Early Learning
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.
Links and Items
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Homeschooling Preschool Teaching Tips & Ideas
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.
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.
Board, Card and Dice Games for Learning Math, Logic and Strategy
This list is a great start to incorporating fun activities and games into your homeschool math curriculum.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Kindergarten Math
Simple approaches to teaching math for preschoolers and kindergarteners in the home environment.
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.
Pre K Teaching Strategies and Early Childhood Education
Young children are unique creatures who love nothing more than to experience everything from tactile, hands-on items to feeling the wind in their faces as they jump off a wall. They are all about hiding under blankets to see what happens if they walk through the house like a ghost or playing safari and taking pictures with their imaginary camera.
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.
Early Learning Games and Activities
Number Chants and Counting Songs: Teaching Early Mathematics Skills, Shapes, Money and Telling Time
A selection of songs and lyrics from a variety of different albums teaching how to count, recognize shapes, use the concept of zero, use units of measurement and money.
Preschool Math: Teaching Numbers Greater than 10
How to make a homemade version of the Montessori seguin board, a board with lots of 10s in a column.
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.
Math Songs
These cute math songs help young children learn about addition, money, time, and skip counting.
Handprint Measuring and Number Lines
A simple activity to teach measuring and number lines. Easy to put together and understand.
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.
Online Games for Learning Math, Logic and Strategy
A list of games that make learning math concepts fun and easy.
5 Simple Games for Teaching Number Recognition
These number recognition games are simple, don't require any fancy materials, and preschoolers love to play them.
Math With Legos: Preschool Roll and Count
Use 1 x 1 Lego bricks and a 12-sided math die to encourage counting and learning.
Early Maths with The 3 Bears: Fun Counting and Grouping Activity
This activity helps children to model basic numbers and use counting and grouping strategies to demonstrate and verbalise relationships between basic numbers--in this case, the numbers 1-3. Using the well loved and well known tale of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears will help engage your child and also give them a greater understanding, meaning and depth.
Board, Card and Dice Games for Learning Math, Logic and Strategy
This list is a great start to incorporating fun activities and games into your homeschool math curriculum.
Preschool Math Activities with Duplo Legos
Counting and learning about patterns is fun with Duplo blocks. These easy activities can be put together in no time at home.
Homeschool Preschool Curricula
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.
Math on the Level
Math on the Level is a flexible, maturation-based, homeschool math curriculum with a very effective review system. It's unique approach is designed to turn your home environment into a rich, real-life learning experience and make math education meaningful and fun for your whole family.
  • Teach when it is easy for your child to learn
  • Use everyday activities to make math real
  • Review for long term retention without busywork
One curriculum purchase covers your math needs for the whole family from pre-K through pre-algebra.
Life of Fred
This set of books is unlike any other textbooks. Each text is written in the style of a novel with a humorous story line. Each section tells part of the life of Fred Gauss and how, in the course of his life, he encounters the need for the math and then learns the methods. Tons of solved examples. Each hardcover textbook contains ALL of the material – more than most instructors cover in traditional classroom settings. Includes tons of proofs. Written by Dr. Stanley Schmidt with the intent to make math come alive with lots of humour, clear explanations, and silly illustrations that stick in the mind. The student will learn to think mathematically. Completion of this series prepares student for third year college math.
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.
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.
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.
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."
ABC Mouse Homeschool Early Learning Academy
The ABCmouse.com Homeschool Early Learning Academy offers these features:
  • More than 5,000 learning activities in Reading, Math, Beginning Science, Social Studies, Art, and Music
  • A full online preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten curriculum
  • A Step-by-Step Learning Path that guides your child through the curriculum at his or her own pace
  • Our powerful Lesson Builder tool that allows you to create your own lessons for your child

ABCmouse.com’s curriculum focuses on the important educational basics, helping children establish a foundation of knowledge that they can build upon with confidence and success. Because ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy offers a curriculum carefully designed in collaboration with nationally recognized childhood education experts, you can be sure that, while homeschooling, your child will be learning all of the important basics.

