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.
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.
The sites I listed above have lots of free printables. You can also find lots of them at
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.
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:
And to buy some that are already pre-packaged and researched:
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.
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:
Books Children Love
Honey for a Child’s Heart
For teaching early reading:
Talking Words Factory
Code Word Caper also known as Word Caper (silent e is taught)
I recommend also getting:
The Talking Storybook Factory
You can find a lot of their DVD’s at Leapfrogdvds.com.
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!