Q. I am thinking about homeschooling my preschooler. Can you recommend any resources?

This post is part of a series titled, “Homeschool Q&A.” The series features questions we’ve received from parents on a variety of topicsand the answers!

A. The preschool years are a wonderful time to teach because young children are so eager to learn. We have lots of information and numerous resources that will give you many ideas about what to cover and how to work with your child. HEAV’s website has some great preschool information, including a special FREE preschool edition of our magazine that has lots of great tips, articles, places to visit, and resource suggestions.

When you begin working with your preschooler, one of the secrets to success is to keep learning simple and brief. A preschooler’s attention span is usually short, so, to keep him engaged, make learning fun–play educational games; introduce counting with hands-on manipulatives; take nature walks; cut and paste shapes; trace letters; follow mazes; and read, read, read to your child. What your child will be able to accomplish will be based on his maturity and readiness.

It’s important not to push your preschooler. Give him or her unstructured time to play—after all, play is a child’s work. This is the time to deal with issues of the heart. Lovingly teach obedience to your instructions and help him develop self-control. Remember, preschool is “preparation” for academics.

You might be interested in looking at Making the Most of the Preschool Years; Slow & Steady, Get Me Ready; and Five in a Row. Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp is also excellent. (Ted Tripp will be speaking at the 2012 convention!)

We also have a special Preschool Starter Pack that lets you save more than $27 off retail on the Virginia Homeschool Manual and What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know, Shepherding a Child’s Heart, and Five Love Languages for Children. These are some of the best resources available.

NOTE: For details about when you need to file a Notice of Intent for kindergarten, see this Homeschool Q&A.