Early Learning & Preschool
Children learn from birth, so the concept of homeschooling a preschooler is easy to contemplate. Get information on how to make early learning fun and enjoyable for you and your child.
Homeschool Preschool Curriculum
Time4Learning
The Time4Learning preschool program combines technology, animated characters, original stories and fun music to inspire a love of learning in the littlest e-learners. Ed Mouse and his friends guide children through more than forty topics such as numbers, letters, rhymes, self, time, music and colors.
Singapore Math
Singapore Math books are clear, logical, and sequential. There is a strong focus on mental math. Word problems and geometry are integrated throughtout the series. Singapore Math® books are a popular choice of homeschool families and for parents looking for math activity books to support what their child is learning in school. There are also titles to help home educators understand the foundations of Singapore Math® methodology, giving you tools to help your student be successful and have fun.They offer math texts from pre-K to 12th grades. This series challenges children to think through and understand mathematical concepts instead of simply memorizing facts and algorithms. One of the benefits of using this program is its affordability. The textbooks are inexpensive and are reusable. The consumable workbooks are priced so that even families with multiple children using this program will find it affordable.
Alpha Omega Publications Mathematics Resources for Homeschoolers
These workbooks help teach pre-K concepts such as time, counting, and more.
Math-U-See Primer
In the Primer level your child will learn not only how to write numerals but also addition and subtraction, basic counting, skip counting, geometric shapes, telling time, and they will be introduced to the manipulative block system. It’s a gentle introduction to "doing math."
JumpStart Free Preschool Curriculum
Preschool is a time of rapid growth and development. While the preschool curriculum is designed keeping in mind the physical and intellectual developmental characteristics of 2 – 5 year olds, there are certain milestones that most preschoolers should achieve before they begin kindergarten.
Everyday Mathematics
Everyday Mathematics is a comprehensive Pre-K through 6th grade mathematics curriculum developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project and published by McGraw-Hill Education. Everyday Mathematics is a research-based and field-tested curriculum that focuses on developing children’s understandings and skills in ways that produce life-long mathematical power. The Everyday Mathematics curriculum emphasizes:
  • Use of concrete, real-life examples that are meaningful and memorable as an introduction to key mathematical concepts.
  • Repeated exposures to mathematical concepts and skills to develop children’s ability to recall knowledge from long-term memory.
  • Frequent practice of basic computation skills to build mastery of procedures and quick recall of facts, often through games and verbal exercises.
  • Use of multiple methods and problem-solving strategies to foster true proficiency and accommodate different learning styles.
Five in a Row
Five in a Row provides a step-by-step, instructional guide using outstanding children's literature for children ages 4-8. Unit studies are built around each chosen book. There is a series for preschoolers called "Before Five in a Row," along with other volumes for older children.
Sonlight Homeschool Preschool Curriculum
Finding the right homeschool preschool curriculum is important. For many children, this will be their first introduction to organized learning. Giving your child the right introduction to the world of knowledge can help them become life-long learners. To learn how to choose the right homeschool preschool curriculum for your child, consult the resources offered at Sonlight.
JumpStart Free Math Curriculum
Homeschooling parents will find that when it comes to choosing the curriculum for math, there is a huge variety available. In fact, the number of math curriculums available to choose from may make choosing the right one difficult. These supplemental math activities for grades K-5 are fun ways to incorporate more math into your homeschooling.
Living Math
Early exposure to real mathematics in natural settings, without requiring mastery of arithmetic on a set timetable is a key to the ease with which kids attain mastery when the time is right for them. Math literature and history humanizes math, makes it come alive, and provides a context to enjoy and retain learning. This wonderful site offers a literature-based approach to math learning, with book lists, lesson plans, and more.
Things to See & Do in Iowa with Preschoolers
Storybook Hill Children's Zoo
Storybook Hill Children’s Zoo was established in 1976, in partnership with the Optimists Clubs of Dubuque, as an effort to increase the knowledge and understanding of common animals among the people of Dubuque. The zoo is a replica of an American farm from the 1940’s, and contains a wide variety of animals that a person visiting this time period might see on an actual farm.
