15 Recommended Preschool and Kindergarten Resources

15 preschool and kindergarten educational and learning resources

In recent months, I’ve gotten email after email after email from people asking for me to write more about our homeschooling. Truthfully, it’s a topic I don’t feel ready to broach much as my children are only 7, 4, and 2. Maybe in 10 years from now I’ll have a lot of words of wisdom to share, but for now, we’re just enjoying our journey and learning much along the way.

For those of you who have begged, though, I wanted to share 15 of our favorite preschool and kindergarten resources. These are things our family has especially enjoyed and found beneficial over the last few years. I can’t guarantee that any of these things will work well for your family or child as each child is unique and has different learning styles. However, these are all resources I would definitely recommend looking into if you’re thinking of homeschooling.

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’ve used this with both of our girls and I’d highly recommend it, especially if you are looking for a Bible-based curriculum with a mix of a Classical Education and a 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 that our girls get to enjoy on occasion. There are a few minor things on the website which aren’t in line with a 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 that has lots of printable worksheets that we’ve 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. You can also find many free preschool printables available here.

 

4.Wee Sing Bible Songs

The girls have loved 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.

 

6. BOB Books

I love these beginning readers – and so have the girls! Some early reading books can be frustrating, but not the BOB books. They introduce new phonetic sounds so engagingly and at a pace that wasn’t overwhelming so the girls rarely even noticed they were adding a new concept.

 

7. Homeschool Share

This free website has tons of great printables, educational resources and lapbooks. When planning our homeschool for the week, I often search for extra printables or fun activities we can supplement with which go along with our unit themes and have found all sorts of free goodies on this site.

 

8. Signing Time DVDs

Hands down, these are the one educational DVDs we’ve pretty much worn to a pulp. We got one as a demo a long time ago and enjoyed it so much that we asked Grandma and Grandpa if they’d buy the set for the girls for Christmas. Not only do I believe it is valuable to introduce your children to the deaf culture, but we’ve found that our children’s vocabulary has increased by leaps and bounds as a result of teaching them ASL.If you have a baby, I’d also highly recommend Baby Signing Time. Being able to communicate with your child at a young age makes life so much easier!

 

9. Explode the Code Series

We’ve fallen in love with the Get Ready for the Code and Explode the Code workbooks this past year. It makes learning phonics and practicing handwriting and spelling so much fun and the girls look forward to doing these books each day, often asking if they can go ahead and do more pages than what I’ve assigned them!

 

10. The Jesus Storybook Bible

We’ve searched high and low for quality children’s Bible story books — ones that are accurate, doctrinally sound, and not filled with nonsense and fluff are hard to find. I apprehensively ordered The Jesus Storybook Bible based upon the strong recommendations of friends I trust. It has since become our most treasured read-aloud. The girls would pick this over any other book any day.

11. PaperBackSwap

I know I’ve mentioned it over and over again here, but we love PaperBackSwap. We’ve basically built our entire children’s library through books from PBS and Grandparents. So we’ve ended up spending very little out of pocket to do so.

 

12. Magnet Boards

I don’t know that there’s an official name for these, but we call them “magnet boards” at our house. And they are one of the girl’s all-time favorite things to do! I got some cheap cookie sheets and these Power Magnets and we’ve used them for all sorts of educational activities.I often give the girls the Magnet Boards and a the magnet sheet from the Letter of the Week Curriculum (see an example below) and let them fill all the magnet holes on their board while I’m reading aloud to them. When they are finished, they can create shapes, letters or whatever else they’d like.

 

13. Read Alouds

Speaking of read alouds, books make up the core of our homeschooling curriculum. I think that there is so much value in reading a wide variety of books to your children. We’ve learned so many new things, explored so many fascinating cultures and time periods and had so many excellent discussions as a result of books we’ve read. You can see some of our favorite picture books here.

