Home School Heartbeat Radio Program

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Structure Fit for a Preschooler
Volume 118, Program 66
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You want to give your preschooler a great education, but maybe you’re wondering just what that looks like? Join your host Mike Smith and his guest, Vicki Bentley, this week on Home School Heartbeat, as they discuss how you can nurture your child and his preschool skill set.

Mike Smith: Our guest this week is Vicki Bentley, HSLDA’s early years learning consultant. Vicki, welcome back to Home School Heartbeat!

Vicki Bentley: Thanks Mike! Good to be here.

Mike: Vicki, many parents with preschoolers want to give their children the best education possible, starting even before kindergarten. In light of this, how much structured learning time do you think a preschooler should really have?

Vicki: Well, Mike, if you mean structured learning as opposed to play-based learning, studies show that developmentally, these young children benefit—actually need—lots of physical and creative play. Building, pretending, exploring, discovering—trying out their ideas. Remember that what looks like play to us is work to them. Now if by structured you mean having an outlined plan, a lot of moms feel more comfortable having some specific goals. Moms, you’ve already been homeschooling for several years in kind of a lifestyle of learning, so adding some structure can be as simple as what you’ve already been doing, just done a bit more purposefully, focusing on intellectual encouragement. So with some age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate expectations, preschool through kindergarten—even up to first grade—an hour of one-on-one structured, purposeful learning time is usually plenty. And you can break that into smaller time chunks of, say, 15 minutes at a time.

Mike: Well, thank you very much, Vicki. This is going to be a very helpful week, I can see that, for many preschool parents. And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.

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