Tips for teaching Preschoolers

Teaching preschool should not be about strictly following a routine and procedure. Teaching this age of children should involve lots of free form playing and exploring. Let the children learn naturally and let them experiment. Just provide them with lots of opportunities to explore and experiment. If you are afraid of mess, teaching preschool is not for you. Saying no to mess for a child of this age is like saying no to learning.

These are lots of things a parent can do to help a child develop a love of learning and searching - things that will carry through as a foundation for a life of joyful and successful learning. Below are some of the ideas to get you going:

  • Let the child play with natural materials like water, sand, play dough, slime, silly putty, shaving foam, rocks, pebbles, leaves twigs etc. (always supervise your child when playing with water)
  • Always have a box of crayons, pencils, markers, glitter pens etc and some paper handy for your child.
  • Let him use tools like scissors, punch machines etc. Supervision is a must, but it should not be interfering.
  • Tell stories or read a lot of wonderful books to the child with no expectations beyond immediate enjoyment of the imagination.
  • Keep children's reference books and nice software on hand - like encyclopedias - so that you can look up simple answers to their questions.
  • Take leisurely walks, observing every wonderful little bit of nature out there - birds, bugs, plants, sounds, colors, and changes. Take along a good magnifying glass and peer into the amazing beauty to be found in the throat of a wildflower.
  • Look for faces and animals in the clouds; and in the early evening or on a moonlit night, find faces and animals in the silhouettes of trees against the sky.
  • Listen for the farthest away sound you can hear - and the loudest, as well as the quietest.
  • Listen to children's audio tapes together. Make your own together as well - and record yourself reading favorite little books to your child so that they can be listened to when you're not right there, or are busy driving or otherwise occupied (these can be a treasured keepsake in later years). These tapes can also come in handy later when a child is learning to read - they can follow along on the written page while they listen.
  • Watch sunsets together. Where is the sun going - or is it just that the earth is turning away from it? 
  • Talk together about where the birds are going when you see them fly off into the sunset.
  • Put up a bird feeder outside a window where you can see all the different kinds of birds coming and going. Watching birds keeps us in touch with the world around us.
  • Observe the phases of the moon - find an explanation made simple for children. Discuss the season and the changes in the sky and weather - now and then make observations about the sun being in the southern sky in winter and the northern sky in summer and how that changes the light and shadows.
  • Go out and observe the night sky together - ponder together the mysteries of what's out there, and share a little of what you know about the stars. 
  • Sprout and root bulbs or seeds indoors.
  • Encourage them to have fun learning about their bodies and what they can do! Hop, skip, run, climb, slide, swing - play fun, active games.
  • Make and play with bubbles.
  • Do finger-painting, and paint simple pictures with watercolors.
  • Set up a little play store area with play food, empty milk, egg and other cartons - as well as a little toy cash register and play money.
  • Provide large and easy to handle blocks made out of small boxes and shoe boxes.
  • Allow for plenty of relaxed play and independent activities.
(Many of the ideas above are taken from Best homeschooling. Please note that some of the activities suggested in the article are not appropriate for Muslims.)


umm Zayd 'n Zubayr said...

Assalamualikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Jazak Allah khair for all your research, you saved me the effort. I am basically a mom of two and a half year old twin boys. I am looking forward to home schooling them insha Allah. Your blog looks promising. Keep up the great work and may Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala help you in all your affairs - aameen.

Homeschool 4 Muslims said...

Jazakillah sister! and may Allaah accept every one's efforts aameen


Anonymous said...

MashaAllah ur hardwrk is really beneficial for many homeschoolers.....May Allah give u strength to carry on the good work,In sha Allah.jazakumAllahkhairn

Homeschool 4 Muslims said...

Barakillah sister, and thanks for the kind words, may Allaah accept everyone's efforts and may Allaah grant me the strength and time to carry on with this project.