Homeschooling my small children has given them, in my opinion, a huge advantage in life. They’ve been able to identify their strengths and weaknesses in school, without social pressure that traditional school kids face.
I’ve also loved having my kids close by during the chaos that the pandemic brought. That being said, I have to be honest with you…it’s not all perfect!
There are a lot of nitty-gritty difficulties when homeschooling— especially when it comes to teaching small kids.
First off, you the parent (whether you’re mom or dad) must become the teacher too. For some of us, it’s second nature— but for others it’s an entirely new lesson in patience.
When I was teaching my 5-year-old how to spell, I used the textbook provided from my homeschooling program. The book has 6 words on a single page, and it took my five-year-old around fourty-five minutes to get through those 6 words!
It’s easy to forget that your little ones don’t already know how to spell the word “cat” or “dog—” because we as parents think they’re so smart. (And they are!)
But I had to remind myself that even though, to me, these words seem so “easy,” my child was learning them for the first time; and, deserved the same amount of grace that any of us did when we first learned to read.
Another difficult aspect of teaching little kids is having to do battle with their attention spans.
Little kids often find it difficult to sit still and focus on a subject they’re learning for the first time. If they find the topic at hand too boring or too challenging, they may become easily frustrated and fussy.
And while the children’s school days only last around 2-4 hours it can be so difficult to get them to transition from ‘home-mode’ to ‘learning-mode’.
Having designated learning areas help children know it’s school-time and not play-time. To keep small children engaged, you’ve also got to get creative with the enrichment activities.
For most students aged 2 to 5 years old, there really isn’t a whole lot of material to cover (curriculum wise).
So, their entire day is about 10% textbooks, and 90% enrichment activities. I’ve got to hand it to teachers, too, it’s not always easy to think up a fun and exciting way to teach your kids about shapes!
Another challenge with homeschooling is obviously keeping your house clean and tidy.
Maintaining a designated area can also help alleviate some of the mess that comes with homeschooling young children.
All those enrichment activities can require construction paper and crayons or poster boards and yes the word no parent likes…. GLITTER! The thing about homeschooling is that it comes with a lot of stuff, and stuff can create mess, and mess can create stress!
So, try your best to keep everything in one area, and to teach your kids to do the same. Hey you’re learning order and teaching your kids order in the home! Look at that homeschooling teaches virtues naturally!
Even though homeschooling with small children can feel like an uphill battle once you’ve got a good flow of things, you’ll know what to do.
For any parents new to the homeschooling game, I’d highly recommend going with a curriculum program that offers a solid structure and lesson plans.
That way, you at least always know what to do, and what your kids should be learning. Some of these programs also give you enrichment opportunities and ideas.
If you’ve been considering homeschooling for your little kids, remember to take it one day at a time. Have patience with your kids and with yourself too.
And remember you only have a very short 18 to 20 years with your kids at home depending on your culture (wink wink).
Enjoy every moment of the time you have.