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  1. I have another question for the group. My second child (boy - 3 years and 3 months old) is at the point where I feel I need to start some sort of formal learning/ work. Until now we have been reading to him everyday; playing with duplos, cars, trains; used leapfrog dvds, and take him outdoors - park, pool, etc whenever we can. I would like to get ideas on what/ where would be a good place to start for math,reading and writing. I have looked at HWT and like it. I have used AAS with my older daughter (7 years old) and thought I could use their AAR program with my 3 year old. Confused about my options with math. We did not use any formal math curriculum for our daughter when she was young and now we use Miquon and Singapore during summer and winter breaks (to supplement school) so would like to know if these programs are good for the preschool years as well. Any other thoughts/ directions/ advice/ critiques would help - thanks!
  2. I have another question for the group. My second child (boy - 3 years and 3 months old) is at the point where I feel I need to start some sort of formal learning/ work. Until now we have been reading to him everyday; playing with duplos, cars, trains; used leapfrog dvds, and take him outdoors - park, pool, etc whenever we can. I would like to get ideas on what/ where would be a good place to start for math,reading and writing. I have looked at HWT and like it. I have used AAS with my older daughter (7 years old) and thought I could use their AAR program with my 3 year old. Confused about my options with math. We did not use any formal math curriculum for our daughter when she was young and now we use Miquon and Singapore during summer and winter breaks (to supplement school) so would like to know if these programs are good for the preschool years as well. Any other thoughts/ directions/ advice/ critiques would help - thanks!
  3. Hi there! There are already threads that list free curriculum, but they focus more on the older kids, so I thought it would be a good idea to start a thread with free curriculum for preschoolers and kindergartners. These are some of the resources I used as a teacher and now as a mom. Please add on and list any free curriculum or resources you are using or that you know of. I taught 4 year old Kindergarten before homeschooling, and I worked closely with the 5K teacher to mesh our programs. For my son, we just have fun doing phonics, handwriting together, math games, and take lots of field trips around your area! Also, read, read, read! At least 3 read alouds a day, more if you can. Kids at this age really need hands on play with materials like blocks, play dough, ect. to develop their cognitive and motor skills. We also do monthly themes based on the seasons, holidays, etc. I don’t use a boxed curriculum, just tons of good books and free printables and ideas from the internet. www.starfall.com Starfall is wonderful and free online, it has an ABC section for early phonics and reading going all the way up to 4th or 5th grade. They also sell a complete Kindergarten curriculum, but you can just use the ree activities and alphabet printables on the website for phonics and handwriting. Here is a program with lesson plans for presenting Nursery rhymes to work on phonics and literacy skills, it is called Rhyme a Week: http://www.teach.virginia.edu/go/wil...and_rhymes.htm Just to let you know, it is a program that was developed for Head Start. Some homeschool families might not approve of the source, but I used it in the Catholic school I worked in and I didn't find anything objectionable about it. The also have a program called "Book a Week" that has lesson plans for activities to go along with a children's book. It is also used to increase literacy and reading skills, and expose kids to picture books. http://www.teach.virginia.edu/go/wil...#A_Book_A_Week I don't use these faithfully, but if you wanted to it could constitute a complete language arts curriculum, I would just add in a bit more formal handwriting and/or phonics. Don Potter’s website has a phonics program called Blend Phonics that I think would work well at this age, as long as the child knows the alphabet. http://www.donpotter.net/Blend%20Phonics.htm www.littlegiraffes.com This is a website that was maintained by a Kindergarten teacher until she retired, it has great ideas for hands on activities and projects in language arts, math, science, reading, etc. The monthly themes section has great ideas units you could use as an integrated curriculum, also it has great ideas for hands on projects and centers that relate to science, social studies, as well as math and reading. Lots of fun crafts too! Again, you could use the themes to plan your activities for the whole year. www.jmeacham.com This is another public school teacher who still maintains her site. Although she teaches older kids now, she started out in Kindergarten. I really like her “roll a games” for math, which you can find here:http://www.jmeacham.com/roll.a.games.htm http://www.hubbardscupboard.org/abc_centers.html This website is from a former teacher who is now a homeschooling mom. She has tons of resources for preschool and Kindergarten. These are her ABC centers, which have some great