NOTE: This series is for newbie homeschoolers that are in overdrive…overplanning, overscheduling and overthinking your child’s preK or kinder year….WE’VE ALL DONE IT. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Please note: All links on book titles and covers are Amazon affiliate links and I do get a tiny percentage from any purchases made through them. If you like this site, this is a great way for you to help support it!
Yesterday I talked about how, during my kids’ early years, one of the things I did instead of curriculum was that I made sure to have an enriching environment for my kids…
In our home this was:
- An Art Area full of a wide variety of always available art supplies and tools
- Open ended toys/manipulatives for open ended play
- Imaginative play things for dramatic and creative play
- Lots of book shelves/baskets full of a variety of good books
- Children’s music regularly played and sung (as well as a variety of other music)
- Outside play areas full of playthings like swings, sand pit/toys, hammock, trikes & other riding toys, toy trucks, outdoor digging toys, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, water table, etc…
- Social times regularly created at both our home and outside our home with friends and family
In addition to having an enriching environment, there were many activities which I did with my kids, or encouraged/set up for my kids to happen during the early years instead of curriculum…..The rest of this series will focus on these activities…
First, we spent a LOT of time reading all those great books that were all over our house
(and got even more from the library regularly!)…
…Hours and hours and HOURS…Many many days all we did was read all day. Literally! Picture books until they got older, then picture books AND chapter books. (I STILL read aloud to my kids, even picture books! There’s SO MANY fantastic ones out there and EVERYONE enjoys a good picture book! And we never run out of fabulous chapter books to read.)
It’s one of my favorite things to do with my kids, read aloud.
At some point around age 5 or 6, I did finally take a little time most days (not every day) to work with my daughter on learning to read (only because she showed interest and was clearly ready) using this book:
(Click image to view book on Amazon. Amazon link is an affiliate link.)
I used this same book later for my son when he showed
If you would like to take a peek at some of the books we read those years…at least the chapter books, since I didn’t log all the picture books…that would have been massive…You can check out my Goodreads account. I have shelves for each of my children for each year.
The books I read to my daughter when she was young are on the shelf called “pre-2008 read aloud to M“. (I didn’t discover Goodreads until after kindergarten, so it wasn’t logged quite so well back then…I’m sure I missed quite a few.) And my son’s kinder year was 2010/11 so “2010 read aloud to T” and “2011 read aloud to T“, to see what I read to him during that time. As I recall…he had a hard time sitting still around that age, so there’s not a lot…but there are many more in later shelves that could probably work fine for the same ages.
For those that don’t feel like digging through all those shelves…here is just a tiny sampling of the favorite chapter books that I read to my kids during the early years…
- Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
- The Bobbsey Twins of Lakeport
- All-of-a-Kind Family
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins
- The Finches’ Fabulous Furnace
- The Fish In Room No. 11
- Pippi Longstocking
- Wild Stories
And for picture books, I have reviewed many here on this blog over the years, and intend to review more when I find the time…so many good ones! I have tons on my shelves still that I want to go through! Start by looking in my book review category of this blog (accessible in the sidebar). It has all sorts of books reviewed…so if you would like to zero in specifically on picture books…you’ll have to look specifically for the picture books section of the book reviews category (under reviews)…here’s a direct link to the picture books tag. That will take you to all the reviews of picture books. And if you’d like to focus on specific subjects, you can use the “Search Category & Tag Combo” widget in the sidebar and choose a category AND a tag to search together. So, for example, if you wanted to find all the nonfiction picture book posts, that’s how you’d find those.
And if you scroll through my Goodreads account…you will see many shelves that segregate different types of picture books that I have saved over the years…either because I found them on a booklist on a certain topic and wanted to remember them because they looked good… or because I found them at the library and they were good. So there are a lot more picture books on Goodreads, but these are mostly nonfiction. Have a fun time looking through them, though…there’s a lot of great books on there I’ve collected over the years!
- Put Me In the Zoo
- Itzy Bitzy House
- Dear Children Of The Earth
- The Pigeon books by Mo Willems
- Dear Mr. Blueberry
- “Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!”
- The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
- Christina Katerina and the Box
- Eloise: A Book for Precocious Grown Ups
*All book links are Amazon affiliate links. I do get a small percentage of any purchase made through these links. Thank you for helping to support a fellow homeschool family!
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