itinerary and curriculum, and you can help to turn those “weaknesses” around very quickly.
Preparing Your Preschooler for Kindergarten
Once you have a schedule or routine that’s easy for you and your toddler to follow, consider focusing on the skills they’ll need in the next year. This will help prepare them to enter kindergarten. Teaching things like science, math, history, art, and music is incredibly important.
However, you can also use your at-home preschool to teach them basic life skills that will prepare them for kindergarten and beyond, too. Some objectives to consider include:
- How to wash hands correctly
- Holding a pencil the right way
- Tracing shapes and letters
- Recalling names
- Writing their name
- Taking turns
- Following directions
If routines and readiness prep feels a little overwhelming, consider surrounding yourself with the right kind of support. You can also use the resources available to you to make things easier. For example, you may not be the only person doing at-home preschool in your community. Connect with other parents or homeschooling co-op programs to see how they might be able to get involved.
Additionally, modern tech is reshaping education, so it’s okay to use it to your advantage. You might not want your toddler on a tablet 24/7, but things like immersive learning, gaming, and AR technology can make things fun for your little one while they learn something new. There are plenty of apps and games that you can download for free to help them learn a few basics.
No matter where your child is academically or what their needs might be, developing an at-home preschool curriculum will benefit them in many ways. Not only will it encourage them to be curious learners from an early age, but it can boost their confidence before they enter kindergarten. You might be surprised by how much you get out of the experience, too, so don’t be afraid to take the plunge and become your child’s new favorite teacher!