Top Picks (and Tips) for Preschool & Kindergarden



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While we introduced learning activities in preschool, we always took a playful approach, which taught my daughter that learning.....was FUN.  
      
MATH PLAY


When you are four, or five, everything is math!  Toys can be counted, towels sorted and put into sets.  Cookie making became a lesson in adding and subtracting, and beads got sorted into patterns as well, as making necklaces.  Also, buttons, shells, rocks, sorted by shape, color, size, what have you.  Even laundry could be sorted into sets, or small, medium and large, such as with towels. 

Here are two early math workbooks that we also enjoyed, with my reviews, so you can see how we used them:


Nothing has to be bought for math play with manipulatives, as small toys, buttons, shells, or whatever you have will work out just fine!  Anything that your kids can count, sort, and put into groups, or sets..will be wonders for their learning!


We didn't use a complete math program, but preferred doing our early math, hands-on.  Here's a review of Saxon Math for K 
if you are interested in that.

PHONICS and READING


All three Primers make a complete introduction to phonics for your young learners!

Not every homeschool family does phonics, but we found that it to be key to developing reading skills.  For early Phonics, we used the Explode the Code Primers (ETC).  


This is a very well researched program, which has been proven to improve reading levels.  It is kid friendly as well!  ETC primers covers all the basic phonics.  It also includes writing the abc's, more early reading skills, and word families. 

A is for Apple

We introduced the letters of the alphabet with simple ABC crafts projects and a great little book called  the Big Book of Alpha Tales.   




This book has a humorous story for each letter of the alphabet.  There are ABC mini-book to make as well, which was a favorite activity in our house!

Our early reading activities centered around read alouds, and going to the library alot.  


When my little one was ready, we used the Bob Books series as our first readers, which introduced one vowel at a time. We also liked the series at I Can Read .  We found both of these series in the library, plus a lot more readers to choose from.



HANDWRITING

To develop the hands and wrist for handwriting, we did LOTS of crafts, enjoying sidewalk chalk art, etc.

We played with playdough, did lots of drawings, cut with sissors, fingerpainted, and often did gluing projects. Sometimes we tore paper into small pieces to make a design with glue, which helped to strengthen the finger muscles.   


Here's a few more ideas for small muscle games.  Do what your child enjoys...if they don't like crafts, playing with legos, small blocks, etc, works, too.  


Learning Letter Shapes  


photo credit Oak Meadow

We wrote letters in pudding, in the air, on the sidewalk, in the sand, and on large newsprint paper....the bigger the better.  This gave my daughter the feel each letter. 

 Teach Your Kids to Write  has lots of ideas for beginning handwriting, if your little ones are ready for that.  It doesn't matter when your kids learn to write, they will get it, when it is the right time for them.  



My daughter had a lot fun drawing, then she would dictate a few words about her picture, which I would write down for her to copy.
When she chose the words herself, her copywork was very meaningful to her.




FIELD TRIPS


Some of my best memories of early homeschooling was when we went on simple field trips, either by ourselves, as a family, or with our homeschooling group.

My daughter also wanted to learn how to dance, so we took her to a preballet class, which she loved.


  None of the kids really knew their dance, at the recital, but that didn't matter at all.


And now that my daughter is a sophomore in college, (Can that really be, already?).... 



....I will have more time to share about our earlier years, and all the fun we had homeschooling them.  Thanks again for stopping by, 


Happy Homeschooling!

Betsy


Betsy blogs at BJ's Homeschool, where she writes about high school, college, and all the fun of homeschooling the early years, too.  As a veteran homeschooler, Betsy offers homeschool help to families 


 Don't miss a post! 

This post is linked to some of my favorite blog hops here.



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6 comments:

  1. I love glimpsing into your past homeschool experience! I find that we are already doing many of the things you recommend: play, fun, sorting, counting, bob books, etc.

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  2. Hi Erin, from Nourishing My Scholar! SO nice of you to stop by. I enjoy writing about our early years alot, as they built great memories, and they built the foundation to my daughter's love of learning, too. Btw, I recommend families check out your blog, Nourishing My Scholar for lots of creative, learning ideas for the younger ones.

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  3. Thanks for linking this up to the Learning Kid Link-Up. I enjoy seeing how others homeschool their younger ones, as everyone has different ways of doing things. I also make sure my daughter's copy work is meaningful to her. I find she is much more motivated to write if she sees the purpose in it, like writing a thank you card for example. We skip copy work pages in her workbooks as she does not enjoy them at all, and it can just drag on much too long. Most of our friends get a LOT of cards & letters from my daughter lol.

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  4. Thanks, Melanie Thomas for stopping by! I love your idea of cards and letters for copywork, and I bet the recipients do, too! I still have some of my daughter's notebooks, including one from Hello Kitty, with her precious writing in them, and a few letters that she got from her elementary penpals. I plan to stop by the Learning Kid Link-Up again soon!

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  5. These are some of my favorite things too, especially the pre-Explore the Code books! I love the pictures of your daughter from baby to adult. Too adorable!

    (Found you through the Homeschool Bloggers Network Facebook group. <3)

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    Replies
    1. So nice to get your comment, Gina @ Oaxacaborn...thank you! My daughter just loved the ETC primers, too!

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