Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Starting Our Homeschool Collection

Since we officially decided to homeschool our daughter for at least Kindergarten, we decided to start getting things really organized so she can study and learn whenever she wants now so we are in a good place once we "officially" start to homeschool next Fall.

We are going to be using a mixture of homeschooling and unschooling practices to keep us all sane, while helping her learn and have fun.  We've already had a few doses of what happens when we push her beyond what she wants to do, and I do not want a repeat of the complete shutdown that ensues (which is just another reason we are keeping her home).

I found so many different preschool and kindergarten printables on Pinterest, but leading back to their main sites was amazing (which I will link to at the bottom of the post).  So many free pages to print off so we can do activities and learning at home without buying expensive books that she can only work on once.  I went and bought a $30 laminator at Walmart, with 50 laminating pouches, so all told I spent $45 on that, not including paper and ink to print the pages off.  I also bought her her own binder, so I could organize it all, tab dividers, wet erase markers (so they wouldn't rub off while she was writing or drawing) and some ring clips to organize the games I was able to find and print off.  I think I ended up spending about $60 on everything, but the laminator was the most expensive and an item I won't be buying again.

It took about two hours to print, cut, laminate, and get everything ready for her to use, but she helped me with the entire process, which I think made her even more excited to use it all.  I keep finding more things to add to it all, but I knew that was how it would be, and another reason I am so glad I bought the laminator.

For four hours the first day, my daughter did nothing but the pages I had made for her.  The next day she spent another four hours.  That night we did have our first meltdown when we did push her to play just one more time when she didn't want to, but even then, she was happy through the rejection.  Today, she took a break from it all, and I know she just needed a break, but she brought the stuff out multiple times and then became distracted.

(Sorry about the quality of the pictures, my camera is missing and I used my cell phone)

Letter Matching - Match the capitol letter with its corresponding lowercase letter

Lowercase and Uppercase tracing pages


Letter Matching Game - Match the animal to the letter it starts with

Mazes and drawing pages

Number and Shape matching game. There are even backs to print off so you can't see through the pages

Number Book - Find the numbers, and write on each page

Number Tracing Pages with counting ladybugs

Each of the links above have more pages to print at each site.  These are just the basic ones I printed off as a trial, but please feel free to click through the sites and find whatever you need.  There are thousands to print off, and they are all free.

Do you use any tools (ie: books, toys, printables) for homeschooling?  If so, what are they?


Tadleigh said... [Reply to comment]

Not a homeschooling thing (cuz I'm not even a parent yet), but for my kids in daycare (ages 2 through 5) I made my own bingo cards out of a cardboard box and clear tape. I used just shapes, but you can use whatever your focusing on that week or month. And if you only have one kid, make it a memory game instead. :)

Momma in Progress said... [Reply to comment]

Very cute, and you are about a bazillion times more organized than I am. This is our first year homeschooling, and we have not spent any money yet. (Specifically on "school" that is . . . I mean, if we run out of crayons or construction paper or paint, yes we buy more, and we are using it for school, but that kind of stuff we would have purchased anyway. And I had a ton of printer paper left over from when I used to work at home, so no need there.) I have discovered some amazing (free) sites to print all sorts of "lessons" from . . . between that and weekly library visits we are pretty much set. I do like the idea of a laminator, though . . . maybe next year. I'm going to check out some of your links now!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

thank you thank you for saving me some footwork :)

Tara said... [Reply to comment]

Absolutely get The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas! It's by Linda Dobson and is full of things to do with kids! It's a great resource for all ages and all parents (homeschooling, unschooling, or living some place with very long winters) simply because the activities are hands on. You can do so much with games & puzzles (shut the box, dominoes, etc). I like Greg Nelson's Math at their own pace. He has Montessori inspired hands on ideas for kids learning problem solving etc. I also love John Holt's Learning All The Time. I think he's pretty dead on and he has some great ideas about educating kids as well as some ideas for presenting information. I agree with him and Maria Montessori that kids learn by doing, in action and through movement. Also, at this age, it's really just about kids having fun learning, so they have a good experience, and on their own develop enough love of the process. We invested in alphabet cookie cutters and yesterday made gingerbread initials for all family members, but you could also do short words as your daughter learns to read. Really, the possibilities are endless! I'm excited for you! Thanks for sharing and keep us posted about other things you find. I too am amazed by your organization!

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