With all the options, it can be overwhelming to decide what materials to use for homeschooling your preschooler. Today I’ll share some of our favorite free or inexpensive resources and materials that we’ve enjoyed using as part of our homeschool program. I’ll also share how those preschool materials are used on a regular homeschooling day.
I’m certainly no expert at homeschooling. In fact, when people ask if we’re homeschooling I’m quick to say we’re taking it year by year. And while we do want to take it year by year so we can evaluate our children’s individual needs, part of that answer comes from my lack of confidence as a homeschool mama. However, in the last few months, I’ve settled into a nice routine that’s made homeschooling a lot less intimidating. I think a big part of that is the helpful material and resources I’ve found to make our preschool homeschool program run smoothly.
It took some time to figure out what to include in our homeschool day, so that’s why I wanted to spare some headaches for you guys who may be just starting. If you have more suggestions on preschool materials for homeschooling don’t hesitate to comment below! Homeschooling takes a village even if it’s an online one. I love it when the comments get filled with discussions and ideas from other moms.
Friendly disclosure: I am part of the Amazon affiliates program. That means at no extra cost to you I earn a (very) small commission if you buy anything I link from the Amazon site. Please understand this does not mean my opinions are skewed. I’m only sharing my favorite preschool materials that we actually use in our homeschool day. And while I may link to a product on Amazon, I mostly do so for your convenience in finding the mentioned product. However, as a budgeting homemaker, I always urge you to find the best price and will try to mention if I have other ideas as to where to buy said product.
Now let’s get into some of my favorite preschool materials for homeschooling…
As you’ll see many of these preschool materials are very simple items. The beauty of homeschooling a child that’s between the ages of 3-5 is that the material has so much room for creativity. A child of preschool age is learning the basics and because of this a lot of the material can be things you already have on hand or can obtain easily and at a low cost. There’s no need for an expensive preschool curriculum for 3-5-year-olds, you just need the basics and some creativity to get through a little homeschooling.
As a Christian mama, teaching my kids God’s word is the most important thing. Maybe it’s an off day and we couldn’t get through the letters or numbers lesson, but if we read a chapter out of their bible and spend some time discussing it – that’s a win in my book.
Finding an age-appropriate kid’s bible is key, and with that, the bible you read to your kids will change over the years. Right now our oldest is 5 and I love the Read and Learn Bible for her. For a children’s bible, it’s very thorough while still being easy to understand. One of these days I’d like to put together a list of other children’s bibles we’ve enjoyed over the years. If that’s something of interest to you, let me know in the comments and I’ll bump it to the top of my ideas list!
A whiteboard calendar
One of my favorite things I’ve heard is that homeschooling is an extension of parenting. Therefore the preschool materials for homeschooling can be something you’re already using. The homeschool day can be so intertwined with your family’s life that learning will just happen naturally.
With that said, I love setting the tone for the day with our whiteboard calendar. Not only is it a way to include your child in your family’s schedule. It’s also a great way to practice months, days of the week, years, holidays, and even numbers as you count through the days. I imagine even after we pass the preschool age and our children begin to read, having a family calendar will continue to be helpful for family organization.
I bought my calendar at T.J. Maxx a while back and I’m guessing it was a good price if you’re able to check out their store. If not amazon does have a large selection of reasonably priced whiteboard calendars here. I’ve also seen them at Walmart.
Laminated Print-Outs for Repetition Learning
Ok, let me explain this one a little better. I have a folder of laminated “basics” that we use at the beginning of every homeschool day for repetition learning. This folder includes print-outs of the ABCs, numbers 1-20, days of the week, and months of the year. As she grows I’ll sub it out for new things she needs to learn like lowercase letters, clocks, maps, or whatever. A great way for anyone to learn is repetition. So, almost every day I have my daughter go through a few of these sheets and recite what’s on it. Some of them we go through together with a song or some of them she just looks at and reiterates (like the numbers).
I found our worksheets on Google Images. So the worksheets themselves are completely free. You can just print them out and keep them in a folder or homeschool binder and that in itself would be perfect.
