Wednesday, April 3, 2019

homeschooling resources

I have always been quite vocal about my support for homeschooling. My horrendous experiences teaching in the public board, plus the fact that private school is just not affordable for many of today's families, have only intensified this support. Since I am a certified primary teacher, with over ten years of classroom experience, it seemed like a no-brainer that I would eventually try my hand at homeschooling.

Our daughter will be almost 3 1/2 by September, and even though we are already busy learning, reading, playing, or crafting, I would love to start a more structured preschool program at home for her. Ever the planner, I've already spent a great deal of time sorting through my old resources that have been in storage since my sabbatical from the classroom. 

If you, or someone you know, are considering homeschooling your little one, here are some of my favourite helpful preschool/kindergarten/primary grade resources:


LANGUAGE



I attended a conference on Building Blocks back in 2006, which was instrumental in how I went on to build my kindergarten literacy program. One thing from the book that I implemented right away, was the use of Morning Messages. I definitely plan to do this with our daughter.


Someone gifted me this series, and I used it for both my JK and SK students to reinforce letter sounds and print concepts. Somehow in my travels, I lost the "q" book (any blog readers want to sell me a copy??) but I am excited to share the rest of the series with my daughter.

For teaching letter sounds, a lot of teachers are using the Jolly Phonics program. I like the different songs they have for each letter. My daughter loves music, so this will be a great way for her to remember each letter's special sound.


Although I typically don't use worksheets for kindergarten age, (I'm an advocate for the play-based approach to kindergarten), one thing I like about this book is that it has letter sounds cut and paste activities which are great for fine motor skill practice. It also has food creation/snack ideas to go with each letter, which are a great addition for homeschooling families. I also love how it includes mini books for each letter sound, which are fantastic for learning sight words.

If you don't want to purchase any workbooks, but would prefer to go the worksheet route, education.com offers free printable resources for preschool (and beyond), including this cute worksheet, which would be a great supplement for fine motor skill and letter recognition practice. 

In addition, readinga-z.com has a ton of levelled reading resources for kindergarten and beyond. You do have to subscribe in order to access all the materials, but they do offer a 2 week free trial. It's a great way to find books that are at the correct reading level, in addition to allowing you to track your child's reading progress.

For older students (grade 1 and beyond), these resources were very valuable to me:


Finally, there are tons and tons of alphabet songs, activities, and craft ideas on Google and Pinterest that you can make use of.

MATH

 

The first book is dated, but it was my first available resource when I began planning my math program for JK. It has many large and small group lesson ideas, as well as ideas for organizing games and hands-on activities. Best of all, there are no worksheets, making it perfect for preschool and JK. I used the second book for extra lesson ideas, games, and learning centers, perfect for JK.


I followed this curriculum series when I taught SK math, and loved the detailed lesson plans as well as all the games and activities. There are some work sheets, but they supplement the games and activities. I look forward to using this again.




Although Jump Math offers kindergarten curriculum, I would prefer to exclusively use my play-based program. I am, however, considering purchasing the grade 1 workbooks, which are reasonably priced at about $12 each. Having worked with current Math Makes Sense curriculum in the past, I much prefer Jump Math.

MUSIC/PHYS ED




All of these resources are excellent to get your littles singing, dancing, and moving!

ONLINE RESOURCES

I used all of these websites while I working as a tutor. They all offer great online games, based on age/grade level.










Current homeschooling parents, and primary teachers: What are your favourite resources? Leave a comment below!


*********The opinions expressed in this post are mine alone. 
Each family should choose resources and curriculum that is right for them. 
I have not been compensated in any way for promoting any materials listed in this post. *********