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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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Letter I Free Printable Minibook Alphabet Series

I made this set of free printable minibooks for my preschool daughter getting ready to read! Each minibook focuses on a letter of the alphabet and I am sharing them here! Today's book is the Letter I!


Each book is full of about nine coloring-book style pictures that start with the featured letter. You just print them off, cut out the pages, and staple them together! Or, even better, let your preschooler or kindergarten kiddo cut out the pages! They get to practice writing their name on the front page, trace the letter on the front page, and see the letter again on each page in the minibook!

You can also print two sets, paste them on construction paper, cut them out, and play memory or matching games. It just reinforces the sounds that I can make as you remind your children that all the words in this book start with I. My preschoolers LOVE "reading" their books after they color them! You could also hang the pictures up!

If your child isn't ready to focus on letters and the sounds they make, you can still print the little books off and just use them as coloring books! 


I will be sharing about one a week, so if you follow along you can get them all free! You can click HERE to see the whole collection! And if you don't want to wait for them to come out weekly, you're welcome to click HERE for instructions on buying the whole set at once.




Happy Educating,
Carla


Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!



I may share at any of these parties!




Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!





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Thursday, September 6, 2018

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Preschool Homeschool Curriculum

Are you looking for a preschool homeschool curriculum?  I have a degree in education, and I still think choosing just one is scary! I have traveled this journey more than nine times now, and I'm excited to share what I've learned...as well as a MASSIVE collection of preschool homeschool curricula to choose from!



When my oldest child was 2 we started doing "School Time" with our daycare friends. School Time was usually a picture book coupled with an activity I made up that correlated with the book. This was before blogging was popular, so I couldn't do a quick search to find dozens of activities to choose from! As the years have gone by, I still love doing School Time this way, and I now have a big collections of Science Activities That Go With Books and Crafts/Art Activities That Go With Books! I also have a lot of math and sensory activities, but I haven't gathered them up in one spot on the blog yet!

But, as the years have gone by, I've discovered that I prefer to group book-based activities into themes. Kids learn better when material is linked (click here to learn how preschoolers' brains work and how they learn), and you can teach themes that your kids are particularly interested in.  I became a huge advocate for child-led learning.  I started publishing hundreds of themed activities for preschoolers here as we worked on them. You can find these Preschool Themes here, as well as 52 Preschool Theme Ideas here.  By this point I was starting to get lots of questions from people wanting to know how to set up a preschool homeschool curriculum...and many just wanting one that was pre-made.

I decided to publish a preschool homeschool curriculum. I organized it into weekly themes and based the activities on books. I called it HEEP for Hands-on Energetic Easy Preschool. It incorporates play-based, hands-on learning with books and themes. And, you can skip around to whatever themes your kids are interested in so it is still child-led learning. HEEP has now been used in homeschools, daycares, homeschool co-ops, and even as a supplement in larger preschools.   You can learn more about HEEP here.

I still think that a child-led delight-based preschool curriculum is best for homeschoolers (and anyone else who can get away with it!), but I realize that it is not always possible. So, I am making this list of preschool homeschool curricula. There are TONS of curricula to choose from! I'm starting with some at the top that I have experience with (we've tried quite a few, lol!), but I'm going to include as many as possible after that.

I'm organizing this list into the following three categories:

1- Preschool Homeschool Curriculum I've personally seen and/or worked with
2- Free Homeschool Preschool Curriculum and
3- More Preschool Homeschool Curriculum Options! (Feel free to send me a note if you have a preschool homeschool curriculum you'd like me to add!)

I hope this helps your planning! You're always welcome to leave a comment or send me a note if you have any questions or comments!

Soooooo...here's the big list!

Preschool Homeschool Curriculum

Homeschool PreK Curriculum I've Worked With

1- HEEP: The Hands-on Energetic Easy Preschool Curriculum that I designed. Organized by themes, based on books, centered in fun, easy, playful learning!

2- Leap Frog Academy: An online, subscription based preschool curriculum for ages 3-6. I love this program and am happy to recommend it! You can read my review here.

