Lately I have been on the hunt of resources that are free or inexpensive to teach my little guys all the basic concepts that they will need to know between now and kindergarten. Although they are not quite ready to start using these resources (S can only handle some of the tot ones at this point) I have been scouring the internet, dollar stores, and clearance racks to build myself a library of resources.
Are you a mom (or dad) who is interested in homeschooling your tot or preschooler?
Want to give your pre-k child a bit of a jump on their schooling?
Then these links will be perfect for you!
First, let me recommend that you invest in an inexpensive home laminator. My laminator has been a wonderful resource and I use it all the time for a variety of different projects.
I got mine at Target about 4 years ago, but they no longer sell my exact model. Here is a similar one that I have heard is just as great.
You can get the laminating pouches online, at stores like Target, or even in bulk at Sam’s.
The laminator will end up saving you a bunch of money. With it you can laminate puzzles that you will want to use over and over again, cheap flash cards that you get at the dollar store (I have some adorable Disney character cards that teach the kids shapes, numbers, etc. but are super thin), and it also works to create a dry erase surface! (You can use either regular dry erase markers on the laminate or the wet erase markers that are made for overhead projectors.) The laminator is also great for creating photo projects that are child friendly.
Second, print the packets out on cardstock. Don’t buy a fancy kind of cardstock. Just get a generic printable cardstock from Target, Walmart, etc. that comes in a large package. If you are laminating the page it is possible to print on regular paper but I find that the cardstock holds up better to the laminating process and creates a nicer finished product.
Third, you will need either a printer or someplace to send your packets for color printing. It is totally up to you on whether it is worth buying the ink to print at home or spending the money on letting someone else print it for you. Many companies (such as the FedEx Office, and Staples) allow you to submit your stuff to be printed via the internet. I found this to be a wonderful resource when I was printing a large volume of information at once. Just be sure that you have the rights to print or the copy place will not print it for you.
Another very useful tool is a papercutter. This will shorten your time spent cutting and will create nice straight lines. There are cheap ones that can be picked up at just about any big box discount or craft store. Here is just one example.
And now for some links!
1. Our Little Monkeys is an awesome site! Mama to 3 little “monkeys” she has made up several great preschool packs and offered them for free or super cheap. You do have to sign up for a free membership with Teacher’s Notebook to download the packets, but this is okay because there are a lot of wonderful resources that can be found on the site from other talented mom’s and teacher’s.
2. Over the Big Moon is run by two creative mom’s who work together to create wonderful pre-k packets that are free of charge.
3. My third resource is actually several blogs/websites that are all linked together. This amazing mom has not only provided great resources but she has also linked with other moms to share their resources and ideas. If you have a tot, there is a whole section just on getting started on educating them. There are so many great and inexpensive ideas to get even the youngest ones doing hands on activities!
(Make sure you have plenty of time before checking out this page! If you are anything like me you will spend hours searching through all the amazing ideas.)
4. 2 Teaching Mommies is another wonderful blog that is filled with ideas and printables. What I love about this blog is that there are Bible verses and devotions that coordinate with the packets. If you don’t want the Bible verses or devotions, then it is easy to simply leave them out. But for those who want to include Bible teaching in their lessons, this makes it a snap!
5. The adorable “Teeny Tot” is featured in all of the tot ideas on Confessions of a…Homeschooler blog. She is an adorable little one who is kept busy learning and playing while her big siblings are doing their own schoolwork. This blog is great if you are homeschooling a variety of different ages. Not only does she provide resources for teaching your “teeny tot” but she also has ideas for teaching older children up through 4th grade.
6. The last blog I am going to share with you tonight I recently found. I’ll admit that I have not completely explored her website. But I have looked through several of her printables and I love them! They are simple but filled with cute clip arts and wonderful activities.
3 Dinosaurs was formed to help a mom supplement the learning her three little girls were getting in public school. She has a 2 year old, 4 year old, and 6 year old who needs extra help with learning. She has packets that are set up to accommodate all three girls and their learning levels. I love the fact that she has made it work for her kids’ needs in such a simple and functional way! Plus, her logo of the little feet is just too cute!
Be sure to check out my pinterest boards for more links to get websites and ideas!
Hope these resources will be as much of a blessing to you as they have been to me!
(As always please make sure that you are aware of what the blog writer believes before teaching religious concepts to your children. While it is possible to get great resources from mom’s of other beliefs, remember that we all have different backgrounds. Please be discerning when making choices for your family.)