When you mention home education to people one of the first questions (usually right after ‘but how will they make friends?’) is how will they learn to read? Or do maths?
The answer to that is all sorts of different ways, to be honest. Some children just seem to acquire reading in the same way they did spoken language, soaking it up from the atmosphere around them. Most home education households I’ve been in are very book rich environments (code for there are books *everywhere*), avid library users and big on reading with and to their children. This isn’t enough for every child though, and these days there are all sorts of resources available either free or cheap. We’re fans of Reading Eggs (handy affiliate link over there in the sidebar if you’re looking to give it a whirl) but there are all sorts of other apps as well, like Teach your monster to read, Nessy (which is particularly targeted at children with dyslexia).
Or you can go old home ed, as it were, and use actual physical resources. We’ve got a Montessori movable alphabet (like this one at Amazon affiliate link) and recently we were sent a TeachMy Preschooler box set for review.
The Kit contains resources for four types of activity – letters, reading, printing and math. (Sorry, it’s an American company.) It comes in a green filebox within a sturdier cardboard sleeve, ideal for storage. There’s a parent guide too, but I doubt you’ll be desperately surprised when I say we’ve been winging it in how we use the kit 😉
Inside the box the rest of the resources are in labelled up plastic envelopes. The whole set is very well organised, and feels sturdy.
I chose the preschooler as I thought that Tigerboy might like it. Turned out that Smallest took to it too, so I’d say don’t underestimate the longevity of this set.
They’ve both spent some time with the printing activity, which is a magnetic writing board, an instruction book and 4 sets of transparencies. I particularly like the transparencies, which weren’t something I’d encountered before.
Tigerboy started out following instructions. (Don’t worry, it didn’t last long.)
Smallest had a go at the letters and numbers.
She’s also spent quite a lot of time with the learning to read set. She’s already pretty much there with phonics tbh, but lacks confidence, so this was a good consolidation activity. And it turns out she loves flashcards, so has been practising them regularly, which can’t be a bad thing.
Way back when the big two were the little ones, ‘normals’ was a thing in my home education circle, as mentioned often on Merry’s blog eg here. With the way Smallest responded to this kit, I’m wondering if a box set of normals would be something that she would enjoy. She already effectively does this for herself, but she loves ticklists and organisation, so I’m thinking that an actual list of activities, all kept in one place for her to access easily might well be something that would make her a very happy girl. And Tigerboy tends to crash along and involve himself in whatever she’s up to so he’d probably just join in to a large extent.
There are as many ways to home educate as there are families home educating. The thing to do is find out what works for you, and never be afraid to mix it up when things need a change. If you need more inspiration, there’s a style of home education quiz on the eclectic homeschool blog which might give you some ideas.
Disclosure: the kit was supplied free of charge for an honest review, and amazon links are affiliate links.