Homeschooling Preschooler - Advice Needed! :)

Updated on November 27, 2007
J.H. asks from Washington Crossing, PA
10 answers

Hi all: I've recently started to "homeschool" my 3 year-old, upon his request. He seems like drawing in books, using pen and pencils, and doing crafts. My question to you - what have you done with your 3 y.o.? Can they handle scissors? What have they liked? Any advice or suggestion that you can pass on will be great! Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the replies, everyone! Homeschool can be such a sensitive topic and I'm so glad everyone was very encouraging! :) I'm letting my 3 y.o. go at his own pace and adding new things every week. It just seems like there's so much to learn but I don't want to rush him or make him feel pressured. We'll definitely look into some of the resources listed and contact some of you if we need some more advice! Thanks, again!

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answers from Jacksonville on

I have a 3 year old that I started teaching sign language to about a year ago and he does great with it. It helps him to focus when he's talking. I just started with simple everyday words like table, chair, sit...etc. Over the last 6 months I have introduced French words (because I was learning myself) and he's picking them up as well. This is the age to really try to expand their learning. I've noticed his attention span being longer than other kids his age, I attribute a lot of that to the sign language. Good luck!

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answers from Jacksonville on

My daughter is 2 1/2 and has been using scissors since she was 2 yrs old. She paints and does art projects at her school. She works with other touch and feel stuff to get the idea of how things feel like shaving cream. SHe learns how to pour things and has water time. There is so much you can do with a child that age that they love. Just explore and be creative. Create things on your own to teach him, they love to learn and have fun. Good lcuk!



answers from Tallahassee on

Hi J.,

I am a SAHM. I have a 12,10, and an 8 y.o. I homeschool them everyday. At about age 3 or so I started with Hooked on phonics. Also phonics and number bingo. My kids loved it and it gave them a great head start in learning to read. They also loved work books, puzzles, dot-to-dot(they have # and alphabet), color by number, games, paints, letter and # flash cards, crafts (they make child scissors), they liked to cut pictures out of magazines and past them to paper with glue sticks(have them cut things out that start with the letter A and so on), Also gluing glitter, macaroni, beans, corn(unpopped)etc. on paper. There is a company called Love to Learn. She is a homeschooling mom as well. They have tons of educational (but fun) books, games, puzzles and other activities for all ages. We order from them often and the kids always love the things they get.

Love to Learn
You can call for a catalog or go to their website.

Hope this helps!
Have a great day.




answers from Jacksonville on

I've been homeschooling for many years now. My oldest is 15. I've talked about preschooling my little ones on my blog...

It's fun and easy at this age. Just follow your instincts and allow for lots of play.





answers from Orlando on

I'm actually looking at homeschooling myself. My 3-year-old (three as of yesterday!) can handle scissors, he is also able to use a knife, and cook in the kitchen (obviously with my supervision only).

He's done really well in these areas and the more responsibility I give him the better he is at it. He understands knives will hurt him and not to use without mommy. He understands that other scissors are very sharp and he needs to be careful. He knows his saftey scissors are just for him.

Also, I reccomend the dry erase alphabet books. ($10 at Barnes n Noble) because he can trace over and over and it's not a waste of paper. He's been doing this for 3 months and just started reading. I'm pretty impressed.

Letters didn't happen overnight, but with time, you will look back and see all your child can do!

Hope this helps. Use food for counting (i use m&m's or cereal, something he likes.. also going outside and acorns right now are good to use for counting. We pretend it's money!)

Best wishes,




answers from Orlando on

Hi J.

I think it's great that you are starting to homeschool. You really began the minute you had your son. You've been his teacher all along. I also started my son, very casually at lunch, using phonics cards and teaching sounds. He began reading at 3. He enjoyed learning! We had a great time! We played games for almost the first 2 years. And did lots of learning. My son liked anything with trains and so we did lots of things using trains. Learn how your child likes to learn and then introduce new fun games for him to learn. We did lots of math by counting the trains or things put in the trains. After the phonics cards, he started reading those little paper books. Anyway, we now have a shop called the Homeschool Corner and we have lots of resources for parents, teachers and kids, curriculum and lots of fun learning tools also. There is so much to homeschooling and yet the secret is to make it simple and fun! Let me know if I can help . Have a belssed day!



answers from Jacksonville on

If your 3-year old hasn't used scissors yet I'm afraid that you need to really pick up your home program or find a GREAT preschool. At my daughter's preschool every 3 year old knows all letters (upper and lower case) each letter's associated phonic(s) and most are reading. This is far above what most people expect from a 3-year-old but it's possible with a great program. Always remember that we learn more before age 6 than at any point in our lives and that every moment is a teaching moment. Good luck!



answers from Orlando on

I homeschooled my daughter when she was 2yrs old. It seems young but I was at home with her and I've never let her watch a lot of television so it just seemed right to use the spare time to teach her. I bought a lot of flashcards and leapfrog workbooks(they were for 3yr olds) and made a chart so that she could do it all for fun in her eyes but I got to see that she was learning. She is in a christian private K3 class now and her teacher told me the first week that she was very advanced. I was so proud. By the time she started K3 she knew how to count to 30, 12 in spanish, knew all her colors and shapes, knew her alphabet (of coarse) and could recgonize and tell me the sound of each letter in the alphabet. She can also spell her name and write it ( although it is a little hard to read still)
There is a leapfrog video called the letter factory that my daughter loved and it allowed her to learn from someone other than mom. Hope this helps!


answers from Ocala on

If you visit this web site you will see some great DVD's from Leap frog that will help your little one.

These are wonderful, we have the frist two on the list and they are just GREAT!


Here is another web site to visit that has wonderful material to use for Home school, This stuff is colorful and lots of fun to work with. You can also buy some of this stuff at Wal-Mart in the toy Department. It is from a company called School Zone.

I use their stuff all of the time for my kids.

When you get on the site you will see to the left a list of grades. You can pick the one that you need.
They even offer stuff in spanish for your child to learn.

They have the best prices.

I hope you find everything that you need.

God bless and Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a great Christmas and a blessed New Year.

From one mother to another.



answers from Lakeland on

I am a teacher and I have taught preschool (now, I am teaching 1st grade). Anyways, In preschool socialization is very important. It is about teaching them manners, to share, take turns, serve themselves pouring into a cup, playdough for fine motor skills, writing their name, letters, numbers, shapes and colors are important as well as coloring in the lines and being creative--give your child different items paper, glue stick, tissue paper, anything and let them create--cookie cutter crafts are no longer used unless learning is attached with it--For preschool you could do shapes--make a polor bear with all circles, etc. Then you ask--where should the eyes go, ears, etc--but let them make it. tracing and cutting are very important....Pre-school is all about learning through play. Watch them play and talk to them about what they are doing--say wow that is neat, what are you making?--if they say a building say is your building tall or short. Get them using vocabulary. Listening , raising their hand, reading stories and talking about them are important as well...If you are homeschooling make sure you take him/her somewhere to interact with children--this is VERY IMPORTANT. Many students enter Kindergarten and lack social skills. They need to learn how to share and take turns to function in society. Feel free to e-mail me with any other questions you may have about teaching. I love my job and I love to help other teachers. Finger plays also have learning attached to them.

P.s don't forget to teach fire safety, 911, what to do if your clothes catch fire, etc. And be sure to go on field trips such as the fire station, an animal farm and a place where they make something like orange juice, taffy, chocolate, etc.

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