Homeschooling Preschool and Kindergarten
Are you considering homeschooling but don't know where to start? Do you have a preschooler who is eager to learn but you have no idea what to teach or how? Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the options? I have laid out what I do to homeschool my children when they are ages 3-5 and have also included my favorite resources for preschool and kindergarten learning.
Please DO NOT copy this elsewhere without giving proper credit: http://iijuan12.hubpages.com/hub/homeschooling-preschool-and-kindergarten
My Daily Schedule
(This takes 2 hours or less depending on the books we read.)
2. Read a Bible story. I am currently using The Children's Bible by Golden Books. I used The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm when they were younger.
The words come straight from the Bible, though each section is shortened to about 1 page. There are realistic-looking illustrations on each page (which I prefer so that children will not think Bible stories are on the same level as fairy tales). This is great for ages 3 1/2 and up!
If your child needs something a bit simpler, this is my favorite children's Bible story book for young children. The Bible stories are short and the soft illustrations appeal to even the youngest of children. The focus of the book is to show how the entire Bible (both Old Testament and New Testament) points to Christ. This is great for ages 1-5.
3. Read 2-4 picture books related to our weekly topic. (To see the actual books that we read, click on my lens that I posted below under "Once a Week.")
My Favorite Picture Book Series for Young Children
4. Get up and move. Currently we're learning to count to 100 by doing 10 different exercises 10 times each. Follow the below YouTube video clip to start. Other times we might clean for 5 minutes, walk around the yard for 5 minutes, or do something else that involves us moving.
5. Do math either by playing Sum Swamp or by playing with flashcards. (I always have a small snack like raisins, cereal, popcorn, etc. to go along with the flashcards. My child gets 1 food item for each flashcard s/he gets right.) In case you're wondering, after my child masters basic addition and subtraction using Sum Swamp, we move on to A Beka's Arithmetic workbook for grade 1.
This teaches addition and subtraction using 2 die (numbers 1-6) and a +/- die. It also teaches even and odd numbers. My kids love playing this game! This game taught my 2 year old to identify her numbers and it has taught my oldest 3 children how to add and subtract starting when they were 3 or 4 years old. I love it so much that I have given the game as a gift to numerous families!
When we study addition and subtraction with numbers higher than 10, we use an abacus. Some people like to use base 10 blocks, but those get lost around my house too easily. I like that all these beads are attached.
6. I go through alphabet cards with my 2 year old, using snacks the same way I did with my 4 year old when we did math cards.
7. Phonics. My 4 year old reads a lesson from Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. After we finish that book, we will graduate to the set of A Beka K5 Reading for Fun Enrichment Library. Bob Books would make another good option, though we haven't used them.
This is a classic book for teaching children to read. It is easy to implement (with no preparation required) and is a great next step after a child can identify all their letters. I wouldn't recommend finishing the book, though, unless your child seems to enjoy it. Both my sons initially loved their reading lessons from this book, but they lost complete interest and dreaded having to read a little more than half way through the book. At that point we stopped and moved on to the A Beka readers. My daughter, who was 4 when I first wrote this, loved this book all the way through. She finished when she was 5 and has moved on to the A Beka readers. My 3 year old (who was 2 when I first wrote this post), has started this book and she also loves it.
These are a great next step after your child can read some words. We use the A Beka Enrichment Library readers, but I've heard that the Bob Books go along at about the same level.
8. Lunch or snack time.
-Before I tell you what I use, I want to tell you that my oldest son really struggled with fine motor skills (handwriting), so we held off on handwriting until he was 5 1/2. Boys tend to not develop this skill as quickly as girls. It's okay and perfectly normal! If your child struggles with holding a pencil and hates coloring, have them string beads and pick up items using children's tweezers. That will help them with their fine motor skills so that they'll be more comfortable holding a pencil.
If your child hates to color or write, use string beads sets like this to help your child develop his/her ability to grasp onto small items (like a pencil).
Playing games that involve using children's tweezers also help develop their motor skills.
-Now back to what I use: I start with a book that has the child connect 2 dots, do short mazes, draw shapes and loops, color pictures, and eventually trace letters.
-After we finish using that book, we graduate to using Draw Write Now, which is what I'm using now with my 4 year old.
When my child is ready to start to learn letters, I begin with a book like this that has numerous activities that involve connecting dots, drawing loops, and eventually shaping the letters.
After my child has started writing letters (even though they'll be sloppy letters), we begin with this book. It combines a fun, simple drawing lesson with a few sentences about whatever they just drew. We start by drawing the picture one day and then writing one or two sentences per day. After a few lessons my child will usually want to do a complete page (the drawing and all the sentences) in one day. I let my child decide the pace on these.
