- C-Rods– I’m a huge fan of Miquon Math (you can read my post on it here) and I plan on utilizing it with all three of my girls. However I won’t start them on it until their kindergarten or first grade year. In the meantime, I plan on utilizing cuisenaire rods. There is a phenomenal Pre-Miquon booklet available online for FREE that was created by a homeschooling mom that acts as a perfect Miquon introduction.
- Interest-Led Math – There is a HUGE wealth of resources available for free on the internet for use with pre-k children. I’ll be utilizing these free printables in our math lessons by incorporating whatever passing interest Stella has and adding in the related printables. One of my favorite go-to sites for printables is 1+1+1.
- Math Play Day Games– to spice up our week and add a bit of variety to our lessons, we use Fridays to focus on a math game. This can be anything from a board game, computer game, app., living book, etc.
A couple of our favorite online math games are :
MoreStarfall.com – the expanded paid site of the original free version, Starfall.com. Although you can utilize the free site for almost all of your phonics needs I HIGHLY recommend their paid site for their additional math games. They alone are worth the membership price.
Jumpstart– an online learning virtual world
iXL.com – is another paid site; however they allow you 20 free questions every day. So far, those 20 freebies have been enough to keep us busy.
Reading / Phonics
- Get Ready For The Code – We will be working through Books A, B, and C. Daily – 5 minute lesson.
- Sing, Spell, Read, and Write – There’s a bit of a jump in the amount of writing required in the Getting Ready for The Code series and the next step up, Explode the Code. In order to give Stella time to get comfortable with more writing we’ll fill in the remainder of the year with pages from Sing, Spell, Read, and Write before beginning Explode the Code in her kindergarten year. Daily – 5 minute lesson.
- All About Reading – Read my review here. Mon, Wed, and Fri – 15 min lesson
- Silly Sight Word Flash Card Game – Random days and times
- Read Aloud – I will continue reading aloud to my children nightly for as long as they live under my roof. 🙂 Aside from random picture and board books throughout the day, we read meatier chapter books at night right before bed. You can see our list of read alouds broken apart per school year here. Daily – varying times.
- More.Starfall.com – I can not stress my LOVE for this website. We utilized the free site (see free version here) exclusively for awhile but finally jumped in and purchased an annual subscription to their larger and more comprehensive site for roughly $40. I consider it a sound investment. More.Starfall. com has something for each of my children.
- Mead Capital and Lower Case Letters Dry Erase Boards– Stella gets enough writing practice through Getting Ready for the Code and the Sing, Spell, Read, and Write pages. However, sometimes to shake things up we’ll take out these dry erase boards so she can write with markers. I also occasionally add in personalized worksheets that correspond to some of our other subjects that I create using Startwrite. Random – 5 min lesson.
- Word Box – Our main vocabulary staple is our Word Box. Each of my girls has an index box labeled alphabetically and whenever we hear or see an unfamiliar word, we look it up together and (depending on the age of the child) either write a definition or illustrate a picture. No designated time allotted- varies with books being read.
- Vocabulary Power – I added this word-a-day calendar as part of our daily circle time. The book suggests it’s for Grade 2 but with words like annoy, whistle, and amphibian it’s easily accessible for all my kids. Daily – a couple of minutes per lesson.
- American Sign Language– We start ASL with my children when they are infants and toddlers, teaching them basic signs for a variety of words. In Kindergarten we take the time to learn the ASL alphabet and include it in our morning ABC songs. For first grade I plan on adding assorted vocabulary words that may or may not relate to our other subjects. Daily – a couple of minutes per lesson.
- Song School Latin – I wanted to start a foreign language but couldn’t seem to get myself motivated to follow through with anything other than Latin. SSL is a song-based approach to teaching simple Latin vocabulary and sentences. It’s gentle enough that I’m able to include Stella into my older daughter’s lessons (and eventually, even Lyra began singing along). Stella does not do the workbook for this yet and is just getting exposure by singing the songs and coloring the free corresponding coloring pages. Here are links to my review in which I describe how I catered the program to work with younger students and subsequent follow up. Tues, Thurs – 15 minute lesson.
- Supplement used:
- Headventureland– The folks that made Song School Latin also have curriculum for Spanish, Greek, Logic, and the Bible. This FREE online website is crammed FULL of fun learning resources- games, videos, readers, and printable resources. For us, the coloring pages were a must to use along with Song School Latin.
- Story of the World – This is not “officially” on Stella’s pre-k lineup; but she, more often than not, sits in on older sis Mira’s lessons. She is also a captive participant to the audio CDs that I regularly play in the car. I pair this with the accompanying Activity Book and she generally joins in on these as well. I know we won’t be able to fit every activity in but I hope to do enough to make many memorable experiences and fond memories. (Who wouldn’t be excited about mummifying a chicken!?)
- Atelier Art – Thurs – 20-45 min
- Adventures in Art – We started this after receiving an inspirational music CD from which I went on to create our own mini-unit on art-appreciation. Check out my review of the music CD that started it all. Weekly time varies through activities and number of books to be read.
- Mark Kistler’s Imagination Station – My, oh my! How my children adore Mark Kistler and his zany teaching style. These online mini-marshmallow lessons are perfect for young budding artists. Be sure to check the Homeschool Buyer’s Club because they normally have Kistler’s yearly subscription on sale (and since HSBC is free to join- you’d be silly not to check it out!) You can see my review and some samples of the girls work here. The girls are free to use then when and if they want.
- Piano – We’ll start out using Kinderbach. The lessons are child-friendly enough that even Lyra learns and sings along. Upon completion of Kinderbach, Stella will begin Alfred’s Basic Piano lessons. UPDATE– In hindsight I wish I had saved my money and skipped Kinderbach completely and just gone right to Alfred’s from the start.
- Classical Coloring – Read my post on this fun and easy to implement activity here.