I absolutely love teaching my littles. They are always so eager to “do school” (unlike my oldest at times!).
We affectionately call my youngest two “the Little Girls” and this school year, the Red Head will be 2 1/2-3 and my Sadie will be 4. I wasn’t planning on doing any Kindergarten level work with my 4-year-old until next year, but she is just itching to learn to read. So in order to keep up with her, I’ve had to change my school plans quite a bit!
Browse through all of the homeschool curriculum posts here at Mama’s Learning Corner.
For my Kindergarten and younger kiddos, I consider play to be their main form of school. Sure, we’ll do some structured activities during the school day, but I fully consider playing with their doll house and sitting in the sand box to be ‘school’ for them. I don’t want to stifle one ounce of the creativity at these little ages.
Here’s what I have in mind for my Little Girls.
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Our Early Kindergarten Curriculum and Activities
My 4 year old is the child that is just buzzing to read on her own. She frequently asks when it will be her turn to learn to read, so here we go!
We used All About Reading Level Pre-Reading with my now 6-year-old and absolutely loved it. All About Reading Level Pre-Reading teaches phonemic awareness in such a fun way! The daily activities are short and sweet – perfect for this age group when sitting still is only for short periods of time.
The activities are crafty without being too messy.
And Ziggy the Zebra? I have no doubt they’ll squeal with delight when I bring him back out from hiding.
At the beginning of each school day, we’ll work in her Preschool Calendar Notebook. With these pages, my early kindergartner works on learning the days of the week, months of the year, the date, describing the weather, describing how she feels each morning, and more. It’s her favorite part of school so far!
I’m not going to do a formal math curriculum with my 4-year-old. We’ll just use our animal counters and other manipulatives. She’ll practice number recognition with her printable number cards and I’ve got a few simple math printables I need to finish up for her.
And then we’ll read, read, and read some more. I have a list of picture books that we’re going to work our way through and probably do a small crafty activity with each of those. She’ll also join her younger sister in her preschool activities, since they are two peas in a pod and rarely do things apart!
➡ Browse through my list of Children’s Books with Activities. I add more books periodically, so make sure to check back frequently!
Our Preschool Curriculum and Activities
My 2 1/2 year old is in that stage of being in between toddler and preschool. Since she’s a bright little girl and wants to hang with her older siblings, I’m putting her in the Preschool category this school year. (Yes, I’m trying not to cry that there are no babies underfoot at the start of this homeschool year. First time ever. Boo hoo hoo. 🙁 )
I paid to attend a Handwriting Without Tears workshop last year and it was fabulous! I learned so many techniques for teaching the Little Girls – highly recommended! So we are using the Handwriting Without Tears Pre-K Readiness & Writing program. The Little Girls are at the perfect age for it.
Note: The HWT program I linked to is super pricey! I received all of the items included when I attended the paid workshop. You can watch this video to see the items that I considered to be essential and see how I used it with my little girls.
No, we don’t have all of the hands-on materials so we’re going to have to improvise a little, but I doubt my girls will notice. So much is covered in this very simple curriculum: left/right awareness, creating Mat Man!, silly songs, learning to hold a pencil/crayon, colors, shapes, pre-writing activities, phonemic awareness, and more.
It’s learning disguised as play. Perfect.
And the best part for me? There’s very easy to follow guide in the back of the book, listing just 2 simple activities to complete for the day. Of course you can do more, but the schedule offers a variety of activities to work through. Again, we’ll have to improvise a bit since we don’t have all of the hands-on items, but I think we can make do.
Aside from Handwriting Without Tears, my 2 1/2 year old will work on learning colors, matching, puzzles, and other early learning skills.
Will we work on all of these things every single day?
Oh goodness, no. Some days there is lots of interest in working on letters on the slate. Other days the Little Girls could play with animal counters all day long. And still other days they would rather play baby dolls or mommies or puppy dogs for most of the morning.
It’s taken me over 3 years, but I’m finally okay with that. If we do most of the things I listed 2-3 times each week, I consider that to be quite successful. Encouraging a love of learning, using their imaginations, and working on their sibling relationships are at the top of our to-do list each day. 🙂