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This fall will be my 3rd child's Pre-K year.  With my first 2, we did nothing formal and they were beyond ready for K.  Well, I feel my daughter has been left alone to play while I do school with the boys and tend to the baby.  She doesn't know near as much as the boys did at that age.  I've looked at curriculum.  I like the look of mp junior k, BUT it seems a bit overkill.  I don't want to discuss a book to the extreme that mp does.  I don't think I want curriculum.  I'm looking for maybe a few workbooks, I have tons of good books.  I'm not super crafty.  I guess I am asking for a daily school routine to carve out some intentional time for her.  Anyone care to share what you did with your 4 year old.

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8 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I think the key point is your word "intentional". So blocking off the time will matter the most, to where your other kids know this is "her time". For me that was easiest to do first thing. 

What does she like to do? Is she a mover, or more quiet? You could block 30 minutes, read a story, do some hands on things with manipulatives and just count/do colors etc. as part of that. Throw in some phonemic awareness things (I am really wishing I had spent more time on this with my late talker in hindsight) and call it good. I am just not big on workbooks for little ones tbh.  The rest is just life, like you did with your olders. Getting outside, talking about things, looking up questions. 

And hard pass to crafts! I would be happier to give them a bunch of pipe cleaners and a colander or something and tell them to weave it and work on hand/eye coordination than to do cutting and pasting at this point! I look back and laugh now at the stuff I tried to make them do, which they could have cared less about and just stressed me out, LOL. 

Yes, in hind sight some of the things I tried with homeschool is laughable too.  She isn't what I call overly active, but is far more active than my boys.  My boys listened to books since their whole lives.  Dd only started listening to books last year I think.  Play-Doh and Barbies/pretend play is her life.  She has a Barbie dream house and a box of Barbies and a few cans of Play-Doh and you literally never see her all day.  I'm not a huge fan of workbooks either.  She does bring papers to the school table and tells me she is doing her school so I'd like to get a couple things.  

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I've had 5 four year olds....preschool looked a bit different with each.  Kids 3 & 4 had some learning issues we were starting to get red flags on, but hadn't yet fully sorted out.  Because of my experiences with kids 3 & 4, I'm not wholly in the "just play" camp.  

My "PK year" with the kids was a mix of a few things:

1. Reading books from the BFIAR and other "great books" lists. I worked on having my child listen to the stories carefully enough to answer a few simple questions.  This helped me gauge their comprehension.  Kid 3 pretty much listened to all stories jumping on the trampoline while playing legos, but he was listening carefully.  I was really surprised to learn that kid 4 wasn't really following the story line.  Be intentional with story time, iykwim.

2. We did a Kumon cutting page each day.  (With my oldest it was black lines drawn on colored paper.)  I intentionally tried to do some type of fine motor activity a day---whether it was Montessori like, or craftlike, or whatever....I wanted them to be building hand strength and some coordination.  

3. I did some sort of visual or visual motor activity each day---tossing bean bags back and forth, mirroring a design I made with pattern blocks, bouncing a basketball, etc. This was another area where I picked up some major issues with two of my children. 

4. Some kind of joyful bonding activity each day. For one kid, that was going to the park. For another, it was Barbie time. For another, we baked daily. I think homeschooling requires a positive family bond....it can be really trying. It's also really easy to lose kids in the mix, especially if you have olders old enough to need a fair bit of mom during school time, and a baby asking for a lot of time as well.  It's easy to lose a quiet, well behaved preschooler in the mix of family chaos. 

I really, really like the Developing the Early Learner workbook series.  From an occupational therapy and vision therapy standpoint--I see a lot of activities in those workbooks that I paid good money for for my kids who needed therapy. When I find a kid struggling with a particular set of activities across all four books, it's a red flag to consider doing evaluations, IMO. DEL is not a bright and shiny fancy color workbook (a la Kumon), but the activities are QUALITY once you understand what's going on....

ETA: totally bring out the math manipulatives every day for fun. We spent a lot of time with cuisenaire rods, pattern blocks, rulers, etc.  We also worked on some of the skills Beechick recommends. If you haven't read her stuff, it's worth the $10ish to buy it. 