ABCMouse.com offers a First Month Free Subscription Offer.
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.
Preschool Worksheets and Printables
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 Preschool Worksheets
Free printable preschool worksheets for learning to write the alphabet, numbers and bible memory verses, plus free printable colouring pages and more!
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.
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.
Making Learning Fun
This early childhood education website is filled with free printables designed to make learning fun.
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 Math Ideas
Fun and free printables that are great for preschoolers. These activities make learning fun!
Support for Parents of Preschoolers
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.
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.
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!
Things to See & Do in Illinois
Miller Park Zoo
Bloomington's Miller Park Zoo features a walk through Wallaby exhibit, the new ZooLab exploration center, which includes an indoor butterfly and birds exhibit (butterflies from April-October), sun bears, snow leopards, red wolves, Sumatran tiger, a Children's Zoo, and a rain forest exhibit.
John G. Shedd Aquarium
The John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is the world's largest indoor aquarium. The facility houses nearly 8,000 aquatic animals representing some 650 species of fish, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, birds and mammals from waters around the world. Beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, Shedd Aquarium attracts nearly 2 million visitors a year.
Chicago Children's Museum
Chicago Children’s Museum is a place where families and caregivers with infants and children are encouraged to create, explore, and discover together through play. The museum features three vibrant floors of exhibits and activities that provide sensory experiences and engaging educational content focusing on literacy, science, math, visual and performing arts, and health. Some of CCM's most popular exhibits include: Dinosaur Expedition, where kids can dig for dinosaur bones in an authentic excavation pit; WaterWays, an interactive system of pulleys, pumps, and pipes showcasing the wonders of water; Kids Town, an early-learning exhibit featuring a real CTA bus, mini-grocery store and kid-sized cityscape; daily free family art workshops in the Kraft Artabounds Studio; Pritzker Playspace, an area designed specifically for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and their parents; Play It Safe, a realistic firehouse and fire truck that invites families to learn about fire safety through play; and Skyline, a National Science Foundation-funded exhibit that explores the science, engineering, art, and technology that keep Chicago's tallest buildings standing.
Chicago Area Homeschool Field Trips
A group of homeschooling parents dedicated to providing local field trips and group classes in the Chicago Metropolitan Area by taking advantage of discounts and special privileges given to groups versus individuals. Parents volunteer to organize events geared towards the age, interest and benefit of their students. Each event or part of it is usually aimed at a specific age or grade range. Any member may organize trips, and post events sponsored by other groups.
Henson Robinson Zoo
The Henson Robinson Zoo is located in Springfield. More than 300 animals from Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America find refuge at the zoo. Come and view the naturalistic exhibits that house more than 90 species of native and exotic animals. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the lagoons and watch mischievous spider monkeys at play on monkey island. Delight at the river otters. Marvel at the grace of the cheetahs and the deceivingly cuddly appearance of the Asiatic black bear. Then take a walk on the wild side with cougars, gibbons, lemurs, and more.
Scovill Zoo
From cheetahs to spider monkeys, giant toads to pygmy goats, you can journey around the world at Scovill Zoo. See animals on the verge of extinction as you take a spin on the Endangered Species Carousel, journey through the zoo on the Z.O. & O. Express train, feed the goats in the petting area, and search for the glass lizard in the herpaquarium. Located in Decatur.
Cosley Zoo
Located in Wheaton, the Cosley Zoo is situated on five acres and exhibits domestic farm animals and native Illinois wildlife. You can enjoy sitting by the picturesque duck pond, get close to a 2,000 pound horse, and if you're lucky, hear the coyotes howl. The 1887 railroad station, antique caboose, and a 125-year-old barn provide visitors with a piece of local history.
Brookfield Zoo
Brookfield Zoo is home to animals representing more than 400 species. This magnificent collection inhabits nearly 20 naturalistic exhibits within the zoo's 216 acres.
Lincoln Park Zoo
The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is one of the nation's oldest zoo and one of the last free zoos in the country. More than 1,000 animals make their home here. Rare and exotic species, as well as more familiar animals, are exhibited in environments that reflect their habitats in the wild.
Glen Oak Zoo
The Glen Oak Zoo is an AZA accredited facility located in Peoria, Illinois, and is home to more than 175 animals from around the world.
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Featured Resources

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Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home
This book is not about "school at home"--it is about something better. It is about Real Learning. Homeschooling pioneer Charlotte Mason wrote with great wisdom about providing young minds with a living books education. She urged teachers to present great ideas and stand back, allowing students to form relationships with the ideas. Elizabeth Foss carries Miss Mason's philosophy from the idealto the real. How does the busy home-educating mom balance the various needs of a houseful of children? How...
Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum: A Guide to Catholic Home Education
In this book, Laura Berquist offers a curriculum based on the philosophy of the classical Trivium: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. This valuable tools helps home educators craft a liberal arts curriculum that is good for both the soul and the intellect. The material in the book covers grades K-12 and has detailed and practical advice. There is also a section for a high school curriculum and a list of resources. 
The Homeschooling Revolution
A readable, scholarly overview of the modern day homeschooling movement. Includes vignettes from homeschooling families, war stories, research information, media reaction, footnotes, and statistics.
Children at Play : Using Waldorf Principles to Foster Childhood Development
Children at Play is an insightful exploration into the world of children's play and its tremendous significance in the shaping of each child's humanity. A mother and proponent of Rudolf Steiner's Waldorf system of education, author Heidi Britz-Crecelius offers practical suggestions and an up-to-date list of resources for today's families.
Why We Homeschool
It is a common misconception that most parents homeschool due to bullies, school shootings, or bad teaching content. While these things are important, there is a higher purpose for choosing to home education your children. Even if all those things were corrected, there are stronger reasons to stay committed to the homeschool model. So why do you homeschool? This book looks at the meaning and significance of a true Christian education.