My Best Tip for Homeschooling Preschool and Kindergarten
Stop with the concerns about what to teach, and spend way more time on how to teach kids in this age group.
And that “how to teach” is really, really simple. Ready?
It’s all about play.
Now, if you’re anything like the me that existed when my oldest was in this stage, I know you’re probably only half-listening to me when I say this. You want to pull out the Shakespeare for Toddlers and Physics for the Preschool Years books NOW.
But looking back now ten years and three more kids later, I promise that this is not the way to go.
Make school a game for kids this age! Explore lots of different topics. Read a TON. Don’t push if they’re not ready.
Most of all, just relax and let learning come through discovery and play. Make it fun!
Preschool and Kindergarten Curriculum and Teaching Tools
by Holly Homer and Rachel Miller
Speaking of having fun… I can’t think of a better book than Holly Homer and Rachel Miller’s 101 Kids Activities That Are The Bestest, Funnest Ever!
Holly and Rachel (editors of the amazing Kids Activities Blog) are a wealth of info and they share so many great ideas in this book!
Many of these activities go way beyond the preschool and kindergarten teaching age. You’ll want to do these with your older kids too!
by Kim Vij and Amanda Boyarshinov
This book is packed with innovative and exciting ways to engage kids in learning, but my favorite part? Each of the activities uses everyday household items.
As a mom, you know how important that is! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve never done “the perfect learning craft or activity” because it required that I run to the store to grab supplies.
100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids uses things like tin cans, rocks, plastic bottles and construction paper–things already in our homes!–to put together these fun learning moments for kids.
In addition, the activities in the book cover a wide variety of topics and use several learning methods to teach these concepts in fun, innovative ways. Super fun for the preschool and kindergarten crowd!
If your child is ready to start learning basic handwriting skills, then I’d start with this excellent, Bible-based handwriting curriculum (you can see my review here of this program).
I love that it’s a gentle way to slowly introduce handwriting skills (when a child is ready), practice fine motor skills and to incorporate sharing about character qualities/principles at the same time. You can purchase the book as either a digital download here or as a printed version on Amazon.
Price varies depending on packages
Many kids are eager to start reading at this age (especially if they have older siblings)!
If so, I highly recommend All About Reading and All About Spelling. This curriculum is very systematic and thorough in how it teaches, while still giving moms lots of flexibility in how fast to teach it (and even what exactly to teach on a given day).
All About Reading and All About Spelling also include lots of hands-on activities and games to make the time fun, which I think is especially important at this age. They also have a “Pre-Reading” version of the reading program that is excellent.
by Kiwi Crate
Prices vary based on subscription package
Koala Crate is a subscription service that delivers hands-on learning to kids every month. Each month offers a new theme (going on a safari, learning colors, etc) full of fun activities to do or make with your preschooler.
If you are familiar with Kiwi Crate, this is the version for preschoolers. This is a super fun way to play and learn with kids! They love getting their “special surprise” in the mail each month!
Preschool Fiction Books
Oh, there are a plethora of books, educational movies and other media to include here! Here are our family’s favorite for the Pre/K crowd.
Our Favorite Preschool Book Author: Eric Carle
I don’t know how you escape this age without reading Eric Carle’s wonderful books! Of course, his most famous book is The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but we enjoy all of his titles–everything from The Grouchy Ladybug, The Tiny Seed, Mister Seahorse, Pancakes, Pancakes!, to Walter the Baker. Here are links to not only The Very Hungry Caterpillar (and all its fun resources!) but also the book sets for some of our favorite Eric Carle titles.
|The Very Hungry Caterpillar||Eric Carle Classics: The Tiny Seed; Pancakes, Pancakes!; Walter the Baker|
|The Eric Carle Mini Library: A Storybook Gift Set||My Very First Library by Eric Carle|
And of course there’s so many other awesome fiction titles! Here are others our kids love:
We also love introducing our youngest kids to some of our favorite book “friends.”
Kindergarten and Preschool Non-Fiction Books
There’s nothing like these amazing books from Usborne! I love how interactive they are! My four-year-old can’t get enough of the Shine a Light books, the Lift the Flap books, and the Sticker Dress Up books (for boys and girls!). Here are some of our favorites.
Preschool Resources to Teach About the Bible
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name is a wonderful way to introduce your kiddos to the great Bible stories.
Some kids are reading by Kindergarten (and may even be ready for a regular Bible at this point), but most still love reading from this wonderful re-telling. There’s also an audio CD version of the stories, which makes it a simple way to share Bible stories while traveling around town.
Plus, we also love all of the books from the Little Blessings Series!
|What Is God Like?||Who is Jesus?|
|Blessings Every Day: 365 Simple Devotions for the Very Young||Is God Always with Me?|
Preschool Fiction Books
The Leap Frog Movies (Letter Factory, Talking Words Factory, Phonics Farm, Number Land, etc) have given all my kids their first introduction to phonics and reading.
Kids love to watch them over and over… and you’ll find yourself singing the little ditties. But that’s kind of the point. 🙂
Speaking of little ditties… our Pre/K kids get their first taste of scripture memorization by listening to the wonderful Hide ‘Em In Your Heart CDs.
These are wonderful, and I find myself singing these songs when I run across some of the scriptures!
Other Preschool and Kindergarten Teaching Resources
And of course… there’s no end to the resources! We take a trip several times a month to the library and let the kids load up on whatever books interest them.
We also make sure to have lots of what I call “the toddler essentials” in stock around our home: bubbles, sidewalk chalk, coloring books, crayons, play dough, measuring cups/spoons, LEGO Duplo–whatever lets them practice their fine motor skills, express themselves and have fun!
Pinterest has plenty of ideas as well. Here are the links to my boards on General Preschool and Toddler teaching tools, including sensory buckets and busy bags; and phonics/reading.
You can also see some videos from our preschool and see a “day in the life” at this post.
Relax, enjoy and explore with your little one during this time!
And I pray that these resources will help you do just that!
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