3- Mother Goose Time: A research-based early learning curriculum program that arrives in a subscription box with a monthly themed curriculum with optional toddler packets. They send you a monthly box with all the supplies and curriculum outlined that you need. This is also a wonderful program that I am happy to recommend! It has enough activity suggestions for a full-day preschool, so you may want to choose just a few activities each day to focus on. You can read my review here.

4- ABC Mouse.com: An online, subscription-based early learning academy for 2-8 year olds. I also think this is a great program, and am happy to recommend it.

5- God's Little Explorers: This is a 28-week preschool homeschool curriculum written by a former teacher-turned homeschooling mom. It is organized based on Bible stories, moving from Genesis through Revelation over the course of the school year. It is well organized, but has room for lots of flexibility. We used it for a co-op one year. There was a lot of material we skipped and some material we added, but it provided a very useful framework for our group. We purchased the co-op option (the price is very reasonable), but she also has a free version available on her website.

Free Homeschool PreK Curriculum

1- 20+ Preschool Themes: This is my online collection of preschool themes. You can build your homeschool preschool curriculum using them--most contain 1-2 weeks worth of activities. 

2- Reading the Alphabet: A FREE 31-week preschool reading curriculum from This Reading Mama. Also includes some numbers and patterns.

3- Zoomin Movin Alphabet: Free alphabet packs for each letter (or buy them all at once) from Royal Baloo.

4- Encompass: A 26-week homeschool preschool curriculum from Cornerstone Confessions. You can get each week free or buy them all at once.

5- Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool Preschool: This free curriculum has two preschool levels, as well as all other grade levels.

6- Letter of the Week: A free preschool curriculum from Brightly Beaming Resources. Has several preschool and elementary levels.

7- Themed Preschool: 22 themed lesson plans that each last a couple weeks. You can access each theme for free or buy them all (a years worth) bundled together. Themes are appropriate for preschool and kindergarten.

8- ABC Jesus Loves Me: Full year curricula for kids 1-6 years old available online with other options to purchase.

9- Joyful Heart Bible & Rhyme: A curriculum organized by Bible stories, unique because of the rhymes and songs it integrates. Available in weekly lesson posts.

10- Themed Packs for Pre-K and Kindergarten: 20+ themed paper-based activity packs from This Reading Mama. If your kiddo enjoys writing and cutting, this would be a great way to organize your curriculum!


More Preschool Homeschool Curriculum (to purchase)

1- Letter of the Week: A homeschool preschool curriculum organized by letters at Confessions of a Homeschooler.

2- Learning Box Preschool: A monthly prescription curriculum box that arrives in the mail.

3- Apples to Zebras: a comprehensive preschool curriculum designed to be taught in 3 days/week by Annette Breedlove at In All You Do.

4- Phonics With Penmanship: a full-year preschool curriculum that prepares children to read from Year Round Homeschooling.




Have you used a preschool homeschool curriculum that I mentioned? Do you have a favorite? I'd love to hear from you! Send me an email or leave a comment! And if you have written a preschool curriculum that you would like me to include, send me a note about that too!



Happy Educating,
Carla


Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!



I may share at any of these parties!



Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!



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Sparkly Earth Science Experiment

I created this science experiment to teach about the planet Earth in a space theme, but it also works great for exploring water, chemistry, and much more!


More than 2/3 of the planet Earth is covered in water, so it made sense to learn a little bit about water as we "landed" on Earth during our most recent Solar System / Space Unit Study.

One of water's really critical characteristics is its strong surface tension, created by charges on water molecules.

Here's how we introduced the topic to our preschoolers:

Preschool Science Experiment

Water on Planet Earth

Supplies: * bowl or cup half full of water
* glitter
* dish soap

1- Tell your preschoolers that water is all over the Earth, and talk about places to find it, like the ocean, lakes, frozen ice, and...your cup!

2- Tell your preschoolers that water tends to stick to itself and create a strong bond (as I say this I interlock my fingers to show my hands sticking to themselves and creating a strong bond). This strong, sticky layer across the top of water (point to the top of your bowl) is called surface tension. It is strong enough that some insects and lizards can even crawl across it! It is also strong enough to hold glitter!

