Favorite Preschool Resources

I don’t do a formal curriculum for preschool. But there are many resources online that I take advantage of to work with my little ones on basic skills at their level and to encourage an interest of theirs. I don’t do a so-called preschool activity every day. We go in spurts depending on their interest level and my motivation. They usually just love to play, and I let them do a lot of that. And I talk with them a lot throughout the day, answer their questions and provide educational computer programs and DVD’s for them. They do a lot of PBS Kids online, Nick Jr. online, Webkinz Jr, and Jumpstart online.

That said, I do like to sit down with my little ones at least once a week and do some letter work or number work. I have bought the cheap books at Walmart, and we go through them together during the year. I don’t make a big deal about it, but if one of them wants to do school because they see the others doing school, we pull out the workbooks for them, too.

A lot of activities we do together as a family are based on the holiday that’s coming up, and the little ones get very excited about all of these!

Here is a wonderful website, chock-full of ideas for Homepreschooling, by a lady who has the same philosophy I have toward early learning. Her name is Susan Lemons. She gives us lots of ways to teach in a natural, fun way by using daily activities that you probably have to do anyway, just sharing them with your child. For example, you can teach children how to count by counting plates when setting the table for dinner and counting silverware, cups, etc. You can teach lots of number concepts by letting them cook with you, measuring, following steps in a recipe, etc. They learn to tell time and read the calendar when they’re anticipating something fun, and you tell them how much time or how many days are left. They start to pay lots of attention to time in these situations! Susan has written a book, too, that shares her philosophy and teaches some how-to’s and gives lots of ideas for natural learning at younger ages and stages and also moving on into older years called Homepreschool and Beyond. I found it on Amazon. I highly recommend visiting her site, too.

It’s also available for Kindle.

Favorite Preschool Sites:

1+1+1=1 Lots of printables, Montessori activities, tot school for youngers and preschool and kindergarten are all covered very well. Lots of fun ideas for sensory boxes, iPad apps, etc. She has everything covered!

Homeschool Creations Preschool Corner Click on Pre-K and K tab or visit other sites she has linked there. Lots of printables.

Confessions of a Homeschooler Lots of wonderful ideas here including workboxes, Letter of the Week, etc.

Printables

The sites I listed above have lots of free printables. You can also find lots of them at

The Crafty Classroom

Christian Preschool Printables

DLTK-Kids Lots of coloring pages, crafts, activities of all kinds and a Bible section that is very helpful.

There are lots of fun ideas and neat paper dolls that your kids can make at Making Friends.

I like to keep all of our coloring pages and printables in a notebook for each child. You can find out all about Notebooking from Cindy Rushton at CindyRushton.com.

I also have some posts about notebooking here on my blog under “Homeschooling”.

Here’s one that you pay to join:

Enchanted Learning It costs $20 for a year. I like it well enough that I have subscribed to it for years.

Lapbooks

I LOVE lapbooks. Some of my kids like them pretty well. I show some examples of lapbooks we have done under the category of Homeschooling and the subcategory of lapbooks. Here are some sites where you can find free lapbook ideas and templates:

Lapbook Lessons

Homeschool Share

And to buy some that are already pre-packaged and researched:

In the Hands of a Child

Live and Learn

Knowledge Box Central

A Journey Through Learning

Curriculum

If you would feel more comfortable using a curriculum, here are some I would recommend.

Before Five in a Row – literature-based, using books you can get from the library. You would have to look through the table of contents to see if these are at your child’s level or if perhaps you need to go up to the next set which is called

Five in a Row These manuals are under $40 apiece and give you tons of ideas to supplement your reading of the best children’s books with educational activities. Very fun for student and teacher. They have Fold & Learn packets available, too, which are similar to lapbooks.

Sonlight

This curriculum is strongly Christian, it’s History- and Literature-based. I highly recommend it for its list of books to read at each level and to cover each time period in History.

Other good reading lists are to be found in:

Teaching Children

Books Children Love

Honey for a Child’s Heart

For teaching early reading:

Leapfrog DVD’s

Letter Factory
Talking Words Factory
Code Word Caper also known as Word Caper (silent e is taught)
Math Circus

I recommend also getting:

The Talking Storybook Factory

You can find a lot of their DVD’s at Leapfrogdvds.com.

Bob Books

These are simple, funny, easy readers for beginners with very few words and line drawings that add to the comic element of the stories without being distracting or giving away the meaning so that the child doesn’t have to pay attention to the words to sound them out. They actually have to read the words instead of the pictures.

Which reminds me – In Lieu of Preschool has tons of great ideas for preschoolers and she has a special section just for Bob Books.

