15 Favorite Preschool and Kindergarten Resources – Part 1

I’ve briefly mentioned our homeschooling adventures over the past year and many of you have written in with questions on recommended resources for teaching young children. I’m nowhere near an expert on the subject considering I only have one year of “official” homeschooling under my belt. However, I thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite preschool and kindergarten resources from the past year for those of you who are interested.

So, I condensed my list to 15 resources and books and the next three Mondays, I’ll be sharing a post with five of our favorite resources. Here’s Part 1:

1. My Father’s World: Kindergarten

We absolutely loved this Kindergarten curriculum! It is very simple, fun, hands-on and easy-to-use. There are 26 units and each unit covers one letter of the alphabet and corresponding Bible, Character Development, Art, Math, Creative Thinking, Reading, Phonics and Science lessons.

We didn’t do every thing in every unit, but more used it as a springboard for our weekly curriculum. I thought it made an excellent framework and the girls thoroughly enjoyed it. We usually spent 20-45 minutes 3-4 days per week on the lessons and supplemented with a variety of other great resources (mainly the other 14 resources I’ll be mentioning in this series!).

After doing this curriculum for a year, I’d highly recommend it if you are looking for a Bible-based curriculum with a mix of Classical Education and Charlotte Mason approach.

2. StarFall

This is an entirely free website has lots of fun interactive educational games and teaching tools for preschoolers and kindergartners. We don’t allow a lot of computer time for the girls at our house, but Starfall is a special treat which our girls get to enjoy on occasion. There are a few minor things on the website which aren’t in line with our Christian worldview, but overall, we’ve been very impressed with Starfall.

3. Letter of the Week Curriculum

One of my very favorite homeschooling blogs, Confessions of a Homeschooler, has a fantastic Letter of the Week Curriculum which has tons of printable worksheets which we used to supplement the letter we were studying each week in My Father’s World. The curriculum is only $10 and an exceptional buy for all the amazing downloads and helpful resources which come with it.

If you can’t afford to buy the curriculum or would like to check out some of the printables before purchasing, there is a huge list of incredible free printables available here.

4. Wee Sing Bible Songs

The girls love listening to this CD before they go to bed or while playing together. And they’ve learned so many great children’s songs as a result!

5. Come Look With Me: Enjoying Art With Children

These are the best books I’ve found so far for teaching art appreciation to young children. Each book in the series introduces children to twelve works of art and engages the imaginations and interest of young children by asking thought-provoking questions about the picture.

…To be continued next Monday

Share This:

Other posts in the 15 Favorite Preschool & Kindergarten Resources series

  1. 15 Favorite Preschool and Kindergarten Resources - Part 1
  2. 15 Favorite Preschool and Kindergarten Resources -- Part 2
  3. 15 Favorite Preschool and Kindergarten Resources -- Part 3
  4. 15 Recommended Preschool and Kindergarten Resources

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!

Read Newer Post
«
Read Older Post
»

Comments

  1. Kathie says

    Yes, I’m so glad you put these resources up…I was wondering what you used for Kinder.

    Looking forward to the next posts!

  2. Maria says

    Where you do purchase the “My Father’s World” curriculum from? Amazon doesn’t have it. And a seller on ebay says it goes for $105.00, is that right?

    • says

      You can order it online from mfwbooks.com or get it used from a used homeschool curriculum site. I bought the Kindergarten program from our local homeschool conference and the first grade program from someone locally.

      • Jennifer says

        @Crystal,
        There is a yahoo group called mfwcurriculumswap (I think that’s it) for people to buy and sell their MFW curriculum. I sold mos of my ECC and CTG items there. I’ve see many kindergarten sets listed there as well.

  3. Jenn says

    Thank you for sharing these. We are starting to homeschool in the fall using My Father’s World 1st grade and so excited!! :)

  4. Rhonda says

    Just a quick note about Starfall. It’s not very obvious, however, if you search the tiny links at the bottom, there are a ton of printables that are free that correspond with the letter or vowel patterns that are being taught. As a reading specialist, I have found these to come in very handy as reinforcement for kids. They can be repetitive, so I wouldn’t use them exclusively. Nonetheless, free, good quality resources are hard to find.

