Oh friends, this post has been a long time coming! I apologize about the delay. With the kids home, the husband on vacation, working on our garden beds, and trying to keep my sanity in these crazy times we’re living in at the moment, well . . . this post has kept being placed on the back burner. But no more! Today I’m covering my favorite learning and homeschool resources for my preschooler and kindergartener.
I’m breaking this homeschool resources post into Preschool first, Kindergarten second, and at the end sharing some fun games and activities that are great for quiet time, when mama needs a minute, and are just overall fun learning activities.
A quick note about a Preschool schedule
Tyrion never attended a traditional preschool. Since I work from home, I was able very easily to help him with his preschool studies. We never spent more than an hour or so a day on sit down traditional school work. Usually 10am – 11am. (This included small breaks.)
We tired to weave learning his ABC’s, 123’s and shapes, into everyday life. Finding the letters I pointed out on a magazine picture. Counting the pinecones on our walks. What shape does ____ look like? Making learning simply a normal thing we did all the time.
What we did worked! Kindergarten has been a breeze for Tyrion so far. His teacher was impressed with his writing skills, and he scored just above average on math at this point. For kids preschool age, learning should be almost entirely fun and interactive. Tyrion worked on his name diligently so he could sign the cards he sent to his grandparents and friends. Praise upon praise and encouragement works wonders.
Evelyn has been a bit harder to contain to a chair than Tyrion when it comes to preschool work. We do a lot of singing educational songs, drawing, and she needs a few more breaks between subjects. We simply go with the flow over here, especially in this stage.
Don’t push too hard when something gets frustrating, but rather move on to a different subject and circle back around. Or, reevaluate and see if you can come up with a different way to teach the skill that might not be as frustrating or confusing. Some days, if your kid is having it rough, did’t sleep well, or is overly cranky, (or you didn’t sleep well or are overly cranky) call it! Say no school for the rest the day and the next time he or she has their thinking cap on try to get some extra work in to make up for the off day. That’s the beauty of homeschooling! Take advantage of it!
Also remember as a parent, putting on your thinking cap and being willing to pivot and change are essential parts of schooling kids at home. There is no one right way to school a child, tailor it to their needs!
Homeschool resources PRESCHOOL
Tyrion did this book last year, and I purchased a new one that Evelyn is currently going through now. Honestly, this is a huge resource and you don’t need much actually book work on top of it. In preschool we truly don’t want to overwhelm a child, just start teaching the very basics.
Tips when using this book:
We skip around a lot. I find, especially in the beginning, it gets a little bit repetitive and the kids can lose interest. Four pages of working on how to draw squares can get old, so we skip around and come back, just to have a good variety. Not too much to overwhelm, but enough to keep their interest. I don’t go from the front of the book all the way to the back, because it advances as you go through it. We simply skip and play with with about 20 pages at a time, keeping within the same learning stage, just mixing up the skills a bit.
Tyrion absolutely loved this book. It was one of his favorite activities each day. It’s great for hand eye coordination, and as a parent it’s crazy to watch how shaky kids start out with this, and then towards the end of the book how much they’ve improved! Seriously, kids pick up things so fast! The Cut and Paste book is great on those days where everything seems hard, it’s always a winner in our home.
Let me be clear, the Big Preschool book does have lots of practice writing with ABC’s so I’d consider this book an optional addition. I loved to have Tyrion do a bit of repetitive practice each day, and the same with Evelyn. I’ll put on a few songs and have them work on writing while they sing away. This is just a few minutes each day.
I’m a sucker for a good set of flash cards. We make it a game and the kids get excited. We also have prizes for when they do really good.
These posters are so fun! I looked for a long time for a good size poster at a good price. Most posters on Amazon show a great price, but when you click over to the product page you soon realize the posters are the size of a standard piece of paper, and the price doubles for poster size. These are a terrific price! I use this magnetic poster hanger to hang them on the wall. I don’t take the sticker strip off but leave it on, the magnets hold it up just fine! Then I can switch out the posters whenever I choose. (Also great for Kindergarten kids too!)
Endless ABC is a great resource for learning the alphabet. Evelyn loves this app. She plays it all the time.
Truly, you don’t need much more than that for basic book work. Everything else should be activity based! (See Other Resources below for some of these!)
Homeschool Resources KINDERGARTEN
I don’t have as many words of wisdom for Kindergartner schooling, since Tyrion has been in public school for about six months now. But, I honestly don’t feel (so far anyways) that it’s terribly different than preschool. More bookwork and it takes a bit longer, but it’s been good so far!
Tyrion’s teacher sent home four weeks worth of math and reading, which I have been doing, but I think the resources below are very similar to what he’s been completing. In fact, I’ve switched out some of what his teacher had sent and replaced it with and/or are incorporating it will everything below!
This book is from the same publisher as the preschool one I shared above. It’s fun, colorful, and interactive! I would suggest the same skipping around a bit to keep your child focused and engaged.
Sight words are a big deal in Kindergarten. This is a fun book that helps cement them into those little minds!
Continuing with my love for flash cards. 😉
This book is SO fun and very similar (although more colorful) that the worksheets Tyrion’s teacher sent home. The games and actives supplied in this book make math much more fun!
Bonus: Animal Math Kindergarten app is one Tyrion can’t get enough of. Lots of fun interactive math problems!
This goes great along with the math book. Learning the basics of money is a good way to play with math problems. Make a goal that they can take $5 to the store (when we get to shop again!) after they know the basics of money and spend it, then come home and make a math problem from it. how much they started with – how much they spent = the change. Or make a small “store” at your table, price things like snacks or toys they have, and let them “shop” with their play money. So much fun can be had with play money!
Again, this book is so similar to the work Tyrion’s teacher sent home for writing. A big emphasis is placed on learning upper and lowercase, and this book covers that.
Mystery Doug is a science video resource that Tyrion’s kindergarten teacher recommended, and I love it! Their is a teacher version, and one for parents. The videos are all around five minutes and the kids just love them. I actually do too! They cover topics like how hand sanitizer works, why people cry, to how rainbows are made.
Other Homeschooling resources and activities
These are just a few of the amazing resources out there to help school your child at home. Pinterest is another wonderful place to gain a lot of knowledge from moms that have been homeschooling for years. At the end of the day, if something isn’t working, it’s probably not the way your child learns best. Pivot, and try different things! Again, there is no one right way to learn!
Bright Stripes is a great resource for creative DIY and Craft kits for kids.
5 Hour School Week on Instagram is an amazing encouragement for those teaching at home, even if it’s just in this crazy time for a few weeks.
Do you have homeschool resources you recommend! Leave them in the comments for myself and others to see!
Below are the additional learning activities and some of products my kids use and love that I mentioned above!