Leading up to Kindergarten

Preparing for Kindergarten no matter if you will be homeschooling or the classroom setting is extremely important. Giving your child a good foundation for these early years of learning is key to jumpstarting their success. Sure there is VPK and preschool among other camps and activities that work on the basics but its no substitution for good old fashion at home preparation. Now with the majority of families requiring a double income to sustain their quality of life often the little ones are being watched and cared for by grandparents, aunts, uncles, or a small in home daycare while mom and dad are at work. It is important that we as parents provide some resources that those watching after the little ones can assist in this educational process.

Below is a list of the top recommended kindergarten preparation tools

BIG Preschool activity Workbook 

This workbook does a great job at teaching your little one how to hold a pencil and begin to control the direction it goes. This workbook is rated for ages 3-5 but I suggest starting immediately at 3 if not a touch sooner. The cool pictures keep your child engaged while learning this important foundational skill. This workbook includes these activity types.

– The Mazes

– Hidden Pictures

– Connect the dots

I like to combine a few exercises from this workbook with one or two from the Upper Case Letters workbook which I will elaborate further on next. I have found that you get more done by pairing the two because at this young age just trying to focus on the letters quickly leads to distraction. Mixing it up with different types of activities helps to extend your preschoolers engagement.

Im going to WRITE – Uppercase Letters

This workbook is fantastic and it’s the one I combine with the BIG preschool activity Workbook. We open this up after a few fun tracing activities and have some major progress on a few letters. Combining the two does reduce the time that you spend working on the actual letters but I feel you make more progress splitting up the activities to help keep your little one engaged. With this book the letters are mixed up and this is great! By learning the letters out of “order” your child actually learns the letters themselves not just memorizes a pattern. At the end the book covers writing numbers 1-9.  The I’m going to READ brand has several different titles and here are the others that I really like.

Kindergarten Math Skills, Star Wars Workbooks 

This book is AMAZING! It is Star Wars Themed and sure to engage your child. Now this workbook is marketed more towards boys but my daughter loves star wars and we have had great success with this book. It teaches the basic concepts of

– How to count and write your numbers 0-20

– Sorting and organizing groups of numbers

– Very basic 1 digit addition and subtraction

– Number families and games

– Picture word problems

The cover of the book says its for ages 5 – 6 but we started using it with our 3 year old and she is doing great. It is a challenge but stick with it and know that even though you might not see results within that particular learning session the foundation is being created and the knowledge will become evident in lessons to come.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

As it says on the cover, this is a remarkable step –  by – step program to teach your little one how to read. It takes 20 minutes per day and in 100 days your child will be reading like a pro! Now it might take you a little longer than 100 days, we all need to take a day off every once in a while. At first glance this gook can be intimidating to everyone involved, including you. The first few lessons are packed with detailed step by step instructions for the instructor. When you open the book there is a LOG going on but after you get the hang of the lessons you will find that they are extremely helpful… they even help with your patients while teaching.

Kindle Fire Kids Edition

One thing that has revolutionized not only how you homeschool but the way we entertain our kids is technology. Now too much screen time is never a good thing. But technology has its purpose and in order to set our kids up for success they need to be familiar with technology. Controlling not only the amount of screen time but what is on the screen is important. Sure the latest and greatest cartoon is great but why not put something on that is entertaining AND educational. There are so many great apps for the Kindle Fire kids Edition that can supplement the learning you are doing through your school lessons. The iPad is always an option too but the Kindle Fire is much more economical for what your child will be using it for. Here are some links to a few of my favorite educational programs for the Kindle.

TIP : If at any time you feel that the lesson you are focusing on is becoming too stressful and causing more harm than good don’t be afraid to mix it up and switch gears. You don’t want to give your child the impression that they can throw a fit get whatever they want. But if they are too far gone to bring them back to the activity at hand you will need some cool down time to