At 4 1/2, Emma is quite the personable little thing.  And she’s sharp!  She seems more like a teenager than a preschooler some days and I find it hard to believe she’s “only 4″.  Seriously, kids at this age easily believe they know everything.  And sometimes I think they almost do.  :-/ She’s so independent, and would dearly love to be able to do everything herself including cooking and getting her own snacks – but not including cleaning up, of course.  ;-)

Learning…

The girl LOVES school.  I’ve been working on preschool for awhile now with her and now we’re prepping for Kindergarten, which we plan to begin seriously in the Fall.  So far her school prep has included:

Reading:
- Reading Kingdom • This isn’t my favorite online “learn to read” program (I think I prefer Reading Eggs – see below) but still great for learning to spell, as well as practice and recognize words.  Emma still loves it, too.  :)
- Reading EggsThis is the one I prefer over Reading Kingdom for the stage of learning to read we’re in now.  You can get a 14-day free trial and I recommend trying it!
- ABeka Phonics Readers These are great!  I found mine on ebay for an affordable price, too.  They’re thin, not overwhelming, and teach the vowel sounds and parts of the word.  There are words to read, pictures, and mini stories.  
- iPad/iPhone appsCheck out the link for a list of our favorites!
-
Sight Word and Word Family PrintablesI’ve collected my favorites on my Kindergarten Pinterest board – click the link to follow along!
-
Games • We have some educational games and activities like puzzles that encourage reading and phonics like the Leapfrog Magnetic Word Builder.

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Math:
Math really has not been my top focus… but she can count to 100 and knows how much each coin is worth.  We’re going to be working more on money and how to add and subtract in the coming months.  I plan to use a hands on approach – using fish crackers and this worksheet, an abacus, and other hands-on math ideas found here.  I’m also using workbooks I found at the dollar store.

Handwriting:
We’re mainly using worksheets I find online and dry erase workbooks at the moment.

Literature:
We’re currently reading through Little House in the Big Woods – such a good story and it keeps Emma’s attention thanks to the pictures and simple phrasing. We’ve learned a lot about how things like butter and bread were made, and we’ve had opportunity to talk about good behavior, too.

Science:
-We subscribe to a few kids science magazines (Big Backyard and National Geographic Kids) so we enjoy getting those every month and learning about something new!  I keep them all so we can review the facts later..
- Magic School Bus DVDs – these are SO great for science!
- Nature walks and hands-on activities (you can never beat the real thing)
- Our local aquarium (We bought a year’s pass so we will be going as often as possible!)

Bible:
We’re reading through Arch Books (love those!) and of course the Bible, and memorizing a verse every week.

I have really had a lot of fun getting all of this stuff together and working with her!  We’re keeping it fun and Emma can’t wait to do her school every day.  I made her a daily checklist and it has really helped us stay on track and keep our days organized.  We both end the day feeling like we have accomplished something great and Emma is thrilled to have school papers to show her daddy when he gets home.

Other Stuff…

Her Likes:

- Meatloaf and rice
- Anything that could be placed under the category of dessert
- Helping me cook
- Making videos and taking pictures with her Innotab (she would take over my Flip if she could!)
- Cinderella, Tinkerbell, and The Secret World of Arrietty
- Dancing, listening to all kinds of music (she loves classical!), and “playing piano”.  ;-)
- Her family and friends, and visiting her grandma for as many nights as she can wrangle from me.
- All animals, especially horses, dogs, and cats.
- Doing anything on my Kindle Fire.
- Painting and drawing

Her Dislikes:

- Bedtime
- Broccoli
- How long it’s taking for her birthday to get here
- The wicked stepmother and stepsisters in Cinderella
- Having her projects destroyed by her precocious little brother

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For more ideas, follow my Pinterest boards:

Preschool Fun and Learning Ideas
Kindergarten Homeschooling Resources & Printables

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