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12 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I've had 5 four year olds....preschool looked a bit different with each.  Kids 3 & 4 had some learning issues we were starting to get red flags on, but hadn't yet fully sorted out.  Because of my experiences with kids 3 & 4, I'm not wholly in the "just play" camp.  

My "PK year" with the kids was a mix of a few things:

1. Reading books from the BFIAR and other "great books" lists. I worked on having my child listen to the stories carefully enough to answer a few simple questions.  This helped me gauge their comprehension.  Kid 3 pretty much listened to all stories jumping on the trampoline while playing legos, but he was listening carefully.  I was really surprised to learn that kid 4 wasn't really following the story line.  Be intentional with story time, iykwim.

2. We did a Kumon cutting page each day.  (With my oldest it was black lines drawn on colored paper.)  I intentionally tried to do some type of fine motor activity a day---whether it was Montessori like, or craftlike, or whatever....I wanted them to be building hand strength and some coordination.  

3. I did some sort of visual or visual motor activity each day---tossing bean bags back and forth, mirroring a design I made with pattern blocks, bouncing a basketball, etc. This was another area where I picked up some major issues with two of my children. 

4. Some kind of joyful bonding activity each day. For one kid, that was going to the park. For another, it was Barbie time. For another, we baked daily. I think homeschooling requires a positive family bond....it can be really trying. It's also really easy to lose kids in the mix, especially if you have olders old enough to need a fair bit of mom during school time, and a baby asking for a lot of time as well.  It's easy to lose a quiet, well behaved preschooler in the mix of family chaos. 

I really, really like the Developing the Early Learner workbook series.  From an occupational therapy and vision therapy standpoint--I see a lot of activities in those workbooks that I paid good money for for my kids who needed therapy. When I find a kid struggling with a particular set of activities across all four books, it's a red flag to consider doing evaluations, IMO. DEL is not a bright and shiny fancy color workbook (a la Kumon), but the activities are QUALITY once you understand what's going on....

ETA: totally bring out the math manipulatives every day for fun. We spent a lot of time with cuisenaire rods, pattern blocks, rulers, etc.  We also worked on some of the skills Beechick recommends. If you haven't read her stuff, it's worth the $10ish to buy it. 

Thanks.  I do need to check out the Beechick book.  Texan pm'd a while back (I never did get a chance to respond oops). I will try to get to it 

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22 hours ago, Elizabeth86 said:

This fall will be my 3rd child's Pre-K year.  With my first 2, we did nothing formal and they were beyond ready for K.  Well, I feel my daughter has been left alone to play while I do school with the boys and tend to the baby.  She doesn't know near as much as the boys did at that age.  I've looked at curriculum.  I like the look of mp junior k, BUT it seems a bit overkill.  I don't want to discuss a book to the extreme that mp does.  I don't think I want curriculum.  I'm looking for maybe a few workbooks, I have tons of good books.  I'm not super crafty.  I guess I am asking for a daily school routine to carve out some intentional time for her.  Anyone care to share what you did with your 4 year old.

I love MP and use much of it with my older kids, but we never used any of the preschool or JK programs.  Interestingly, Cheryl Lowe didn’t think preschool was necessary, but others convinced her to put something together for those who wanted it.  I have mixed feelings about their whole k-2 series, but really think they shine from 3rd grade on.

Preschool is a bit of a blur for my older kids...my youngest is six and he spent lots of time playing on his own or with his older brother and listening to books.  He also spent more time than I cared for watching Sesame Street and Between the Lions on PBS.  He would play with the math manipulative s we had out or use pattern blocks.  He really liked the kumon workbooks for cutting and pasting...no parental craft skills required!  He taught himself to read at 3 (probably from watching between the lions - we love that show here) so we did start AAR at 4, but that was about the only official academic pursuit he had.  They really do learn a lot from just listening in.

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My kids tend to like workbooks and crafts, so for my preschoolers I just put them on the table and let them do whatever, assisting when needed. Moveable historical figures, paper dolls, sticker books, science workbooks, Miquon, Thinking Tree Journals, math drawing books, Mindware, Critical Thinking Company, and Kumon are used the most frequently.