Blank Park Zoo
The Blank Park Zoo is located in Des Moines and features animal exhibits and educational programs. The mission of the Blank Park Zoo is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world through conservation, education and recreation. Blank Park Zoo has been a part of the Des Moines metro community since 1963.
National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium
The Mission of the Dubuque County Historical Society [and its National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium] is to explore life of Dubuque, the Mississippi River, and the Rivers of America and their global connections, and to research, interpret, educate and promote the conservation of their historical and natural environment. The National Mississippi River Museum is the nation's premier center to interpret and preserve the Mississippi River's natural environment and history, inspire a global audience, and create more knowledgeable and engaged citizens.
Old MacDonald's Farm, Bever Park
Old MacDonald’s Farm, Bever Park’s Children’s Zoo, is operated by Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation. Located on the SE side of Cedar Rapids, it is a free public zoo and features farm animals and North American waterfowl. This city landmark is over 100 years old and is enjoyed by people of all ages. Open Daily from late April to early October.
Blank Park Zoo Home School Programs
The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines offers a number of home school programs, including Home School Safari, Zookeeper for a Day, and Home School Day. You can also schedule your own home school class.
Resources
Pattern Blocks and Boards
This set of 10 simply designed colorful wooden blocks and pattern boards includes 100 blocks in six different shapes and colors. They help develop shape recognition and spatial relationship skills. The contents store neatly in a durable wooden case. This games was awarded the Scholastic Parent & Child's 2004 "Top 22 Toys that Make Kids Think" award.
Bob Books
Bob Books are organized into sets that progress in level as your child learns. They have cute stories and darling illustrations. These books are perfect for children ages 4 to 8.
Happy Phonics
Happy Phonics uses games to teach early reading skills. Simple yet entertaining and educational, these phonics games are printed on colorful, sturdy cardstock ready to cut out. Included is a mother-friendly guidebook which contains details on how to teach phonics and reading, how to pronounce and teach the phonics sounds, how to make your own simple beginning readers, and step-by-step teaching information for each phonics sound. Happy Phonics covers beginning to advanced phonics.
Bead Sequencing Set
Stack the durable, brightly colored wooden beads on 5 hardwood dowels in sequence to match the design on one of the pattern cards. Builds complex reasoning skills as well as sorting and coordination. Includes over 45 brilliantly colored beads, 5 dowels, and 10 patterns that increase in difficulty.
Explode The Code
Explode The Code provides a sequential, systematic approach to phonics in which students blend sounds to build vocabulary and read words, phrases, sentences, and stories. Frequent review of previously learned concepts helps increase retention. Each workbook in this series contains exercises that incorporate reading, writing, matching and copying. The consistent format of the books helps facilitate independent work. This series includes primers—Get Ready for The Code, Get Set for The Code, and Go for The Code—which introduce initial consonant sounds. In addition, Beyond The Code provides a comprehension component introducing basic comprehension skills with phonetically controlled stories. You'll find product information here.
Preschool/Early Learning Games and Activities
20 Ideas to Practice Measuring
There are so many ways to practice and teach the science and math skill of measuring. Here are some ideas for fun ways to practice measuring.
5 DIY Manipulatives for Preschool and Kindergarten
These manipulatives are easy to make at home. They provide early learning supplies for anyone on a budget.
Counting Tubes
The fun and colorful tubes are a great way to practice 1:1 correspondence, counting, and numbers.
Place Value with Beads
Learn the concept of 10s with these simple bead and pipe cleaner manipulatives.
8 Preschool Math Ideas Using Toy Vehicles
These fun math activities use simple toy cars to teach ordinal numbers, sorting, counting, number recognition, subitizing, patterns, colors, and addition.
Preschool Math Games
Preschool math games let kids have fun while getting practice with early math concepts like number recognition and identifying shapes. This online learning program, Brainzy, includes math games for preschoolers that work!
Montessori Spindle Box
Make this counting spindle board with simple materials from around your home. Teaches counting and grouping.
