As fall approaches, kids all over the place are gearing up to head back to school. They’ve got a new backpack and a bouquet of sharpened pencils. I, myself choose to educate my kiddos at home. Having done so from the beginning of time (ok, maybe it only feels that way) I have a few great learning resources for teaching preschool at home that I want to share with you.
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Pre-K is one of the most rewarding and fun ages to teach. Your little sponge-of-a-child is primed for discovery and learning so much each and every day from the world around him. By adding a dab of intention on your part, you can set him up wonderfully for that much-anticipated Kindergarten year! (sniff, sniff… they grow up too fast)
While a list of learning resources for teaching preschool at home could get really big, really fast, I’m going to try my best to keep this list manageable. I want to focus on the most affordable resources that will make the biggest impact and deliver the most bang for your buck! Let’s just be real… money doesn’t grow on trees!
Learning Resources for Teaching Preschool at Home
A little bit of everything.
This all-in-one resource is what I used for a large majority of preschool with my oldest 3 children and what I’ll begin using with my 3-year-old very soon. Within the book, you’ll find mathematical activities, speech and language development, biblical studies, and a bit of social/history kind of stuff. It’s on point as far age being age appropriate. Obviously, this book is a Christian themed resource.
**One of my favorite parts about this book is the Biblical studies. They do a great job of making it fun. For instance, several lessons involve acting out a scene from the Bible, which is a GREAT way for children this age to learn. And fun for mom as well!
You can customize this to use in as little as 30 minutes a day. Although if you do everything just as the book says and purchase all the supplementary material, it’ll take more like 90 minutes. (We did what we felt like doing and it never took more than 30)
This is the all-in-one resource that my sister in law used for her 2 oldest kids. She LOVED it! What I heard her rave about most was the history. Whether you love history or hate it, it can be difficult to teach.
History is all conceptual. It’s not in the here and now. It can’t be seen or felt. So teaching it is best accomplished by telling a story. One day your child will understand the concept of the story you taught, actually happened.
For now, though, it’s just about doing a good job of making the story interesting. I believe Heart Of Dakota does that. This is also a Christian themed resource and will take anywhere from 30-90 minutes a day.
**I’ve heard a lot of people say that if you purchase all the supplemental material for this, it can get expensive. Do your research about how much you’ll actually need to purchase and what you can create for yourself.
There are dozens of online learning programs available for children. My favorite online resource for teaching preschool at home is Reading Eggs. I purchased this program for my son a few months ago and he loved it.
I am fairly strict about screens at my house. I don’t allow my children to watch TV willy-nilly, whenever they want, for however long they want.
This makes Reading Eggs even more special for them. They know it is one of the few educational sites online that Mommy is comfortable with. And for me to know that the time they are spending online is beneficial instead of mindless is a win for me!
My 2 favorite aspects of this company were #1) affordability #2) they don’t ask for a credit card when you sign up. So they aren’t going to sneak a subscription in on you because you forgot to cancel!
Reading Eggs has reading and math programs for children ages 2-13. However, after spending some time browsing all those levels, the 2-5-year-old program is what impressed me the most. Which is why it made the cut as my choice for Top Online Learning Program for Preschool!
When I began to notice that my second child was WAY different to teach than my first, I did some digging… I dove into the topic of neurodevelopment and what it meant for children and how they learn.
I can’t go into all of it here, but you can read a little more about what I found here. What I can say right now, is that books like these quiet books will go a long way to enhance your child’s brain pathways, and in doing so, make learning easier. Don’t dismiss this because of its simplicity.
When your child holds a textured object in her hand, rubs it on her skin, and hears you speak words about it all while observing these components visually, her brain is bursting with development.
The more pathways you help her create this way, the easier time she’ll have absorbing everything else later. Use this type of quiet books with your child for at least 15 minutes a day, every day.
Flash cards are dangerous territory. They can be immensely effective for all age groups. However, they can also be a major drag for a child. When using flashcards – be certain, they are age appropriate, fun colors and don’t overdo it.
Flashcard learning works best in small bursts. Work on them for 3 minutes, then come back to them again later for another few minutes. For preschoolers, in particular, objects are more effective than letters and numbers.
It’s more advantageous for a 3-year-old to see a picture of a fish and work on the word and understanding what a fish is than it is to see an F and learn that it’s an F. Why… well because it’s an F. What’s an F? Well, it’s an F… see how one has real-life application for a 3-year-old and one does not?
Use flash cards for colors, shapes, and objects. Leave the numbers and letters for counting beans and word recognition.
#5. Stuff You Can Touch.
Alright, I’m about to get fancy! You ready? Buy a giant bag of beans (cheap at the store), rice (cheap at the store), smooth rocks or sensory box like this, and any other objects your child can touch. (***this is, of course, assuming your child does not put things in his mouth anymore!)
Sit with him in your lap as you use his hand in yours to guide the beans into place while you count them out loud slowly. Use the same method for describing the objects. Require him to repeat as many of the words you use as possible. Read more about speech development here. This activity is another that develops all sort of neural pathways. Too many to list.
Neural pathway development is of utmost importance within the first handful of years of a child life. This is one of the reasons child training is SO important to me.
By capitalizing on these first few years… you are quite literally setting your child up for more success throughout her WHOLE life! My favorite neurodevelopment expert is Jan Bedell! Read more about neurodevelopment, and what’s really important to learning, here in her book, The Best Kept Secret In Education.
Final Thoughts on Preschool at Home.
I am a firm believer that the first 5 years of a child life are extraordinary. These are the years you have the greatest impact on the habits your child develops. Child training, behavior, brain development, confidence, empathy, and much more begins within these first five years.
You have so much influence to empower your child. By the time your child enters kindergarten, she can be set on a firm foundation in all the areas above. You have to do the work. Fortunately, it’s not difficult nor time-consuming.
My recommendation is to use an all in one resource to help guide you through the subjects you should be teaching your child and supplement it like crazy with as much neurodevelopment activities as possible!
If you have to choose between buying all the extras that go along with the all in one resource or buying a bag of beans… buy the beans!
Use the activities in this post here to supplement your preschooler’s education. Get outside and create brain pathways. Read over Jan’s website here to gain understanding into the way your little one’s brain works! And don’t forget to have fun. Your child will learn a lot more if she is enjoying what she’s doing! CLICK HERE TO READ ANOTHER POST LIKE THIS