The Fashionable Housewife and I, Mama RounTreeschool, have been homeschooling together for four years now. This school year will be my fifth year as their home school director. We have a “it takes a village” mentality, and we both help each other in a variety of different ways. That being said, I have a heavy hand in picking what we do for this school year, and this school year is different because my son is being considered in the curriculum selection.
Textbooks and Workbooks
We both have a very “play is learning” approach for young children, her more so than I. I am a bit competitive, but I have to remember children are still children and they need to play. We are introducing reading to both The Fashionable Housewife’s middle child who is entering preschool/kindergarten, and to my son, who is almost 2, but gifted.
When picking a reading curriculum, I made sure to shop around and find one that had little to no writing. My son might know all his letter sounds, but he has the fine motor control of a toddler his age. That being said, I went with a saying, coloring, and pointing kind of curriculum. While I have not gotten a chance to use it, 39.99 for a whole year of reading curriculum for 2-3 children (some will not color or write in it, it will depend on the day).
We will also attempt to use Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons again. If your child doesn’t like it by lesson 1,2, or 3 he or she probably won’t like it the whole time, so maybe try it out in a bookstore, and buy it if they like it. It is not every child’s cup of tea.
I was going to take the approach for math as I did reading: as little writing as possible. I went with Mathematical Reasoning Beginning 1. It is for 3 year olds, but I figure if the Fashionable son needed more, we have Brain Quest, some other preschool and kindergarten books, and we can also print worksheets or do apps like Khan Academy Kids. It is a very good book, and well worth the price tag.
If your child likes writing in workbooks, I do recommend Brain Quest (which is available from Pre-K through 6th grade) or some wipe clean books like the ones from Usborne Books and More.
We are also going heavy with the Catholic curriculum this year. We will be getting the Spirit of Truth home school program for all grades. We will be using the kindergarten curriculum for the youngest. I love that it includes sacred art for all grades, and I am really excited to make a puzzle with all the boys the first week! You can check out all 9 grades of Spirit of Truth.
Specific Toys and Other Items
So far, I have reiterated the fact that I chose preschool homeschool curriculum for the three youngest boys based on how much writing it needed. We do need to practice our fine motor skills, but I wanted to have it as its own separate thing. Toys you probably already own to help fine motor skills are: Play-Doh, LEGO building kits, Squigz, Popoids, Tinkertoys, Bristle Blocks, Kinetic Sand, and more. We did not have to buy these special for the school year, but they will be used often. If you do need them, please check out my suggestions for each, below.
I do eclectic preschool homeschooling, which means I pull from a variety of different home school theories. For writing, I pulled from Montessori: I got sandpaper letters for the boys, I am going to do DIY metal insets made from cardboard like this blog did. I also got some pretty cheap jewelry trays from Amazon, which I will use as a sand tray to practice writing letters in with their fingers. After the boys get more comfortable with these activities, I may move on to worksheets or another Montessori step.
I made a busy binder, which has all sorts of Bible, reading, writing and math pages in it. I am glad I can make more and take out as needed. It is really fun for my son, because the velcro dots make them stick. I will do a whole blog post just on the wonders of my busy binder (stay tuned!)
There will be a lot of extra preschool homeschool activities here and there. If I have time, I will plan out unit studies, which you can see on The Fashionable Housewife on Instagram or at RounTreeschool on Instagram.