With rising child care costs, it's no wonder that more parents have taken on a "do-it-yourself" approach to educating their little ones. About 1.5 million kids in the United States were home schooled in 2007, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, and the numbers are only increasing. Some parents choose a homeschooling curriculum so that they can incorporate religious studies as well. Still other parents want to spend quality yet productive time with their 3-year-old tots. Whatever your reason, homeschooling is a viable option for your family that allows you to sprinkle a little love into your child's education.
Reading and Language Skills
It shouldn't be hard to find a homeschooling curriculum on the Internet, including ones obtained through Homeschool.com and Homeschool-Your-Boys.com. Try and teach your child skills that mark the recommended 3-year-old developmental milestones in reading and language, like using three- to five-word sentences and using plurals. You can facilitate these milestones by reading to your tot, doing letter cut-outs and using songs to teach him how words sound. You can get as creative as you want with this lesson, and since you have the benefit of homeschooling,try to cater this lesson to your child's unique learning style.
At 3 years old, you want your child to know how to count two to three objects and match circles and squares through the use of puzzles. She should also know a few numbers, even if she doesn't say them in the right order. Any time's a good time to teach your darling how to count. Let her count a group of objects she may be playing with, and ask her to count how many carrots or cookies she has on her plate during lunchtime. You're even teaching your child about measurement when she's able to differentiate between "big" and "small," according to PBS.org. Whatever you do, try to keep the learning light and fun. There is always an opportunity to teach a 3-year-old something valuable in the math department, and you don't want to burn the child out with a boring curriculum.
Culture and Science
The culture and science lesson can be so much fun for your 3-year-old. You can take your little one on field trips to local nature centers and teach him about different birds and water species. You can use holidays to teach your child about different cultures or choose a different ethnicity to learn about each month. These lessons should mainly allow your 3-year-old to develop an awareness of himself and others, strengthen his language skills and increase knowledge about the world around him. This is also a way to sneak in a little science and social studies. While there's no need to give your child tons of academic work to do, it sure won't hurt to get your child ahead of the game.
Fine and Gross Motor Skills
Fine and gross motor skills are one of the most important areas of development for 3-year-olds. Your tot can develop her fine motor skills through activities such as writing, coloring and using scissors, and she can strengthen her gross motor skills while she's having a blast on the playground. Most play activities help to develop each of these skills, which is why it's important for your curriculum to include fun, playful activities. Arts and crafts activities like putting beads on a string and cutting shapes out of play dough with cookie cutters are two of many ideas that you can add to your homeschooling curriculum.
- HandsOnHomeschooling.com: Play with a Purpose: Age 3 Curriculum
- Montessori-Home-Schooling.com: Montessori Homeschool Program Questions
- Homeschool-Your-Boys.com: Homeschool Preschool Curriculum
- PBS.org: Child Development Tracker: Your Three Year Old
- NNCC.org: Developmental Milestones: A Guide For Parents: The Third Year
- KidsHealth.org: Homeschooling
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