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  1. #1

    Default homeschooling my 4 year old

    I just started my homeschooling 3 months back... so confused between different curriculum.. i have started with spalding method for english & other different work books from christian light....& rainbow math game... can anybody suggest more english & math books.


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  3. #2


    IMO, you don't need curriculum for a 4 year old. Reading TO the child, talking about things you see, counting, classifying things--all are appropriate for a child that age. Play is very important as well.

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward

    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University graduate: BS in Computer Science, minor in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  4. #3
    Senior Member Arrived Elly's Avatar
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    Jul 2013


    Ditto to what Carol said. If your kid is really eager to read, say, you could seek something out, but you really don't need to be doing workbooks or formal curricula. One of my regrets is not listening to the advice to take it easy in the early few years (although we didn't h/s until K).

    4th year of homeschooling DS, now 9!

  5. #4
    Senior Member Enlightened Lianne13's Avatar
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    Feb 2013


    I kept both our daughters home instead of sending them to pre-K. You do not have to do much at all, and return any expensive curricula. We played a lot, I read with mine, and they did sticker books to work on basic skills. Then I started them on the Brain Quest Preschool workbook.

    When they started kindergarten they were well ahead of what was required and we really did not do much but enjoy they extra year together. I continued to use the Brain Quest workbooks as summer vacation homeschooling till we decided to pull our kids out a few years later and homeschool full time.
    Last edited by Lianne13; 06-08-2017 at 09:13 AM.
    Two daughters, military brats to active duty Air Force, ages 15 and 17.
    Part-time homeschooler since 2007 turned full-time in Feb 2013.

    We belong to the Farm School Satellite Campus Umbrella Program

    Main curriculum: Teaching Textbooks and Shmoop University, Khan Academy and lots of books.

  6. #5


    I went to a Spalding school way back in the 1980's and I have used Spalding methods with all my kids in one way or another. Spalding was not started until kindergarten and even then it went at a snail's pace compared to even the first grade classes. Most four year olds do not possess the fine motor skills or attention span to be successful with Spalding. At most with a 4 year old, I would work on fine motor skills, recognizing the positions on the clock and which way we go around the clock for writing (if you are going to use pure Spalding and its method for teaching hand writing), working on attention span with read alouds and games and teaching a few of the single letter phonograms at a time.

    Even so, fine motor skills can be taught with games and activities, clock positions and such and be taught with giant sidewalk chalk clock faces they can run around on the sidewalk or driveway, phonogram sounds taught with games, looking in the mirror to see how they form the sounds and try to imitate your mouth and lip movements... there will be a time for workbooks, but unless you need something to keep them busy while you work with your older kids, there are so many better ways to work with a 4 year old.

    Math can be done the same way, with games and real life math. Count everything in sight, observe addition and subtraction in the real world, "I have 2 apples, I need 5 apples to make a pie, will you get me more apples until we have 5 apples altogether? How many apples is that?". Talk about simple fractions, "When I cut your sandwich into two equal pieces, I have cut it in half!", "Can you give me half your toy cars?"

    One of my 4 year old son's favorite activities right now is to find his magnetic letters that match the letters on the alphabet poster I bought him at Dollar Tree. There is also a number one and he does the same thing with his magnetic numbers. We also practice tracing the letters and numbers with our fingers using correct formation (a la Spalding). He likes worksheets and goes on a worksheet binge now and then but I just print free ones from the internet and put them in page protectors so he can do them over and over again with a dry erase marker. When he has mastered a particular worksheet, I pull it out and replace it with a more advanced one but worksheets are always something he does by choice, not as "school work", at this age. Play is the work of young children.

    My oldest son is 19 now and I remember thinking he was so grown up at 4 years old. But really, in hindsight, he was still just a baby! Six kids later, I still have to remind myself sometimes that they are only little once and to just let them be little. There is plenty of time yet for formal school stuff but they will very soon outgrow exploring the world with wide-eyed wonder.

  7. #6


    Something I meant to mention, Spalding isn't known for developing early readers. Quite the opposite really, Spalding method students do not break into reading nearly as soon as children taught with other methods. Spalding is slow and methodical and provides a firm foundation for both reading and spelling. Think of it like a child in a bilingual home, it is a well known fact that children in bilingual homes are typically slower to start talking in either language because they are having to process twice the amount of information. But the result is usually a child who can speak both languages as their native tongue.

    Spalding has the child working on both reading and spelling simultaneously. These children will seem to be behind in reading for a while because they are working on two skills at once but once that solid foundation is built, they should be both strong readers and spellers.

    The Spalding method isn't known for producing early readers, it is known for producing readers who have a very solid understanding of the phonetics of the English language.

  8. #7


    First, I agree that you don't need to do a thing. There's no need for an academic pre-K for a homeschooler.

    Two, if you do want to do a more academic leaning pre-K, please don't turn to workbooks as the standard of good education at this age. Really, the best education at this age is active, hands on, and playful.

    So, with that in mind, some resources that emphasize that sort of approach for this age would include...

    * a set of Cuisenaire rods with the beginning rod games you can find in Mathematics Made Meaningful or in some of the Gattegeno stuff or on Education Unboxed - and then if that wasn't "enough" then you could very slowly do Miquon Orange for an advanced pre-K'er

    * Right Start's level A, which is for kindy, could be done with a 4 yo slowly or just doing the Right Start card games, games like Going to the Dump are perfect beginning math for this age

    * MEP's reception level is meant for this age - be sure to do the teacher pages, where the real instruction is

    * the book lists on Livingmath,net are great for reading your math

    * Handwriting Without Tears has a pre-K level and an advanced kid could do the K level - be sure to do the letter pieces for this age and all the multi-sensory stuff like sandpaper letters and chalkboard writing and so forth - you can DIY a lot of the materials (a lot of people make the letter pieces out of cardboard)

    * Before Five in a Row is a picture book curriculum and some kids this age could do Five in a Row - Moving Beyond the Page also has a picture book based kindy curriculum

    * For a really motivated child, Progressive Phonics is free

    * Along those lines, things like BOB books or Nora Gaydos readers or the I See Sam books are cheap and easy to try out

    * Orton-Gillingham programs like Spalding, mentioned above, are good for phonics... I think it's best to wait a bit - they really aren't meant to be used at this age quite yet, but for a motivated, ready to read kid, All About Reading is a program that uses the O-G method that's geared a bit younger

    Even if you do any of this stuff, keep it super short. "School" in terms of academics should be less than an hour a day, possibly a lot less and generally broken up. There are also lots of great early arts and crafts resources out there. And the biggest thing - way bigger than learning to read - is reading aloud a lot. The library is your friend at this age.

    Remember that even if you do academics, the big stuff for this age is independence with tasks like putting on shoes and cleaning up for themselves. Getting good habits like handwashing and toothbrushing really starts at this age. And developing small and gross motor skills is important at this age - outdoor play and games to develop a kid's core and things like coloring and so forth to develop those little fingers - that's the important stuff.
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  9. #8


    Picking a variety of books from the library each week, going to local nature centers and parks to do their "junior ranger" activities (these are free and often give a badge or sticker at the end), playing educationally meaningful games.... those are more organic and going to give a good foundation for when you move into the more formal academic years.
    Maze books, if he/she likes them, and a lot of hand crafts to build fine motor skills which will translate to an easier time handwriting later would also be beneficial.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  10. #9


    I agree that play is very important at this age. However we have started using the Oxford Reading Tree books which has been kind of fun. They just have simple words and the kids pick up on the repeated pattern pretty quickly. They also have really simple and cute pictures for the kids to talk about.

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homeschooling my 4 year old