Keeping your students motivated and excited about learning is an important job of a homeschool parent - especially when homeschooling a preschooler. Sounds easy; but, depending on the preschooler, motivating them may be difficult. If your preschooler is ready to start down the road to learning, here are some helpful tips for making the trip more fun and less frustrating:

The Right Curriculum - Choosing the right kind of curriculum is the first step on this journey. Some children find hands-on activities most engaging; while others enjoy videos or using the computer. Alpha Omega Publications offers a variety of preschool resources that engage both hands-on and visual learners. One example is Color Phonics, an excellent CD-ROM curriculum that teaches phonics rules by coupling fonts and colors.

The Right Time
- Most preschoolers have short attention spans so try to schedule a couple of short work sessions a day. These usually work better than one long session. Also, be attentive to your little one's approaching nap times.

Rewards - Some homeschool parents like offering rewards, while others want learning to be its own reward. Either way, try to add some fun for a job well done. For those who don't mind material rewards, a piece of candy, stickers, or a "find" at a discount store are inexpensive ways to reward work. If you're not sure about material rewards, try offering craft projects or special reading time.

Fun - Try to make learning fun and different to keep things from being boring. A good imagination goes a long way here. Games, puzzles, and hands-on manipulatives reinforce curriculum objectives while making learning seem like play time.

Be Flexible - Nothing is ever predictable when dealing with little children. Learn to know when it's just not a good day to push something that's not working.

The preschool years can be some of the most memorable and fun. Staying focused on the big picture will help you avoid pitfalls. Enjoy watching all those new discoveries your child makes everyday. Remember, your goal right now is to teach your child that learning can be fun and exciting, especially in a loving homeschool environment.