However, I don't mentally count this as my preK child's dedicated school time. His one on one time with me is usually for specific skill practice in math, piano, handwriting, and keyboarding/computer skills. Throughout the preschool year I gradually included him purposefully into our morning basket and memory work so by the time he's preK he's taking his turn responding to these things which allows us to cover basic grammar, Spanish, math breadth, etc at his level (ie we'll talk about the same topic but require a different level of output for each kid).

Now that he's five I'm trying to carve out read aloud time with just him. He reads alone quite a lot but mostly what some would call twaddle. Now that my older is doing independent assigned reading I want to focus on literature and narration with my preK one on one. My youngest is two years old so group read alouds are primarily picture books still.

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On 12/30/2019 at 8:06 AM, Elizabeth86 said:

She has a Barbie dream house and a box of Barbies and a few cans of Play-Doh and you literally never see her all day.  I'm not a huge fan of workbooks either.  She does bring papers to the school table and tells me she is doing her school so I'd like to get a couple things.  

 

For DS14 who was always in motion and loved Thomas the Tank Engine as well as Clifford the Big Red Dog, we did an hour daily mix of reading Thomas or Clifford books, handwriting practice with printed worksheets, math verbally. DS15 was in public school so I had the morning free to do one on one with my early riser.

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I'm finishing vpk with my 4 year old son. He is turning 5 in January and we are starting kindergarten work.

We did a _lot_ less than I did with his older siblings, now 3rd grade age twins, when they were that age.

I'm perfectly happy with this though. This child was not interested in sitting down to do school and I've learned from my older kids to allow for more time to learn some things.

So, vpk for us looked like:

Farmland Math from timberdoodle and some MEP reception

Letter of the week I put together when the twins were little. We read picture books featuring our letter of the week, did handwriting without tears chalkboard and chalk letters and sand tray writing letters, and some coloring pages and tpt printables for out letter each week.

Brainquest trivia decks and kumon activity books for coloring, cutting, and gluing 

That's it. 

I'm not doing much more for kindergarten honestly. And I'm happy with it.

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With my older kids I used Rod and Staff workbooks. With my younger kids we started academics later and I skipped all the pre-school stuff but one thing we did do that was a lot of fun was Ivy kids kits. Once a month they send a book and a box of crafts and activities that go along with the book. Everything you need is included so it was very easy to implement.

Susan in TX

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On 12/30/2019 at 11:12 AM, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I know you said you don't want a curriculum but what about something like Before Five in a Row- the stories are super sweet and you can do what you want and leave the rest. Mainly just good jumping off points. My youngest is super kinesthetic and a mover more than sit and listen to stories, but she did like a lot of those BFIAR books- like Jessie Bear. It was super age appropriate as opposed to some of the other programs that expect 4 year olds to sit and listen to chapter books. 

I tried FIAR with my oldest and it didn't really work out for me to well.  I sure could give BFIAR a try though.

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On 12/31/2019 at 9:01 AM, Mom2mthj said:

I love MP and use much of it with my older kids, but we never used any of the preschool or JK programs.  Interestingly, Cheryl Lowe didn’t think preschool was necessary, but others convinced her to put something together for those who wanted it.  I have mixed feelings about their whole k-2 series, but really think they shine from 3rd grade on.

Preschool is a bit of a blur for my older kids...my youngest is six and he spent lots of time playing on his own or with his older brother and listening to books.  He also spent more time than I cared for watching Sesame Street and Between the Lions on PBS.  He would play with the math manipulative s we had out or use pattern blocks.  He really liked the kumon workbooks for cutting and pasting...no parental craft skills required!  He taught himself to read at 3 (probably from watching between the lions - we love that show here) so we did start AAR at 4, but that was about the only official acadeic pursuit he had.  They really do learn a lot from just listening in.

I have mixed feelings about MP k-2 too.  The packages are lovely.  It's so lovely, BUT I feel all the questions around the books are WAY overkill.  Like it totally kills for me.  Interesting fact about Cherly Lowe's view on preschool!  So, you did AAR at 4.  Hm I just recently looked at the pre-reading level.  It looked nice!  I think it might be a good option.  She has an October birthday, so her pre k year she will be 4 turning 5.  I did say I didn't want curriculum, but I'm tempted lol and all over the place.

