At my son’s age, schooling is still rather informal. Mostly, we read a lot each day- sometimes about the season, sometimes about a particular interest (tractors, bears, etc.) sometimes about whatever we are doing that week (for example, if we are going to the airport we read a lot about planes, etc.), and sometimes we just read plain old good stories that are completely unrelated. We also try to incorporate “stealth learning” into our daily activities (i.e., counting our apple slices as we eat them one by one, sounding out the phonics of the STOP sign, etc.).
In general, I’m not too worried about when my son will learn the major milestones (I think in general our culture pushes organized and contrived schooling way too soon!), but I am consistently encouraging an attitude of curiosity and courage in trying new skills. We are beginning to introduce a short time each day of “official” school when we practice tracing, sounding out short words, and beginning math readiness exercises. As a rule, I try to keep a balance of avoiding a battle while still having him finish what we started. (This is hard some days!)
All that being said, I wanted to share with you a list of some of the preschool resources we are using- not because I am an expert dispensing information- but rather, because I am a novice looking for feedback from you experienced homeschooling parents! I try to make use of as many free or inexpensive resources as possible. Let me know what you think!
Wee Folk Art- Last year we used Wee Folk Art’s free “Simple Seasons” preschool curriculum as our main guide. This is an amazing free resource complete with seasonal book suggestions, project ideas, and supplemental resources for math, art, and writing/reading readiness. I felt that it kept us on track for a gentle introduction to first-time schooling. There were sometimes I felt that the themes were stretched for a bit too long; in this case, we supplemented with our own ideas. Overall, this is a fantastic resources for parents of littles.
No Time For Flash Cards– If you want tons of free project ideas focused on letters, numbers, seasons, books, motor skills- you name it- go to this site! Any time I’m looking for a rainy day activity, I visit this blog and find an inexhaustible list of resources for children of various ages.
Dollar Store Flashcards– (Even though I love No Time For Flash Cards, I do still use flashcards.) In addition to “sneaky” education throughout the day, we would occasionally use flashcards to review and quiz very basic concepts such as shapes, colors, letters, etc. Flashcards and simple sticker/coloring workbooks were an enjoyable game in our house.
Preschool Workbooks- We are just getting into these more seriously now as we begin our official schooling time each day. We usually try to complete just a page or two each time. Some of the ones we’ve used are Big Preschool Workbook and some of the Preschool Scholar series.
Local Resources- Library, library, library. We can’t get enough of it. Free books, story times, book clubs, and additional programs. Check to see what your local library offers for children. In addition, we occasionally attend mommy and me art classes nearby.
I’m also going to try loosely going through Celebrate ABC’s: A Learning Center Approach with J this year. It’s a reproducible curriculum with themes for each letter that cover various areas of early learning. I plan on adapting it for home use and not worrying too much if we don’t hit every project.
What are your favorite resources for homeschooling your preschool child? Please share in the comments so I can check it out too. 🙂
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