Homeschooling Your Preschool Child

homeschooling-a-preschooler-naomi-mc-laughlan

Each child has unique interests and learning needs, not to mention attention spans. Therefore, if you are wondering whether homeschooling is suitable for your child or children, it is best to do an initial evaluation of what your preschool child’s needs are.

Several online resources provide lesson suggestions for preschoolers. You may find these materials very helpful. However, consider them only as a guide to give your child’s learning some direction. It is highly advised to be aware of the learners’ interests, be it an inclination to writing, sports, arts and crafts, or any other subject. You can then incorporate these interests into your list of “things that a home schooled child should know.”

For different age groups of children, you may need to employ different methods and techniques for homeschooling. And in order to know which methods and activities best suits your child under a specific age group, this short list may be of help.

Children of age 2 are found to be the most difficult. The child often gets bored and at times frustrated when being taught. Stimuli are needed in order to catch their interests. Children of this age group are most eager to learn, often walking around, and climbing steps. Common behaviors of this age include self-centeredness and possessiveness. Their sense of humor also develops. Do activities relating to these capabilities of the child.

Homeschooling a 3 year old is even more trying. At this point, the child is more physical in affection and in play. They don’t mind change, love having friends to play with, and they take verbal instructions very well. Use these to stimulate them to participate in learning activities. At this age, they are already capable of communicating their needs.

Children of age 4 are usually capable of working with scissors, hopping around on one foot or skipping. They start to learn to draw and possess a lot of physical energy. Let them try new things, as this will be their number one interest. They are very imaginative so give them an opportunity to develop and express this creativity.

Remember that all children grow at their own rate,

and in their own ways.

To achieve maximum benefits for the home schooled preschooler, you should trust your child’s own intuition of their momentary needs and wants and give them sufficient freedom to explore, inquire, and ultimately learn.

I invite you to take part in the Professional Home Educator Academy, which is an online based training program for parents who like to set up a successful home-school environment. I have been a homeschooling mum of three for many years now, and I have highly enjoyed every step of it.In the program I share not only my experience, but also easy to follow steps and strategies on how you can make homeschooling integrate into your own family setup.

PHEA Pic

Let me know what you think in the comment section below!
Please LIKE COMMENT FOLLOW & SHARE
All the Best,
Naomi xxx
Advertisements

How do Children learn best?

How do children learn NaomiMcLaughlan 2

Have you ever asked yourself what the best approach may be to teach your children new knowledge and skills?

Especially if you are a homeschooling parent like me, this thought may have crossed you mind too.

I have prepared an outline for you, including the learning theories and styles which are most referred to and associated with learning.


How children learn best NaomiMcLaughlan 3

Learning through Sensory Stimulation

According to the sensory stimulations theory effective learning occurs when the senses are stimulated. In relation to this theory the VARK questionnaire was established which tests a persons’ preference for learning best. Most people are multimodal learners which basically means that they prefer all learning styles, Visual, Aural, Read/Write, Kinesthetic, but some more than others.

Children learn best if their senses are stimulated while learning and this could be achieved by changing learning materials and learning activities to keep them actively interested in the lesson. In Waldorf schools children form letters out of play dough and experiment a lot with different materials during their lessons. Some of these lessons take place on the actual place of action, for example a visit to a farm to learn about the work as a farmer and the animals.


Learning through Reinforcement

The reinforcement theory developed by B.F. Skinner outlines that desired behaviour will be learned by positive reinforcement in the form of rewards, either verbally or through tangible rewards. Some schools use this technique by mentioning how well a child has done something to the child directly or written under the child’s work. During assemblies special certificates are handed out to children who have done especially well during the week, most of these certificates are for rewarding good behaviour in class or during break time. This way of reinforcement can easily be incorporated for a home educated child.


Learning through Facilitation

The humanist approach or facilitation theory, outlines that learning will occur by the educator acting as a facilitator, which means that children have a natural eagerness to learn and will do so, if the teacher (parent) and learning environment offers a stimulating atmosphere. This approach is the basis of Montessori schools worldwide, which was founded by the Italian educator and physician Maria Montessori. Children are inquisitive from birth onwards; they try to understand the world around them; by asking chain questions, trying something new, and keeping themselves busy all day long.


