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Posts Tagged ‘little ones’

Resources from ICHE Preschool Panel

June 8th, 2012

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; www.singspell.com

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

Math – Abeka Arithmetic Workbooks; www.abeka.com

Character – Character First! Resources; http://www.characterfirst.com/aboutus/students-families/

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; http://fiarhq.com/fiveinarow.info/index.html

Montessori – “Bringing Montessori Home” DVD – Rose Clancy; www.tacklemedia.com

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

– Leading Little Ones to God by Marian M. Schoolhand

Websites

www.christainbook.com – homeschooling books and resources

http://www.rainbowresource.com/ – more homeschooling books and supplies than you can even imagine

www.education.com – Worksheets and activities searchable by grade level.

http://homeschoolshare.com/ – This site has numerous unit studies and lapbook resources, specifically ones related to Before Five in a Row and Five in a Row

http://www.starfall.com/ – 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

http://www.homeschoolcreations.net – 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.

Other

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 (http://www.amazon.com/Sounds-Like-Fun-Discovery-Toys/dp/B0012NBP4E) 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 (http://www.amazon.com/Sunken-Treasure-Adventure%C3%83-Phonics-Beginning/dp/B00004TDTN)

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 – http://chicagolandhomeschoolnetwork.com/fieldtrips/

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)

Special speaker in DeKalb

February 19th, 2012

Received this info via email:

Please join us on Monday, February 20 to welcome Wanda Gibert as she shares with the HEART homeschool group:

A Holy Influence:  Be the Crowning Touch in Your Husband’s Life

God has given wives an extraordinary ministry to their husbands.  Balancing homeschooling, schedules, meals, and caring for little ones often leaves wives tired with little energy to give to our husbands.  Wanda Gibert, mother of six, will share ways to keep the God-ordained unity and intimacy between husbands and wives.

This talk is for wives only, but husbands don’t let that stop you from coming out with your wife. The men will meet to enjoy fellowship and “guy” time in a separate room.

HEART meets at Evangelical Free Church, 150 Bethany Rd, DeKalb, IL.  Doors open at 6:30 for fellowship with our meeting starting at 7pm.  We invite everyone to join us for this special meeting.

TOS Crew Review — Mad Dog Math

May 18th, 2011

With school age kids ranging from Kindergarten to eighth grade, my younger kids seem to have a greater drive to learn early because they want to do what everyone else is doing. Recently my younger two took an interest in learning about multiplication. Not typically part of the scope and sequence for Kindergarten and first grade, we decided to give it a try anyway.

At the same time we received Mad Dog Math to review and this was a great opportunity for them to learn their basic math facts on their own. We did a quick little lesson on what multiplication means and how to figure out the answer and then sent them off. They started with reviewing some of their addition and subtraction, and then could switch to level 3 and work on some of their new found understanding of “times.” Now they feel like big kids. 🙂

See a little more of what this program is all about in this video they put together (this is a little long — just under 10  minutes):

Product: Mad Dog Math

Details: A downloadable program that helps kids in K-5 practice their basic facts in a systematic, easy to use format. They get a set of problems to answer in a period of time and gradually progress to more difficult problems.

Price: $19.95 for a one year license, $29.99 for 2 years, $39.99 for perpetual license

What we loved . . .

  • Basic presentation. Not a flashy, “read a 100 page manual” program. Download, read a paragraph of instructions, and start drilling. My kindergartener was on it within two minutes of getting it on and he flew through the first through levels as he got used to the program.
  • Covers all the basic operations. This one program will cover addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in one computer based program so you won’t have to keep flash cards around that mostly got used by your toddler to decorate the school room floor anyway.
  • Different levels to start at. Each child can start at their appropriate level. Level one starts at the very basic, “0 + 3.” It then very gradually progresses through each of the groupings first through addition and then subtraction. Once they can add everything up to 18 they will complete that level and earn their sticker. They can redo them to improve their times trying to complete the facts in less than 30 seconds with only a couple errors.
  • Good length. The speed drills vary in length and are appropriate for the levels they are at. As they progress they get a bit longer, but they are all able to be completed in 2 minutes by most kids. I could finish most in 15 seconds, so that allows a good bit of time for kids to find the correct number on the keyboard an move on.
  • Varied presentation. Most of the problems ask for a solution (the sum, difference, product, or quotient), but some leave out one of the other numbers that kids need to figure out instead. I like that they vary this to help kids stretch their thinking, solidify their skills, and keep it fresh.
  • Can be untimed. Some kids really struggle with the anxiety of a timed test. Mad Dog offers timings of 2 minutes, 1 minute, or 30 seconds. They also give you the choice of not being timed. This can be a great help to some kids struggling with success in this area.

Some considerations . . .

  • Simple program. While this is a plus for ease of use, it also means that it does not have some extra features that I like to look for in a program. It doesn’t track specifics of how your child is doing. It lets them continue when they have made mistakes (I like to be able to set the mastery level and change it as I see necessary). It does what it is meant to do, but not with
  • Kids need to advance themselves to the next level. Once a child has mastered one level it tells them what they need to do next, but they need to change the selection in order to move to that next step in the program. It will let you stay at the level you were working on, but you don’t earn anything new until you select the next level.
  • Watch the bark. When I first started the program up I must have had my speakers on too loud. The program does not have any talking or background music, but it does have a loud bark now and then when you click on something or move to a new section. It about knocked me out of my seat. So, keep your speakers at a reasonable level when you are trying it out. 😉
  • Unique groupings. It seems most math programs I use learn all the “+ 1” at once. Mad Dog instead does everything that adds up to 0-3 first. So it is working with a smaller sample set each time. This worked well for the gradual progress, but it was different than what we were used to.
  • Rewards are a long time coming. While kids can earn rewards, they take a while to get there, especially at the lowest level. At level one I felt like I had been on it a while and the “encouragement” that showed up on the bottom after one quiz said something like, “Great job, just 35 to go to earn your sticker!” Wow, that was not encouraging.
  • Explanation focuses on vocabulary. In the instructions there is a little button to click for the program to explain the math terms. I expected it to tell you what “addition” means, but instead it tells you the technical terms for each number in an addition problem (and for the other operations as well). This is interesting, but not really helpful if a student didn’t know what “multiply” even means.

Mad Dog math is basically a computer based flashcard program. It is easy to use and most kids would much rather drill their math facts on the computer as opposed to with real cards. It obviously costs a lot more than a deck of flashcards, but if it will get kids to learn their basic facts without an argument, that is money well spent. And, you don’t have to worry about your kids not learning “7 + 8” because you lost that card and never realized it.

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 Mad Dog Math 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.



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TOS Crew Review — Map Skills

October 15th, 2010

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.