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On 12/31/2019 at 7:48 PM, keirin said:

I'm finishing vpk with my 4 year old son. He is turning 5 in January and we are starting kindergarten work.

We did a _lot_ less than I did with his older siblings, now 3rd grade age twins, when they were that age.

I'm perfectly happy with this though. This child was not interested in sitting down to do school and I've learned from my older kids to allow for more time to learn some things.

So, vpk for us looked like:

Farmland Math from timberdoodle and some MEP reception

Letter of the week I put together when the twins were little. We read picture books featuring our letter of the week, did handwriting without tears chalkboard and chalk letters and sand tray writing letters, and some coloring pages and tpt printables for out letter each week.

Brainquest trivia decks and kumon activity books for coloring, cutting, and gluing 

That's it. 

I'm not doing much more for kindergarten honestly. And I'm happy with it.

Thank you a million times!!! Farmland Math looks like PERFECTION!!! It looks so so gentle and fun.  Yes.  I'm getting this!!!

I have considered a letter of the week situation.  Everything I look at though introduces the alphabet in a different way.  Some do upper and lowercase together, some not.  Some go in alphabetical order and some do not.  So is there a best way to do this approach or is all fine?  

My older sons had the brainquest decks loved them!! Thanks for reminding me.  I don't think we have them anymore, so I'll have to get some.

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On 12/31/2019 at 8:13 PM, Susan in TX said:

With my older kids I used Rod and Staff workbooks. With my younger kids we started academics later and I skipped all the pre-school stuff but one thing we did do that was a lot of fun was Ivy kids kits. Once a month they send a book and a box of crafts and activities that go along with the book. Everything you need is included so it was very easy to implement.

Susan in TX

Even more to considerer!! I love it.  I did look at the R and S books.  They look great.  I looked at the samples, do they do much with the alphabet in pre-k?  

Oh oh, the ivy kids kits look perfect.  I don't mind crafts, but I do hate going out to buy supplies.  We never have the supplies we want/need.  lol  Also, it says for ages 3-8.  3 of my 4 kids are in the age ranges, yeah that would be a winner!

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8 hours ago, Paradox5 said:

I have checked out The Homegrown Preschooler and A Year of Playing Skillfully. It is amazing but a LOT LOT of prep! You really have to be willing to do a lot of gathering and setting up. Too much for me.

https://www.thehomegrownpreschooler.com/about

Honestly, I can't remember what I did with my older 2. I know I used Calvert School's preschool course with the middle guys which was fun,  and they tagged along with the older two. (That program no longer exists, btw.). With The Girl, she started asking for books before she was two yrs. old. We did ETC Get Ready, Get Set, Go..., R&S, Kumon, wkbks from Walmart, a bit of this, a bit of that, FIAR (just a few "Rows"), a plethora of coloring, drawing, painting, etc., and a lot of tagging along with the boys. I never forced her. We did things as she wanted for as long as she wanted then stopped.

That being said, with Captain, he NEEDS a program. I NEED a program so he has more focused time than the randomness we currently do. I have used a LOT of different things over the years. I know what I need as a teacher. I like hands-on but not gather everything under the sun, print a million pages. I need a box with it all there (outside of the basic art supplies stuff we all have.). He already knows a lot of what most preschool/PreK prgrams teach. (letters and sounds, bacis stuff [colors, shapes], count to 20... those things. But his fine motor skills aren't there nor is his willingness to follow the directions for an activity. So I need a program to work with him on that.

Contrary to Mom2mthj, we found that MP's best work is the JrK-2nd. To be fair, I was not impressed with the Preschool/Simply Classical A (same program). I am tempted by the other levels, though. I have done MP K twice now so I'm leaning that way again.

Yeah, a lot of prep is not for me lol.  

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12 hours ago, Paradox5 said:

I have checked out The Homegrown Preschooler and A Year of Playing Skillfully. It is amazing but a LOT LOT of prep! You really have to be willing to do a lot of gathering and setting up. Too much for me.

https://www.thehomegrownpreschooler.com/about

Honestly, I can't remember what I did with my older 2. I know I used Calvert School's preschool course with the middle guys which was fun,  and they tagged along with the older two. (That program no longer exists, btw.). With The Girl, she started asking for books before she was two yrs. old. We did ETC Get Ready, Get Set, Go..., R&S, Kumon, wkbks from Walmart, a bit of this, a bit of that, FIAR (just a few "Rows"), a plethora of coloring, drawing, painting, etc., and a lot of tagging along with the boys. I never forced her. We did things as she wanted for as long as she wanted then stopped.