10. Piano. This isn't necessary for preschool/kindergarten. It's just what we do.
This is the book I use to start my children on the piano when they are 4 or 5 years old. It numbers the notes (1-5 for each of your fingers) so that a child doesn't have to initially read the notes to play the piano. You do not have to know how to play the piano to teach it because this is a very easy to implement.
11. Chores. My 4 year old has different chores she does each day. On different days she helps me sort laundry, wipes off the kitchen table and chairs, picks up toys in the living room, and puts away the clean silverware. She is always responsible for putting away her clean clothing and keeping her room tidy. (Yes, I do have to help, but she's almost learned how to do it all on her own.)
12. Play time.
Once a Week
Over the years I have posted over 35 science and social-studies based unit studies, compromised of more than 170 lessons. The unit studies include the Human Body, Simple Machines, Earth Science, Medieval Period, American Revolution, Pioneer Life, Countries of the World, and many more! For each lesson I have included activities (with photos), our favorite books and YouTube video clips, lapbook links, and other resources. I posted links to all of my unit studies and lessons at Fun, FREE Hands-On Unit Studies Hub or Fun, FREE Hands-on Unit Studies Blog .
Great Free On-Line Resources
Letteroftheweek.com offers a free curriculum for your child for each year beginning when they're a baby and continuing on through elementary school. The preschool lessons include weekly books, art activities, handwriting lessons, and more.
First-school.ws provides free printable worksheets and craft activities related to various themes (the alphabet, seasons, animals, etc.).
Homeschoolshare.com offers free lapbook pages & activity ideas for lots of picture books and even includes resources aligned with the Five in a Row curriculum.
Amonco.org includes free montessori-style lessons based on the seasons. Great hands-on activities are included. The link will take you to the spring activities, but many more are available.
Need More Help on How to Homeschool?
More of my posts related to how I homeschool
- Homeschool Kindergarten Essentials - Are you considering homeschooling your kindergarten age child or are you already homeschooling and are looking for ideas? I have graduated 3 of my children from "Kindergarten Homeschool" and am currently homeschooling kindergarten with my 4th child. Below you will find my practical tips for your first year of homeschooling kindergarten.
- Taming Toddler Tornadoes - Are you homeschooling older children and you have a baby and/or toddler at home as well? I currently have three school age children along with a preschooler, toddler, and baby. A question I get a lot from homeschooling families is, "What in the world do you do with your toddler and/or baby?" Read below to find out what I do to keep my babies and toddlers busy and happy while still covering algebra, sentence diagramming, dissections, and more with the older set.
- How to Start Homeschooling (Transitioning from a Public or Private School) - Welcome to the exciting world of homeschooling! I totally remember how overwhelming it is when you first start homeschooling. I've been homeschooling for 4 years, so the fear, anxiety, excitement, dread, etc. of starting homeschooling is still fresh in my mind. Many families have asked for my advice on how to start homeschooling. This is what I tell them.
- How to Homeschool Multiple Ages (My Daily Homeschool Schedule) - Are you homeschooling or considering homeschooling more than one child? Below you will find our daily homeschool schedule for 3 different stages: when I only had preschoolers (ages 4 and under), when I only had 1 child who could work independently and 4 who couldn't, and our current homeschool schedule that includes every age but high school. I have also included a few more tips for general home management.
- My Homeschool Math Curriculum, Games, and Books - Take a peek into our homeschool room! Many days my children B-E-G to do math! Why?!? We combine workbooks with lots of fun math games, toys, and picture books! I have searched through countless curriculums & activities to find the best fit for my children, and I want to share with you what I've found that we think is fabulous! I currently homeschool 4 children (18 mo - 4th grade).
- My Homeschool Curriculum for Elementary Grades - Take a peek at my homeschool bookshelf. Actually, all the books are piled across my dining room table right now, but you can peek there too! Ahh, the daunting task of picking out the BEST homeschool curriculum! There are so many great options from which to choose! I have searched through numerous curriculums to find what works best for my family. I am frequently asked what curriculums we use for homeschooling, so I created this page listing what we use. Below you can find the homeschool curriculums that I selected for my family for all subjects for all elementary level grades. I'm not saying our choices are the best choices for your family, but this is what is working for us right now. At the bottom I have also included what our general daily schedule looks like. I wrote this when I was homeschooling 5 children (baby - 4th grade).
Are you thinking of homeschooling your child?
© 2013 Shannon