Models of 3-D Solids
These printable 3-D models are easy to use. They are pdf files that can be printed out to construct prisms, pyramids, platonic solids, polyhedra, and more.
Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics
This booklet is made up of fun activities that parents can use with children from preschool age through grade 5 to strengthen their math skills and build strong positive attitudes toward math.
Math With Legos: Preschool Roll and Count
Use 1 x 1 Lego bricks and a 12-sided math die to encourage counting and learning.
Pre-K Mathematics Activities
This 49 page pdf file contains scores of activities to teach math concepts to preschoolers.
17 (Almost) Effortless Preschool Math Activities
These easy and fun math activities are great for helping preschoolers learn number recognition, one to one correspondence, counting, and understanding quantity.
7 Fun Ways to Learn Numbers Through Play
Enjoy these activities that introduce number concepts and active learning through play.
Flower Power Patterns for Preschool and Early Childhood
Practice patterning with this spring-themed set of pattern boards. children will be able to determine the next picture in the pattern and will be able to continue the pattern on each of the boards.
Pom Pom Math Activities
These fun math games help encourage counting and color matching using pom poms.
Math Games and Activities for Preschoolers
Great and creative ideas for reinforcing counting and numbers.
Sort the Mail: Pretend Play and Number Recognition
Kids love to pretend and test their limits within boundaries of make believe. Combining pretend play with math is a great way to challenge your kids without making them feel like it’s a test. Pretending to be a postal worker gives the task of sorting meaning and with that meaning their learning is deeper and better retained.
Preschool and Kindergarten Math Games
These math games are designed for ages 4 and 5. Here you'll find pattern matching, counting games, and shape games.
Lego Challenge Math Activity-Free Printable
Practicing math skills like spatial awareness and geometry can be fun, especially when the math activity involves Legos! Here’s a free printable math challenge for kids using Lego or Duplo bricks!
Free Printable Ten Frame Cards
Learn 10s with these free printable cards that offer a fun way to practice. Read about different ways to use the cards for enjoyable math games to teach this concept.
Preschool Worksheets and Printables
Making Learning Fun Math Ideas
Fun and free printables that are great for preschoolers. These activities make learning fun!
Preschool Math Printables
These printables are free and help provide extra support for teaching preschool math. You'll find calendars, number tracing cards, number mats, patterns, and more.
Lego Challenge Math Activity-Free Printable
Practicing math skills like spatial awareness and geometry can be fun, especially when the math activity involves Legos! Here’s a free printable math challenge for kids using Lego or Duplo bricks!
Preschool Math Worksheets and Printables
Preschool math worksheets help your young learner develop essential early math skills. From number recognition to counting to addition, preschoolers learn a lot about numbers in one year. Our collection of preschool math worksheets is designed for kids who want to build skills that will prepare them for kindergarten and beyond. These preschool math worksheets help present new number topics to kids in a way that's fun and easy to understand. Help foster a culture of learning by doing these preschool math worksheets with your child.
Free Printable Preschool Worksheets
Free printable preschool worksheets for learning to write the alphabet, numbers and bible memory verses, plus free printable colouring pages and more!
Free Printable Ten Frame Cards
Learn 10s with these free printable cards that offer a fun way to practice. Read about different ways to use the cards for enjoyable math games to teach this concept.
Making Learning Fun
This early childhood education website is filled with free printables designed to make learning fun.
Support for Parents of Preschoolers
CharlotteMasonKindergarten
A group for Charlotte Mason Mom's using the curriculum outline suggested in Karen Andreola's summer of 93 Parent's Review titled, "A Formidable List of Attainments for a Child of Six", and also trying to complete the Kindergarten Skills list as described in Catherine Levison's book, A Literary Education.
Homeschoolers Teaching Kindergarten
This discussion list is for homeschoolers teaching preschool and kindergarten. Topics include curriculum selection (whether necessary or not), teaching tips, creative learning ideas, time management, unit studies, homeschooling books, neat craft ideas, cooking tips for all occasions, support those who have homeschool burn out, or those who are just starting to homeschool.
