Thursday, August 23, 2012

Homeschooling Toddlers & Preschoolers

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  And these words which I command you today shall be in your herat.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit inyour house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." ~ Deuteronomy 6:4-9
 I have become serious with my homeschooling research as of late.  I had decided to implement a few things since Little Jack seems to be absorbing so much and curious about everything.  In doing so I came upon the article below.  My heart was encouraged.  Without even realizing it, I've been homeschooling for 2 years (Little Jack is 26 months old.)!  So I really don't have to implement anything, but I am going to be more intentional in providing learning experiences for him to absorb and to satisfy his curiosity.

Homeschooling Recommendations for Toddlers and Preschoolers

by Shannon White
  1. Read to your child daily, for at least half an hour. Break this into shorter time segments if attention spans are still short. Choose quality storybooks. Toddlers often land on one particular story that they want to hear over and over, which is great for them if you can stand the repetition!
  2. Talk to your child throughout the day, while you are going about routine tasks. Listen attentively to your child, even if he or she is just jabbering, and respond.
  3. Hug, kiss, cuddle, wrestle-play often during the day.
  4. Let your child help you with household tasks when you can. Give your child simple chores that he or she can do on his own.
  5. Encourage your child to explore by providing books, blocks, play dishes, washable markers and paper, a doll or stuffed animal, puzzles, etc. Interest is often renewed if toys are made available on a rotating basis. Too many toys, especially non-creative ones, just overwhelm a child and encourage greed.
  6. The early years are an excellent time for memorization. Even at age two, children can learn to recite their parents’ names, their phone number, their address and Bible verses. Spend maybe five minutes a day learning something new or reviewing memory work.
  7. Include music in your life. Sing to and with your child; listen to child-friendly or even classical CDs. Choosing Christian music is a wonderful way to emphasize your Christian values as well.
  8. Keep the TV off. Numerous studies have shown that even the best videos may be harmful to your child, and that interactive play is always to be preferred. Make carefully chosen videos a rare treat, if offered at all. I know this is radical!
  9. Limit sweets. Kids and adults alike are healthier and learn better if they have wholesome meals and nutritious snacks as a lifestyle. We've had a hard time getting to this point, but I'm glad we have.
  10. If you want your child to learn a foreign language, start early. Studies show that younger children learn faster than high school aged teens. Of course, live interaction with a person speaking the language is best, but CDs also work fine. Ones that include music will heighten interest.
  11. Don't worry about socialization. Children need to interact with Mama and Daddy. They really don't need all the pressures of a group of peers for many years to come. Socialize by serving others with your child (visiting an elderly relative, for example) and by inviting another family to your home for a meal or for a play date.
  12. Most importantly, pray for (and with!) your child daily and teach the truths of the Christian faith as you go through the day and in special devotion times.
  13. And of course, have fun! Enjoy these precious days with your child. Remind yourself on bad days that this time goes by so quickly, and savor it! Choose laughter!
Shannon White and her husband, Gary, have always homeschooled their six children. Shannon strives to follow her own recommendations, with both successes and failures on any given day.

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