In past generations, small children learned (and learned a lot) through their play, daily interactions at home, etc. Schooling toddlers and preschoolers is a fairly new phenomenon, and I would go as far as to say that formal schooling for your toddlers and preschoolers is actually not a necessity. With that being said, please understand that when it comes to Four-Year Old Homeschool Preschool, you can not mess it up – I promise!
Homeschool Preschool is simply a way to describe you taking advantage of opportunities to guide your little learner as they discover the world around them. When I chat about homeschooling preschoolers, I’m talking about reading with them, playing with them, and involving them in those day-to-day life moments that have the power to teach.
When my oldest turned two, I decided to begin venturing into the world of Homeschool Preschool. I felt that we would both benefit from the structure and routine it would provide during our days together, and as a former classroom teacher, I must admit I was especially excited to plan learning activities for him.
I simply couldn’t help myself!
While I am a firm believer that children learn best through play as well as through interactions with others, I thought it would be fun to have just a few minutes each day dedicated to these learning activities – definitely something that can be practiced while simply playing and reading books aloud with your little one, but I decided to take it a step further – just for fun.
Are you wanting to do the same? If so, simply choose the areas where you would like to focus with your little one, and then gather resources that will assist you in meeting those goals. Please don’t drive yourself crazy overthinking the details. I assure you that there is no wrong way to do this. The only danger is trying to take on too much at once – overwhelming yourself and your child. My first piece of advice for two-year old homeschool preschool?
Keep it simple – Keep it fun.
I assure you it will make all the difference!
This post will provide you with tips and ideas that will make it possible for you to navigate Four-Year Old Homeschool Preschool at home with your child, and my hope is that you and your little one will have a lot of fun learning together!
Four-Year Old Homeschool Preschool
What Do I Want My Four-Year Old to Learn?
For the four-year old year, I like to focus on the following areas:
Your goals for your little one may differ, but this list will provide you with a good starting point!
- Recognizing/Tracing/Writing Letters
- Recognizing and Applying Vowel/Consonant Sounds
- Recognizing Sight Words & Reading CVC Words
- Recognizing/Tracing/Writing/Counting Numbers to 100
- Identifying/Drawing Basic Shapes
- Recognizing Coins & Becoming Familiar with their Value
- Becoming Familiar with both Analog and Digital Clocks
- Recognizing/Creating Patterns & Sequences
- Gross Motor Skills/Fine Motor Skills
If you’ve followed along with my areas of focus for two-year olds and three-year olds, you will see that this four-year old list includes new areas of focus. At this point, our school time is including more and more, but as always, the goal is for your preschooler to continue exploring the world around them. This is the key to fostering a love of learning, and raising life-long learners is most definitely at the heart of all of this.
The above activity is from Bitty Beginnings.
What Resources Do I Use?
For Bible, we use The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name and Jesus Calling for Little Ones. During breakfast each morning, we read a story from one of these, and it serves as the perfect way to kick off our morning. I saved all of our favorite Bible resources here.
We have made Scripture Memorization a part of our daily Home School Routine. For our three-year old homeschool year, we memorize Psalm 23 and portions of Luke 2 (around the holidays). For our four-year old homeschool year, we memorize Psalm 100 and revisit those same portions of Luke 2 (around the holidays) – continuing to review Psalm 23 as well. We focus on one specific chapter each year. Not only does this give us the opportunity to truly meditate on the verses in the passage, but it also keeps us from getting overwhelmed. Scripture memory is also a focus in some of the outside programs in which my kids are involved, and I definitely want to keep Bible memory fun for them.
Our Favorite Scripture Memory Practice Ideas:
Scripture Memory Resources We Love:
Scripture Music – While there are so many incredible resources out there, my absolute favorite is Steve Green’s Hide ’em In Your Heart Collection. Even as an adult, I will oftentimes find myself singing these that I learned when I was a kid. The Hidden in My Heart Lullaby Collection is another option – it is hands down some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard.
*Abeka also offers a cursive program for 4’s, but we choose to wait until second-grade to transition to cursive.
More About How We Do Abeka Phonics:
We kick off the four-year old year with Phonics Charts 1 & 2, but as the year goes on and our preschooler grows in their understanding of phonics, we add additional phonics charts to our daily practice and we begin using the following Abeka products:
*These are color coded to coordinate with the Phonics Charts.