games. She also has printable reading books that coordinate with great Children's lit: http://www.hubbardscupboard.org/printable_booklets.html This site also includes a link on the left for Christian resources and printables, and there are plenty of ideas for math games and language arts games if you follow the links. http://www.first-school.ws/ This is a preschool site with tons of free printables, but they are also great for the Kindergarten level. They have handwriting worksheets in either Zaner-Bloser or D'Nelian. They also have some great flashcards, coloring pages, and they have lesson plans for various children's books and themes. Their site can be a little hard to navigate, but their free printables really are great. Their alphabet handwriting sheets also include pages with Christian and biblical themes if you wanted to incorporate religion, though most of their resources are secular. Here is the link to their handwriting printable section: http://www.first-school.ws/theme/handwriting.htm This site has a handwriting worksheet generator you can use to print out your child’s name in dot letters for them to practice. You can use Zaner-Bloser or D’Nelian, or cursive. www.handwritingworksheets.com Here is a page with free learning activity sheets for math, writing, reading, etc. You need to register at www.learningpage.com, but it is free. They also have lesson plans and printables to go with themes units, such as ocean animals, that integrate all the different subjects around a science topic with resources for grades prek-4. Here is a lin k for the activity sheets they have by month in an archive: http://www.learningpage.com/member/p...thly-sets.html Here is a link for their themes units: http://www.learningpage.com/pages/me...ct_oceans.html And here are the basic sheets that have great math and letter practice: http://www.learningpage.com/pages/me..._dnealian.html Here is a site with fun ideas for theme units, they also have songs and fingerplays listed by theme that you can incorporate into whatever you are studying. This is the section with recipes for things like playdough, paint, etc. http://www.preschooleducation.com/recipe.shtml They also have great ideas for games and activities to go along with phonics and math. These are all hands on activities and games, not worksheets. If you wanted a more traditional math program, I know that MEP math has a kindergarten program. I haven't used it, but it is free online and a lot of families on this board really like it. It is a British site so the Kindergarten year is called "Reception." Here is a link: http://www.cimt.plymouth.ac.uk/proje...ry/default.htm If you are looking for a CM approach, Ambleside Online has free Kindergarten suggestions and reading lists as does Tanglewood Academy, and Mater Amabilis (Catholic CM approach). You could also look at the booklists on the Living Books curriculum website or Memoria press for more literature ideas, and then just use your library card to check out the books. I know there are a lot more out there, let's keep em coming!
  4. I came across this in one of my facebook groups: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/educators/early-childhood/ It's a 10 month long (or several units if you're just taking some of the units) preschool curriculum (3-5) for free! It looks fun and interesting, also included a pre-history unit for your dino lovers (or pre STOW if you are doing that first). I think I just found our science curriculum for prek-4!!
  5. HI all, My 3 YO LOVES books. He memorizes the ones that we read the most and when we read a new one then after we are done he takes it and wants to read it to me. He asks me to help him "say something" for each page if he doesn't have it memorized to "read" back to me. The other day he asked me to teach him how to read and say something. I am very much of the don't push it mentality and letting him play as much as possible. He loves to play but he again, has asked me to teach him to read. He watches Leap Frog letter factory and knows about 5 letters and can point them out. He can sit still when he wants. He is a little speech delayed but he has had his hearing aid know for over a year and making huge progress. So my DH and I were talking and he feels that we should "teach him to read" since he is asking and i'm like he doesn't know his alphabet yet! So i at least agreed to start teaching him his alphabet. If we start and he isn't interested i can put it away. So my question is more of, what are good tools to teach the alphabet and pre-reading skills. I have started to buy rhyming books too and his new favorite book is "Rhyming Dust Bunnies." I figure we can sit and learn the alphabet together and go from there and if he still wants to "learn to read" after that we will cross that bridge later. He knows the alphabet song too. Also, i need ideas for teaching it w/out writing. His fine motor skills are not there yet. Thoughts?? TIA. I looked at All About Reading pre reading but its a little expensive. We had also been doing Simply Classical A from MP and he had a huge leap. Now we just use the book list since he made that leap. I am just not sure he is ready for the fine motor skills in Simply Classical B and thinking i am not ready for a whole package yet either.
