I love this question! I love the enthusiasm and devotion of a mom who wants to inspire her child’s love of learning.
The best part is homeschooling kids under the ages of 7-8 is inexpensive, easy, and fun.
Don’t make this common mistake
Sometimes overly enthusiastic moms want a full-on, structured, workbook based curriculum for their little ones because they’ve heard that’s the way to give their child a head start. However, study after study has confirmed kids who are tied down to workbooks before they are developmentally ready (by age 8 or so) lose any early gains in reading, writing or math ability by age 11 and end up performing below their peers for the remainder of their school years. They also have a 70% higher chance of developing learning blocks.
Easy and Effective Early Learning
Save yourself frustration and headaches by providing early educational opportunities that align with the way young children learn while building a solid foundation for formal studies.
- Surprisingly the number 1 best way to prepare a child for their future is to train them in good behaviors: Obedience, respect, self-control, and good manners are critical to raising a child who does their school work diligently so they get the most benefit from their studies. Start by teaching your pre-schooler first time obedience. This is an early form of being respectful to those in authority over them. As adults they will be responsible to some authority outside themselves, if not a boss, then to the government authorities and of course, God Himself. Learning respect now by obeying mom and dad will pay dividends for the rest of their life.
- Teach them to sit still. By the time they are ready for formal schooling around age 7 or 8, their little bodies need to be ready to sit still for up to 40 minutes at a time. Start when they are young by requiring preschoolers to sit for 5 to 10 minutes at a time while you read aloud or have family devotions. Increase the time by 5 minutes every six months or so and by the time they are ready to sit at a table and study, they will be have the self-control to sit still for entire class periods.
- Chores. Every member of the family who is old enough to walk is old enough to help. Even an 18 month old can help pull clothes out of the dryer or pick their toys up off the floor and put them in a basket. Add additional duties as they grow and by age 12 a child should be able to cook simple meals, wash their own laundry, be responsible for pet care, do dishes, mow lawns,take out the trash, and help mom and dad with bigger jobs. Yes it takes more work up front to train them. It is easier to just do it yourself. However, by the time they are teenagers there is very little mom and dad should have to do around the house. The kids can do 90% of it for you. Doing chores teaches children to do their work with excellence which will be reflected in the quality of their school work later.
- Family Devotions. Pray for your children and pray with them. Let them see mom and dad seeking God for guidance and wisdom, studying God’s word, and practicing His truth in daily living. Children who see faith modeled at home in real-life, day to day situations, are much more likely to be firmly established in their own faith and less attracted to the ways of the world.
- Read aloud. A lot. Reading aloud to children gives them a good ear for vocabulary. It helps with spelling skills later on. It exposes them to reading at a level beyond what they would read for themselves. When read aloud is done cuddled on the couch or in bed before sleeping, the child associates reading with pleasant times. If you read high quality literature, your children will perfer to read high quality literature for themselves later on. Today’s trendy “junk food” books will not appeal to them.
- Get messy! Crafts, art projects, make believe, free play, exploration, and building things will help stimulate the creative right side of their brain. Children who have plenty of play time develop stronger problem solving and critical thinking skills which involves both sides of the brain.
- Family games. Educational and fun, games get all ages together for an enjoyable time of learning without “school.” Effective learning requires both the cognitve function of understanding material AND an emotional connection. When a child is engaged emotionally, such as laughing and playing while learning the information sticks solidly in their long term memory. Some fun examples:
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