Homeschooling your preschoolers this season

The outbreak of COVID-19 has affected parents in different ways. The lockdown had equally forced some parents to become teachers at home, in addition to other family responsibilities. Based on government’s directive, it will take a while to flatten the curve. Hence, parenting enthusiast and Founder, The Cuddle Blog, Tomilola Olatunde has provided tips to homeschool your preschooler.

Approach with a different mindset: Homeschooling doesn’t mean you have to replicate school in your home. The idea is to educate your child and that doesn’t equal to being in a certain place or at a certain time. We need to first change our mind about what we think homeschooling is about.

Search for the developmental milestone of your child’s age: If you are worried about what they should be learning, a developmental milestone can guide you. All you have to do is search online for what your child should learn at his age and tailor his play towards that.

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•Have a bear minimum list: Life can get busy and we lose track of the things we are supposed to do with our kids. That’s normal and it happens. Have a minimum list on those days. This means, for every given day, these are the things I will do with my child to assist his development/learning.

Children learn something new every time you spend time outdoor. You can be looking at flowers and they are learning all about creativity, science, colours and art appreciation.
They can pick up stones and count, and learn about numeric concepts. They can learn identification of objects. So, ensure you take time each day to go outdoors.

•Follow your child’s interest: Let your child’s interest lead what you focus on in your home school. Is your child interested in books? They can learn vocabulary building, numeracy and so much more from books. Is your child interested in baking? They can learn maths concepts, literacy, patience, and science from baking. Whatever your child is interested in, they will focus longer on and you can explore those interests.

Have you ever caught your child playing alone in a world of his own? That’s called free play. This doesn’t involve structure and this type of play is so important for children. Free play gives children the chance to put to use what they have already learnt, use their imagination, promote physical activities and independence aids healthy brain development.

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Olatunde, a mum of one noted that parents should remember that learning happens from when children wake up till they go to bed.

“If you are one that doesn’t have it in your bones to work through a curriculum, another approach is connecting learning to living. Having your preschooler drop his clothes in the laundry when it’s bath time, sort out his socks while counting it, reading a book and having them point out a phonic sound.

“Cooking and letting them measure the ingredients, writing out a shopping list with them are different activities that have incorporated so much mathematics, literacy that you won’t even get with a table and chair.”

“Reduce screen time and fill the time with meaningful play. If your children are addicted to the screen, please, take some time to wean them off, one day at a time and replace the time with meaningful play time – good old hide and seek, running, jumping on a trampoline, water play in the bath, bicycle ride outside are great ways to engage your kids.”

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