The Most Amazing Easy Free Ways to Teach Preschoolers
Easy ways to teach preschoolers? Is there even such a thing as easy ways to teach preschoolers? I definitely did not think so at first or at least it wasn’t always so obvious to me. Honestly, it has taken me since May to come up with the most amazing easy free ways to teach preschoolers, namely my own son, and allowing him to take the lead and guide me has played a huge role in the success I have had.
I truly struggled in the beginning to find ways to teach my preschooler, much less easy ways. To be honest, I got preschool teaching and learning wrong for quite some time, and I mean really wrong. I tried to make my son listen to me, I tried to pick what topics we’d learn about, I tried to give him rewards or persuade him to write his name and count and say his ABCs and I failed at finding the best and easiest ways to teach my preschooler.
My son was not learning the preschool curriculum that I was so obsessed with him knowing, didn't seem to be enjoying the books we read and I was utterly frustrated and ready to give up trying to teach it to him. What’s worse is my confidence as a veteran teacher was shaken because I have always prided myself on being able to teach any and all children and here I was failing at teaching my own child, a preschooler no less.
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Out of frustration at my failed attempts of finding ways to teach my preschooler, I closed “school” for a week. I decided we’d just enjoy each other and put a pause on mastering all the topics that preschoolers should learn. I put aside all the helpful guides and resources for preschoolers and all the preschool workbooks and we played hooky. Yes, you heard me right. The teacher led her preschooler to abandon his preschool learning and played hooky instead.
During our week off of preschool teaching and learning, our schedule became wake up, decide what we wanted for breakfast and then cook breakfast together, using my son’s non toy gifts from Curious Chef. It was amazing watching him cut, measure and calculate as we cooked. He would ask questions about measurement, ingredients and concepts such as heat, cold and more. If I didn't know any better I’d had thought I’d stumbled across an easy way to teach my preschooler.
Our breakfast time was even more filled with easy preschool teaching and learning experiences as my son asked questions on how we could change or improve our muffin, omelet, breakfast pizza and banana fritters recipe. We talked about the shapes of our plates and cups and how we came to use utensils. What’s more amazing about these “accidental and easy preschool lessons” is my son started them all. He asked all of these preschool learning type questions out of natural curiosity and interest. He had helped me discover the easy way to teach preschoolers.
I accidentally taught and my preschooler accidentally learned more than he had in the several weeks before. After breakfast, we got dressed and headed outside for a walk in our neighborhood. During our walk, our not preschool learning and easy preschool teaching time continued. I received questions about the numbers on mailboxes, the animals that were spotted, and got requests for songs and stories I could share to make our walk more entertaining. Again, we were covering so much more than I ever had in my forced preschool lesson plans with this easy way to teach a preschooler.
Right around lunch time, after we had built Legos and read several books, I realized where I had gone wrong with my other preschool learning attempts. I had been trying to see my son as an extension of me instead of as his own person. I had done a poor job of making my lessons interesting and meaningful to him. Since he didn’t see the value in them and wasn’t interested in those topics, my lessons failed. Even more embarrassing was the fact that these are mistakes that I was serious about avoiding in my classroom, but I had abandoned them in my “ home preschool classroom.” I was so determined to help my son learn that I had overlooked the easy way to teach preschoolers sitting in front of me.
The rest of our day’s schedule during hooky week included a nap, simple coding, puzzles or dramatic play and then a snack that we prepared together. While we got out cubed cheese and cut our apples or bananas, we talked about shapes. Next, we had outside or inside play time, depending on the weather. That period of outside play would bring an end to our preschool learning hooky day and start family time. At the end of that first day when I discovered an easy and free way to teach preschoolers, there had been few tears or tantrums and I didn’t feel exhausted.