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4 Moms Discuss Teaching Little Kids

**Keep up with the progress on the labor and delivery of my 8th baby.

This week the 4 Moms are blogging about teaching little kids, meaning preschool to early elementary age.

Be sure to visit the other moms to see what their thoughts are on this topic.

The way we do preschool and early elementary is very relaxed. I do not use an official curriculum until around second grade, but instead focus on reading and simple math concepts.

I have successfully used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with five of our children so far. 

Some of those children were ready to begin their daily lessons at the age of barely 4 years old. This was the case with our first, so I naturally assumed the same would be true for all the rest.  This did not hold true for all of them, though, and we learned the hard way that it is better to wait until the child shows readiness than to struggle through and have to start over from the beginning after much frustration.

After the child is able to read, I listen to them read aloud daily from simple readers. I then copy a sentence or two from their reading and have them write it in their best handwriting.

I do a lot of reading aloud to them from great works of literature like The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh.  We memorize poetry together, not as an assignment, but in a casual way because we read over it so many times. A Child's Garden of Verses is one of our very favorite books of poetry. They ask me to read it again and again, and I don't mind at all.

I also like to let the older kids read aloud to the littles while I am working one on one with another child.


For math, I use generic workbooks and lots of counting, help with baking, and identifying everyday shapes.  Starting in second grade, I begin using a math curriculum. This year has been our first time with Saxon math, which I am pleased with.

The little kids are always included in Bible lessons, memory work, and discussions, literature read alouds, and casual discussions on history, science, and politics.

One thing I love about homeschooling is that there is a lot of relating to people of varying ages. Our little kids spend their days interacting with children and adults of all ages. They are able to discuss thoughts and listen to ideas from people who are older, wiser, and more experienced than they are. 

I don't spend a lot of time stressing them out with loads of paper work. I always have lined paper, crayons, glue, and scissors available and they are constantly creating on their own.  They also have train tracks, dolls, a doll house, bikes and trikes, a trampoline, and plenty of books to look at.  (See my post on "Homeschooling With Preschoolers".)

This relaxed method has worked well for us and we are happy with the progress the little kids make with their schooling once they move into more formal school work.

What about you? How do you handle teaching little kids?

See more 4 Moms, 35 Kids topics below:

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  1. Connie, I’m curious if you ever had the older ones tested “mainstream” just to see where they would test out were they to start “regular school” tomorrow. I bet they are ahead of their peers. It would be interesting just to see!

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      @Ellen, I did the oldest 2 a few years ago. I think Madison was in 4th grade and Jackson in 2nd. Madison tested 11th grade in almost every subject and Jackson was above or on grade level for everything except spallig. We ar stell werking wit hem on that.

      • @Smockity Frocks, I think it would be interesting to keep doing it every few years just to know how they are doing. You might be onto some genius homeschooling ideas! Of course we have always know that Madison especially is a GENIUS! The girl was doing math coming out of the womb just about (& let’s don’t forget Latin!)

  2. Em or Soph does preschool activities with Arrie as I’m working one on one with one or the other. It has worked so nicely and they are so cute working with their little sister at water time or reading etc. As she gets older I’ll work with her on reading, but until then she seems to be learning quite a bit for The Sisters:)

  3. What do you use for handwriting/penmanship/cursive…? I am having a hard time with my son. I bought recently fonts for teachers (www.fonts4teachers.com). I like it but I want to know your opinion. Have you used it? I has great reviews at Amazon.
    Dana Hill
    3rd grade teacher
    Los Angeles Unified