5. Teach them to sort objects.
A great many sorting and matching games are out there, but you can do this in real life too. Let them help sort socks. As you unpack groceries, let your preschoolers sort the canned veggies from the canned fruit. Let them sort the M&MS® by color. (M&MS® are very educational!)
6. Teach them about spatial relationships.
This is a fancy way of saying to teach them concepts such as “over,” “under,” “in,” and “out.” An introduction to “opposites” often works well as you teach these concepts. Stuffed animals are great tools with which to teach this skill (e.g., Is Harvey Hare over or under Martha Mouse?).
7. Teach them to count to 10.
Again, you will have opportunities to do this every day. “How many plates are on the table? Let’s count them!”
8. Help your preschoolers develop motor skills.
Throw balls; color with crayons and markers; cut with children’s scissors. Many of these simple childhood activities build fine-motor skills that are essential when your child later learns to write.
9. Develop a good vocabulary and use it around your kids.
According to the Children’s Defense Fund, by the time a child from a middle-class family enters first grade, he has a vocabulary of about 20,000 words. However, a child from a low-class family knows only about 5,000 words.1 The truth is, class should not matter. If your vocabulary is not large, expand it and talk to your child as you would an adult—within reason.
10. Use good grammar around your children.
Many children are handicapped educationally because they did not have good grammar models in the home. You will make the teaching of English so much easier if your child knows what proper grammar sounds like. If you are not sure yourself, then get a book on the topic and learn. Listen to good books on tape, and listen to intelligent, excellent media. You will soon get the hang of it, and your child will too.
Amelia Harper is a homeschooling mother of five and a pastor’s wife. She is the author of Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings, a complete one-year literature curriculum for secondary-level students. She is also a freelance writer for newspapers and magazines.
©2008 The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2008 issue of The Old
Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC
Reprinted with permission from the publisher.