The classical preschool should be a gentle affair. Preschoolers are in the before years, before grammar stage. They’re exploring the world and putting pegs together that will make studies easier later.
These small children shouldn’t spend hours in drill and kill at this age.
The Classical Preschool Should Include Exploration
What should the classical preschool include? It should include plenty of time for exploration. Nature walks are perfect for this age. What are the different types of trees in the area?
Go looking for various animals and animal tracks. Learn about the seasons and the seasonal changes. Build a bug hotel or take your young child out to look under rocks to see what can be found.
Math is introduced through counting games, setting the table at dinner, sorting socks or toys, and endless games of Uno. Math manipulatives are useful to have as you reach the school years.
Playing with them also introduces children to the concepts of sorting, counting, adding, subtracting, pattern, etc. There’s no need to sit these wiggly children down with worksheets when there’s so much to be learned through experience.
Coloring and Arts & Crafts
Coloring is actually an important part of the classical preschooler’s life. Those pages and pages of scribbles that children produce actually strengthen the hand and wrist for penmanship later and develops the fine motor skills the children will need in future years. So let the children color, scribble, and draw to their heart’s content.
Painting, finger paints, and play dough also increase the strength of the hand while inspiring a love of art in these small people. There are many art cards and replications of fine art on line. Show these to your child and have a bit of fun discussing the artwork.
Listen to music as you draw. Listen to music as you drive. Talk about the music you hear. What do you like and what does your child enjoy? This is the perfect time to introduce various folk songs as well as classical music and modern music.
Learn About Your Community
Be certain to also get out in the community to meet people. Talk to the baker at the grocery store, the librarian at the library, and the barista at the coffee shop. Playing at the park making friends is also a good introduction to social studies.
We’ve covered social studies, art, music, writing, math, and science, but we’ve not covered phonics and reading yet. Phonics is the one area I recommend a formal, but short, sit-down time with your preschooler. Sit down and slowly learn the letters, and then learn to put them together.
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is the perfect introduction to phonics. It standardizes the letters while teaching the basic sounds and beginning blending skills. Later we move to Phonics Pathways, but not now. Now is the time for a gentle, fun preschool.
Last but not Least: Read Alouds
This is also the time to read classic children’s books to the children. Stories such as Madeline, Curious George, and Francis are timeless classics children enjoy hearing again and again and again.
The 20th-Century Children’s Book Treasury: Picture Books and Stories to Read Aloud includes these stories and more. It’s the perfect read-aloud for the year.
Enjoy the classical preschool years. It’s tempting to rush into formal academics early with the bright and eager students, but it’s not quite time. It’s time to explore the world and build their curiosity for all the wonders the world holds.
A curiosity it will take a lifetime to fulfill.