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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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!
|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.
|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.
|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!
|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!
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.