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Large families- do you use any programs with your preschoolers and Kindergarteners?

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This year I'm running 3 HOD guides, and I need to simplify next year. I'll have my 2nd, 4th, and 5th graders together for Bible/science/history. I was planning on letting my younger dc (will be PreK and K) tag along for those subjects. The K'er will have his 3R's covered, and the PreK'er will have R&S ABC workbooks (she LOVES "doing school"!). But then I wonder if they'll actually get anything out of tagging along with the olders. I'm thinking about FIAR or something like that, but then I'm getting back into being un-simplified. I'm also thinking about just scheduling some time to read books to the younger dc each day (to make sure it gets done), without a specific "program".


I'm thinking about this a lot because my 3yo (4 in Sept) is not content to just play or color during school anymore. She requests school constantly. She works in her workbooks and plays with math manipulatives, but I'm wondering if she'll ever be content unless we have something scheduled and predictable. We are using HOD's Little Hands this year, and I'm not enjoying it as much as I hoped I would. I've looked at MFW K for 5 years now (ever since my oldest was 5) but never bought it. From what I hear, it could be really fun for the 3yo and 5yo.


Anyway, I'm just wondering how other large families handle the preschool/K years. I know of one IRL who does not do ANYTHING except LeapFrog DVD's until they start 1st grade. I would like to do something, I'm just not sure what.

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My preschooler this year:


Saxon K, R&S workbooks and Bible Storybook, Bob Books, Building Thinking Skills Beginning, AAR PL 1, CC Foundations


My preschooler next year (they are close in age):


All the same except The Children's Illustrated Bible instead and the intro work in LOE w/ lined paper and manuscript instructions from WRTR. If that doesn't go well then I'll go back to the R&S workbooks but it is just one more thing to grade and teach. I have a ton of preschool workbooks and coloring books I've collected over the years that I don't care if she does "right" so if she wants a workbook I have a bunch I can hand her to do for fun. I forgot to mention Pre-Scripts from CC but I haven't seen that yet as they are not quite out yet.


In regards to extra science and history I would say videos like the NEST videos for history and Bible and videos from AIG and Vision Forum are great for teaching science. Videos with language immersion are also great and we also love the Leap Frog videos. I think our CC memory work sparks a lot in our house and hearing what the big kids are doing in your house will probably do just about the same thing. Don't add more to your plate than you need to. I also meant to say that read aloud is great for this.....just plain good picture books and audio books add so much. I consider it a good day if they've had a Bible story and the basic 3 R's for about 20-40 minutes plus reading to them. Giving them a good half hour to an hour of one on one (or small group) makes them very happy! Especially if I break out craft supplies for them to just experiment with under supervision.....

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I've been pondering this this evening, and I'm leaning towards just scheduling some read-aloud time just for the youngers without a "program" or a plan. So, they'll have their seatwork (3R's stuff), coloring/painting, playing with math manipulatives, read-alouds with me, and then whatever they pick up from the olders' school. I have to schedule time for reading aloud to the youngers (or else have a box on the checklist) because I'll forget if I don't! I do a lot of reading to the older children; I feel like I'm not reading enough of the youngers' books. That's why I was considering a program for them, to keep me accountable. And also because I wanted to have a "fun factor", since when I asked my 5yo what his favorite part of school is, he said, "nothing". He quickly does his page of math and page of phonics and then runs back to his legos, lincoln logs, or whatever. When I asked what we could do next year to make school more fun, he said, "build a house out of lincoln logs." :) He's also looking forward to using the book My Body and making an outline of himself and adding the organs when we study the human body (using God's Design), so I guess tagging along with the olders can work after all.

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We started FIAR bc my 4 yr old dd was not content with playing and coloring also. My 5 (almost 6 yr old son) really enjoys FIAR and doesn't consider it to be "school" (anything he enjoys doing isn't school lol). I use the lapbook resources from homeschoolshare also. My kids are only 20 months apart so dd sits in for OPGTR and R.e.a.l. science. When I do math and reading with my older ds I usually turn on an educational show for her (through netflix) like phonics farm, super why, ect.

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I don't do a formal program with my little ones. None of them have had a hard time adjusting to a WTM style first grade.


If they're clamoring for their own school I've resorted to the chunky Costco workbooks, and random educational games. My current 4yo did MEP Reception last year and loved soaking up the momma-time before I sat down with the big kids. Now she only asks for a lesson once in awhile, and is usually more than content with Phonics Pathways and a R&S Arithmetic 1 lesson. R&S starts with K level math, and is very gentle. We spend more time on the oral class time than the worksheet.


The standard K "program" in my house is regular phonics, a writing tablet, and math manipulatives, unless they're still clamoring for more.


When they seem ready for phonics instruction I supply it, gently, regardless their age. That's usually between ages 3-5 in my house.

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