CM4primaryyears
To discuss the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling elementary age children, and to share the joys and concerns of everyday life.
Field Trips 101
Field trips can inspire your child to study a topic, give him further insights into his current studies, or provide closure to a completed unit. Is there somewhere you’d like to take your children to reinforce a topic this year? Or just want to visit because it would enrich their lives? If you let your support group (or even just a few other families) know that you are planning to go and they are welcome to tag along (think: group rate)—voila! You’re planning a field trip!
Homeschooling Preschool Teaching Tips & Ideas
Simple Tips for Summer Math Learning
Summer reading clubs and story times can help with early literacy and reading, but it might seem daunting to figure out how to prepare a young child for math. Here’s the great news: you’re the right person for the job.
Should I Try a Curriculum for My Preschool Child?
This article explains why formal homeschooling is often not the best choice for your very young child. Avoid burnout by enjoying the process of learning and living.
Preschool Math--Counting by Tens/Odds and Evens
This youtube video demonstrates some great strategies to help preschoolers learn counting by tens and odd and even numbers.
Preschool With Mommy
Here you'll learn to create a simple, inexpensive, and fun home preschool for your children. You'll also find suggestions for books and toys to use in your home preschool. This site supports any type of home preschool, whether you're just supplementing your child's regular preschool, creating an educational home environment, or homeschooling completely.
Preschool Math: Exploring Patterns
Patterns are all around us, from the clothing we wear to the repeating patterns found in nature and everyday routine. Patterning is also a basic math skill upon which many mathematical concepts are based. Times tables, addition and skip counting all require an understanding of and proficiency in patterning. In preschool, identifying and creating patterns is just the beginning of the mastery of life-long mathematical skills.
Tips for Frazzled Homeschool Moms
Any homeschooling family with more than one child knows the challenge of keeping “Baby Kong” from tearing apart the house during school time. These tips help with how to deal with those unruly toddlers and make it through this difficult and often exhausting stage of homeschool life.
A Poetry Unit for Preschoolers
This free unit study for preschoolers features poems found in Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends as a text for 10 poetry lessons. Each lesson refers to a poem (so it helps a lot to have access to that book), includes an activity suggestion, and instructions for a writing project (mostly poems). You can use all the lessons, or just a couple.
Preschool Practice: Shapes and Colors
Learning shapes and colors may well be a young child’s first educational endeavor. Although recognizing objects as red or blue, round or square might seem like child’s play, it’s actually integral to a young child’s cognitive development, and sets the stage for math concepts from sorting and patterning to geometry, and beyond! What can you as a parent do to help your young learner master these academic milestones? You may not have to look beyond the backdrop of your life for the perfect learning tools. Try a few of these fun activities to help your child master colors and shapes.
Homeschooling Preschoolers
Learning at home begins at birth for children. The preschool years can be the most enjoyable time of year to homeschool—children are self-motivated, eager to learn, naturally inquisitive and curious about everything. In this article Teri Ann Berg Olsen gives some great ideas for creating a learning environment in your home, how to incorporate learning into play, and lists several games that can help your child learn while playing.
Kindergarten Math
Simple approaches to teaching math for preschoolers and kindergarteners in the home environment.
Why Preschool Shouldn't Be Like School
houldn't very young children be allowed to explore, inquire, play, and discover? Perhaps direct instruction can help children learn specific facts and skills, but what about curiosity and creativity—abilities that are even more important for learning in the long run? hile learning from a teacher may help children get to a specific answer more quickly, it also makes them less likely to discover new information about a problem and to create a new and unexpected solution.
Homeschooling Kindergarten Math
Teaching math to young learners at home can be successful if you respond to your child. Children learn best when they aren't forced to learn. Introduce them to ideas, books, educational television, and most importantly, show them how this stuff is used in everyday life. they will catch on and learn it at their own pace.
Teaching Young Children at Home
How do you teach young children? What do you do all day? How do you provide a "stimulating environment"? These questions are asked frequently by parents of young children who understand the immense magnitude of what it means to take responsibility for their child's education.
