Getting your child’s education right early on will go a long way in helping your child grow up to be a successful young adult. But how do you do it? Enroll them in a school of good repute and let time tell? Does traditional schooling do justice to its students in helping them achieve their full potential? Or are they just a means to end – to manufacture children into money-making machines fit for the main-stream industrial demand? On the other hand, research continues to show that homeschooled children are more likely to be creative and given to intellectual pursuits. Homeschooling gives personal attention to your child and helps them explore their natural curiosity and organically work towards goals that best suit their disposition.
If you are willing to forego the easy route to personally invest time and energy in looking after your child’s holistic development, then you’ll want to consider some questions first. Is homeschooling what your child really needs right now? Are you willing to commit to your child’s education? Will your friends and family be supportive of this undertaking and will they be able to lend a hand? If “Yes!” is your answer to all these questions, then let’s move on to understand how you can effectively homeschool your 3-year-old.
Every educational endeavour requires a decent level of discipline, and taking an organised approach will make homeschooling so much more easier for you and your child. Let’s go through a couple of points to get you started.
Creating a curriculum
Some important things to remember when creating your own curriculum is to include both mental and physical exercises. At a young age, children are naturally predisposed to curiosity so allow your child to explore the world around them. Make them take part in activities that exercise their fine motor skills like fastening buttons, practicing with scissors and copying shapes with crayons or paint. These will improve their hand-eye coordination and later on help with their handwriting and drawing skills.
As far as early academic skills are concerned, including puzzles, colouring books and plasticine will help your child recognise shapes and build vocabulary. However, keep in mind that a 3 year old can not focus on an activity for more than 5-10 minutes so breaking up the day into short sessions of work and play is key.
You can tailor your curriculum to match the specific needs of your child or you can make use of the extensive information available on the internet to have a ready-made homeschooling program made for you. A good source to get an authentic homeschooling program in India is from National Institute of Open Schooling (NOIS). They will provide you officially recognised homeschooling programs that will also enable you to vouch for your child in the future and outside the homeschooling environment. Visit their website to get a copy of the NOIS curriculum free of charge.
You need to take note of several things that will help you in you homeschool your child effectively:
- Create a list of skills that you want your child to master. Also keep in mind skills like fine motor skills, reading, speaking and writing that might help your child enroll in a school later if you decide to do so.
- Life skills are equally important for a child. A 3 year old is likely to be defiant and rambunctious but you still need to teach him how to be patient, kind and gentle.
- It is important to be patient and give yourself some time to get used to the schedule and get the hang of teaching a 3-year old.
- Rest is equally important. Give yourself and your kid nap times to recharge for the rest of the day.
- Listen to your child, talk often, share experiences and encourage your child to ask questions and find answers to those questions together.
- Let household chores be learning opportunities such as helping with meals, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, etc.
- Don’t compare your child’s progress with another’s. Every child is unique, respect your child’s learning curve and create your homeschool curriculum accordingly.
- Alphabetics puzzles and toys to teach alphabets.
- Picture books to teach your child the name of objects and simple sentences.
- Talk to your child and listen to help improve vocabulary.
- Reciting poetry, nursery rhymes and songs also help a child remember words teach basic sentences.
- Household work that involves the use of hands will greatly improve your child hand-eye coordination, which will help with their handwriting.
- Arts and crafts that involve cutting, pasting, painting, coloring, drawing, etc are also beneficial.
- When talking be sure to include mathematical concepts like weights, time, temperature, money, etc.
- Teach them to count numbers from one to ten on their fingers and toes.
- Mathematical puzzles, matching games and picture books.
You need to be able to measure your progress and know if you are meeting certain goals. Here are some goals that you can keep track of:
- Social Development: Does your kid enjoy the company of others? Does she allow others to take turns? Does she recognise her gender? Does she offer to help? Does she listen to your guidance and directions?
- Intellectual Development: Can she say short sentences? Does she know an ample amount of words? Can she tell simple stories? Does she use words to express her thoughts? Can she recite a few nursery rhymes? Is she imaginative? Can she answer questions?
- Physical Development: Can she skip on one foot? Can she draw a simple “Man” figure, can she use the scissors on her own? Can she wash her face and dry it too? Can she dress herself? Can she do a standing forward jump? Can she throw a ball overhand? Is she physically active?
- Emotional Development: Is she confident in her abilities? Is she defiant? Is she mostly positive or negative? Does she try to test herself and try new things?
Homeschooling a 3 Year old is a demanding job. You need to be patient and not be too hard on yourself and your child. Take it easy and ask someone in your family or a friend to lend you a hand now and then. Need assistance? Get in touch with our counselor.