I have written before that I try to keep a balanced approach to Pre-K and Kindergarten. I don’t feel like my kindergartener has to be reading in her kindergarten year. If she does, great. If she doesn’t, I know that first grade is rolling around and she will learn it then.
I really try to let the child lead in kindergarten. If they want to learn how to read, we will work on it. If it’s really hard for them, we set it aside for awhile.
As for preschool..I do just a little bit when they are 3 and use the Horizons preschool book in their 4th year. Since Deborah has a December birthday, we might start the Horizons book in January. I’ll share what she is doing for now below.
What we are doing for Kindergarten – age 5 with Olivia
Reading – I really wasn’t planning on jumping right in to reading with Olivia at the start of our kindergarten year. Last year was a super difficult year because of a rough pregnancy. I didn’t complete the pre-reading program from All About Reading with her, and thought we might need to do that first. She came to me one day and asked if she could learn how to read, so we pulled out level 1 to try.
To my surprise and relief, she is doing great! I am excited to see how far we get this year in reading.
If there is one curriculum that makes me want to almost cry with joy over finding it, All About Reading would be it. When I pick it up, I feel relief and joy. Seriously, a year later I still feel happy when I pick up the book. I plan on going through all the levels with each of my girls. We are in the middle of the second level with our second grade daughter.
Math – We started kindergarten math right when she turned 5 in December, and we are about ¾ through book 1 of Horizons K math. We go slow, but she seems to be good at math. She loves patterns, and gets excited when she sees a pattern in toys or in a book.
Handwriting- A Reason for Handwriting, K. We also use the Handwriting without tears app on the iPad, and that has been fantastic for her! I’ve tried several handwriting apps but that is by far my favorite.
I’m planning on printing out and laminating this free ABC Ringer set to take with us places (like music lessons) for her to keep practicing her handwriting.
She sits and listens in on the book we read as a family. Right now Sean is reading a biography of a man from our church in the evenings, and I’m reading “These Happy Golden Years” from the Little House on the Prairie set in the mornings to them. We try to have devotions and then do our read a loud book right after that, while everyone is still together.
What we are doing for Preschool – age 3 with Deborah
I mainly do preschool because the younger children see the older ones doing school, and they want to do workbooks as well! When they are 3, my goal is to keep them busy. Why not keep them busy with educational things if they want to do it?!
Right now Deborah’s favorite thing is her ABC Wipe-Clean book from Usborne. I plan on getting a lot more of these Wipe-Clean books, as she just loves them! The quality of the books are really good as well.
She listens in on our read alouds, plays blocks, sings, and colors a lot! Lately her favorite coloring book has been the Weddings color book. Lots of girly stuff to color in that one. 😉 The girls also like building puzzles, and playing legos with the older ones!
That’s about all we do for the young ages! We focus mainly on math and reading in the kindergarten and first grade, because once they get those skills down they can accomplish so much!
I recently joined Usborne Books and More as a consultant. Honestly, I joined for the fun of it because my children adore the books so much! My 9 year old loves the history sticker books, both boys devoir the history and science encyclopedias, and our girls love the activity books (doodle art books, fashion drawing and coloring books, and much more!). Plus all the other educational items they offer.
I’d love to hear what you do for Kindergarten and Preschool in your home!