That being said, with Captain, he NEEDS a program. I NEED a program so he has more focused time than the randomness we currently do. I have used a LOT of different things over the years. I know what I need as a teacher. I like hands-on but not gather everything under the sun, print a million pages. I need a box with it all there (outside of the basic art supplies stuff we all have.). He already knows a lot of what most preschool/PreK prgrams teach. (letters and sounds, bacis stuff [colors, shapes], count to 20... those things. But his fine motor skills aren't there nor is his willingness to follow the directions for an activity. So I need a program to work with him on that.

Contrary to Mom2mthj, we found that MP's best work is the JrK-2nd. To be fair, I was not impressed with the Preschool/Simply Classical A (same program). I am tempted by the other levels, though. I have done MP K twice now so I'm leaning that way again.

I need a program as well which is why I would make a terrible unschooler.  
As to MP K-2, I have used MP1 twice, MP2 once, and MP K sort of once.  The last time I used 1 and 2 was with my now 6th grader and there have been MANY, MANY changes to 1st grade especially since I last used it.  Both times I used it, first grade started with Little Bear then went straight to Blueberries for Sal.  However, K at the time ended with FSR C so they hadn’t even introduced long vowels at all.  The only phonics work was an SRA workbook that introduced vowel teams and such over the course of the year.  The lit guides just gave the new words at the top to be memorized to be able to read the books.  It didn’t go well so I didn’t use 2nd.  I decided to try again with the next kid and it was better, they at least acknowledged at that point that K needed more since they had released FSR D so I thought maybe things would be better.  There were some phonics worksheets in addition to SRA, but they still had the students reading books that required phonics knowledge that was not yet taught.  Since then the program has been massively rewritten and appears much more complete, but I won’t use it again.  My problem with second grade is that it seems that the whole premise of the year is getting ready for third.  Since their third grade as written is very writing intensive, second grade seems to be largely an attempt to get their writing stamina up.  There are two copybooks (regular and Prima Latina), a cursive book, traditional spelling (workbook plus copying words daily), literature guides, and the actual Prima Latina workbook(exercises plus copying vocabulary).  It isn’t necessarily a bad goal, but I just feel that is too much writing for a 7yo and would rather spend our time doing other things.  I do really like the k-2 enrichment guides and the art cards.  

 

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I don't do "preschool." I spend time with my little people helping them learn all the things that mothers have always taught their little dc, which it turns out are the things that formal, age-segregated, classroom-based preschools teach the dc who come to them: colors and shapes and counting/numeral recognition and language skills and spatial relationships (e.g., next to, on top of, under) and all that. I help them learn to hold writing implements properly so that as I gently teach them to write letters I don't have to remediate that. I'm a Spalding geek, so I teach them how to write circles and lines correctly in preparation for formally doing Spalding when they're five or six or seven. I don't feel the need to do anything more formal until they're five or six or seven.

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9 hours ago, Elizabeth86 said:

Even more to considerer!! I love it.  I did look at the R and S books.  They look great.  I looked at the samples, do they do much with the alphabet in pre-k?  

 

The A through F books don't do much with the alphabet. They do have the child learn to write their name. I am not sure about the G, H, I, books. They didn't have those when my kids used them. I used Explode the Code Get Ready, Get Set, Go books for learning letters. 

Susan in TX

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I used letter factory dvd and added some games I printed from this list here I picked 2 alphabet games and 2 counting games at first, I added a couple more when he was tired of the first ones. We then added Rod and Staff ABC books we only got through the first three before he was ready to move on to a something a bit more. We went to The Good and Beautiful Pre-k Program (I wouldn't have started with it because it seemed to move too fast) and then their Primer-K program. It seemed to work great for him and I am happy with his progression!

