I talked about this a little before but I’m seriously jealous of women who have the gift of patience to homeschool their children. I’m sure it’s something I could do if I committed myself, but it is surely not something I’m naturally inclined to! Still, I do what I can. Grace attends Pre-school full-time during the week but for after school or those times when we travel, I have found that being prepared is key! I don’t have lesson plans or anything remotely organized, but I do always have items that allow her to play and learn. These are some of our faves:
- Crayons: Basic I know, but Grace livvvvvves for a picture. I mean this girl literally loves to draw, and it’s something we’ve been doing since she was itty bitty. Her pictures seriously convey what she’s thinking and looking forward to so I encourage coloring whenever possible. I usually don’t even have to ask her—she just gets them out for herself!
- Leap Frog Videos: An old friend put me on to these and I love them! I don’t force her to sit down and watch them, but if she’s drawing, eating breakfast, playing, etc. I’ll have it playing quietly on the TV in the background. The “Letter Factory” and “Counting Lemonade (pictured above)” are my favorites! They don’t make concepts super complicated and I find Grace randomly singing the letter and number songs from the videos all the time.
- Scholastic Alphatales Letter Books: Me and Grace LOVE these. The set comes with 26 books—one for every letter and the stories are short and silly while emphasizing the sounds of the letter in every sentence. Each book also comes with suggestions of how to use the story in lessons for the day. I like to read one imaginative book and one of these before bed. If we’re going to be traveling for a week or two, I pack five or six of these to include in impromptu lessons wherever we are.
- Melissa & Doug Puzzles: It feels like we have every puzzle they’ve ever made but it’s seriously the simplest way to play and learn. When I find her getting bored with them we make it a competition of who can complete them fastest or concentrate on the color of the numbers for example. I’ve also had my parents purchase these for their homes for easy play when she’s there!
- Play-Doh: Cult classic and self-explanatory. Grace is a creative who loves using her imagination so anytime she gets to make something, she’s going to be 10x more engaged. We literally have tubs of play-doh everywhere because you can use it to talk about ANYthing! We also have the number and letter cut outs which makes creating sight words and basic counting more engaging.
I’m seriously NOT an expert by any means but these are some of the very very basic items we keep around and use pretty much everyday! For anyone wondering, I purchased all of these things on Amazon! 🙂