  5. Kristin says

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!! I am so glad you posted this! I have been debating about curriculums, and MFW is my favorite (but I don’t know anyone personally who has used it). Thank you for these great reviews! Now I’m excited to order it :)

  6. Roxanne says

    Thanks!! I love your HS posts since my oldest is a 4yo girl and your suggestions are very relevant! I’ve just put 3 books on hold at my library based on your suggestions.

    Thanks again!

  7. Beth says

    Thanks so much for your post! We’ve been back and forth about how best to handle our son’s education (now 3). We really want to continue to introduce some structured activities, but also don’t necessarily want to push him too fast or too hard. I’ve actually been looking for some home school resources to use with him and so this is really helpful.

    Thanks!

  8. Melanie says

    Thanks for this post. I am not a homeschooler, but I’m always interested in good books and activities to do w/ my kids.

  9. Tasha says

    I will begin homeschooling my twin boys in September. We will be using My Father’s World. We are very excited!!! I am happy to hear your girls enjoyed it. And we also use Starfall. Thanks for the other ideas too! I look forward to reading Part 2 next Monday.

  10. Danika says

    I am not a homeschooler, but last summer my preschooler was really getting interested in letters, so I decided to a “Letter of the Day.” When I went searching on the internet for ideas, I found that there wasn’t a good cumulative FREE resource for it, so I created a blog as I went. It was mostly for my journaling, but if anyone wants to use the ideas, they are welcome to: http://letterofday.blogspot.com/

  11. Sara says

    http://www.abcteach.com also has many free printables in all academic areas. They have been building up to be a pay per year site so I’m not sure how many things are still free. I do know that the subscription fee per year is only about $25.
    Also just a side note from a teacher, be sure that whatever curriculum you are using that you be sure to include phonological awareness (sounds of letters, rhyming, old fashioned phonics, etc). It is essential for good reading skills. Wee Sing Silly Songs is great for the rhyming! =)

  12. Kay S says

    Some of those are our favorites, too, and my 3 are 17, 16, 14. Did you know that you are mentioned on the allyou.com website in the top 6 blogs? Here’s what they said:

    5. Money Saving Mom

    The blog: Money Saving Mom

    Go there for: Aside from the coupons, promotional codes, and other great deals, there are tons of helpful tips, ideas and strategies for saving money in other places of your life as well. Well worth the click.
    Why we love it: When it comes to saving money Crystal Paine took a cue from her own mother, who taught her the art of couponing at an early age. So it’s no surprise that her blog is a goldmine for other frugal mommies.

  13. Tami says

    Thank you so much for the suggestions! I am doing fun theme days this summer with my daughter and niece. We are focusing on ladybugs tomorrow and I found some cute ladybug ideas on the Confessions of a Homeschooler site.

  14. says

    Thank you for this post! We are starting MFW (K) next month…I’m hoping it will keep my active boys interest. :)

  15. Rachel says

    I am starting MFW K this fall too. Our oldest is 4 1/2 and is an eager learner. I’ve had several friends (with different personality types) that have used it and loved it. I am very excited about getting started but a little worried as I have a 3 yr old, 15 month old, and (will have) a brand new baby keeping me busy as well.

    Thanks for the post!

  16. Melodie says

    Thank you!!!!!!!!!!! I’ll be homeschooling my 4 year old this coming fall for the first time and really appreciate the input on the curriculum and resources you’ve found! I want to include my 3 and 1 year olds as much as possible as well, but I’m a little nervous about how that’s going to play out in real life instead of just my head.

  17. Ln says

    Also, go to http://1plus1plus1equals1.blogspot.com/. Carisa, the one who does the site, has a preschool website(among other sites and she homeschools 3) that you can get to from the main one and she has a lot of free printables. But if you become a member for a 1 time $10 fee (I think it’s 10) you will have access to all of the printables plus powerpoints, etc. that she has created as well. It’s all very well thought out and Bible based. If you go there now, you can see most of the things she did on the letter “E” with one of her sons.

  18. my Boaz's Ruth says

    Bah. I have to wait until next Monday to see what is wrong?

    Have you ever used the Answers for Preschoolers curriculum? I’m wondering how much it duplicates MFW (if at all)

    • says

      Is that the one from Answers in Genesis? If so, I just discovered it a few months ago and am planning to use it somewhere down the road when I have another preschooler again!