ETA: There was a point when all things had to be dinosaur so I found some free stuff on teachers pay teachers in that theme with basic skills for preschool. I set the timer for 15 minutes and rotated through 2-4 activities then we were done for the day! Also I tried to read to him 10 minutes or so a day.

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I did my own Letter of the Week “curriculum” with all three kids for preschool. I got books out of the library based on the letter of the week and thought up a few activities we could do around that letter. 

So for example A was apple, ant, alligator, etc. Activities were apple prints with paint, apple picking (or just eating), apple pie making, ant watching on the sidewalk. B was bears, books, berries, bees...We sang the bear hunt song and acted it out, ate berries, ate honey (for bees), went to the library to get books. You get the idea. With my oldest we did tons of activities. With my third it was one or two per week. 

For me it was a way to plan out a few easy activities I’d do with my youngest and for them to have something special of their own. 

My youngest liked workbooks and having her own thing to do. She really liked the Explode the Code workbooks. 

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I loved using Before Five in a Row with my older kids. With my youngest, I used The Homegrown Preschooler and A Year of Playing Skillfully. I would recommend the book (THP) for anyone because of the philosophy behind how to do the early years. It was such a game changer for my homeschool and I wished it had been available when my older kids were that age. In fact, the curriculum was so much fun that my older kids always begged to be involved with the preschooler's activities. I used the curriculum for three years with my littlest and definitely felt like I got my money's worth.  I am always surprised when people describe it as a lot of work because that was not my experience. I just picked the activities that appealed to us and that I thought were doable with older kids in the mix and I let the rest go. If you buy the curriculum, there is a private FB page with loads of support and ideas from other moms. 

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If she likes doing workbooks, just make sure to find one that has the letter style you like (cause preschool workbooks have a lot of tracing).

Personally, her's the  schedule I'd do.   

One letter a week (days could be mixed up)...and I'd start with the letters in their name
Day 1 - Review letters already learned or all the letters (Some ides would be "read an alphabet book, sing the alphabet song, play the "guess what animal starts with" Game, let them play with magnet letters you've already learned and arrange them however they want and you sound out the silly words they make  
Day 2...Talk about the sounds the letter makes, and draw a picture or make a craft using the letter (like turn an A into an Angel, or a B into a bee, or a C into a cat...pinterest has ideas if you need them)...they can copy if they want.
Day  3  _ Starfall that letter (online program...has lots of cool ways to explore the letter)
Day 4  - Draw the letter in a pan of rice or sand or flour or whatever you got.
Day 5 - Sesame Street letter video, make the letter in play dough, review of other letters, or day off


MATH 
Do  a number recognition, number sense, and counting activities for a few minutes every day, such as....

Watch a fun number song  or video (They Might Be Giants and Sesame Street has fun ones).

Read a counting book and count things in it.

Write the numbers in rice, flour, whatever.

Make numbers in play dough

Draw the numbers in chalk on the sidewalk and have your child jump on the number you say (it can be a race where you can take turn counting numbers)

Count toys or anything

Count as you spin your child in a chair or swing them on the swing or do PE stuff like jumping jacks

Play hide and go seek (for the counting)

Have your child count the numbers on dice while you play a game with dice

Drop beans or candy in small groups and see if your child can guess how many



SHAPES and Colors can be handled with a lot of the same activities.   








 

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I LOVE The Rod and Staff ABC workbook series. I have used them with two of my kids and a niece. They are perfect for what you are describing, just needing a little something to do. 

I also like the Kate Snow Preschool Math at Home book. I just checked it out from the library and kept rechecking it out as long as nobody was reserving it last year. It is just for you to work thorough little mathy activities with your preschooler. It feels like all games to them. 

I was a failure at FIAR or BFIAR. I read some of the books, but that was all, lol. 

My ydd learned the letters mostly through a weekly homeschool playschool group and homeschool co-ops. I did my part to prepare lessons when it was my turn because I had to, and she got the benefit of the other moms doing it the other times, and at some point, they really began to stick. She also got all of the fun library classes and activities and the zoo and exposure to all kinds of things through museums and adventures and lots of books. 

With my last two preschoolers before her I did letters alongside the R&S ABC series, sometimes in a Letter of the Week fashion, sometimes just slowly and in real life. So I do suggest somehow incorporating a little more than is in the ABC workbooks, but I do love them for all that they do have. 