How do children learn NaomiMcLaughlan 1

Learning in a Homeschool Environment

Home schooling works wonderfully by using a mix of learning styles and approaches to engage your child during a lesson, because sometimes one approach could work for some children but maybe not for all children.

Most children enjoy experiencing new concepts, engaging in a new activity and  using their imagination to solve a problem. Their interest can be enhanced when they are able to access a variety of media, in form of books, brochures or EBooks, looking at or producing posters, graphs and videos during the teaching sessions.

PHEA Pic

If you are not a home educator yet, but would like to start homeschooling your child or children, I invite you to visit the ‘Professional Home Educator Academy‘, which will help you to set up a successful home-school environment.

All the Best,

Naomi xxx

Multisensory Activities for Children with Special Needs & SEN + Home-School Tips / Part 1

My kids looooove Arts & Crafts, so whenever possible we try to do something new. Over the years I have noticed that from a learning standpoint it gives me the opportunity to integrate multisensory learning nuggets.

Stimulate the Senses NaomiMcLaughlan

You can integrate:

  • Visual stimulation though; colours, text, video, and images
  • Auditory focus on sound through; music, speech, rhymes, and creating poems
  • Tactile stimulation using the sense of touch and using; soft and hard items, experiment with different textures, temperatures, small and large objects
  • Kinesthetic use of body movement and involve fine and gross motor movement such as; movements paired with activities while counting, jumping rope, clapping, stomping, singing songs, dancing, beanbag tossing, basketball, rhythmic recall games, and academic competition such; quizzes or flashcard races

In this post and the upcoming post I will share some fun activities you can easily do at home.


How to Make Tie & Dye T-Shirts

Tie Dye 1 NaomiMcLaughlanWhat you need:       

  • Cotton T-Shirt
  • Dye (we used 4 different colours)
  • Plastic Screw-Top Bottles for easier Dye Application
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Rubber Bands
  • Apron
  • Plastic Bags (one for each T-shirt)

Please note: Each dye has slightly different instructions on how to mix it with water, therefore please refer to the manufacturer’s instruction for best results.

NaomiMcLaughlan Tie Dye Collage Gif 1How to create Tie & Dye Spirals

Step 1: Grab the centre of your t-shirt and start twisting it in a spiral

Step 2: Secure the T-shirt with 4 elastic rubber bands across the spiral

Step 3: Dye each part of the spiral in another colour

Step 4: Place the T-shirt in a plastic bag and let the dye work, so that it has time to react with the cloth for up to six hours.

Step 5: Take of the rubber bands and rinse the T-shirt until there is no remaining dye draining from the T-shirt.

Tie Dye Shirt NaomiMcLaughlan

NaomiMcLaughlan Tie Dye Collage Gif 2How to create Tie & Dye Horizontal Stripes

Step 1: Fold your T-shirt lengthwise.

Step 2: Tie as many rubber bands as you intent to create horizontal stripes along the T-shirt.

Step 3: Dye each part of the horizontal stripes in another colour.

Step 4: Place the T-shirt in a plastic bag and let the dye work, so that it has time to react with the cloth for up to six hours.

Step 5: Take of the rubber bands and rinse the T-shirt until there is no remaining dye draining from the T-shirt.

Tie Dye Collage NaomiMcLaughlan

SEN Tip: This visual and tactile activity allows your child to experience a wonderful transformation created by his or her own hands, which your child can later proudly wear and talk about.

Home-schooling Tip: You can use this activity to explore how dye cures, in which countries tie & dye is a common way to make colourful clothing, or how cotton is produced.


How to make Chocolate Coated Cake Pops

NaomiMcLaughlan Cake Pops 2

NaomiMcLaughlan Cake PopsWhat you need:

  • Sponge Cake
  • Milk Chocolate (melted)
  • White Chocolate (meted)
  • Chocolate Drops
  • Desiccated Coconut Flakes
  • Sugar Pearls
  • Cake Pop Sticks
  • Apron
  • Fondue (optional to melt the chocolate and to make the experience a little more special for your children, but it should be handled and supervised at all times with great care, due to the heat)

Step 1: Break, cut or form small squares or balls from your sponge cake.

Step 2: Place one cake pop stick in each cake square or ball.

Step 3: Dip the cake pop in chocolate.

Step 4: Coat each cake pop with chocolate drops, desiccated coconut flakes or sugar pearls.

Step 5: Allow the cake pops to dry, either facing down on a plate or standing up in a cup or cake pop stand.

SEN Tip: This tactile and kinestetic activity is excellent, as it allows your child to create an edible treat for him or herself or a hand-made gift for a friend or family member.

Home-schooling Tip: You can use this activity to explore the origins of chocolate, you can learn about the ingredients of chocolate and how they are transformed to chocolate products, or how cocoa beans grow and in which countries.

Please note: We used solely vegan and non-dairy products, as my daughter has serious food allergies and we avoided the use of nuts for the same reason.

I hope you will enjoy the activities as much as we did, Please LIKE & SUBSCIBE

All the Best,

Naomi xxx

P.S.:

If you like to read more about “Why teaching your child multisensory simultaneous helps her/his brain to function at its best!”, read my blog post here: https://naomimclaughlan.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/why-teaching-your-child-multisensory-simultaneous-helps-herhis-brain-to-function-at-its-best/

Why teaching your child multisensory simultaneous helps her/his brain to function at its best!

In all activities both sides of the brain are used to a greater or lesser extent.

However some people use one side of the brain more than the other side of the brain.

Brain Facts:

  • The emotional and long-term memory part of our brain is called the Limbic System.
  • The brain is divided into left and right hemispheres; it’s called the Neo Cortex.

The logical left hemisphere helps us with;

  • numbers
  • reading
  • writing
  • logic language
  • sequencing
  • fine detail

The creative right hemisphere helps us to;

  • visualise
  • see, recognise and appreciate  images and pictures
  • see, recognise and appreciate  art and design
  • appreciate music
  • to see patterns

The aim is to connect the hemispheres, although the two sides operate in different ways.

We can retrieve information easily, if we can learn in variety of ways. The best way to learn and remember things well is when we can use our emotions while we learn something new.

Children as well as adults use a combination of learning styles.

What are Learning Styles?

Most prefer to learn using only one or two of these ways. If we can learn to use both sides of the neo cortex (whole brain learning).By using different learning styles, learning will improve. Everyone has a preferred learning style.

  • Visual learners like to see pictures, moving images, colour and diagrams.
  • Auditory learners like to hear voices and sounds.
  • Kinaesthetic learners like use touch to learn, they move around and to do things practically.Image

What about concentration?

The concentration span is higher at the beginning of a lesson, children lose concentration after some time, and they may misbehave and stop learning. Especially for young children it is hard to sit still and listen for a long period of time.Image

Baking numbers and letters is one way how I teach my little one multisensory simultaneous –  with lots of fun.  Here is what you need for up to 40 cookies;

Vegan Maple Oat Cookies

110g margarine

125g sugar

3-4 table spoons Maple Syrup

2 table spoons sparking water

200g self-rising flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt

100g porridge oats

1. Preheat oven to 180’C/350’F/gas4.

2. Cover a couple of large baking trays with baking paper.

3. Mix the margarine and sugar together in a mixing bowl until creamy.

4. Add the Maple Syrup, flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.Image

5. Now add the sparkling water and the oats.

6. Knead the dough until it is nice and firm.

7. Dust your hands, rolling pin and your work surface.

8. Roll out the dough until it’s about ½ cm thick.

9. Use Number or Letter Cutters to make shapes and transfer them to the trays.Image

10. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy!!!

Naomi xxx

Leave a comment below – LIKE & SHARE