Teaching Tips for Homeschool Educators: Finding Lessons in Home Life

Teaching Tips for Homeschool Educators: Finding Lessons in Home Life

If you're a homeschool educator, you know that finding time to do housework while teaching your children can sometimes be difficult, but have you ever considered utilizing those everyday tasks as learning opportunities for children? Finding ways for children to help you fold laundry, make dinner, or clean the house can help children develop fine motor skills, practice their math skills, and much more. In The Homegrown Preschooler, Kathy H. Lee and Lesli M. Richards provide the following suggestions for how you can incorporate lessons into home life.

1. Folding Laundry

Folding laundry is a great learning opportunity for children. Start with asking children to fold washcloths, which involves eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. Once children are ready, they can start learning to fold clothes, and you can teach them about fractions and symmetry. Here are a few other ideas on how you can turn folding laundry into a learning opportunity:

  • Let him dump hangers out and bring you the laundry in a wagon.
  • Teach her to sort lights and darks.
  • Teach him to match socks.
  • Encourage her to name colors of items as you sort.
  • Encourage him to name the family member an item belongs to.
  • Let her climb a step stool to help load the washer (with your help).
  • Let him deliver the freshly folded clothes to the owner in a small basket or wagon.

2. Kitchen Helper

Many children want to help out in the kitchen because it's one of the most fascinating and stimulating areas in the home. From smelling different aromas to feeling different textures, children can learn a lot by helping you in the kitchen. Just make sure you always have safety in mind when letting children help you in the kitchen. Never leave them unsupervised and keep potentially harmful items out of reach. Here are a few ways children can help you in the kitchen:

  • Consider placing dishes on a low shelf so that your preschooler can help set the table.
  • Let your child help unload the dishwasher. Just make sure that you unload anything sharp or fragile before giving your child access to the dishwasher.
  • Allow your child to fill drink glasses from a small pitcher or from the faucet.
  • Let your child help with washing fruits and vegetables, and let her taste them as you work.
  • Invite your child to help you measure ingredients.
  • Encourage your child to put away canned goods on low pantry shelves. Great stacking and matching opportunities abound!
  • Let your child help in safe ways with baking and cooking: stirring, adding ingredients, pouring, and so on.

3. Cleaning

Cleaning can help children feel productive and help them develop a healthy attitude about work. Lee and Richards recommend starting at your child's level and encouraging them to help with a variety of chores:

  • Dusting baseboards
  • Wiping spindles of staircase rails
  • Picking up toys and games
  • Wiping and straightening lower cabinets in bathrooms and kitchens
  • Wiping low windows
  • Washing dishes
  • Picking up and sorting items
  • Vacuuming with a small handheld vacuum

Make sure you keep your child's age and ability in mind as you encourage him or her to help around the house. Don't expect preschoolers to be as efficient at cleaning as older children. Remember, the goal is to help your child build and develop skills and help him or her feel important and valued as a member of the family. Be sure to browse our website for a variety of materials you can use to help teach your child.