One of my favorite resources for teaching preschoolers the sounds and shapes of the letters of the alphabet is a foam puzzle. You can see them here.
But, it wasn’t all fun. I quickly learned the child would push all of the letters out of the frame, and then get frustrated when they couldn’t put them all in the right places. So, I removed all but the first 3 letters, a,b and c. We would review the sounds and shapes of a,b, and c, until they knew them well, and then I added one letter at a time.
I am a advocate of ‘better late than early learning’, so I wouldn’t ever pressure preschoolers to learn. I try to make it as fun as possible.
Pre-schoolers and lots of pieces are a frustrating combination.
Most puzzles have too many pieces. Even the smallest crayon box has too many crayons. My youngest used 3 or 4 crayons for their masterpieces. Many pre-schoolers end up with too many toys that have too many pieces. We can teach them to help us clean up after themselves, but it’s an often frustrating and exasperating for moms.
When my first few children were very young, I was under the impression that there was a direct correlation between the number of toys and my children’s happiness.
I actually think that my children were happiest and most content when I limited the number of toys in our home, and encouraged them to be creative.
We had arts and crafts times, built towns with Duplos and then Legos, did hand sewing projects, grew avocados, oranges and other plants from seed, listened to numerous bible stories, Odyssey, and Your Story Hour on CDs, memorized bible verses put to music, played games, and read lots of books together out loud.
Here are my favorite sites to purchase resources.
Schoolhouse Publishing http://www.shpublishing.com/
Veritas Press #1-800-922-5082
The Classical Teacher http://www.memoriapress.com/
Rainbow Resource Center Inc. http://www.rainbowresource.com/ #1-888-841-3456
Homescience Tools http://www.homesciencetools.com/ #1-800-860-6272
Remedia Publications #1-800-826-4740 (This catalog is full of resources for learners who struggle a little more than other learners)
Christian Book Distributers http://www.christianbook.com/
What are your favorite resources?
Planning to homeschool for the first time can be a lot like Dorothy looking for the Wizard, in the Wizard of Oz. Which way do you go to complete your goals, and how do you get there? And, what would those goals be? That’s not easy either.
Here’s a site that I like to refer to to set goals. http://www.ixl.com/math/
I was recently asked what I would teach, (DO with), a preschooler. The main goal is to work on activities that connect the left and right hemispheres of their brain.
Cut, cut, cut. Buy safety scissors and have them cut every day, even for a few minutes. It will be more like ripping for a while, but they will get better. Cut construction paper into pieces and separate by color. Cut up old calendars and place the pictures in an inexpensive $1.00 photo 4×6 book. We filled up dozens of them, and handed them out to residents we were visiting at a local nursing home.
Determine their dominate hand, and gIve them colored pencils, or crayons to draw. Buy an inexpensive ‘sketchie’ kind of pad and encourage them to draw family members, pets, and their surroundings. Send the finished masterpieces to grandma, or post them on a ‘Refrigerator of Fame.’
Use a small dry erase board, (I love my 8 x 11 board), or just a piece of paper, to make a 3 or 4 dot to dot game. Dot to Dot games are great for very young children.
Do puzzles. Start with 4-12 piece puzzles and advance to 24 pieces. Read to them.
Every day, set aside 15-30 minutes to read picture books together. Talk about what was read.
Use free, downloadable pages to trace numbers and letters. There are numerous free printable pages on Pinterest.
Teach letter sounds. Try one letter a week.
Use the cute worksheets for basic math skills like these http://www.ixl.com/math/pre-k
Play matching games. We use cards with animal pictures and start with just 3 pair. I lay the 6 cards face down and the toddler and I take turns picking up one card and then another, If they match, I win them. If not, I turn them over and it’s my child’s turn. My 2 year old granddaughter LOVES to play and we are up to 5 pair of cards.
Learn the basic colors.
Learn the value and denomination of coins
Use colorful Pre-K workbooks for learning some fun facts about time, animals, geography, safety, etc. My favorites came from Walmart and Kmart.
By kindergarten, it’s a huge help for the child to know the name and sound of each letter, numbers through 10, colors, and BASIC math facts.
Have fun! Laugh every day. Memorize Bible verses. Sing together. Visit the elderly. Play games for 15 minutes a day, or however long you can handle it. Remember, when I play Chutes and Ladders, even chutes go UP! DO what you have to to remain sane.
I’d love to read your ideas!
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