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pre-k help?

Posted by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 1:05 AM
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I know this may not exactly qualify as homeschooling but thought i'd give it a shot.  I had planned on putting my son in some kind of pre-k /mother's day out with a curriculum so he'd be prepared for kindergarten when he's 5 (turns 4 thurs).  Anyway, I had him in a mother's day out program last year and he was given foods he's allergic to over and over again, despite meetings, phone calls.. to the point of being in tears, and nothing helped so now i've just decided to keep him home with me this year.  I'd like any help you all could give me with at least pointing me in the right direction as to what and how to do to teach him without making him dread doing the work, but still preparing him for kinder since he'll be one of the youngest in his class.  I have a kit that came with worksheets you can copy for tracing letters and various worksheets, and was thinking about buying a kit I saw at toys r us that said something like "get ready for kindergarten" and came with different learning tools like the counters, flashcards..   Any ideas?

by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 1:05 AM
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by Jinx on Jul. 24, 2013 at 2:20 AM
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Play play play...

Make up games that involve counting, colors and shapes, days of the week, etc.

For some computer time: Abcmouse or starfall online are both fun.
My kids liked JumpStart. We bought the preschool and kinder CD-roms but they also have an online version.

Coloring and cutting are important skills to start.

playing with playdoh is great for strengthening hand muscles and motor control.
by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 6:57 AM
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I would start with Touch Math, Dolch Words, and letter sounds. All 3 are popular in kindergarten these days.

by Group Admin on Jul. 24, 2013 at 7:58 AM
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 Coloring in the lines,
identifying letters (names and sounds),
counting (to at least 20, but 100 is better),
Writing his name,
finger-stretching (look at a picture of a dog, then say d while lifting pointer finger o while lifting middle finger and g while lifting ring finger),
drawing pictures,
work on beginning middle and end of stories,
retelling stories in his own words,
position words (above, under, beside, in front of),
patterns (red blue blue, red blue blue, red---what comes next?)
take him to the playground and work on going across the monkey bars (the shoulder muscles are even more important than the hand muscles in writing),
play games.... (rhyming games, letter sound games, counting tiles, board games...these teach concepts and following rules)

by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 9:40 AM
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Teachers want kids who know how to play well with others and have manners more than anything.  Even academic stuff is secondary.  They won't mind teaching him that stuff if he is a (mostly) polite kid who does what he's asked.

Otherwise do what jinx said - play, play play

by Gold Member on Jul. 24, 2013 at 9:53 AM
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The above posters have great ideas!!!

There are so many things....I mostly followed my DD's lead.  She would show an interest in pointing out letters, so we would work on letter sounds.  She would show an interest in numbers and counting, so we would work on counting.  She would show an interest in adding, so we worked on that.  If you watch them you can find out what they are interested in and follow those leads and you will go a long way. 

by Group Admin on Jul. 24, 2013 at 10:31 AM
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I got a book by the mailbox called letter of the week. You can find the curriculum free at but I wanted something a little different since I will be teaching a co-op class and may use it there. Just find fun games and play. count stairs, play outside, find shapes everywhere you go. I have a 3 year old and a soon to be 5 year old and that's what they do, though my 4 year old has a late birthday so we are a little more sit down this year as he will be doing kindergarten work.
by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 10:47 AM
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How To Home School The PreK student (It includes a link to grade level requirements)

by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 11:05 AM
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See if your public library has a subscription to The Mailbox. I used a lot of their ideas when I taught pre-K. Our public library also has an area of early ed resource books you can check out, and another area where they can't be checked out but they let you make up to 10 copies from those books per day, for free. 

I'd decide on an approach - unit studies (like dinosaurs this week, apples next week, community helpers next, etc) or letter-of-the-week or whatever you want to do - and plan an activity a day around that. I wouldn't push much by way of academics, maybe 1 worksheet a day. I'm not a fan of worksheets. ;) Go to the library a lot. Work in phonics and early reading activities. Read to him a lot.

by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 11:41 AM
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 hi cstar, so this coming year you want to teach him school stuff so you can send him to public school kindergarten??

well that kit you got will probably be good, and heres another site with worksheets to help, so does he have to know all his numbers and abcs before he goes? if so  make some large numbers and letters and put them on the wall, go over them each day, make it fun, to help with numbers count things like marbles, rocks, socks, pennies etc

be sure to read to him each day, teach him to write his name, you can get those magnified abcs and letters, a cookie sheet and teach him on that, kids love moving them around and placing them! file folder games are fun teaching that age, teach him colors by looking at things around the house or outside, take a walk and teach him colors,  using the file folder games you can teach him colors, shapes , etc  this site might help also starfall

also cstar maybe consider homeschooling him for kindergarten also? its worth it!  have fun!!!

by Silver Member on Jul. 24, 2013 at 1:09 PM
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We do use formal curricula for pre-k. That doesn't mean it isn't fun!

Some pre-k skills (minimally):

Knowing his full name and address (and phone number) - verbally

Being able to write his name

Counting to 10 (at least)

Says the alphabet

Recognizes letters

Recognizes numbers through 10 (at least)

Letter sounds

Work on tying shoes

Basic community helper roles (what a fireman/policeman/grocer/mailman, etc does)



Help him count candy, cheerios, etc. Eventually this naturally merges into addition and subtraction.

Some children (like my own son) love workbooks at this age - so don't automatically assume using them will make them "dread" school work.

I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff: we have traditional gender roles, we're Catholic, I'm Libertarian, he's Republican, we're both conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee

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