Instead of spending money to send my 3-year-old to a preschool, I decided to pull my resources and wits together and teach him a thing or two at home. Kindergarten is tough these days, so I’m told. I don’t remember much of my own Kinder years, other than milk time, so it’s tough to know what I need to teach. Luckily, there’s a plethora of info out there in the webisphere (aka intraweb), and since I’m related to about half a dozen educators (including my mother) and even worked as a museum educator for about five years, I figured I find my way around. And for your learning pleasure, here are a few of the sites that I’ve found useful:
- Children’s Learning Institute – Created by the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, this site has a Parent Literacy Handbook that you can download and print out for free. It gives great tips on how to read to your child, ask them questions and promote reading skills. The handbook is in English, Spanish and Dual Language.
- The Pioneer Woman – While I subscribe to this awesome blog mainly for the recipes, she also has a ton of info on homeschooling. This post shares some of the curriculum you can buy for preschool, and although I don’t plan to use them, I thought they were worth sharing, especially if you plan to homeschool K-12.
- A Beka Book - If you’re looking for curriculum with a Christian perspective, this site has everything you need. I want to incorporate a Bible lesson each week, and this one gave me plenty to choose from for his age. I also liked that you don’t have to shell out $200 on a kit but can pick and choose the materials you want to use.
- The Stay-At-Home-Mom Survival Guide – I asked my aunt who taught head start for decades what I should do with my son and her response was, “Just play.” It’s easy to have fun while learning, and this site has every activity you can think of and more. And the best part is, most of the activities require everyday items that you already have lying around the house.
- In Lieu of Preschool - Another great blog that I’ve been following for a while, this post provides an outline for preschool and kindergarten curriculum, in case you need more structure. The only downside is that buying these books can be pricy, but it’s still cheaper than an entire curriculum set.
- 1+1+1=1 Homeschool Plan – This is another blog that I’ve found from Pinterest, and I like the laid back approach she takes. I felt better about my time frame of one hour a day for focused learning after reading about her schedule.
- Crayola.com – I’ll be using their coloring sheets on the US states, but they have plenty of free coloring pages to keep kids busy for days. I’m all about the free resources. They also have fun craft ideas based on age level.
- Texas Education Agency – I plan to enroll my son in public school for kindergarten, and so I’ll use the TEKS standards as a guide for preparing him. This is only for kids in Texas public schools, but I recommend that parents look into the standards for their own states and hold those teachers to them. If the schools aren’t covering everything (which can happen in overcrowded schools with limited funds), it’s up to the parent to work with their kids and make up the lost ground. Can you tell I’m a little passionate about this? Do you need to watch the documentary Waiting for Superman to see why I’m so passionate?
I’ll post updates from time to time on what’s working and what’s not as the “school year” goes by. Feel free to share your own sites!