Read More: How We Use Abeka Phonics
Handwriting Without Tears’ Letters & Numbers for Me Workbook is also a great option! Handwriting without Tears offers loads of great sensory activities for beginning learners. We use the Keyboarding without Tears component of their program, so if you visit their website, be sure to check that out as well!
If your little one is showing an interest in reading, you may want to encourage them with these fun ideas!
The Handwriting Without Tears’ Letters & Numbers for Me workbook offers some practice with writing numbers, but for the four-year old year, we also use Kumon’s math workbooks. Their Numbers 1-30 workbook is a great place to start, and using these either during the summer before the four-year old year and/or after the four-year old year has worked well for us.
Their workbooks include so much variety, and I love the way Kumon encourages critical thinking – even at a young age.
My First Book of Uppercase Letters Available Here
My First Book of Lowercase Letters Available Here
My Book of Numbers 1-30 Available Here
While workbooks can be great resources for some children, hands-on interaction is the center of our focus – we use lots and lots of manipulatives!
The Tangrams pictured here are by Lakeshore Learning (found second-hand) – An alternative set can be found here.
For science, history, art, music, and physical education, our kiddos are involved in several different local programs. We also keep an eye out for any age-appropriate opportunities being offered at our museums, libraries, theaters, etc. There seem to be loads of great resources right in our backyard, and many of them are free! Some areas have local Facebook groups dedicated to connecting homeschooling families to amazing field trips – Be sure to check out what is going on in your town! One of my favorite things about homeschooling is all of the additional opportunities you are able to provide for your little ones.
How Do I Stay Organized?
I simply use my personal day planner to jot down the workbook pages and hands-on activities that I want to complete with my child each day. I plan for four-days a week – allowing for Friday to be wide open for reinforcement practice and enrichment activities.
Check out my favorite planner: Simple & Inexpensive!
I typically plan out 1-2 months at a time – leaving room for any holidays, out-of-town trips, etc. that would take us away from our usual routine. There is no need to be strict and rigid with your schedule. One of the most beautiful things about homeschooling is the flexibility it provides. Don’t be afraid to embrace that.
What Do My Lesson Plans Look Like?
The Days of the Week Song is sung to the Tune of “Yankee Doodle”:
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
Don’t ask me to sing again, because I’ll do it anyway.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
The Months of the Year Song is sung to the Tune “Michael Finnegan”
January, February, March, and April
May and June
July and August
September, October, November, December
These are the months of the year.
Here’s an example of what our first two weeks of four-year old homeschool preschool might look like:
Monday, September 1st: Letters & Numbers for Me Workbook Pages 8-9; Little Book #1; Create patterns with trail mix; Interact with the Starfall website.
Wednesday, September 3rd: Letters & Numbers for Me Workbook Page 10; Little Book #1; Play Shapes Bingo Game; Count to 20 with counting bears; Attend Story Time/Music Time at the local library.
Thursday, September 4th: Writing with Phonics Workbook Pages 3-4; Little Book #1; Sort Legos by color; Use popsicle sticks to create geometric shapes.
Friday, September 5th: Keyboarding without Tears; Educational YouTube Channels*; Attend drop-in art class at the local art center.
Tuesday, September 9th: Writing with Phonics Workbook Pages 5-6; Little Book #2; Complete cutting/gluing activity.
Wednesday, September 10th: Letters & Numbers for Me Workbook Page 12; Little Book #2; Trace sight words with a highlighter; Count to 20 with counting chips; Attend Story Time/Music Time at the local library.
Thursday, September 11th: Writing with Phonics Workbook Pages 65-66; Little Book #2; Sort coins by their value; Use play dough to create geometric shapes.
Friday, September 12th: Keyboarding without Tears; Educational YouTube Channels*; Attend drop-in art class at the local art center.
Next Up: After each day’s worksheets have been completed, then it’s on to hands-on activities that provide practice and reinforcement in our areas of focus. This is where I like to spend the majority of our time!
Interested in having access to ALL of my lesson plans A through Z? I’ve released them HERE!
Yes, I’ve done all the work for you – providing you with a multi-sensory approach to teaching more than JUST the alphabet: Library Lists, Snack Ideas, STEM Activities, Sensory Explorations, Art Experiences, Outdoor Play, and more!