  19. Lisa Kulon says

    We use MFW too. We are doing Adventures this year. Going to our HS Convention this weekend. I can’t wait. Not sure about Math this year. Looking into Saxon or Horizon I think.

    God bless on your HS adventures!

  20. Heather says

    Thanks so much for posting this. I have been a homeschooler for my 6 year old for the past 2 years and I’m always excited to hear what others are using and why they love it or hate it. Thanks for your reviews and looking forward to next week! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Laura says

    Hi Crystal and others,

    Many public libraries have series of artists’ nonfiction books designed for children. They’re short with many pictures and free. Ask you local library about them and remember that if they don’t have them, they can often request (reserve) them from another library for you. I combined these books with the series: Meet the Masters. It is an amazing art history program with computer cds. I wouldn’t call it a “bargain” cost wise, but you may be able to sell it on ebay when you’re finished with it and it can span several grades to teach all your children at the same time. Barry Stebbing also has Christian themed art lessons some on DVD that are excellent, but they are more for drawing (no art history) and painting. Art products are a bit harder to purchase or sell on ebay but many of your other pieces such as reading/literature, science (especially Apologia), grammar (such as Shurley English and Daily Grams), and math (particularly Singapore – OUTSTANDING – and Teaching Textbooks) can be purchased there cheaper and then resold after you’ve used them. Hope this helps!

  22. Heather says

    I don’t homeschool, but I have found the Jumpstart computer software to be great. We have used the Kindergarten one, and the 6-8 years one. Only problem is that they will love it so much that you have to set a time limit on the computer so they will not be on all day!

    In particular, I would recommend it for the reluctant learner. My oldest was very resistant to letting me teach her anything in her preschool years. I really wanted to make sure she was well-prepared for school, but she didn’t like me telling her anything. Jumpstart worked great for her – so fun – and I still helped her with it, as the child will still need some adult help and teaching in parts of it. Educationally, I felt that it was sound.

  23. says

    I met the Happy Housewife at a homeschool convention last year and she suggested MFWK especially for boys starting out. My husband & I checked it out and really liked it. We started it early this year to take time off when the baby comes (sept1) and my son is really enjoying it. It seems perfect for him.

    Thanks for the Starfall website. I just looked it over. It’s pretty neat.

    I’m looking forward to your homeschooling series. :)

  24. says

    We use some of the ideas from http://www.hubbardscupboard.org for preschool.

    We love MFW too! We’ve done kindergarten and 1st grade. Our oldest is starting Adventures in My Father’s World this year, so I’m busy planning and getting ready! The two preschoolers stay engaged with whatever I’ve planned for our blog!

  25. Johna says

    We have been using My Fathers World for a few years now and really enjoyed it. It works well as they get older for multiple children around the same ages.

  26. says

    Thanks! I’ve been working on a 3 year old curriculum for my son to start on this fall, and I wanted one that was Bible-based. I’ll definitely be able to use these resources!

  27. Kristan says

    For Scripture memorization we have a CD called Songs for Saplings. It has a verse for each letter of the alphabet, set to music, plus some extra songs. We listen to it in the car and I wasn’t particularly trying to encourage memorization, but my then 2, now 3 year old twin girls would randomly sing entire verses out of nowhere at home, so it works well without us even trying! I highly recommend it.

  28. says

    Thank you, so much, for doing this series. I’ve been looking for something like this, to do with my son.

  29. Candice says

    I am not a homeschooler, but I have used akidsheart.com for letter worksheets and also Bible coloring pages and memory verses for my two daughters.

  30. Crissy says

    Has anyone used Five in a Row and if you did what did you think about it? This is wonderful, thank you so very much!

  31. says

    These were some of our favorites too. Although I haven’t used My Father’s World, I have heard a lot of good things about it.

    For Crissy, we used Five in A Row when my girls were little and really liked it. I had to allow myself not to do everything in the book though.

    Crystal, you’re welcome to a free review copy of my ebook “How to Homeschool Kindergarten” if you want to look over it for next week.

  32. Christine/Massachusetts says

    I’m a single foster mom and majority of my kids are intellectually, socially and emotionally challenged. I’m so thrilled to find resources that will help supplement their formal education and introduce them to the Lord (not one parents has refused-amen :).
    Eagerly looking forward to the next installment!