Which also reminds me – my kids really liked Freddi Fish, Pajama Sam, Spy Fox, and Putt Putt computer CD-roms. You can find these at Amazon, too. They also liked lots of Jumpstart games. There are lots of educational CD-roms at Amazon.

Incorporating any of these ideas into your days should get your preschooler off to a very good start in their educational experience. Remember, it’s all about instilling a love for learning in your child. Don’t push or stress about it. Relax and have fun!

And treasure this time with your precious little ones. It goes way too fast.

And remember to READ and READ and READ to them!

Lovely Spring Day

Perfect weather beckoned us out into the woods. One of my favorite places to be. I love to hear the birds sing. I love to watch my children discover the surprises and fun of nature.

004

006

Like grapevine that they could swing from.

007

008

010

And an iridescent green beetle.

012

038

And man-made climbing structures can be a lot of fun, too.

An all-around perfect day. Thank you, Lord.

Wrap-Up of the Last Three Weeks or So – Lots of Green!

050

We’re sending Flat Travelers to Dayton, OH, our old stomping grounds, to see Wright Brothers memorabilia and other Dayton historical sites at Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. The twins are sending their Flat Travelers together. I’m planning to get some books from the library about the Wright Brothers to read to the twins next week so they will be prepared for all of the information they will receive with their Flat Travelers when they come back.

We planted seeds that our bank gave to each of the kids when they opened savings accounts.

017

013

015

001

002

Fiona’s pot was only growing one flower, so I went to the bank and got another dollar sign full of seeds for her to plant.

003

005

018

012

006

195
We ate green eggs and ham for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s our tradition.

197

206

207

210

030

202

And Kelsey made green lemon squares.

035

Most of us wore green. We looked like an Irish clan when we all walked into church wearing our green.

004

One of the shrubs in front of our house.

007

A walk in the woods, Mar. 22. Garrett and Emma swinging on grapevine.

038

It was a wonderful day at the park!

And a very full three weeks or so with lots of green!

In the Last Two Hours

There’s never a dull moment around here.

6:00 is Prayer Time. At least 4 of us, usually it’s more like 6 or 7 of us pray. But Shawn prays the most.

Here’s a little bit of our Family Prayer Time. He didn’t know I was recording this.

He won’t pray on camera, so I did some covert work here, showing some of my favorite verses that have sustained me during the hardest times while I recorded his praying.

At the end of that video I was trying to show off my new business card. Here’s what it looks like:

027

After prayer, I had two little girls ask me to French Braid their hair. I was happy to comply. Don’t they look gorgeous?

055

Fiona

056

057

061

Then came little Abby:

062

064

060

Then came Emma:

065

066

067

068

070

I love their sweet little braided heads!

Fortunately, I planned well and had dinner in the crockpot, so I didn’t have to cook dinner during Prayer Time, as I often have to do.

I still plan to do some Pattern Block Math with Garrett yet tonight. Sometimes I feel like I don’t do enough, but then I think back through or take pictures of what we do, and then I realize that I do more than I think I do!

This night was exceptionally busy. I’m so thankful for this life the Lord has given to me. It’s just perfect for me.

Pattern Block Work

I told you earlier that I would let the kids have a period of play with the pattern blocks I bought them. Well, now it’s time to do some work with them!

We have been using a book called Pattern Block Book by Sandra Clarkson, published by Didax. I bought it from Rainbow Resources. I print out copies for each of my four youngest kids. They do the activities, and we explore the properties of the different shapes together.

They have played and made pictures and designs with them so much that the activities have been very easy – even for Abby (4). They are getting some good practice with spatial awareness and even some basic understanding of fractions.

They sometimes have to figure out how to use the same blocks to make a different picture. They moved their blocks to make a chick out of a rooster in one activity! It probably should have gone the other way.

They had to figure out which shape was missing after they used the blocks they were told to use. They had to look at a shape on a page and copy it with blocks. And in another activity they had to turn the paper over and build the shape again without looking at it.

001

002

003

012

017

021

024

025

026

027

Here Emma is showing that she is not feeling too well. She had a runny nose and sore throat the last couple of days, but she is feeling much better today, Praise the Lord!

032

028

034

Here Abby is showing that she feels fine, although she seemed to be harder hit by whatever virus came through than Emma actually was. Abby is also demonstrating how much she loves cheese balls by the orange powder all around her mouth!

036

038

Emma wanted to take some pictures, so I actually got my picture taken for once!

042

044

048

049

All of these activities were extremely simple for Fiona, Little Miss Artist. She couldn’t resist making some pictures just for fun along the way.

016

This post is linked at love2learn2day