Prepping for Kindergarten Guide

* Thanks to Teacher Created Resources, Lipper International, Kumon Publishing, Singapore Math, ABCmouse, the Eric Carle Museum, and Veritas Press for sending us school products to try.

Writing ABCs Kindergarten

Our third daughter will be heading to Kindergarten this fall.

With a spring birthday, she'll likely be on the younger side of her class - but she is definitely ready. She is obedient, kind, and eager to learn. She can cut with scissors, color in the lines, identify almost all of the uppercase letters and numbers (0-10), identify many of the lowercase letters, write her first name in capitals, write the alphabet in uppercase (A-Z), name all of the colors, and pinpoint beginning sounds for some of the letters.

We spent very little time on academics this past year (I believe in hefty doses of nature, play, and reading in the early years), but I've ramped up efforts this summer to prep her for the rigorous Kindergarten she will be attending in the fall. (As most of you know, I'm not a huge fan of rigor in kindergarten, but...I love the school and I am super excited for her to join her two older sisters there). Since it is a homeschool/campus hybrid, we have flexibility on the at-home days to explore, sing, jump, and sleep in.

On at least five out of seven summer days, we sing the alphabet (while pointing to the letters on a wall chart), count to 100 aloud (while pointing to the letters on a wall chart), sing the Days of the Week song, sing the Months of the Year song, and do flash cards for +0's and +1's. I then have her write out her uppercase alphabet on a writing pad. See above. Finally, she gets some time to do educational apps on the iPad.

Below are some of the products we use most often in our daily routine.

Classroom Wall Posters

homeschool room with posters

alphabet wall chart

My homeschool room currently has SIX laminated posters on display - Numbers (1-100), Alphabet (Modern Manuscript), Days of the Week, Months of the Year, Descriptive Words, and Plane Geometric Shapes. Clearly, I have a thing for posters. I love to be able to point to them and reference them throughout the year.

Note that the posters do not come laminated, but you can easily take them to your local office supply store or parent/teacher store and they will do it for you. Definitely worth the money as they will last much longer!

  • BUY posters from Teacher Created Resources.
  • LIKE Teacher Created Resources on Facebook.
  • FOLLOW Teacher Created Resources on Twitter.

Writing Tablets & Dixon-Ticonderoga Pencils

Mead Learn To Letter Primary Writing Tablet

writing the abcs

preparing for kindergarten

writing the alphabet

I have my daughter write out her uppercase ABCs on most days of the week. She sits at her desk and uses three tools - a Mead Learn To Letter Primary Writing Tablet, a My First Ticonderoga Pencil, and a Left/Right Alphabet Ruler (for reference).

Child-Size Desk

child’s work station and chair walnut lipper

We have a child-size desk by Lipper International that works well for incoming kinders. The child's work station and chair is best for ages 4-9. My almost 11-year-old could use the chair in a pinch, but it's definitely better suited for early elementary. Features include one pull-out drawer for storing writing utensils and two built-in shelves.

  • BUY Child's Workstation and Chair in Walnut.
  • LIKE Lipper International Inc on Facebook.
  • FOLLOW Lipper International on Twitter.

Sight Word + Addition Flash Cards

Best Addition Flash Cards Edupress Teacher Created Resources

Best Sight Word Flash Cards Edupress Teacher Created Resources

Don't waste your money on flash cards before you've seen these ones. They are the best flash cards we've ever used because they are color-coded, kid-sized, sturdy, and on a ring! So much easier than searching for stacks of flash cards and/or rubber-banding groups together. I only wish I had found out about them earlier!

My only wish is that the sight word cards were color-coded in order according to the Fry's system (the most common words used in English ranked in order of frequency).

  • BUY flash cards by Edupress.
  • LIKE Teacher Created Resources on Facebook.
  • FOLLOW Teacher Created Resources on Twitter.

Number Flash Cards

Eric Carle Number Flash Cards

I recommend these sturdy, colorful, and artistic counting flash cards by Eric Carle. They are big and durable - with vibrant numbers on one one side and coordinating illustrations on the other side. I use these cards about every other day to practice counting to 10, identifying the numbers, and ordering them (from 1-10).

Apparently, there are also alphabet and shapes flash card by The World of Eric Carle, which are probably just as terrific.

  • BUY The World of Eric Carle Number Flash Cards,
  • LIKE The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art on Facebook.
  • FOLLOW The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art on Twitter.

Workbooks

Kumon Publishing

Kumon Ready For Kindergarten

Are You Ready For Kindergarten Kumon

My favorite workbooks are by Kumon Publishing. They are aesthetic, colorful, and thoughtfully-designed.

