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We decided to focus on homeschooling our boys because we travel frequently, and we really enjoy being a part of their learning and education. My four-year-old (in 2 weeks!!) has shown a great interest in learning to read, sound out letters and spelling. His mind is working so fast, and he’s really picking up on things. I have a 3-part technique that I am using to teach him letters, sounds and sound combinations. I’ve also added a new post, My Small-Space Learning Corner for Home Schooling.
It’s our little learning space, and I go over what I have and where. I also wrote about preschool curriculum, to help guide you on what to teach if you are doing preschool at home.
The first part is so simple, and it is working so well! LEAPFROG LEARNING DVD SET. It is worth every penny of the $9.99.
It also comes with flashcards that we work with sometimes, but not that often. Its the repetitive work of these DVDs that is like magic. I have the watch the series while we are in the car. We have an older, Toyota Minivan with the DVD player, so it works wonders! I play the same DVD for days, so I end up singing the songs as well. If you don’t have a DVD player at home or in your car, then I highly recommend this LeapFrog LeapStart Interactive Learning Center or this LeapFrog LeapReader. There is a reason LeapFrog is so popular, and its because it actually works and kids love it! The reason that I love the DVDs is because the kids just soak up the information. There’s no bulky activity sets or trinkets that can get broken. Just your basic story, characters and songs that work.
The cool thing about the DVD set, is the method they use to teach. They focus more on the phonetic method of learning to sound out words. I like this type for a basic understanding of how to create words and figure out words, rather than memorization. There are a few different options for teaching children to read. My First Bobs Books: Pre-Reading Skills is another popular tool that I am looking into adding in when we are done with our current books that also focuses on sounds and word creation.
Second, I Use The Reading Lesson: Teach Your Child To Read in 20 Easy Lessons .
The LeapFrog series goes through the basic sounds of “at” which corresponds directly with the reading book I ordered from Amazon called, The Reading Lesson: Teach Your Child To Read in 20 Easy Lessons. One of the first sound combinations we are working with is “at.” This is actually a workbook we go through and follow the directions to match letters to sounds, connect words and sound things out. Following directions and focusing on connections is a big part of these lessons, which is why I really like this book. It corresponds perfectly with our Leap Frog videos in the car!
The third part to my teaching is The Kindergarten Toolkit.
I found them online via Instagram, and I got in touch with Carrie the owner. She sent the toolkit for a review, and I loved it! The sight words have been super fun, and the kit itself if very minimal, with the basics and not a lot of clutter. The curriculum gives you a full plan to make sure your little one is ready for Kindergarten. You can get more details in this post.
Lastly, I started reading my boys The Boxcar Kids. Its a simple enough story, that they can understand what’s going on, and they practice using their minds to create the images. This is really important for little ones. They strengthen their brain by listening and developing the story with their imagination, rather than having the pictures there for them. This help sets them up for reading on their own. The will be in the practice of reading words on a page, but picturing the story in their minds. Its a special, and often looked over skill that we want them to have. Even with picture books, the characters are drawn for them. I want them to be able to listen to descriptor words and actually envision the image. These stories are mysteries too, with four kids in a range of ages, so it really is fun and interesting to read before nap time and bed time. Now, my boys want to pretend to be the boxcar kids and solve mysteries like they do.