 

14. Do-a-Dot Art Markers

These markers are so fun. You can use them to create your own pictures, on the downloadable sheets in the Letter of the Week Curriculum (see #3 above) or there are also Do-A-Dot Coloring Books available. Just make sure to supervise the 2-year-old with them, unless you want Do-A-Dot Artwork all over the walls (ask me how I know!). These wash off of hands and clothing quite well. Walls, not so much.

 

15. ABC Scripture Memory Book

I used this for Scripture Memory as a young girl, so I especially enjoyed using it with the girls. We just read through it every day at breakfast for a number of months and the girls memorized the verses by that daily repetition. Plus, Kaitlynn (then 2) picked up on quite a few letters, too.

 

What are your favorite preschool and kindergarten resources?

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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

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Comments

  1. says

    We used COAH’s Letter of the Week Curriculum also! My almost 5-year-old (at the time) really loved it. I’m going to use it with my younger two when the time comes.

    We also love the Cut and Create! books. We’ve done most of their series and it always leaves my little ones begging for more.

    We also enjoy ‘Through the Bible in Felt’ from Betty Leukens, lots of read-alouds and we just started All About Reading Level Pre-1. The AAR is such a HIT so far!

    I enjoyed reading through your favorites! Thanks for posting them. It’s always neat to see what other mamas enjoy.

  2. Wendy says

    When my kids were small I really liked the “Five-in-a Row” books. For those who aren’t familiar, they suggest a story book for you to read to your child for 5 days in row. Each day you have a lesson on science, math social studies etc….around that particular book. My kids loved the reading time. Some of the books they suggest are out of print, but I was able to get them through inter-library loan.

    • Grace says

      We used Five in a Row (FIAR) curriculum and loved it!! In fact when my children come across a FIAR book they exclaim, “I love that book !” Some of Crystal’s favorite read alouds are FIAR books. I used the curriculum (note it starts with Before FIAR, FIAR, Beyond FIAR and Above and Beyond FIAR) until high school when I switched to Sonlight.
      (My oldest is now graduated and in college.)

      • Laurie G says

        I would third Five in a Row. It has been a blessing to us time and again. I have homeschooled since my 16-year-old turned 5 and have used a LOT of different things over the years. I think FIAR has going for it that it uses great books, it is quite calm- what I mean by that is it isn’t a lot of busy work and it lends itself to snuggling times on the couch and a child listening. I think it also can be easily expanded and built upon to include all sorts of things.

        Grace- I would love to pick your brain about those upper years. I don’t feel as good about that and usually steer away from it. I would love to hear what you did if you are willing. My email is gencaf@verizon.net.

        • Grace says

          I’d love to “chat” and share. My heartbeat is helping young mothers and homeschooling. I’ll email you in the next couple of days.

  3. amber says

    Great list. XrtraMath.org is one we use a lot here to. It is free and tracks your childs math progress. My girls are 4 and 7 and both use it.

    • Denise says

      Thanks for the tip. I signed up yesterday and my kids are so excited. They keep asking if they really get to do XtraMath everyday!

  4. jnk says

    We are using Sonlight this year and are really enjoying it. While there is a bigger up-front cost than some programs, we have felt it’s worth every penny of investment and love all the read-alouds involved.

  5. jnk says

    Just tried out xtramath.org per amber’s recommendation in her post above – how did I not know about that already?!? Great site, thanks.

  6. Lindsey says

    Perfect timing for this post. I recently attended a homeschooling convention and left feeling totally overwhelmed. I love that you narrowed it down to 15 things for me to check out!:)

  7. says

    I love Starfall! Working through their “Learn to Read” section with my preschooler is basically how she learned to read. I haven’t found anything objectionable about it, though. But we haven’t progressed much past the basics.

  8. Alice says

    Crystal, my 13 month old loves the baby signing time DVDs, and I practice with him a lot, but he doesn’t sign back yet. When did your children start signing?