  6. Hello everyone, My name is Christina and I have a 4 and 2 year old. I recently purchased "The Well Trained Mind" and am looking for some resources and encouragement. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with how/where to start. My 4 year old went to 3 year pre-school last year but I always felt the pull to home-school my kids. After ordering the book I really think this is the avenue I need to persue with our home-schooling. Do any of you here have any good places to start?? Thank you!!
  7. Hi everybody, I have a 2.5 years old son and I feel now is the right time to send him to a preschool. I am a single Father living in NYC. My neighbor recommended Montclare Children's School and I am pretty happy with their curriculum but I still want to have a look at some more options, so that I can provide the best environment to my kid. Please advise?
  8. So, this coming fall, when my DC are 6, 4, and 2, we are going to read the ESV Bible instead of a Bible story book. Now that I know that, though, I have been trying to decide how much to read each day, and how much to cover in a year. Here are the ways or curricula I am considering. One story/passage a week, spanning Genesis to Revelation. Chronological. (Possibly based on year 1 from Ambleside Online.) 2 stories a week, spanning Genesis to Revelation. Chronological. Going through the Bible and picking every story/passage/psalm that I want them to read, then dividing it (either by 36, 72, or 180) and seeing how long it will take. Making my own chronological cycle, essentially. Bible Road Trip - A 3 year cycle through the whole Bible. About 2 chapters a day. Year 1 is Genesis to Esther. She has a suggested schedule for lower grammar. Foundations - A 3 year cycle through the whole Bible. It is generally a chapter a day, sometimes less. Simply Charlotte Mason Module 1- Genesis to Deuteronomy. Year 1 of a 6 year chronological cycle. A Bible/history/geography blend. It looks like it is 2 to 7 chapters a week. I plan on having a notebook page per story or chapter to make sure it is sinking in. My boys are not currently huge notebooking fans. I am not sure if it is the drawing or the writing because in general they don't mind either. They are ok about worksheets if they are quick. So, that is part of my concern with doing something like Bible Road Trip, even though I love the concept. How many stories or chapters do you read a day? A week? Do you have your child do a notebooking page? How often? If you have them do something else to demonstrate comprehension, what do you do? If you read 2 chapters a day, do you feel like your child retains it? My DSs have most of the stories from each version of the Bible that we own memorized because, up until this year, we have been reading but not doing much else. This year we have started doing 1 notebooking page a week on the one story a week. They fight me occasionally on the notebook page. By Wednesday or Thursday they are asking me "Are we reading this story again?" So I know we need to do things differently for next year and I have already started changing how we do our Bible time. Thoughts? Suggestions? What works for your young kiddos? Thanks!
  9. My daughter will be 4 at the beginning of the school year next year. I would like to start her with something a little academic, but not overwhelming. She loves singing, acting and dancing. She loves to read, crafts and play with play doh. I want to give her a good head start. Experienced homeschoolers, is there anything I should avoid or look at? NOTE: Please do not give me the typical, let her play response. We are already having issues with behavior at church, and I need to add some structure to her day. Here are my preschool/k4 plan options: A. Classical Conversations (more for developing classroom skills, social reasons...anything she learns is gravy) My Father's World K working very slowly and less emphasis on writing Art & Spanish Class at a local art academy that is light and fun one day a week B. Classical Conversations Carol's Affordable Homeschool Curriculum Art & Spanish Class at a local art academy that is light and fun one day a week C. Classical Conversations Rod and Staff Preschool Workbooks Art & Spanish Class at a local art academy that is light and fun one day a week D. Classical Conversations Five in a Row Art & Spanish Class at a local art academy that is light and fun one day a week I would consider SL but it seems like it would stress me out and confuse me. I would like something that is open and go for the first year. Something that does not take longer than 1 hour (for main curriculum besides CC). Something that is gentle and fun but with structure. Any other ideas? Something else to consider?
