Homeschool Preschool and Kindergarten - Early Language Arts - Hands-on!

Summary: Sharing frugal preschool and kindergarten resources for introducing the A,B,C's, early phonics and reading and beginning handwriting activities.  Hands-on playful learning during the early years is so beneficial for our little ones. Note - This post may included affiliate links to products that we love and have used or would use in our  own homeschool. Please see my disclosure policy.

Today, I'd like to share how we homeschooled those precious early the A,B,C's, early phonics and handwriting, ie, Language Arts or some call it early English.  

For us, everything was hands on and all about exploring and learning together.  And with my active, curious 2e daughter, there was always laughter.

We focused on phonics, early reading, and handwriting during the early years.  And I found a great help for phonics, in Explode the Code. 


Not every homeschooler does phonics, but we did, and I found it helpful for teaching reading.  So for early Phonics, we used Explode the Code Primers.  This is a very well researched program, and is kid friendly as well!  

 It covers all the basic phonics, and goes from preschool, all the way to 5th grade, if you like, and does it in a fun way. It also includes learning to write the abc's, early reading skills, and word families. 

I can still picture my daughter working in her Primer so proudly by herself, after she had mastered the routine.  Of course, we talked about it afterwards, and reviewed all the sounds of the day.

Explode the Code continues through grade 6, so for kindergarten, I recommend progressing to the next Explode the Code workbook.  It is a great way to not only teach phonics, but also spelling and reading.

We introduced the letters of the alphabet with Alpha Tales.  This book has a humorous story for each letter of the alphabet.  There are ABC mini-book to make as well, which was a favorite activity in our house!   

We went to the library every weekand found so much there.  I just let our daughter pick out books that she liked.

When my little one was ready, we used the Bob Books series from there, as our first readers, which introduced one vowel at a time. We also liked the series at I Can Read  

My daughter also loved to work in Sequencing Simple Stories  by Evan-Moor. 

To help with writing, we first did lots of fun small muscle activities,  playing with molding clay, painting, drawing, cutting, etc.  Arts and Crafts were popular in our house, as well as some easy knitting and sewing, not that those are necessary.

We played with playdough, did lots of drawings, cut with sissors, fingerpainted, and often did gluing projects. Sometimes we tore paper into small pieces to make a design with glue, which helped to strengthen the finger muscles.   

Here's a few more ideas for small muscle games.  Do what your child enjoys...if they don't like crafts, playing with legos, small blocks, etc, works, too.  

Learning Letter Shapes  

photo credit Oak Meadow

We wrote letters in pudding, in the air, o
n the sidewalk, in the sand, and on large newsprint paper....the bigger the better.  This gave my daughter the feel each letter. 

We also used some of the activities in  Small Muscle Games.  They helped to strengthen the finger muscles and develop coordination for grasp. 

Once she could write the letters of the alphabet, she was ready to put her words into action.  More fun, easy to do, early writing activities are in Teach Your Kids to Write.  

Develop Hand Strength with Homeschool Clay Activities  has lots of ideas for strengthening the hand with clay, including making clay animals, with some activities that could work for older handwriters, too. 

Does your child have trouble holding his/her pencil comfortably? It is a developmental thing, and it normally takes a lot of time!  For a fun way to learn grasp, check out this article below:

I hope these resources give you inspiration in finding what works for your dear child.  What do you like to do for early reading and writing?  I enjoy reading your comments.

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her now college grad, whom she homeschooled through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshighschool
collegegifted/2e and wrote -Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, 2nd Edition,   She offers homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting and has had some of her articles picked up by the Huffington Post.

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  1. Aww, I love these look back posts at the early years!
    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

  2. Thanks, Jill R, and now that my daughter is in college, I have more time to look back, and share more of how we homeschooled the earlier years, it is such fun to do.

  3. Love your blog! I grew up in WA and miss it so much! I am currently homeschooling my only son for kindergarten and having a blast but sure do wish I could do it in WA ;)

  4. Hi Brooke,.... another's nice to meet you! I remember homeschooling my only for K, it was so fun to see her excitment as she learned something new. Wishing you great memory making times with your only, in K and more!

  5. More great tips, thanks for sharing at WW!

  6. Thanks, Jen Altman, from Workbook Wednesday!

  7. GREAT post, Betsy! Thanks so much for sharing, Love! GOD bless you! :-)

  8. Thanks, Tai East, and you have a wonderful week!


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