  33. Becky says

    Here’s a website we recently discovered: http://www.meegenius.com

    They have many storytime favorites that kids (or parents) can read on-line AND you can personalize the stories as you wish (e.g. use your daughter’s name instead of Cinderella). It’s a big hit at our house!

  34. Michelle says

    I was wondering if you have looked into the K12 curriculum? It’s a virtual school for parents who want to home school. You get all the curriculum and a computer along with the guidance of a licensed teacher all for free. The curriculum is really outstanding. You should check them out at http://www.k12.com.

  35. Jeannette says

    for a Charlotte Mason style kindergarten, you may also want to consider Ambleside Online Year 0. They have a really helpful online yahoo group as well. amblesideonline.org is the main website.

  36. says

    Do you have any recommendations for Spanish curriculum for a preschooler and 1st grader? They won’t get it in public school, so I want to teach it at home.

  37. Gina says

    I’ve used the letter of the week *Preparatory* curriculum from http://www.letteroftheweek.com (not affiliated, just a VERY pleased mom) in doing preschool with my 3 y/o while I homeschooled two. I’ll also use it with my son when he’s a little older. I *love* it!!!

  38. says

    Don’t know how I missed this post!! We are starting to homeschool in the next month or so and will be using MFW-K!! We are soooo excited! Can’t wait to see what you have on your list the next couple of weeks… ;)

  39. says

    For preschool and Kindergarten, we utilize the Five in a Row reading lists during our read aloud time. http://www.fiarhq.com/FIAR/FIARBL.html Whenever a relative asks for gift recommendations, I try to refer them to any titles on that list. We also love Teach them to Your Children, a book sold by Vision Forum. It contains character -inspiring story, picture, and a verse for each letter of the alphabet. http://www.visionforum.com/booksandmedia/productdetail.aspx?categoryid=209&productid=17820 I also include my preschoolers in with MFW lessons for my older child. (currently a second grader) Phonics Pathways is a super book for teaching phonics, daily. It is a simple book to pick up for 10-15 minutes a day, yet is so effective. We love Starfall, as well! My son is using the Language Arts and Math (K) Lifepacs, which lay a very good foundation in these realms. We love a lot of read aloud time, art/craft time, and plenty of time to get one’s hands dirty. Homeschooling can be so much fun!

  40. meghan says

    I did MFW K with my 4 year old boy. It was great! My 2 1/2 year old sat in with us, and did some of the things as well. It helped him learn the sounds of the letters, which also helped his speech development. We enjoyed reading a lot of good books, doing some hands on stuff, and just learning about new things each week. Perfect for young kids! My older son learned to read, although I used some other things with him as well. I also added Singapore math for K. Love it!!!
    I love that MFW combines Charlotte Mason and Classical Education, although they are both very similar in a lot of ways.

  41. Sarah says

    I worked in the school system for 7 years before becoming a stay at home mom this year. 5 of those 7 years were spent as a kindergarten teacher, with the other two being one year as a first grade teacher and one as a second grade teacher. From my experience I would very strongly recommend the ABEKA curriculum, which I have seen come across ebay very often. You can also use the ABEKA web site to order materials for home use. If you are using the MFW curriculum, I would suggest you also look into incorporating the ABEKA curriculum as well. I have found the reading component of the ABEKA program to be much stronger.

  42. Michelle says

    I have homeschooled for many years now and I really like Rod and Staff’s A-B-C Series. I have never used MFW because I am so happy with the R&S A-B-C Series. I have however used ABEKA in the past. I used it for teaching a high school student. After using it for a month and having troubles every day with their books being inaccurate or wrong with what they were teaching my husband went through the lessons to count the inaccuracies and he found that about 20% of the information in one way or another was wrong. That is a very high percentage rate! For example with Algebra we found that the answer key would have a wrong answer and the solution key, which worked out the answer, would also be wrong and different than the answer key. And when I would call ABEKA they just kept telling me “we don’t make mistakes”. So be careful when using ABEKA. Watch over the material carefully so that you can correctly teach what they are incorrectly teaching.

  43. Susanna says

    I highly recommend using Starfall too even for babies. My daughter just turned two yesterday and we have done Starfall with her since she was about 6 months. She knows all her letters and sounds! It’s really quite amazing. :)