  9. Maureen says

    I was curious about why you decided to homeschool? Have you ever written a post about the thought process that was behind your decision?
    Also, what do you envision for the future, as in will you continue through the high school years? Are you open to supplementing your curriculum with structured programs at museums, etc? Is having a faith based approach a requirement in every subject or are there exceptions?

    • says

      As I mentioned in the post, maybe in about 10 years from now I’ll feel ready to broach these subjects and answer your questions! For now, we’re just taking things one year at a time and seeking the Lord for direction for what is the best course of action for each of our children. However, I will say that we’ve chosen to homeschool for many reasons but one of the bigger motivating factors was that my husband and I both were homeschooled and had very positive experiences.

    • Wendy says

      I’ll second Crystal’s advice about taking it one year at a time. That was the best advice my “mentor” neighbor gave me when I began. She told me me to re-evaluate each year because my family’s needs may change or my kid’s needs may change so that’s what I do each year. My son decided on his own that he wanted to go to school this year in 9th grade–his needs had changed. We choose a smaller charter school and he loves it. My youngest is still at home however.

  10. Shauna says

    I LOVE Confessions of a Homeschooler. She has wonderful tips and resources both free and for a small cost. I only homeschool my children for preschool but I love to go to her blog for ideas to supplement what they are learning in school and to keep things rolling during the summer.

    Thanks for the other wonderful suggestions.

  11. Tiffany says

    Crystal –
    Thank you SOOOO much. Even if you don’t feel comfortable, what you have given as resources for us to explore is VERY beneficial. More and more my husband and I are feeling a pull towards homeschool and I just feel inept that I don’t even know where to begin! I appreciate you!

  12. Jody says

    Thanks for this post! Great resources. I’m excited about looking into them more. I have a two and a half year old son with special needs and I am looking forward to homeschooling him. Does anyone have any resources or a good place to gather information regarding homeschooling a child with special needs?

    • Joy says

      A book I just found and purchased was “Learning in Spite of Labels” by Joyce Herzog. It was excellent, I’ve already loaned it to someone else! She focuses on what is truly important, and gives tons of great advice. You could apply just a few ideas or follow every single one!

  13. says

    Thank you so much for this, Crystal. I am just wondering do you ever write an article on why you homeschool your children?

  14. says

    We do #6 and #10 on a regular basis in our house. As a matter of fact, my little pre-k’er is done with the blue box set and on to reading sight words for #6. I have to say, the artwork in #10 is so wonderful! We love it! We also love that the heartbeat behind God’s love for humanity through Christ is woven into every story presented. It is touching and beautiful!

  15. Brenda W. says

    I have to agree with you on these items. As a 12 year homeschool veteran, I have tried many different things and the ones you mentioned have worked well for us at various time. We are currently using the My Father’s World Creation to the Greeks with my 7th grader and he loves it. (so do I because I am also learning.) My 2 biggest suggestions are 1. do not get overwhelmed with doing ‘stuff’ with your PK/K student, but look at life as different teachable moments and 2. try something for a bit and if it truly isn’t working, try something else. We tried 4 different ‘learn to read’ programs with my son before we found one that worked. Above all, ask God for His wisdom and guidance.

  16. Erin says

    I use teacherspayteachers.com quite a bit. There are a ton of free, teacher-made activities to supplement with.

  17. Nicole says

    Thank you for posting these resources. We use several of these, but I look forward to checking the others out. My oldest will start K this year, and I am excited (and nervous and overwhelmed, etc!) to start “officially” homeschooling!

    http://www.schoolsparks.com This site has lots of free printables and some great information!

  18. becky says

    I loved Five In a Row! It’s great to use as a book recommendation list even if you don’t follow the curriculum.

    Also, you should check out Amblesideonline.org. It includes comprehensive booklists and reading schedules and info and groups all about implementing a Charlotte Mason education. All the resources it provides are free, and many of the books on the list are public domain or in the library.

