BJ's Homeschool Curriculum Choices - Preschool/K



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This week, my daughter started her summer job and soon she will be a sophomore in college. She will be helping out at a local museum, taking tickets and such.  I am still getting used to calling her a college sophomore....but it is so fun to watch her take on college, and a job, for the first time.   (Formating is off today, sorry!)

With all that going on, I took some time, and had fun, looking back to her early years......So today, I'd like to share with you how we homeschooled the early years, with tips and how to's, as well as our top picks for this age.

While we introduced learning activities in preschool, we always took a playful approach, which taught my daughter that learning.....was FUN.  (Note - The spacing is off on this post, tech issues, sorry!)
      
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, clapping games, and the like.

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 has made it through her first year of 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, and don't forget to check out all the other great resources at Favorite Things Friday.



Thanks for stopping by,


Betsy


Betsy blogs at BJ's Homeschool about high school and college and all the fun of homeschooling the early years too.  Betsy also offers free help to homeschool families.  She is the author of Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, a simple guide tohigh school, with tips for making the college admissions process easier too.


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