3- Let one of your kiddos sprinkle a pinch of glitter across the top of the water. Watch it move and talk about how it sits on the water.

4- Squirt a tiny bit of dish soap onto the table. Let one of your preschoolers dip his finger in it and stick his finger into the middle of the glitter! Watch the glitter cruise away!


Wow!!! Your kids will all want to try this!! Rinse the bowl out and let them all do it a few times!

What's going on?!!

The science behind what's going on is fantastic, and can be used to teach a lot of lessons, from preschool up through high school chemistry! (Click here to see how I taught this same lesson to a group of homeschoolers with kids from preK - 6th grade!)

For my preschoolers, I simply explain that the dish soap breaks the surface tension, and the water rushes away from the soap (with the glitter on top). For a more detailed explanation of why, click on over to my lesson for older kids.  ;)  

After my preschoolers finished, I went on with my more detailed lesson with the older kids (link above). 

Your preschoolers may want to experiment more...you can let them try other liquids or soaps to see what will "break" the surface tension the best, or even other small objects instead of glitter (we used to use pepper when I taught high school, but I don't like putting pepper around really little kids!).

I'd love to know if you try it! Feel free to shoot me an email, leave a comment, tag me on Instagram (Preschool_Powol_Packets) or stop over at Preschool Powol Packets on Facebook to say Hi!


Happy Educating,
Carla


Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!



I may share at any of these parties!




Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!




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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

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Letter H Free Printable Minibook Alphabet Series

Hot dogs, hippos, and more! Today is the Letter H in the free printable minibook series! Each minibook focuses on a letter of the alphabet and since I know a lot of preschoolers work on letters, I am sharing them here! Today's book is the Letter H!


Each book is full of about nine coloring-book style pictures that start with the featured letter. You just print them off, cut out the pages, and staple them together! Or, even better, let your preschooler or kindergarten kiddo cut out the pages! 

They get to practice writing their name on the front page, trace the letter on the front page, and see the letter again on each page in the minibook!

If you want to play with the pages more, you could print two sets, paste them on construction paper, cut them out, and play memory or matching games. It just reinforces the sounds that H can make as you remind your children that all the words in this book start with H. 

My preschoolers LOVE "reading" their books after they color them! You could also display the pages, though my kiddos would not be willing to part with theirs!

If your child isn't ready to focus on letters and the sounds they make, you can still print the little books off and just use them as coloring books! 


I will be sharing about one a week, so if you follow along you can get them all free! You can click HERE to see the whole collection! And if you don't want to wait for them to come out weekly, you're welcome to click HERE for instructions on buying the whole set at once.




Happy Educating,
Carla


Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!



I may share at any of these parties!




Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!





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Thursday, August 30, 2018

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Space-Themed Tape Resist Name Art

Let's be honest...I thought solar system-themed name art would be cool, but most of my kids decided to decorate their name art how they wanted. And I support that. I still pulled out the sparkly star stickers! But since "Solar System - Minecraft - Cupcake - Mixed Media Tape Resist Name Art" is a bit wordy, I decided to just call it my idea, and let the pictures fill you in on what everyone else did!



Tape resist art is a childhood classic, and we were inspired to do it this week when the Virtual Book Club for Kids shared this Toddler Name Art project from Learn With Play at Home. I thought it would be fun to frame it with construction paper and add stars to make a space or solar system themed name! Of course, half the kids went along with that idea, and the other half decided to decorate their own way. Exploring art the way you choose is super important to me, so I let them go with whatever they wanted to decorate!

Solar System Tape Resist Name Art


Simple Supplies:


* art paper (I used paper made for watercolors so that it was a little bit thicker and stronger than just copy paper...this came in handy when we were removing the tape!)