  10. My daughter turns 2 this summer. This fall, I would like to find activities that would occupy her while I do school with my older kids. She is a BUSY toddler and loves to tear up books, run around dumping out toys, etc. I thought about purchasing the Toddler preschool pack from MFW. Does anyone else own it? Would like to hear the pros/cons, along with how it captures your child's attention.
  11. Guest

    Story of the World Pre-K?

    I really like what I've read about Story of the World. Does anyone know if 4 years old is too young to get started?
  12. Can you please tell me about blogs you read regularly? I am looking specifically for blogs on homeschooling and parenting preschoolers. My goal is to ask a few bloggers if they would review my craft kits and perhaps do a giveaway on their blog. Thanks for you help.
  13. So, I've used Shirley's Prepackaged Crafts on & off since dd#3 was about four years old. Easy-peasy because they arrived with everything you need (except for crayons, scissors, and glue) in one box every month for a relatively inexpensive amount of money. No planning on my part - just pull out the box, pick an activity and go. I went to buy a box for ds#1 for December ... and received the shocking news that they are closed. No more boxes for us. I've checked out a bunch of other places (Carol’s Affordable Curriculum, Kelly Kits, Learning Box Preschool, Kiwi Crate, Babba Boxes, Green Kid Crafts, Mother Goose Time, Grasshopper Kits, and Little Passports) & can't find anything like it. Anyone have other sites I can try? (No, a book from Amazon isn't what I'm looking for. I'm also not looking for a place where I have to print & pull things together on my own.) I'm not looking for anything too school-y. I don't need a preschool curriculum. Just some crafts for like three days a week. Not too expensive ($20/month is fine. $60 a month isn't.)
  14. Hey Ho, Parents of Twin Preschoolers! I have been slaving away on planning out lessons for my oldest son's upcoming homeschool year. With all my planning for his schooling, however, I do not want to neglect my bright and very active 4 year old twins. I know that if I don't plan out at least some basic lesson goals and plans for my twins, very little pro-active learning will take place with them this year. I decided to start with writing down my goals for this year, and then put together a very simple daily/weekly lesson plan for my twins. I was wondering if anyone else has any ideas to share about their plans for their preschool kiddos (twins). Does anyone have a daily/weekly plan? We will be attending Classical Conversations again this year. Last year, my twins simply went to the nursery. This year, I decided to put them in a class (simply because it seemed the better alternative to spending 3 - 4 hours in the nursery). If you're curious, here's the post I just wrote about my goals for my 4 year olds twins: Preschool Goals for 4 Year Old Twins Thanks! Leslie
  15. Hi everyone, I just learned about Better Chinese and was wondering if anyone has used it? I am specifically looking at their preschool program but am completely overwhelmed by all of their choices. What are the must have's and what can be skipped? Are people using alone or with a tutor? Thanks, Marisa
  16. Jackie

    Kiwi Crates?

    Has anyone used these? We have a ton of art supplies on hand for my pre-k daughter, but we don't do much in the way of crafts or art "projects" and I know I'm far more likely to get things done if they come prepackaged for me. The price seems a little steep, though, and I can't find many reviews. I'd love to hear others' experiences with these!
  17. I haven't seen either of these in person. I'm trying to find a curriculum that is not too time-intensive for a 2.5 - 3 year old (starting this fall/winter). I really would like something more scheduled. It appears that HOD Little Hands to Heaven seems to be the most scheduled out of the three. However, I do enjoy reading to my kids and we enjoy lots of good books. I've not used HOD, Sonlight, or FIAR before so all are new. Looking for Pros/Cons of each and which is most recommended for a 2.5/3 year old?