And I usually keep a copy of What Your Preschooler Needs to Know and Ker Needs to Know for stories, poems, and songs to read aloud and to YouTube if necessary. 

 

 

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If you want to do some worksheets now and then go to Teachers Pay Teachers and pick out a few things. Low commitment, won't take up room on your shelves, etc. I LOVE Print Path for handwriting, BTW. Done by an occupational therapist, very gentle, and the only thing that has helped my son actually start forming letters/numbers correctly. 

I'd do that, I'd work on phonemic awareness stuff, and read books and play with her. 

heck, I'd probably just play with her, lol. But if you want worksheets, yeah, teachers pay teachers or the ones from Rod and Staff (I think CLE has them too). 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have used Rod and Staff preschool and now the kindergarten books as well with my littles and have LOVED them.  Here is what I do with my under 8 crowd.

1. Encourage outside play as much as possible or active indoor games.

2. Encourage them to join you in chores and everyday life, especially cooking.

3. Talk about what you are doing...builds vocabulary.

4. Play a game with them or craft a few times each week.  My littles love HiHo Cheerio and matching games-the Dollar Tree has a set for a buck.

5. Set up a Montessori bookshelf with activities for them to play more independently.

6. Read aloud everyday.

7. Add songs to your read aloud time for fun memories.  The Wheels on the Bus s a great one to start with.

8. Add the Rod and Staff workbooks at age 4 and start them with using large crayons.  My children feel so proud when they get their own big kid books.

9. Begin using a phonics primer when they are ready.  10 minutes daily goes so so far.  Add Bob books when they are sounding out 3 letter words easily.

10. Count with them when walking up steps, pushing them on the swing, or in cooking together. Once they are counting to 10 well begin the Counting book in Rod and Staff preschool.  The counting book has a hundred chart built in and I teach my children to count to 20 well, then by 10s to 100, then to 100 by 1s, then by 5s, and lastly by 2s.  

 

Lastly, enjoy this in a slow way as time flies and these days are so special.

Brenda

 

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I never did school with my little kids. Intentional time, yes.

Snuggling together for special storytime (usually at bedtime and my 10 yr old will still forego just about anything if it means missing bedtime storytime.) I read chpt books at night, books like Wizard of Oz or Princess and the Goblin even at 4. During the school day, I would just squeeze in a few minutes here and there for picture book stories.

Games. We are huge, huge gamers. Even little kids can learn to play games and learn while playing. Uno--they'll learn to recognize numbers. Dominos--counting and patterns. (And learn how to think, plan, strategize) Puzzles, pattern blocks, etc. My 5 yr old grandson is an absolutely excellent Stratego player. (You can learn his strategy bc he doesnt vary it too much, but he definitely has one that is well thought through!)

Nature study.....help them learn to observe their surroundings. Ask questions. Look for answers you dont know. Model inquisitiveness and that you dont know answers but can learn more by searching for them.

All those are more important to me long-term than preK academic skills.  None of my kids started K academically "prepared" by today's definitions, but they all started with a much better foundation.

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For 3yo, I had a series of intentional apps and educational shows I considered "school" for them. These taught them their letters/sounds and to recognize numbers. I HATE flashcards and the apps taught them in more fun ways than I ever could. We do a lot of informal teaching too and they sort of pick it all up. We also occasionally read books or their sisters read them books and have tons of audio books. By their 4th birthday, they have enough phonetic awareness to begin OPGTR. This has been true for 4 out of 4 of my girls. At 4, we do Miquon Orange/c-rod activities for math, OPTGR for reading, and a handwriting program. It takes less than a half hour a day. My current 4yo also likes pretty workbooks, so she has some of those she can work on when she wants, but they are more for fun than school. They listen to tons of audio books and continue playing educational apps. So far, it seems to be working and is pretty low key. 

Honestly, I consider the years of 4 and 5 to be sort of an extended Kindergarten, where my goal is to make sure they begin to understand and manipulate basic numbers and to get them reading as fast as possible. The only difference between 4 and 5 at our house, is at 5 they also start piano. That has worked for my kids so far and I have no regrets (except my oldest dd with math, but she has some diagnosed learning issues). 

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