Early Math Matters: A Guide for Parents of Preschoolers
As the parent of a preschooler, you probably enjoy experiencing the world through your child’s eyes (and hands and feet!) as he or she explores and learns with great enthusiasm. And as your child’s first teacher, you can start teaching the basics of reading, writing, and math. Giving preschoolers a solid foundation in early math literacy is critical to their future academic success, not to mention how important it is to their day-to-day functioning.
Mathematics in Pre-K
Young preschool children are active learners, naturally curious and ready to engage in mathematical learning. They approach math with excitement and curiosity, if the practices are age-appropriate, engaging, and involve hands-on, minds-on learning approaches.
Design Your Own Preschool Curriculum
Teaching your preschooler at home can be accomplished several ways. There are three options: 1) Purchase a program from one of the preschool curriculum providers, 2) Read to your child from great books, and explore the world together paying attention to what interests your child or 3) Design your own curriculum for free using the internet and the library. Any one of the three options should work fine. But if you prefer a plan laid out in writing and you are on a tight budget, option three is the way to go.
Developmental Milestones for Preschool Mathematics
Children’s ability to understand mathematics takes a big leap forward in the preschool years. Their strengthening ability to represent using manipulatives, symbols, and signs opens up many new possibilities. Children also make strides in algebra and patterning. They can sequence events in time by age three. By age four, they can re-create patterns or make their own repeating pattern. During the preschool years, the child’s ability to problem solve takes on a new zeal. Children’s ability to classify objects is more developed; they can sort and organize objects into different categories and tell which pile has more. This chart details the skills that children can exhibit at different ages.
Preschool Math
There are many natural ways to teach preschool math. Everyday activities, like cooking and grocery shopping involve mathematical concepts.
Math for Preschoolers: More Than Just Counting
Preschool-age children are ready to explore more than one might think! Parents often focus on counting from one to ten, but there are many other skills that children are ready and able to investigate.
Field Trips 101
Field trips can inspire your child to study a topic, give him further insights into his current studies, or provide closure to a completed unit. Is there somewhere you’d like to take your children to reinforce a topic this year? Or just want to visit because it would enrich their lives? If you let your support group (or even just a few other families) know that you are planning to go and they are welcome to tag along (think: group rate)—voila! You’re planning a field trip!
Featured Resources

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Reading Made Easy
Reading Made Easy is a phonics-based program, featuring 108 easy lessons, designed to be taught in less than 30 minutes per day. It is fully scripted and has original Christian content and stories. Includes hands-on writing and drawing activities. Reading Made Easy can be purchased here.
The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home
This book will instruct you, step by step, on how to give your child an academically rigorous, comprehensive education from preschool through high school. Two veteran home educators outline the classical pattern of education—the trivium—which organizes learning around the maturing capacity of the child's mind: the elementary school "grammar stage," the middle school "logic stage," and the high school "rhetoric stage." Using the trivium as your model, you'll be able to instruct your child in all ...
So You're Thinking About Homeschooling: Fifteen Families Show How You Can Do It
Confused and intimidated by the complexities of homeschooling, many sincere parents never get past the "thinking about it" stage. Now Lisa Whelchel - herself a homeschooling mother of three - introduces fifteen real families and shows how they overcome the challenges of their unique homeschooling situations. This nuts-and-bolts approach deals with common questions of time management, teaching weaknesses, and outside responsibilities, as well as children's age variations, social and sports invol...
Conquering Chronic Disorganization
The real-life stories of chronically disorganized people and the ground breaking, easy-to-learn organizing methods used to end their chronic disorganization in the area of residential clutter, office organizing, paper management, storage, and time management. Conquerings pages includes an extensive index, user-friendly summaries, quick tips, helpful photographs, and a resource section of products and organizations.
National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of the United States, Fourth Edition
Now in its fourth edition, the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America is the ultimate birder’s field guide. Sturdy, portable, and easy-to-use, it features the most complete information available on every bird species known to North America. This revised edition features 250 completely updated range maps, new plumage and species classification information, specially commissioned full-color illustrations, and a superb new index that allows birders in the field to quickl...