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Not sure which resources to use

448 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  lovelymama2
I'm just looking for advice on resources to use for my daughter's education. She's 4--not reading yet or anything. She has really clear interests -- unfortunately her MAIN interest is in horses, and classes don't start until 5 years. There's a preschool horse program here, but it's 100/month -- too steep for us. She also enjoys yoga Saturday mornings and she might start ballet.

She's a very social girl, and really enjoys being around other kids. I've tried to help her meet other kids, but the other parents usually aren't responsive or their kids are very young (13 months, 2). We're also probably going to move pretty soon, so maybe opportunities wherever we go would be better ... who knows.

Anyway, I'm looking for ideas for things at home to help her. She really enjoys looking at books, especially flower fairies, horses, and dinosaurs. She also really enjoys feeling a sense of accomplishment. But sometimes I feel like she gets into a state of boredom/loneliness. She'll get mopey and I'll suggest things and she'll just say no and kind of just lay there doing nothing. I was wondering if there are any good pre-reader curriculum sets that aren't too intensive. She has a baby brother so it's a little harder for me to pay as much attention to her as she needs. So it would have to be casual. We're also very limited financially -- I catch as many trips to the nearby museums with friends as I can, but it's not an often thing. Eventually I'd like her to take the lead with her education -- I'm just trying to help her out for now.
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How about one of the packages from Carol's Affordable Curriculum? At this age, it's all crafts- and all the supplies come with it so you have something to do daily without any scrounging around.
She sounds very into nature... Are you able to get outside much? Or perhaps bring some nature inside - a small pet, or some kind of insect life to care for and observe...

I'm using Peak with Books for great book suggestions along with ideas for discussions and activities that go along with the main book we're doing... Some poetry and songs/fingerplay suggestions for each main book as well. Other connections, activities, just occur to me, of course
We start a new book/unit every week or two, depending on how life is, and I just add in a new thing (book, song, etc.) every morning, repeating as much of the old things as she's interested in, bringing up a new idea/conversation starter or two... It's our "stories and songs" time each morning.

I don't think of it as a curriculum as much as a resource of great ideas to pick and choose from. We get the books from the library, so it's not very expensive.

You could also find online for free the book lists for Before Five in a Row (BFIAR), Five in a Row, or Ambleside Online's Year 0 for great reading lists. Homeschoolshare has lists for books to supplement the Five in a Row reading lists.
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I'm a big fan of Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons. We used it with dd at 4 and she loved it, short lessons and a sense of accomplishment.
Honestly, I would just focus on doing something like a unit study about horses. My DD rides, and she started at age 4. At the wise old age of 5.5 now (lol), she is still a very dedicated horse gal! We've done all different things with learning about horses--from studying evolution to interviewing her instructors, etc.

I'm not into lapbooks, but there are a lot of ideas for them, and it might be something she can work on a bit by herself.

I have no experience with any of these; I just googled "horse lapbook" and found a bunch, including these:

If you wanted to buy just one really fun, informative, and cool book about horses, I'd get this one. It has all kinds of interactive bits in it:

We must own or have borrowed nearly every horse book available for kids so let me know if you want any other ideas!

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Wow -- thanks for all the ideas. I had no idea what lapbooks are, and although I don't think I'd use them on a regular basis, a horse lapbook sounds like something she'd enjoy now, along with that "Horse" book. I'm also going to be ordering the Teach Your Child to Read book -- I've been a fan of learning to read kind of naturally, but having observed my daughter, I really think she'd enjoy the sense of empowerment this would offer her.
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