At-Home Preschool: Tried and true resources to help you survive

Wednesday , 25, September 2013 Leave a comment

Chrissy Preschool 1When my husband and I decided that I would stay home with my two girls, I worried that they wouldn’t get enough stimulation.  As a teacher, that was simply unacceptable, so I found myself scouring the internet to find ideas to set up an “at-home preschool” within our home.  I committed to having a different letter of the alphabet as our theme each week and kept a notebook and folder of activities for us to do each day.  At first, it was extremely exhausting, but once I found some great websites to help me prepare and we got into a routine, it was actually very fun and rewarding. We ended up keeping a binder with a work sample from each letter.  My daughter loves looking through her “ABC book” and all the amazing work she created.

Here is a list of my very favorite preschool websites.  Without these sites, I definitely could not have survived being an “at-home preschool teacher.”

 

Letter of the Week

  • This is an awesome home-schooling website that has curriculum from birth through 8th grade.
  • I have used the “Nursery Curriculum” (ages 0-1) as well as the “Steps to Reading Program” (ages 2+) with my girls.
  • The lessons are laid out in an organized format and give suggestions for vocabulary-building, motor skills, music, etc.Chrissy Preschool 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Time for Flash Cards

  • Amazing resources, including a huge collection of “letter of the week” crafts.
  • Includes book suggestions for a wide range of topics/themes (bugs, space, holidays, friendship, etc.) – I found this so helpful!
  • Also has an easy-to-navigate topic index that has led me to SO many fun ideas.Chrissy Preschool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starfall

  • Excellent website with phonics activities for preschoolers and younger elementary students.
  • Lots of interactive games/activities available for children to do on the computer, as well as printables to reinforce the concepts
  • Some content is only available to paid members (prices vary based on what you need), but the free resources are very useful themselvesChrissy Preschool 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PBS resources
see sites below

  • PBS Kids– TONS of engaging games and activities.  My kids love this site!
  • PBS Parents – I love this website because it has a ton of great tips, activities, and games in a variety of subject-areas.  I particularly love the math content they have, especially since a lot of early childhood resources are focused mainly on pre-literacy skills.  Can’t forget to encourage those mathematical reasoning skills!

Sensory resources
see sites below

I’m a huge advocate for allowing children to experience many different sensory activities.  I will save all my reasons for another blog post, but let’s just say I think it’s a very important part in development.

  • Learn ~ Play ~ Imagine:  Awesome site with tons of ideas.  Be sure to check out the moon dough recipe (disclaimer: it’s messy!).  This site has a lot of other preschool resources that you should definitely check out as well – she resources for “tot school,” preschool, kindergarten, and first grade.
  • Teaching Mama:  Love, love, love her sensory bin ideas.  (A ton of other preschool resources can be found on this blog, by the way!)

Other great sites for games and learning activities:
Nick Jr.
Sprout
Disney Junior
Funschool
Sesame Street

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this last website as a great resource.  It is NOT free, so I didn’t include it with the others.  It is, however, a great program!

ABCmouse.com

  • Full curriculum for preschool and kindergarten – includes online activities and printables
  • Fun, engaging activities in a variety of subject areas (reading, math, science, social studies, art, music, etc.)
  • Child can create an avatar that looks like him or her – pretty cool!
  • Allows you to track progress  and includes a reward system (tickets that allow the child to “purchase” virtual prizes)
  • Free app available for iPhone or iPad
  • Cost: $7.95/month or $79/year (One month free trial is available if you want to try it out first.)

I hope that you find these resources to be useful.  What are your favorite sites or resources for at-home preschool activities?

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