I’ll link a few preschool print-outs here to give you some ideas:
Also remember, kids learn so well when you attach a song to things. I recently learned the months of the year song and days of the week song and they’ve helped our daughter a lot. Here’s an example of those songs from YouTube:
–Days of the week
-Months of the year
P.S. These songs are so catchy I’m usually singing them all day too. 🙂
Now if you’re extra you can certainly laminate them. I like having them laminated since we do use them so often. You can find inexpensive laminator machines on amazon here.
Learning Workbooks or Worksheets
When it comes to preschool materials for homeschooling, this category has a lot of wiggle room. It also greatly depends on age. If it’s a young preschooler who just turned 3, you can keep things really simple. If it’s an older child who’s turning 5 and nearly done with preschool you can go a little more advanced and spend more time on worksheets.
Some friendly mother-to-mother advice, don’t worry too much about flying through loads of worksheets every day. Since every child learns at a different rate I highly urge you to tailor your worksheets to your child’s needs. If they’re not ready to write, don’t push it. If they’re not ready to read, don’t push it. It’s not a comparison game, it’s about creating a love for learning. Worksheet time can still be a struggle for my 5-year-old. The material is certainly advancing as she’s beginning to learn to read, but her desire to sit for a long time is still very small. So I only have her do 2-3 worksheets a day max and some days we skip worksheets altogether! As you’ll see from this blog, there are so many ways to learn and worksheets are just one tiny part of that.
Here are some places I’ve found great workbooks and worksheets to use for our preschool materials at home:
- The Dollar Store: especially when the kids are little, I love getting cheap workbooks at the dollar store! Even if they just scribble in the whole thing, at least you only spend $1.25! The workbooks available are always a little different but you’ll find some great options for all different ages and subjects.
- Google Images: If you have a good printer and don’t want to pay (beyond printing costs) google, Pinterest, etc. have a plethora of free worksheets from bloggers you can print and use.
- Education.com: This is a website I started using recently. There are some free options as well as paid membership options. I have enjoyed having the membership for our 5-year-old. They have SO many worksheets you can print for all different grades. They also have amazing learning games that we love.
- More Extensive Workbooks: Obviously if you want something that has everything in one place you can buy a more extensive workbook for your child. My daughter is getting ready to read and I wanted a specific book that could pull her (and me) through the process vs. just printing out random sheets. I bought The Reading Lesson workbook from Amazon, we’re only a few pages in and I couldn’t be happier. It takes away the guesswork on my end as it tells me exactly what to have her do for each page. My daughter is already sounding out three-letter words. Since she’s newly 5 we’re taking it very slow, no rush here, but even just doing 3 or so pages a week I’ve seen growth.
I know technology can be a hot-button topic these days, and I hear that. But I always say, a computer is a tool, like any tool it’s up to the user whether it’s used for good or bad. Computers are part of our world (hello, nice to meet you, I’m a blogger) and children must learn the language of technology. I love watching my daughter grow in her ability to navigate computer games, it’s a cool thing. And of course, it goes without saying, all things in moderation. She probably has an hour of computer game time 3 days a week and it works out great for us.
PBS Kids has great computer games for kids – not only are they age-appropriate for our 5-year-old, but a lot of them also have learning elements.
Education.com as mentioned above, is another one of our favorite sites. You can play for free a limited amount of times or this is a membership option. These games are specifically learning games and I’ve seen them help my daughter learn her letters and numbers a lot quicker – and she’s having fun while doing it!
Lastly, some of our favorite preschool materials for homeschooling are board games. Kids learn by playing and board games can be a great way to do that! Honestly, even something as simple as Candy Land can help a 4 year old learn. They can practice counting when they move their character, they practice their colors, and they learn to take turns and how to be a good sport if they lose. Remember, teaching your children goes beyond numbers and letters, it’s also about social skills, problem-solving, and character development. So whatever board games you have, you can find a way to spin it into a learning opportunity.
Beyond the basics though, here are a couple of games I’ve gotten specifically for my preschooler’s homeschool day:
Of course, learning is fluid, but if I were to sum it up, those are the major categories of our favorite preschool materials for homeschooling. I hope this list has been a blessing to you and your little ones! If you’ve enjoyed it please leave a comment below. If you want to share any of your favorite homeschooling materials for preschoolers make sure to share that in the comments as well. Keep the conversation going and let’s all help one another in this crazy journey of parenting and homeschooling.
“All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness you shall be established; You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; And from terror, for it shall not come near you.”– Isaiah 54:13-14
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