* painter's tape
* paint sticks (I have so much to say about this! I'll do it just below!) or any other kind of paint
* construction paper (I used black for the night sky, but you can use any color your kids want!)
* star stickers
* glue

Note on paint sticks: Craft Project Ideas sent us these paint sticks (picture below) to try out, and I think they are seriously the coolest things ever invented! The kids hold them like glue sticks, but they roll onto the paper thick and wet (like paint). And then they dry in a minute or two! They have super bright colors that my kids love! Some of the kids put it on really thick and it took about 10 minutes to dry. It didn't splash anywhere! It was the tidiest paint project we've ever done. And Craft Project Ideas didn't even ask me to tell you this! I am just beyond in love with them and think anyone who works with preschoolers will love them too! Anyway, on to the art project!




Easy How To:

1- (A Little Preparation:) Spell your kids' names with painter's tape on the art paper. My tape was wider than I wanted, so I tore it down to size.


2- Let your kids paint all over it! About half my kids painted a specific pattern, design, or image, and the other half just went wild with the paint. Or maybe they were painting a specific design and I just didn't realize... ;)


This is great fine motor exercise!



3- After the paint dries, carefully remove the painter's tape. I LOVE this part!! It looks so cool to see their names appear in white!!



4- Glue the name art down on a piece of black construction paper. Add star stickers to the frame.



Of course, your kids can vary #4 however they want! I had one child want to use cupcake stickers, another want to build a golden foam frame, and another who wanted to use all sorts of different media to decorate. 


I try to be flexible with these sorts of demands ideas because they are evidence of the kids' own creativity, problem solving, and self expression. Also, they always turn out really cool! (And stickers are amazing fine motor exercises!)

Here are our finished pieces:


My cute little 2-year old (who thinks she's 5) found a sticker sheet with cupcakes and was certain that this project needed some on it!

Harry's paint is inspired by a Minecraft game!

And the last one is not actually missing a name! One kiddo finished early and wanted to make "another art project" using the same supplies...but since she had already made her name, she didn't want to repeat that aspect!

Anyway, if you're looking for an art project or a name project, be sure to use this one...it's definitely a winner! And I'm glad the ladies at the Virtual Book Club included it in their suggestions!

Happy Educating,
Carla


Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!



I may share at any of these parties!




Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!




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Awesome October Preschool Themes! Ideas & Resources!!

Fall is practically here! Tonight I'm sharing my favorite October preschool themes for you and resources to plan for those themes!



If you've been here much, you'll know that preschool themes are my favorite way to organize preschool lessons! I've been sharing monthly sets of preschool theme ideas! I have a collection of 52 preschool themes  that corresponds to my preschool curriculum, but there are far more than 52 possible themes you could learn about every year!  In this post I will share a list of ideas for October preschool themes that we've enjoyed, collections of activities you can use for them and some of my favorite books! These themed collections have everything from crafts to science experiments to printables, and more!

These ideas are perfect for planning a preschool schedule, daycare, or homeschool! I hope it helps make your planning super easy and fun...I know I have a ridiculous amount of fun planning out school time...  :D

October Preschool Theme Ideas:

Pumpkins
Bats
Spiders
Owls
Skeletons/Bones
Halloween
Harvest
Fall/Autumn
Explorers (Columbus Day is the second Monday of October and Leif Erikson Day is October 9th)

I like to limit each theme to one week because it is easier to keep kids (and adults!) excited about a theme for a short time. It is perfectly okay, though, to spend more (or less) time on a theme, according to your preschoolers' interests!

And, of course, I've gathered up some fantastic resources for y'all! Planning for October will be easy with these preschool themes and ideas!!

Resources & Ideas for July Preschool Themes:

Pumpkins
Pumpkin Preschool Theme
Free Pumpkin Printables

Bats
Bats Preschool Lesson Plan
Bat Science Activities: Echolocation

Spiders
Spiders Preschool Activities
Free Spider Lapbook

Owls
Owl Activities for an Owl Preschool Theme

Skeletons/Bones
Montessori Inspired Skeleton Unit

Halloween
Halloween Science Activities
Halloween Preschool Theme

Harvest
Harvest Crafts

Fall/Autumn:
Fall Themes

Explorers
Viking Theme for PreK & Elementary
Christopher Columbus Activities for Kids

Book Suggestions for October Preschool Themes:


All images below are Amazon Affiliate Links:

  




Happy Educating,
Carla




Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!









Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!










Read More