  19. Tracy says

    Thanks for your suggestions! We have used My Father’s World all the way through the cycle with my older two (13 and 11) and are now going to be using Kindergarten this fall with my 4 year old. LOVE IT!!!

    Another FREE resource to check out, it is for Pre-K to 5th graders, it http://www.theHeadoftheClass.com

    • says

      Ohhh…forgot to mention another site we LOVE. Preschool Activities in a Bag get together with a group of 20 people. Each person has one bag to “manufacture”. You make 20 of the same bag and then we get together and swap, so you go home with 20 different Preschool in a Bag kits. The book was produced by a Christian author. They cost around $1.00 a bag to produce.
      There is Preschool Activities in a Bag (3 ebooks), Science Experiments in a Bag, K-6th Graders (3 ebooks), Reading Games in a Bag (4-8 year olds), Math Games in a Bag, etc…. A lot of fun!

  20. Sporksoma says

    If you’re looking for a more secular, non-religious based organization to help you with homeschooling, try the PEAK Network. You can meet lots of really nice people on there who are also homeschooling, but without religious instruction (or at the very least, religious ideals are kept private). Our PEAK group has all sorts of nice people in there, and we’re able to get group discounts for field trips and activities, which helps keep homeschooling frugal.

  21. says

    WOW! What a great list of your favorite 15. I am thrilled to say that we have a lot of those resources at our store if anyone is looking. We have the Wee Sing C.D.’s, Bob Books, The whole series of Explode the Code, all kind of read alouds and the Do A Dot markers!

  22. Sonja says

    The link for the ABC Memory Verses isn’t working….? Is it just me?

    I would love to know more about this book!

    Thank you!

  23. Sue Ann says

    I LOVE the Heart of Dakota Curriculum (www.heartofdakota.com) and started in preschool with “Little Hands to Heaven”. It’s very similar to My Father’s World because it’s Christ-centered, but is more challenging for my kids and easier to use. I love homeschooling and my kids do too. :)

    • Lindsey says

      We use Heart of Dakota too! So glad to see someone else on MSM uses what we do. I haven’t actually heard anyone talk about it anywhere. This is our first year but we started with and are on Little Hands to Heaven. It’s a little slow for us, but my son is almost 6 and my daughter will be 5 in June. I’m hoping “next year” is better but not sure if it’s going to work as I want to keep my kids together and not sure how I won’t with a baby to watch too! Anyway, I just knew if I was going to homeschool to glorify God then I needed a Bible-based curriculum and this definitely fits the bill.

      • Sue Ann says

        Awesome, Lindsey! Keep with it. Heart of Dakota gets better and better and better. We just love it. If the next one is too slow, you might want to recheck where they land on the placement chart. I had that and did double time in one manual to get onto the next one. It worked great. There is an awesome message board on their site for advice and encouragement.

  24. says

    I personally adore the blog, Notimeforflashcards.

    She has tons of creative/educational ideas every day, and they’re all simple, too!http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/

    I have no, “Relationship,” with her….just love her stuff.

    I totally agree on the BOB books. I’ve also liked the Hooked on Phonics kindergarten program. My older son, “Clicked,” with reading so quickly we never had to do anything like this, but it’s been very helpful with my younger son to have books that use just one sound at a time. I also liked the preschool prep DVD series for helping learn sight words.

    Thanks so much for this list, Crystal. I can tell I’ll be referencing it!

  25. Sarah Anderson says

    Hi Crystal!

    I am looking into curriculum for the next for my 1st grader. I was wondering if you have used or looked into using My Father’s World for 1st grade? I looked at it online, but it is so hard to know what it is actually like unless I talk to someone else who has used it or if I can actually look at a copy of the book. Thanks!

    • says

      Yes, we used it for Kathrynne and are planning to use it this coming year for Kaitlynn. Do you have a homeschool conference in your area? If so, I’d definitely attend so you can check at the curriculums in the vendor hall. I find it’s so much better if I can hold the curriculum in my hand and page through it than just looking online.