We love our little 3-4 year olds! We love how they are just discovering their ability to use their language in ever growing ways. We love how curious they are, how clumsy, and how enthusiastic. We love their questions, their theories, and laughter. But, sometimes, when you are trying to home school one it can be trying on the best days and downright impossible on the worst. But fear not, Mama! We’ve been there, and after just plain old giving up on some days, and actually feeling like the Queen of the Kids on others we have assembled a few tips to get you through the day with the mischevious and adorable 3-4s.
Timing: As any mother knows, timing with a 3-4 is still crucially important in getting them to accomplish anything that is your will and not necessarily theirs, at that moment. So, as we see it, the most important element in teaching a 3-4 is not HOW but WHEN. Make sure you plan your lessons when they are refreshed, well fed, and well rested. Full disclosure, what may have worked for us, may work for some families and not at all for others, and thats OK!
- giving them free play time before and after lessons.
- to not have any screen time before lessons. Screen time is a controversial subject and while we reccomend VERY little for children of this age, we definitely reccomend it AFTER you are finished lessons for the day.
- take a break for snack time.
- keep lessons short, and intersperse listening time with a coloring activity, music, wonderskills, etc.
- a visual chart to show the order in which things are completed in your lessons. ie: first we sit, then we listen, then we color, then we break for snack, etc.
Dr. Grossi Says: At this age in particular, children will have a flight or fight response to new information. When they are engaged in a lesson, they will fight to understand the new concepts, color, shapes, and ideas. When they have had their “fill” for the day, they will flight, and either mentally or physically run away from the new information – you! At this point, its best to call your lesson finished for the day, call clean up time and go have some fun.
We love hearing from our families – Please let us know what works for you in the comments section below!
Author Dr. Edwina Grossi