  18. Hi there! Ok, so I know that this is a question that has no right answer, because everyone's philosophy on reading is different and everyone's child is different. But I find myself freaking out over how not-far we are in OPGTR and how not proficient in reading dd is after half a year of K4, and I need someone to talk me down off the "I suck at this" ledge! :) My dd is nearly 5 and we've been doing K4 this year. We are just getting into the "beginning consonant blends" section of OPGTR. Dd usually does really well as long as we're going slow and she can sound out slowly, but she's still needing to sound out - only rarely looking at words and being able to read them without having to go "ffffffff...iiiiiiiiii....xxxxx. Fix!" Things she's seen often, like "cat" and "mom" and stuff like that, she can read without sounding out. Sight words like "the" too. I have tried to work with her on stringing all the sounds together without a space in between, but she still breaks them up. (I feel like I'm nagging if I keep pressing the issue.) I worry that i's starting to become a problem now that we're getting into longer words, because once in a while she will mentally reverse sounds or leave off the first sound. (i.e. "hhhhh...oooo....pppp. Op!") Sometimes she just guesses. Sometimes she accidentally starts with the letter on the right, then can't let it go and start from the left. (Like for "pat" - "ttttttt...." "Where do we start?" "ppppp...aaaaa...tttt. Tap!") I haven't had material for her to read that's exactly scintillating - we've mostly just been reading the practice sentences and short stories in OPGTR, and she finds them boring. (She actually groans most of the time when I bring out the book. Not a good sign.) I just ordered a couple of the reading books from AAR, so I'm hoping that will inject some fun and motivation into our tooth-pulling reading lessons. I guess my question and my worry is - are we doing ok? Are these just normal struggles? Are we at a "normal" place? I was an early, easy reader, and incremental progress is a hard concept to wrap my head around. I'm trying to get more comfortable with it, but then I worry that I'm getting too comfortable, KWIM? TY!
  19. Not sure if this is the best place to put this. I am looking for a program for my special-needs 4 yr old to do when my older son needs one-on-one schooling time. My 4 yr old isn't reading, but he recognizes and knows the sounds of all the letters. He also does pretty well with numbers and is very good with computers/electronics. We have a regular pc and a kindle fire. I haven't had much success finding educational programs for the kindle, and would prefer one for the pc, anyway, so he doesn't get distracted by other apps on the kindle. We have done starfall but he gets bored with it now since he's been using it for the entire school year. Thanks!
  20. I've been looking at Timberdoodle's preschool for a while now, and will probably purchase it this month for Bot-bot (minus a few things I didn't want). Anybody used this? I'm not fretting about reading/language exposure or math, which we'll have covered various other ways -- Sonlight lists, Great Books nursery eventually RightStart and/or MEP reception -- but I like the collection of puzzle and toy type things, and the music idea box...
