First Month Homeschooling a 3-year-old
I’ve always known that I wanted to homeschool my children. When I imagined what it would be like, I thought I’d be so organised. Weekly themes, daily goals… I even created a themed preschool plan with songs and books and crafts that I could use each day. Little did I know I’d be blessed with a munchkin with very little interest in structure. Of course, I should have expected as much from a three-year-old boy…what I wasn’t epecting was to realise how much I, as a parent, struggle with structure.
As the beginning of September approached this year, I told myself I’d be starting a unit on God’s cretions, spending week exploring day/night, a week exploring the sky/weather, a week exploring water, and a week exploring land. I had book ideas and song ideas and craft ideas to go along with each topic. Yet, when the first week came, I found myself not doing much more than I had in August. Rather than reading themed books, we just read our favourite books. Rather than singing themed songs, we just sang our favourite songs. And rather than scheduling themed crafts and activities, we just casually introduced the topics in our everyday life. And you know what? I discovered that this approach works perfectly fine.
Evenually, I’d like to work up to having more structure in our homeschool, but for now we are just spending our days looking for learning oppurtunities where they come. Wolfie may not want to draw pictures of day and night skies, but he likes to notice how the sun going down and the moon comin up coresponds to bedtime. We’ve also enjoyed impromtu games like pointing out when the sidewalk is in sunlight or shade during our walk.
I’ve also learned, with this age group, that making learning fun and encouraging current interests is more important than sticking to a preconcieved schedule. I thought I was going to be playing number games every day with Wolfie, but even though he was learning his numbers really well, after a couple weeks he just started saying “I don’t want to play that game” every time I asked him how many fingers were up. On the other hand, he has been showing a great interest in letters and phonics. Several times a day, he asks me to sound out various words, emphasising each phoneme as I go. And though he may not care for drawing or colouring according to a theme, he has been very excited to practice forming letters:
So, while my first month homeschooling has not turned out how I expected, I think I can count it a success so far. The main thing I’ve learned is to not be so hard on myself and realise that Wolfie is only three–playing and going with the flow is the name of the game at this age. And if we can fit in a bit of formal or informal learning as we go, then I think that’s a pretty good start.
Thanks for reading. Any other first time homeschoolers? I’d love to hear your own experiences as you jump into the world of teaching. Comment below or or social media 🙂