Early Learning & Preschool
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.
Homeschool Preschool Curriculum
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Things to See & Do in Minnesota with Preschoolers
Minnesota Zoological Garden
Located in Apple Valley, the Minnesota Zoo is situated on 500 acres in Dakota County. The collection currently stands at about 2,300 animals, with 105 animals representing 15 species on the United States Endangered Species Act list.
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
Located in St. Paul, the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory features animal exhibits, educational programs, and special exhibits.
Lake Superior Zoological Gardens
The Lake Superior Zoo is located in the beautiful lakeside city of Duluth. Features the two-story Diana Monkey exhibit, Australian Collection, Northern Territory, Polar Shores and the Primate Conservation Center.
Minnesota Children's Museum
Minnesota Children’s Museum is dedicated to providing children with a fun, hands-on and stimulating environment to explore and discover. The Museum helps to instill a lifelong love of learning by nurturing the real-world skills children need to become engaged citizens in the future.
Links and Items
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.
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.
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.
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.
Preschool/Early Learning Games and Activities
Play to Learn - Numbers and Counting
Here are some helpful activities to learn number recognition, counting and writing for your preschooler.
JumpStart Math Activities
When it comes to math, a good foundation is essential. With these fun math activities for kids, numbers become friends and the basic foundation for the subject is established at an early age. Different math activities for kids of different age groups can be effective in teaching them basic but essential math concepts. Here are some interesting grade-based math activities that parents and teachers can use to make math a whole lot of fun!
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.
Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics
This booklet is made up of fun activities that parents can use with children from preschool age through grade 5 to strengthen their math skills and build strong positive attitudes toward math.
Counting Tubes
The fun and colorful tubes are a great way to practice 1:1 correspondence, counting, and numbers.
Preschool Math Idea
The best way for preschoolers to learn math is through lots of fun and creative games that let them explore and discover new concepts about the world of numbers.
Preschool Math Games
Preschool math games let kids have fun while getting practice with early math concepts like number recognition and identifying shapes. This online learning program, Brainzy, includes math games for preschoolers that work!
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!
Preschool Worksheets and Printables
Making Learning Fun
This early childhood education website is filled with free printables designed to make learning fun.
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!
Support for Parents of Preschoolers
Early Childhood Homeschooling Opportunities in Minnesota (ECHO-MN)
Email group for Early Childhood Homeschooling Opportunities in Minnesota (ECHO-MN), an inclusive homeschool organization designed for families with young children who wish to learn more about homeschooling as an alternative form of education.
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.
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.
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!
Homeschooling Preschool Teaching Tips & Ideas
Preschool Practice: Shapes and Colors
Learning shapes and colors may well be a young child’s first educational endeavor. Although recognizing objects as red or blue, round or square might seem like child’s play, it’s actually integral to a young child’s cognitive development, and sets the stage for math concepts from sorting and patterning to geometry, and beyond! What can you as a parent do to help your young learner master these academic milestones? You may not have to look beyond the backdrop of your life for the perfect learning tools. Try a few of these fun activities to help your child master colors and shapes.
Kindergarten Math
Simple approaches to teaching math for preschoolers and kindergarteners in the home environment.
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.
A Poetry Unit for Preschoolers
This free unit study for preschoolers features poems found in Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends as a text for 10 poetry lessons. Each lesson refers to a poem (so it helps a lot to have access to that book), includes an activity suggestion, and instructions for a writing project (mostly poems). You can use all the lessons, or just a couple.
Homeschooling Preschoolers
Learning at home begins at birth for children. The preschool years can be the most enjoyable time of year to homeschool—children are self-motivated, eager to learn, naturally inquisitive and curious about everything. In this article Teri Ann Berg Olsen gives some great ideas for creating a learning environment in your home, how to incorporate learning into play, and lists several games that can help your child learn while playing.
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.
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!
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Featured Resources

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H. A. Guerber's Histories
Helene A. Guerber wrote histories for grammar school children in the 19th century. Published in 1896 by the American Book Company, ‘Guerber’s Historical Readers in the Eclectic Readings Series’ were used to introduce children to the histories of the ancient and classical world. These engaging narratives are richly detailed accounts of the lives and times of the most important people of the period, arranged chronologically. The people are placed within the context of their times, and their histor...
LeapPad Game - Mind Wars Jr. Interactive Game
Bring a friend and try this brand new way to play with your LeapPad! Race around the board in this fast-paced, wonderfully wacky game. Be the first to close all five windows and you will become the Mind Wars master and learn important 1st and 2nd grade skills in math, language arts, life science, physical science, and social studies!
Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)
In this brilliant, lively, and eye-opening investigation, Tom Vanderbilt examines the perceptual limits and cognitive underpinnings that make us worse drivers than we think we are. He demonstrates why plans to protect pedestrians from cars often lead to more accidents. He uncovers who is more likely to honk at whom, and why. He explains why traffic jams form, outlines the unintended consequences of our quest for safety, and even identifies the most common mistake drivers make in parking lots. Tr...
Real Lives: Eleven Teenagers Who Don't Go to School
Grace Llewellyn, author of the The Teenage Liberation Handbook, offers the stories of 11 teens who made the decision to reject traditional schooling methodologies and take their education into their own hands. The essays highlight offer a day-in-the-life look at teen homeschooling and unschooling, as the teens embraced self-education and increased in their self-confidence and motivation. 
Catholic Home Schooling: A Handbook for Parents
Mary Kay Clark, the director of the accredited and successful Seton Home Study School shows parents why and how to teach their children at home, giving scores of practical examples and setting forth the spiritual, moral and academic advantages. The book includes chapters by several experts and covers Catholic curriculum, textbooks, Catholic family life, legal aspects, discipline, socialization, home management, using computers, children with learning disabilities, single-parent home schooling, t...