Resources from ICHE Preschool Panel

Welcome, parents of preschoolers! Here you will find the list of some resources that those of us on the panel have used and enjoyed with our preschoolers. Please feel free to share these and ask any further questions you may have! Praying for you during this exciting and exhausting season in life.

Resources for the Preschool Years

Books / Curriculum/Media Resources

Reading – Sing, Spell, Read and Write;

– Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Engelmann

Math – Abeka Arithmetic Workbooks;

Character – Character First! Resources;

Development – Slow and Stead, Get Me Ready by June Oberlander

Choosing Books – Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt

Curriculum – Before Five in a Row by Jane Claire Lambert;

Montessori – “Bringing Montessori Home” DVD – Rose Clancy;

Bible – The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes by Kenneth N. Taylor

– Leading Little Ones to God by Marian M. Schoolhand

Websites – homeschooling books and resources – more homeschooling books and supplies than you can even imagine – Worksheets and activities searchable by grade level. – This site has numerous unit studies and lapbook resources, specifically ones related to Before Five in a Row and Five in a Row – Games for preschoolers to play. Especially at
the preschool age, I don’t let my kids sit and play on their own, but these
might be a fun addition to time you spend with your preschooler – This is a website I find helpful for kids of all ages. A homeschool mom of 4 has shared all her printables and many plans and ideas from throughout her homeschooling time. She has focused a lot on the preschool years in particular.


Local Public Library- Swan Library System – allows you to search for desired books through multiple library systems and have books delivered to your local library.

Museum Adventure Pass: from your library you can get free or reduced admission to various museums. This is for the Chicago area, but other states have similar programs.

A CD called Sounds like Fun from Discovery Toys ( is a great compilation of songs that cover early math, letter sounds, opposites, manners, nursery rhymes and even some Spanish sung to some classical guitar. Useful quiet time CD.

Games are an engaging way to incorporate learning fun at the preschool age and beyond — Zingo can develop basic word and sound recognition; Candyland for colors; Junior Monopoly for counting (and many other “junior” versions of favorite classics); Legos and Playmobile; other educational boardgames (great gifts for Grandparents to give if they are asking for ideas) like Sunken Treasure (

Learn through work: sorting socks and other laundry is an effective early math exercise as is cooking and baking together (math and health lesson there); plant a garden; talk about money, checks, credit cards (never too young to learn healthy money habits)

A favorite pre-reading activity we have used: write large letters on pieces of paper spread around the room or with chalk on ground outside. Say a letter sound and have kids run (or hop or crawl) to the letter they just heard. Use capital or lower case or both depending on what they are learning.

Let kids “write” in salt or sand in a pie tin or plate, pudding (or whipped cream or shaving cream) in a sealed plastic bag is great messless finger painting or water and a paintbrush on the ground outside. Also make letters with playdough, pipe cleaners, sticks, fingers or their whole body.

Field trips –

Recipe for Kool-aid Playdough (large batch)

5 cups flour

1 cup salt

4 pkgs kool-aid, any flavor

1/2 cup oil

3-4 cups boiling water (start with 3 and add more until kneadable)

TOS Crew Review — Bible Dictionary for kids


Product: Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids

Details: A Bible dictionary made just for kids to use on their own, or with an adult to help them, in understanding more about people, places, and things mentioned in the Bible.

Price: $14.99

What we loved . . .

  • Attention grabbing! As soon as this came out of the packaging, my kids were all over it. The cover catches your eye and page after page is full of colorful illustrations, maps, real photographs, and charts to help make clearer many different passages of Scripture.
  • Kids can explore on their own. Geared toward kids ages 5 through 10, this sturdy hard cover book rested comfortably in the hands of my 7 year old as she excitedly looked up various words that came to mind. Beatitudes, plagues, communion, Matthew, etc. Each one offered her an entry with information that complemented and cemented what we are learning during Bible times or what she has recently studied at church.
  • Easy searching. Each page has the letters of the alphabet along the edge with the first letter of those entries highlighted. So, from anywhere in the book you can easily get to a different section with the letter that you are looking for. Even my 5 year old was able to use this to find words that he wanted to look up.
  • Substantial number of entries. Maybe not abridged, but with 750 entries, this dictionary does have every word my kids have wanted to know more about since we received it, and roughly two thirds of the entries also have graphics to accompany them in addition to the written explanation.
  • Biblical references. Of course, what would a Bible dictionary be without actual references? This one includes at least one and often a few fitting references to go with each entry.
  • Great reference tool for kids learning to study on their own. Although the internet can probably give all this information and more, this book has it in a safe, easy to use format for younger children. I don’t let my under 10 kids just surf the web, even with filters in place. The Illustrated Bible Dictionary gives them a place to look up words they may want to know more about as I am encouraging them to start reading and studying the Bible on their own.

