My goal with this series is to encourage parents to teach their kids preschool at home. (This series can apply to grandparents and other caregivers as well.)
Are you considering teaching your kids preschool at home? You don’t have to be a trained teacher to help your child learn the basics that will set him/her up for success in kindergarten. There are many free resources available to help you on this journey.
This past year, I wanted to do a more structured preschool at home than the tot schooling I’d been doing previously with my daughter. (By the way if you’re interested in tot-schooling, check out Carissa’s extensive plans for it over at 1+1+1+1=1.)
My daughter was three and ready to learn! So I got together with a couple of other moms who had preschool-age children and we encouraged and motivated each other to teach our kids preschool skills at home.
Our plan was to teach a Letter of the Week theme for each letter of the alphabet and then tie in the other skills to be learned (colors, shapes and numbers, etc…). I’m so glad we live in the age of the Information Superhighway because we discovered so many free resources online. I’d like to share our favorite ones with you here.
Pinterest is a free resource that is an amazing place for finding inspiration for all kinds of things. If you don’t have an account yet, I highly recommend you get one! For preschool ideas, simply search the name of the theme you’re planning for (a is for apple), and you will immediately see tons of ideas. Then just scroll down through the titled pictures and you will see all kinds of resources like free worksheets, crafts, hands-on activities, and even gross-motor games that allow your kids to learn while being active. Then you can easily save all the ideas that you think would work with your kids’ learning styles. I’ve been doing a ton of preschool pinning this year so feel free to follow me on Pinterest to see what I’ve found inspirational.
One of the most valuable resources I found to start our year of preschool at home is the Preschool Assessment. It is a kid-friendly way of finding out what your child already knows. It’s very helpful for making specific goals tailored to your child’s needs. We are also using it to check the children’s progress at the end of the preschool year.
One resource I come back to every week is this free pack of block letters from The Measured Mom. She gives tons of ideas for how to use them. She also has a pack for lowercase letters. I use these hands-on activities as a way to introduce our new letter of the week.
Becky from This Reading Mama focuses on literacy. Her site has a ton of suggestions for helping your kids with learning the alphabet and phonics and spelling. I love to use her alphabet puzzles that focus on initial sounds.
Of course, you’ll want to cover more than the alphabet in your home preschool. For tons of science and math activities, check out The Gift of Curiosity.
If you want to follow a Montessori approach, visit Living Montessori Now for great ideas.
Another link I’ve come back to time and again is Tim’s Printables with free printable shapes. I’ve used them to make the pieces for our circle time felt board of shapes (pictured above) as well as for doing hands-on activities with the shapes. I like that all the shapes I need for preschool are here all in one web page in multiple sizes.
Teachers have known for years that children learn very well through song. In this multi-media age, there are TONS of songs (and videos) at your fingertips for free. I’ve compiled a list of educational YouTube channels for kids that we used in small doses each week. It is amazing how much kids learn from these videos of letters, counting, shapes, and colors!
Another great online preschool resource I’ve been making use of this year is the Facebook group Home Preschool Help run by Shaunna from Fantastic Fun and Learning. You can join the group and ask questions and get great ideas to help your preschool run more smoothly.
Sometimes just getting organized is the most difficult part. I’ve put together a list of blog posts of different preschool schedules/routines from some really inspirational preschool homeschooling moms.
I hope you’ve found this list of free preschool resources encouraging. Please share this list on some form of social media to help encourage other families to try preschool at home. And be sure to subscribe by email below (at the very bottom of the page) to get more encouragement and ideas from the upcoming “Preschool at Home” series straight to your inbox.
[bctt tweet=”Why pay for preschool when there are so many free resources to help you teach preschool at home. “]