  21. Has anyone here had to help a sibling cope with the intense needs/behavior of another sibling? I am in profound need of advice, so please help if you have any ideas! DS has always been very wiggly/difficult to manage, but I always figured a tincture of time/maturity was all we needed. However he just hit 7 years, and things have been getting worse, not better. We now have some vague physical aggression starting (waving objects right in your face, grabbing your body, etc, but no outright hitting/kicking yet) in addition to the uqbiquitous yelling when frustrated and general impulsivity, and I think it's time to take him in for evaluation. I think the most likely diagnosis is ADHD/gifted. We have an appointment with a developmental pediatrician, but not until August, and an appointment with a psychiatrist that specializes in ADHD next month. We even have an appointment with the educational psychologist at the elementary school coming up, as we have toyed with the idea of putting him in the Behavioral Management Center there. The more I reflect on it though, the less I think the public school route could help him, though. Most likely, continuing with homeschool (as we have all along) will be best for him academically, emotionally, and socially. HOWEVER, it is not just DS that I have to worry about. DD is approaching 5 and has only recently (with the help of a psychologist) become fully potty trained. It turns out that the potty training difficulties were just a symptom of general anxiety she is feeling, and the two things the psychologist recommended to help were more one-on-one parent/DD time (which is part of why we toyed with the idea of public school for DS), and more space from DS. His impulsive behavior, and the tension it frequently yields in the home, although DH and I do our best to keep things calm, is stressing her out. I have thought of several ideas to help DD, but am not sure which route to pursue. She is introverted, sensitive (obviously), and keeps things that bother her bottled up inside. So far I have mostly just had the philosophy that she can tag along with what DS is doing, but now I think she could really use more age-appropriate activities (singing songs, painting, learning the alphabet & days of the week, playing in the sand, etc) and social experiences. It's true that there are plenty of events for preschoolers/homeschoolers in my area, but when DS comes along (as he has to), I end up mostly focused on managing his behavior. She comes to DS's homeschool co-op and park days, but most of the kids there are a little older, and she becomes so much more animated when she is with girls her age. Of her two closest friends, one is in Kindergarten and the other lives 45 minutes away, so it's hard to arrange playdates. She did enjoy her ballet class (which was recently canceled, but we're looking for something to take it's place), but I feel like she would benefit from something more frequent than once a week. Here are some other ideas I'm considering: Wait until next fall and let her go to Kindergarten to get a little space from DS, even though I would really love to homeschool her Look for some kind of MDO/preschool I could enroll her in right away (although it's doubtful I'll find anything as most places around here are already starting waiting lists for next fall) Commit to doing a more structured (because structure will make me more likely to keep it up) Kindergarten program here at home with her next year (I used Joy School with DS, but the Wee Folk Art curriculum with lots of crafts, stories, field trips, etc appeals to me, too), either just her and me or with a group of other Pre-K/K kids, and let DS play the iPad (or whatever else will keep him busy) during that time so I can focus on DD If anyone has any other ideas, I would love to hear them! I'm just feeling like I'm between a rock and a hard place right now, like I can't really give both DS and DD what they need. :crying: TIA!
  22. So I just learned my baby sister will be hsing my 4yo niece for Preschool, then Kindergarten and possibly the whole way through. :hurray: :thumbup: Sis taught Kindergarten for six years before becoming a mom, but she's asking me to lead her in the direction of a Bible/Christian-based curriculum. She lives in the middle of nowhere USA, with the closest library about an hour away. No access to co-ops, either. I've always used lit-based curricula(FIAR & SL) but I'm not sure that style is going to be a good fit. She's also wanting a good Bible curriculum since my little niece doesn't attend Sunday School. Money is an issue-very, very tight. If it makes a difference, my younger niece just turned one yo. :001_wub: TIA! :001_smile:
  23. Since they say younger children can pick up a foreign language easier, I want to start my children now. I just feel at a loss at what to do...I am paying $20 for a 30 minute once a week session with a tutor, but I don't feel like it is fruitful (maybe I am impatient). I also read to them in Spanish (the language we chose). My husband and I only have a HS understanding of spanish (aka not great). How do you teach your child a foreign language? Are we doing what we are supposed to to help them learn? Any recommendations? Also, at what age would your recommend Rosetta stone?
  24. I got my 4.5 year old daughter a few new 25 piece puzzles today. She eventually gave up, saying "They make puzzles because they want kids to be bored." She's pretty bright, but apparently not very good at spatial reasoning (DH can't do a puzzle to save his life, either). Even if I tell her a piece is an edge piece, she doesn't "get" that they edges have to go in a straight line, and when she finally gets a piece, it's either by luck or after exhausting all the other options. Any ideas on how to help her learn the critical thinking and spatial reasoning skills she needs to do them?
  25. I want to do the Learn to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with my 4yo. Do the lessons have to be daily, back to back, or can we do two lessons per week? Or three per week? Just trying to get a handle on how many days a week we need to be doing this to make it work. Thanks! Melissa
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