When moms sleep –
When homeschooling moms sleep:
Who’s hitting the pot? ANXIETY. And what is Anxiety saying? “Oh my God, YoUr ChilD iS fIvE aNd CaN’t dO trigonometry!!!
Many of the emails I get are from mothers worried about their child learning to read, etc.. I ask what age their child is. The response? “…they’re eighteen months old.” 😱
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Young children are naturally curious.
Young children want to learn about everything. So I say, let them…and get out of their way.
Stop stripping your child of their childhood.
They have twelve years of formal education ahead of them. Let them be little.
How to “let them be little” –
I’ll tell you what I did.
1 – Let them play.
There are tons of books on the importance of play in promoting healthy child development. Allow your child plenty of play time.
2 – Offer materials for sensory experiences.
Again, you’re going to find a ton of books on the benefits of sensory play as well as tons of ideas. When my kids were toddlers, we did what people today call “tot school” at home. I call it – being a mom.
I offered various materials for sensory play such as: a water table, sensory bins filled with kinetic sand, playdough, shaving cream, etc.
And please don’t complain about the mess. How are they supposed to dive deep into any play or activity when you’re giving them anxiety about how they’ll make the house a mess?
3 – Read aloud A LOT.
I know, it’s like beating a dead horse. “READ ALOUD A LOT!”
We hear it everywhere, from the mouths of all of the homeschoolers. And for a good reason.
I’ve talked about reading aloud here and here, as well as the benefits of reading aloud found in this book.
4 – Take them outside.
Again, you’re going to find tons of articles and books on the benefits of children going outside. So whether it’s for a walk around your neighborhood, park, or just to play – let them go out.
I have a blog post all about exploring nature with children, as well.
5 – Live life with them.
The best thing you can give your child is truth, your lap, time, and attention. <Get off your dang phone. 😉 > Children spell love t-i-m-e.
When children feel loved, children will learn.
Bake together. Go to the farmer’s market together.
Go to story time at the library. Teach them life skills.
“Okay, Eaman. So does that mean we skip formal work altogether at this age?
No. You can absolutely do formal work with your child….if he’s developmentally ready.
How will you know if your child is developmentally ready? You’ll see developmental clues.
For example, with my kids, I usually found notes everywhere around the house (and written all over the wall!). They also asked me to do “school”, “work”, or “worksheets” etc.
When my kids were preschool aged, we used Before Five In A Row and All About Reading -Pre-Reading.
When they were four, we continued all of the above. When they were around five, I started reading instruction with a reading curriculum.
God Willing, I’ll be sharing a review and comparison of two popular reading curriculum soon, so be sure to be on the lookout for that.
“Hey wait a minute, Eaman, I thought you said don’t do anything in PreK and Kindergarten?
I said don’t sweat the early years. I didn’t say don’t do anthying.
And most importantly, what I did was perfect for my kids because: they asked for “school”, they were developmentally ready, and the resources I used were GENTLE.
The last thing you need to know about not stressing the early years – Trust yourself.
I have made lots of mistakes in my parenting adventure thus far, but I have zero regrets about providing my kids with a rich, gentle, and natural pre-formal education and childhood.
Give your babies their childhood! They have 12 years of formal education ahead of them. Let them be little.
FAQs about homeschooling the early years
What are your favorite gentle resources for PreK?
My favorites would be Before Five In A Row , and All About Reading Pre-Reading.
What are your favorite gentle resources for Kindergarten?
I have a blog post on that, however it will have to be the same thing above but up one level: Five In A Row and All About Reading Level 1.
What are your favorite gentle resources for Islamic Studies?
You are welcome to use what I’ve created to teach my children about Dhul Hijjah and Hajj! –
I have a free email course that takes you more in depth about how to homeschool the early years.
New to homeschooling? Read the Beginner’s Guide to Homeschooling for Muslim Families.