Preschool Prep

Preschool Prep

My almost-four-year-old daughter will be ready for preschool this fall. We may send her. We may not. We’re still discerning … With the two oldest children going to Catholic school this year, there are a number of factors playing into this decision. (You probably can guess what one of those numbers might be that I am talking about =)
If we don’t send her, I would like to help her learn her letters and numbers and other Kindergarten-prep skills at home. I have always worked with my kids informally with lots of reading and other everyday activities (counting, measuring, coloring, etc.). But if she stays home this year, I think I would have a new sense of obligation to really help her learn and grow, so that she’s ready for Kindergarten next fall.
I know preschool and Kindergarten are not a big deal. They aren’t even mandatory in many states, so I know I don’t need to stress about this.
But as part of my discernment, I was wondering: What did you do to get your kids ready for Kindergarten? Do you have any tips, recommendations, resources, Web sites or books that might help me come up with some little program for her? I wouldn’t want to invest in a lot of materials. Just simple ideas I can pull out when we have some one-on-one time while the older girls are at school. Maybe once or twice a week. I think it would help me to look into/figure out what it would entail if I did this with her at home. (I wouldn’t mind buying a curriculum or part of a curriculum; the more something is mapped out for me, the better!)
Thank you! God bless you as you begin preparing for back-to-school! Can you believe it’s just right around the corner?! Wow! How quickly this summer is flying by …

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9 thoughts on “Preschool Prep

  1. I used a curriculum called Hands on Homeschooling (handsonhomeschooling.com) that is Christian-based and designed especially for preschoolers. I liked it because it covered a wide variety of subjects (including personal hygiene skills and cooking among other things), included fun activities and worksheets, and required very little planning on my part. Everything was included in one binder. I didn't do everything, I picked and chose, but I most often did the pre-reading, math and Bible story activities. I think there are sample pages on their website, but I own the curricula for three, four, and five year olds if you want to look at or borrow them.

  2. sarah, i wouldn't worry too much. you'd be surprised how much they pick up just listening to all of the learning that is going on around them. but if you want a "curriculum" i have used the little saints pre-school program. it has monthly "themes" and it is classical-exposing the kids to lots of books, music and hands-on activities. i think i bought it from Catholic Heritage Curricula. if you really want to know more about it, email me privately, friend.
    have a blessed day.
    and good luck with your "discerning".
    🙂

  3. I have a son who is kindergarten age and my advice is to read, read, read together. It's such an ordinary thing to do, but it makes a huge difference. Other than that, I recommend making cookies with alphabet and number cookie cutters (see amazon.com) and alphabet and number puzzles. Simple, low tech, and fun.

    That's the biggest thing at this age–having fun! It teaches them to love learning. They'll learn all the rest in their own sweet time with a little exposure.

  4. We love the Five in a Row program! Have you heard of it? It is based on a picture book of the week. You read it every day (for five days) and focus on a different aspect each day (geography, language, art, math, science).

    My children also loved doing an "Alphabet Path" based on the one Elizabeth Foss did on her Serendipity blog. We added a few ideas of our own – just look at my category sidebar and click on "Alphabet Path" to see what we did.

  5. The internet is a great resource when it comes to no-cost. I printed out an alphabet book for my 3yo to work on this year. There are also quite a few mini-books on colors, shapes, bible and other pre-school topics (I just searched for 'free mini-books'). You could also check out donnayoung.org for printables related to almost any subject.

    I also like "Little Acts of Grace", "The Mass Book for Children", "Just Like Mary", and "The 10 Commandments for Children" by Gortler & Piscitelli (Our Sunday Visitor is the publisher). Just read one story each day & talk about it with your child. You could also use a children's bible, which you probably own, and do the same.

    Have fun! And, don't worry about having everything equal/the same for every child … it's just not possible, IMHO. I don't try to because there are so many factors that can affect each child's interests and how we teach them (from a homeschooling perspective). Circumstances within the family change – like what you are dealing with – and life doesn't treat all of us alike, even as children. These differences are teachable moments for our kids.

  6. Isn't blogging fun! I get to learn from all these answers also!

    2 of my kids went and 2 didn't

    Depends on the child. If the child is able to stay home save the money and have fun reading and doing little hands on projects!

  7. Thank you, ladies, for your encouragement and for all these ideas. This will help me a lot. I know that I shouldn't be stressing about what to do with her, but I am … I am sure it will all work out fine, but I guess I have to go through all this deciding stuff first. =)

  8. Sarah,
    I did a couple posts a while back with loads of internet links that I use all the time:
    http://prayingforgrace.blogspot.com/2007/08/kindergarten-hurray.html

    http://prayingforgrace.blogspot.com/2007/11/kindergarten-printables.html

    http://prayingforgrace.blogspot.com/2007/08/kindergarten-weather.html

    http://prayingforgrace.blogspot.com/2007/09/apples-and-autumn.html

    We enrolled with Seton for K, but I wouldn't do that again. I would focus on phonics and math and fun!

  9. You can find some great PreSchool readiness help on ZiggityZoom.com In their Activities section, there are printable worksheets and printable flashcards. In their ZZ Extras section (Activities) there are A – Z alphabet tracing sheets.
    http://www.ZiggityZoom.com

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