not homeschooler but need help with school prep at home

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2003
not homeschooler but need help with school prep at home
5
Fri, 04-05-2013 - 8:32am

So my yongest starts kindergarten in the fall. We skipped preschool because we just couldn't afford the $300 plus a week. He misses the kindy cut off in our town by 17 days and knew this all along so wasn't in a rush to move him from his in home to a preschool and when I started shopping around I fell on a local catholic school that has a later cut off and a lot cheaper and nicer then the preschool options (yah real good sell when you drive up to check up a preschool and the pest control truck is outside). He passed his kindergarten testing but on the low end and from the start they were ok with a kid starting without preschool. They called yesterday to say he was in but want us working on his letters and numbers before September so looking for suggestions, links, etc so we can get him some preschool cirrculm before he starts kindy in the fall.

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Avatar for turtleemom
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2007

I would say read to him a ton and let him see the words and point out letters as you go. When my son was that age he just picked up on letters and numbers through life-- helping me cook and measure, playing in the rice/water table (in my kitchen) looking at price signs at the grocery store, speed limit signs, counting as he set napkins at the table,  magnetic numbers and letters at the fridge, counting as he strung beads,  wooden puzzles with letters and numbers.  You can count how many times you roll, kick, throw the ball back and forth, how many swings at the park, count pushes out loud, how many slides, etc. Draw numbers and letters in shaving cream or the sand box.  Kids that age don't need curriculum. They learn by exploring and having a vested adult around to answer their questions.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004

Starfall used to be a great free website for teaching beginning reading.  (I haven't been there in a while so I currently have no idea.)   I let my kids wander though it looking at the various fun things to do. 

If you want more curriculum, check out Progressive Phonics at www.progressivephonics.com    It is free, and is pretty fun for kids to do. 

And yes, read, read, read.   All sorts of things including things that rhyme.  Play rhyming games to be sure that he can separate those sounds.   Go to the library and get LOTS of books, be sure to put your finger under and point at the words as you read to him because this helps to foste the left to right reading movement.  

Avatar for vegiemama
Community Leader
Registered: 01-06-2000

I would recommend the "Explode the Code" workbook series.  They're inexpensive and kid-friendly.  You'd want the "Ready, Set, Go for the Code" levels, as the regular ETC books are for a child who already is starting to read.  Also, check out Letter of the Week for good free letter-enrichment ideas that you could do together with him over the summer.


Sue
Homeschooling mom to DD15 & DS11

CL of Homeschooling, Signature Showcase, Ectopic Loss, and Fertility Charting

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2004

Yay!  I'm in!  It's the first time in weeks I've been able to post. 

For letters, a homeschool mom recommended I not teach letters, but sounds instead.  The theory is that it leads to less confusion.  Letters represent a sound, not a symbol. We did this and he picked up the names of the letters extremely easily.  I also taught out of sequence.  It really set up his reading basics well.  For "curriculum", I bought him the Letter Factory from Leap Frog and let him watch it once a day (with guided instruction.  I would stop after each sound and have him make the same sound).  I supplemented with books such as Dr. Seuss ABCs, Sandra Boynton's equivalent, etc.  He had the fridge letters which he played with all the time during this period.  I also bought the Leap Frog fridge phonics (bought special lower case letters as well.  I refused to teach him the captial letters - he picked those up through the books).

read, read, read, read.

For numbers, I taught them out of order and taught quantity instead of numbers.  I picked the number 3 as a start because we were working on vocabulary at the same time.  If you chose 1, how do you distinguish quantity vs word.  So anyhow, 3.  3 balls, 3 toys, 3 peas to eat, etc.  Then he had to find 3 balls, etc.  Once he got 3 was a quantity (how many), THEN we expanded that 1-10.  Once he understood the quantity 1-10, I taught him the symbol for each quantity (how we write it).  THEN we did the the sequence - put from smallest amount to largest amount.  I've found quantity really clicks when you are talking about snacks like goldfish (ours was green peas).  Here are 3 goldfish.  Here are 2 goldfish.  Which is more?  Then I taught 20-30, 30-99.  He was able to see the pattern.  THEN I went back to 11-20.  The vocabulary can be confusing.  Get the math concepts down, then pick up the vocabulary.  I did not use any curriculum for his math.  Used his snacks and toys instead. 

Hope that helps.

Caren

Avatar for vegiemama
Community Leader
Registered: 01-06-2000

Excellent suggestions, Caren.  And glad you're able to post again, too Smile


Sue
Homeschooling mom to DD15 & DS11

CL of Homeschooling, Signature Showcase, Ectopic Loss, and Fertility Charting