I know we essentially just started summer vacation like last week, but guys, kids up here in Indiana are already going back at the end of the month!
While we do home school, we follow pretty closely with our local public systems schedule-wise, just not on breaks. (We like to take advantage of empty libraries and parks) So we are starting August 7th this year.
What’s different about this year is that I am going from schooling one kid to two. Piper is officially a Preschool kid.
The things I ordered for her school year are totally different than what I did with Addie five years ago. Mostly because when put next to her older sister, Piper is a lunatic who cannot sit still and cannot listen for long. The Tasmanian Devil is her spirit animal. No doubt about it!
Also, for reference, Miss P is three but will be four in October and has been begging to do school like Addie. So while she is “ready”, this may not translate over for every family. Let’s be honest, I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping this learning approach works for her at this point while also hoping a little more structure to her day will benefit her in the behavior department. Ahem.
We are doing a lot of hands on, fun, and crafty things this year with the primary goals of letter & number recognition, pre-reading skills (letter sounds) and brushing up on counting and shapes. The best thing about Piper’s school materials is that I was able to find all of them on Amazon!
So below you will find the things I purchased and a link in case you’d like to check this stuff out for your little one.
I liked this set because they are magnetic but also a sturdy soft foam texture. They have Big and Little letters as well as numbers.
To go with the magnetic alphabet and numbers, i grabbed a cheap baking sheet and some play sand. This is for a few different activities that I have in mind but mostly alphabet practice, as that is our number one goal this year.
Sand, shaving cream and rice work well for little kids who aren’t yet ready for a pencil. Writing is hard on little hands and muscles so letting them practice writing things with their fingers is a great place to start. Plus, you get added sensory play thrown in the mix!
Along with the magnetic alphabet, I found these cute magnetic shapes from Melissa & Doug that I thought would come in handy. I love the idea of covering half of her baking tray with shaving cream and on the other half giving her a letter, number or shape to copy.
These counting bears with sorting cups were too cute to pass up. Piper still struggles with counting past ten most of the time. She does love to count everything, from her food to the stairs to the basement, just not always correctly, so i thought these would be a sure fire hit with her. You get fifty bears in five colors with matching cups for sorting practice.
Like I mentioned above, we are doing a lot of hands on play and learning this year. She is just not a workbook kid, that said I did grab a few books for the second half of the year and one that she can work in if she chooses to.
The first couple books I was excited to find were these Pen Control books. They are dry erase and help build correct pencil holding techniques as well as get kids ready for writing. I ordered Piper her first Penmanship book, but we will not even touch it until she is comfortable. I use Handwriting Without Tears for my kids’ penmanship lessons. I really love the set up of the books and they are not overwhelming or overly tedious when it comes to daily learning as you get into higher grades.
Finally, I found this jumbo preschool workbook. I’m probably going to pull from it when I feel like it, or let her work in it if she’s particularly keen. I thought least of all it would give me some more activities to do with her through the year.
That is Piper’s set up for the year! This round up obviously excludes crayons, and other craft supplies. I found these two coloring books for her, Pixar and Disney Princesses that I thought would be a good way to keep her busy while Addie and I do school. Plus, they have all the stickers!
I’m looking so forward to this year with Piper. She is eager to be like big sis and she craves one on one attention so I think I’ve done alright tailoring her first year to her strengths, and her weaknesses.
These aren’t just things to use for homeschooling either, if you just want to get your kiddo ready for school, these are great resources for early learning in general!
If you’re still on the fence about homeschooling but would like to give it a shot, this is a great way to test the waters. By the end of the year (or maybe even earlier) your child should be ready to begin a phonics curriculum like Phonics Pathways, which is what I used to teach Addie to read, you can learn more about our approach here.
Tell me below, do you have a crazy little three or four year old at home? Do you think they would enjoy these learning materials?
This post may contain affiliate links. When you purchase an item through my link, A Party of Four makes a small amount from your purchase!