*This product works standing alone OR as a supplemental activity guide you can use with other resources!
Where Do I Find My Ideas for Hands-On Activities?
I like to brainstorm ahead of time about what kinds of activities my child will enjoy doing. Does your child love board books? Puzzles? Do you own any educational toys/games that they especially enjoy? Is your little one artistic? Musical? Consider these kinds of questions and then tailor your activities to their interests. Another beautiful thing about homeschooling is that you can plan your lessons specifically for your child, so don’t hesitate to do just that! Doing so guarantees that they will enjoy learning with you which is most definitely the number one goal!
If you find that an activity isn’t working well (and there can be a variety of different reasons why this might be the case), don’t stress. Simply stop what you’re doing and redirect. No worries!
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas for your little one, I have one word for you: Pinterest! Hey, even if your creative juices ARE flowing, I would still suggest checking out Pinterest. Search “Letter of the Week Activities”, and you will be all set with fun ideas to last you from A to Z...and then some! Free letter/number printables, simple alphabet-related craft ideas (Have I mentioned that I’m all about simple?), tasty snack suggestions for each letter of the alphabet, and more – It’s all there for you! In fact, you will discover more ideas than you could ever possibly do, so just pick a few that sound especially fun [and do-able], and you will be all set for a great year.
In the early days, that is what I did – putting all of my favorite activities together in this resource that I make available here at This Little Home of Mine:
Now, for my #1 homeschool organization tip: On Sunday night, I lay out any workbooks/supplies I want to use in the coming week. Once a busy week begins, everything I need is right there at my fingertips…which ensures the activities will actually happen as I hope.
Where Do I Find My Supplemental Resources:
Most of my educational supplies/toys have come from yard sales, thrift stores, and consignment sales! You can even find great resources at the dollar store/in the dollar spot! You do not have to spend a lot of money to provide great resources for your children.
A Few Final Thoughts:
Some educators feel that Abeka’s curriculum is too traditional, but I love the strong foundation it provides! This is not to say that the program is for everyone! Every child is different…every parent teaches in their own unique way…but this is simply why we have chosen to use it for our preschoolers. Some parents may feel overwhelmed by the thought of learning Abeka’s phonics curriculum. I can completely understand this as it may seem like a foreign language to those who have never taught it; but I promise that after a little bit of time, it becomes second nature to you and your child! Abeka‘s preschool curriculum allows you to start with basic concepts and then grow from there as your child moves along in the program.
Round-the-clock learning is encouraged! We continue “schooling” during the summer months – even including educational activities in to our summer travels. The goal is to always keep it laid-back and fun – with little ones not even realizing that they are learning!
During the summer months, we have also used a variety of different age-appropriate/developmentally appropriate workbooks. For example, Kumon workbooks provide great reinforcement, but I would highly suggest testing the waters to see what your child is able to do as you definitely do not want them to feel overwhelmed. There are so many great workbooks and activity ideas out there – find what your little one loves and let that be your guide! Don’t over think it. Don’t compare to others. Just go with it. You will be amazed what they will be able to do!
Whether we realize it or not, lots of learning is going on during typical childhood activities: rigorous outside play, building with blocks, assisting with household chores, coloring/painting at an easel, cutting/pasting with paper and glue, designing with play dough, creating with Legos. Especially at this age, it is important that we value these things! My kids love when I read aloud to them! They are big fans of play dates at the park and trips to the library for music time/story time. They enjoy going to the art center and doing little projects in the garage with their dad. They love taking “nature walks” and playing outside with water, bubbles, sand, and chalk. These daily experiences are where so much learning is taking place. In my mind, formal Homeschool Preschool is simply for reinforcement and enrichment, and I would encourage families to simply find ways to enjoy learning together.
The sky’s the limit!
Want access to a printable that you can use to brainstorm fun activities for your little ones?
Interested in more information about homeschooling your preschooler? I offer the following posts:
- Two-Year-Old Homeschool Preschool
- Three-Year-Old Homeschool Pre-school
- Four-Year-Old Homeschool Pre-school
as well as a free Homeschool Preschool e-course designed to encourage you as you get started!
Want to read more about our family’s Lifestyle of Homeschooling? Our daily schedule? A look at our week? I would be honored to share with you how we have adopted a lifestyle of living and learning together and how you can do the same with your own family: