Homeschooling Your Preschool Child

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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.

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All the Best,
Naomi xxx
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How do Children learn best?

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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.


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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.

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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

How to promote expected behaviour, values and attitudes in a home school environment

In order to demonstrate expected behaviour, values and attitudes it is important to be consistent in every aspect of the home school environment.

Palytime NaomiMcLaughlan

Make your child or children aware of the expected behaviour, rules and sanctions.
As a teaching parent or carer, promote a positive behaviour yourself by treating every child with respect, without favouring one child over the other and by promoting equality and accepting a diverse capability of your children. Children often feel treated unfair if a younger child is allowed to take more breaks, for example, this can be avoided by explaining to the elder child the reasons for it.

Desk NaomiMcLaughlanHere are three major things to consider:

1. Keep the teaching area ‘classroom’ tidy
2. Be well prepared at the beginning of each lesson (lesson plan, required books etc.)
3. Keep interruptions to a minimum (phone calls etc.)

You could create a visual reminder for your child or children by making a poster of your desired behaviours. Include aspects like: Good behaviour is seen as being friendly, kind, polite, and careful, during lessons children should be working in a quiet manner and children are asked to being helpful to each other, to consider and accept the different needs of others.
Remind your children often of what is expected of  them, by using prompts to assist them to remember your rules etc.
Praise good behaviour in front of siblings in your ‘classroom’ and treat your child with special certificates as well or other prompts like sticker charts, or the possibility to collect team points to get a rewarded.


How do we deal with unacceptable behaviour?

Sad NaomiMclaughlan

In the case of unacceptable behaviour there have to be sanctions in place and your child or children should be aware of them.
At the end of the lesson speak to your child, which can mean that the child loses some of his/her free time. In some cases a detention / extra work can be given, for example if the child has not done his/her work or has repeatedly disturbed the lesson.
If normal systems are not successful an Individual Behaviour Plan (IBP) could be a way to monitor and evaluate the situations and behaviours of your child. An easy way of drawing such a plan is to list negative behaviours over a period of time, then to think of reasons which might have caused the undesired behaviour and lastly to make a plan on how to address these behaviours appropriately.

The most important aspect though, is to communicate with your child on a regular basis that good behaviour is highly valued by yourself and therefore give more attention towards good behaviour then towards bad behaviour. This will automatically reinforce your child to behave him/herself better.


If you are not a homeschooler yet, why don’t you sign up for The Professional Home Educator Academy online training?

It will teach you everything you need to know to start home schooling your child or children!

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All the Best,

Naomi xxx

How to contribute to maintaining and analysing records of your Home-schooled child or children

Teach PHEAEven though as a home educator you are not legally obliged in the UK to keep records of your child’s progress or take tests, it might still be highly valuable for you and your children.

In other countries, like in some states of the US you do have to keep a log book / portfolio of your child’s home-school journey. Whether you decide to keep records or not, please regularly check with you local educational authority whether any requirements have changed, for example on an annual basis.

Records and tests do not have to be as stressful and formal like in mainstream schools and can be part of a regular routine without being as pressurising as usually for children in mainstream school provision.


By incorporating worksheets that you either design yourself or buy in form of test books etc. could become a part of your home-school structure, for example at the end of each month, or before you take a holiday- or term break several times a year.

During the lesson you can monitor your child or children by;

  • Observation,
  • designing tasks and tests
  • keeping work samples, portfolios and projects
  • use standardised tests books or print-outs (SAT’s, GCSE, A Levels)
  • take notes of incidents and monitor your child’s responses to activities and modify approaches accordingly
  • peer and self-assessment

You can then evaluate and analyse the progress. You can use your findings to designed follow-on lessons and provide focused support and feedback to your child or children.


Having written records can sometimes be helpful, if you either reintegrate your child back into the mainstream school system or if the local educational authority requests to see evidence of actual home education. Both instances might not be applicable to you at this point, but I believe being prepared might be best in any case.

And not to forget that your child or children might want to apply for an apprenticeship or at University one day and require some form of written portfolio of their past education.

Tell me NaomiMcLaughlan

If you are thinking of starting to home-educate your child or children, I invite you to visit the Professional Home Educator Academy, which is an outstanding online training programme, which gives you everything you need to create a successful homeschool environment.

All the Best,

Naomi

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