Some considerations . . .

  • Limited age range. Although I could see the appeal of a Bible dictionary for a wider range, early readers would have a hard time using it on their own, and kids in their preteen years might find the graphics babyish. The publisher did well giving the appropriate age range, and it would likely not find as receptive an audience outside of those ages.
  • Not a Bible study book. Bible dictionaries are great tools when studying the Bible, but they are not a Bible study in and of themselves. I think this is an important book to have on your shelves if you want your kids to begin exploring Scripture for themselves, but they will need some direction to learn how to make the most of it.

Studying the Bible accurately is one of my primary goals for my children. The Illustrated Bible Dictionary is a great asset toward reaching that goal and we look forward to making the most of it for years to come.

For more TOS Crew reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew blog.

Disclaimer: This product was provided to me free of charge through Lifeway Christian Stores as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.

TOS Crew Review — Map Skills

I’m going to Tucson.

I’m going to jump up to Canada.

Look at me, I’m in Alaska!

Everyone watch out, I’m heading to Florida.

When I got everyone settled back in Illinois, or at least off the map, we opened the “books” and enjoyed another hands on geography lesson.

Product: Map Skills Unit Study from Soli Deo Gloria Resources
Details : A 2-3 week introduction to map skills unit study designed for K-3 graders.
Price : $14

What we loved . . .

  • Full of ideas. Although built around a geography workbook that is an optional purchase, this ebook comes chock full of ideas to keep your kiddos hopping around the world.
  • Multi-disciplinary. While it starts with geography it also dabbles in science, art, Bible, Language Arts, .
  • Multi-age. The focus age is K-3, but all my kids enjoyed working on this together. The young ones learned the most, but the older ones lead the discussion and took it places it would not have otherwise.
  • Compatible workbooks for further study. If you want to spend more time or have more written work, she recommends workbooks that can hit the kids more at level as well.
  • Active learning. The activities had the kids running and talking and working with their hands. They all had a great time and the little ones learned quite a bit in the process.
  • Flexible. Not every activity will float your boat, but there is plenty there to keep you busy for a few weeks, or longer if you space it out into shorter lessons.

Some considerations . . .

  • Light on the Language Arts. One of the challenges with unit studies is they can’t hit every subject to the depth or level of every child. I found this one a bit light on the Language Arts and did not use it in place of our regular curriculum in that subject. It was a great geography study, but it was not very strong in other subjects.
  • Best suited with an additional purchase. To get the most out of this you would likely want to purchase the additional workbooks. That would help in gearing it toward a wider age range and in covering the topic in greater detail. It still has engaging projects and thought provoking worksheets in and of itself.

Map skills is an area that my kids naturally learn through real life experience, but this ebook pointed out some areas that my younger kids have not had a chance to interact with yet. It provided us some fun ways to learn these areas without just reading a book or doing worksheets. They learned and definitely enjoyed the process.

Each family will have a different experience with a product, so I would definitely encourage you to check out some other TOS Crew reviews on this product, over at the TOS Crew blog.

Disclaimer: This ebook was provided to me free of charge through Soli Deo Gloria Resources as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.

Bible Bee

Some kids need a little competition to motivate them. Others need some goals to help them strive harder. And, others just want some recognition for the hard work they have already put out.

What better topic to encourage kids to dig into and recognize achievement in than Scripture memorization?

Today a new friend of mine introduced me to the Bible Bee 2010. This organization and competition gives families a framework to memorize Scripture, along with some lofty goals. The competition is open to kids 7-18 and they must memorize between 250 and 800 verses (increasing amounts by age categories).

If you are interested in attending, you can register starting May 1. At this time they are looking for host registrations, so if you would like to organize a local bee, now is the time to jump online and sign up. Individuals register starting May 1, and packets will go out in June.

Individual registration is $25 per child (limit of $125 per family), and includes all materials for parents and children to participate in the bee. If they apply themselves and advance to the final round they have the opportunity to compete for prizes ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.

Whether you decide to participate officially or not, you might enjoy attending the Bible Bee finals to be held in November of this year in Schaumburg. It might be a great motivator for next year (although next year, the finals might not be so close to us in the Chicagoland area).

Check out the Bible Bee 2010 website for all the details, information, and answers to any questions you might have. And, if you do arrange a local bee, feel free to leave a comment hear letting others know and so we can spread the enthusiasm.