Kumon offers very specific books in different disciplines (examples: addition, lowercase alphabet, telling time, pasting, rhyming words, etc) from PreK all the way up to 8th grade so you can really hone in on any areas you want to work on.

We don't do workbooks every single day, but we do try to do about five pages every three days or so. My 5-year-old would gladly do more, but I typically have limited energy and time reserves...especially since I have to keep an eye on our newly crawling baby.

  • BUY Kumon Workbooks.
  • LIKE Kumon Publishing on Facebook.
  • FOLLOW Kumon Publishing on Twitter.

Singapore Math Kindergarten

Singapore Math Kindergarten

Singapore Math Kindergarten A

We're about 80% thru the Singapore Math Kindergarten A book. (There is an A & B). Each unit covers a new topic - sets, counting to 5, number order, patterns, length, equal sets, etc.

Things I like about this curriculum - (1) There is a brief "introduction" at the bottom of each page that gives parents ideas about how to present the topic. (2) Each page has big and fun illustrations. (3) It's an easy curriculum to jump right into. No teacher manual or planning required. (4) It's affordable! Under $25 for both A & B workbooks.

Two wishes for the curriculum - (1) I wish there was some color in the book. (2) I'd love to see this curriculum presented in a spiral bound format. It's sometimes hard to keep this book open and/or for young children to write their numbers correctly.

  • BUY Singapore Math Kindergarten.
  • LIKE Singapore Math on Facebook.
  • FOLLOW Singapore Math on Twitter.

Puzzles

Hape Alphabet Wooden Puzzle

wooden abacus and wooden alphabet puzzle

Our alphabet and number wooden puzzles by Hape have gotten good use over these last few months. We point out the letters as we sing the ABC's and/or to the numbers as we count to 20. I also sometimes play "games" where I take 2 or 3 away and then she has to say which ones are missing.

Apps

ABC Mouse Kindergarten

After we do our daily routine (listed above), I typically allow my daughter to get the iPad and play an educational game or two.

ABCmouse

ABCmouseThe ABCmouse app has a fantastic reputation and has won a number of awards for preschool + kindergarten readiness. A recent research study found that ABCmouse "contributed to significant increases in kindergarten readiness for prekindergarteners and significant acceleration in literacy and math gains among kindergarteners."

Designed for ages 2-8, children move from "level" to "level" by playing games, listening to songs, coloring in and tracing letters, etc. There is also a built-in "rewards" program - where kids earn tickets and redeem them for virtual pets, clothes, and more.

  • BUY ABCmouse. $8.95/month.
  • LIKE ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy on Facebook.
  • FOLLOW ABCmouse.com on Twitter.

Phonics Museum by Veritas Press

Phonics Museum by Veritas PressWe've also been using the BRAND NEW Phonics Museum app by Veritas Press. The app is billing itself as being "the only complete reading app that will teach your child to read in record speed." Designed for ages 4-7, the app moves your child through an art museum where they sing songs, play games, and watch live video instruction by Miss Biddle (a zany lady in purple glasses and an alphabet dress).

If you're familiar with Veritas Press, you know they offer a rigorous classical curriculum. Phonics Museum is built with these same principles in mind! The phonics-based program teaches uppercase and lowercase letters, helps children understand the consonant-vowel and vowel-consonant syllables, as well as beginning blending. The app uses the same story, same concepts, and similar teaching as the paper curriculum.

  • BUY Phonics Museum by Veritas Press. $9.99/month.
  • LIKE Veritas Press on Facebook.
  • FOLLOW Veritas Press on Twitter.

Now, I really want to hear from you, dear readers. What do you consider to be "kindergarten readiness"? Does your child's school require an assessment of any kind before entering kindergarten? Do you send your child to half-day, full day, or some other combination? What books or resources do you use to prep your child for kinder?

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2 comments on “Prepping for Kindergarten Guide”

  1. My girls are going to half day 4-day kinder this fall. They did pre-school through our church this year 3 hours/3 days and it was really active and basic. They needed to get away from me and learn some independence and I needed a break. ;) And the kinder we use is Ah-maze-ing. I'm not ready for my kinders to go to full day public school and this is Montessori style/project based and small.
    I think they're ready for kinder even though they can't read anything yet, but they are showing so many signs of readiness like memorizing books and "reading" them back to us. Especially one we picked up at the library before our trip called Penguin Problems. It's hilarious.
    There's no assessment for this school and we don't really "prep" outside of preschool other than just talking about life and things all the time. It's natural for us although I know that may not be the case for some people who aren't both teachers. ;) (not meaning you, just in general)

    1. I love the ways that pre-readers "read." My daughter is almost always in the middle of a chapter book of some sort. She "reads" the book diligently and is very careful to save her spot with a bookmark.

      P.S. Montessori is intriguing to me! Did both of your boys attend the same school?

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