Homeschooling Preschool/K - Frugal Curriculum - Hands-On! --

Summary:  Homeschooling preschool and kindergarten can be done so easily through playful learning activities.  Here are our favorite homeschool preschool and K resources for early academics, hands-on.  Frugal or free! 

Are you looking for hands-on curriculum and resources for your little learners?

How about some that are frugal or free?

Here are my favorites for the preschool and the kindergarten years, which are easy to use and are frugal, too.  

Let's start with: 
  • math play, then
  • early language arts 
  • fine motor fun
  • handwriting 
  • arts and crafts
  • early science 
  • fun field trips


We didn't use a complete math program, but preferred doing our early math with our own hands-on activities, sometimes using card games, too.  

Click the link below to reach more of my article on early math activities:

 Preschool/K - Early Math  

This post shares how we went about making our kit and learning early math concepts using our manipulatives. 

Hands-on learning fun with numbers, sets, etc, and also how to make a Math Manipulatives Kit, without spending any money. 

It also includes two early math workbooks that we also enjoyed, and my daughter worked out the problems using her manipulatives.  


There are many ways to introduce the ABC's to your child.

One way is just to go to the library and get books that do that for you.  A is for Apple, etc.  We enjoyed introducing the letters of the alphabet with simple ABC crafts projects and a little book called  the Big Book of Alpha Tales.   

All three Primers make a complete introduction to phonics for your young learners!
Not every homeschool family does phonics but we found that phonics was key to the development of reading skills for our daughter. 

We let our daughter take reading at her own pace, and followed her lead. 

Learn to Read with Explode the Code gives you more information on this excellent reading and phonics program.

To read about Explode the Code and all about early language arts, phonics and more you will find links and more here: 


I am a former Occupational Therapist and I share lots of developmentally appropriate handwriting activities on my blog on te tab called - Handwriting.  

Playful activities are the best way to get your child ready to write their letters.  

To develop hand coordination and wrist strength for handwriting, we did LOTS of crafts, enjoying sidewalk chalk art, etc.  

Sometimes we tore paper into small pieces to make a design with glue, which helped to strengthen the finger muscles.  

Click here to reach my fine motor article onSmall Muscle Games

There's always benefit for small muscle development from playing with legos, small blocks, small cars, etc. 

This photo shows one of the special ways to help your child with fine motor skills and grasp.  

Click below to reach my article on 8 more ways to develop good grasp:

Click here for my article on 9 Ways to a Mature Grasp - Games and Fun! 

When my daughter was ready to start writing her letters, we wrote letters in the air.  This gave my daughter the feel each letter.  

And it also gave her practice in crossing the midline, when we made large letters in the air.  That can help kids get ready for handwriting.

Click below to see how to teach handwriting in a very frugal way:

Click here for Teach Your Kids to Write.  

It has lots of ideas for beginning handwriting, if your little ones are ready for that.  It doesn't matter when your kids learn to write, as they will likely get it when it is the right time for them. 


Arts and crafts are great for developing fine motor skills, but they also are super for learning direction following, attention to task, and let's not forget, creativity.

Coloring, painting, playing with clay were popular at our house.  A favorite was painting with pudding!

My daughter enjoyed drawing, then sometimes she would dictate a few words about her picture, which I would write down for her to copy.  When she chose the words herself, her copywork was very meaningful to her. 

We also had fun making simple books using her own words.  It is so wonderful to watch your child create their own story.  Tips for how to do that is in this link below:

When your child is making their own very, very simple book and using their own words, they are learning great pre-reading skills at the same time.  

They are learning what words are used for, as they see you copy their words down for them, then later read them back to them.  

The thrill of seeing and hearing their own words is something that makes reading real for them.

Once my daughter started making these simple books, I could not get her to stop!  

And little ones can make them, too, as they just dictate their words to you, for you to write down for them.

Read more here: The Art of Simple Book Making.


Early Science is really just all about learning and the natural things that your child will do like picking up leaves, touching them and feeling the texture of them, spotting spider webs, watching birds fly, etc.

Early Science - Hands-On is my article on easy and fun ways to add in early science.


Some of our best memories were made when we did simple field trip, like:
  •  going on a train ride with friends
  •  fishing at a kiddo's fishing hole, or
  • joining other homeschoolers for a park day
  • or heading exploring in our backyard, for insects, worms, even slugs....
And of course the fun of bird watching - Our Favorite Books about Birds and Birdwatching.

What about Attention Span? 

For preschool, we only worked for 15 minutes at a time.  Our focused learning time in kindergarten was about 1/2 hour to an hour at most.  

Little ones really don't have more attention span than that on the average.

Short lessons with breaks for running around the backyard, helping mom cook, fold towels, and feed the cat are best for young learners.
Then lots of free play.  As a preschool teacher, these are my suggestions to you.
Do you have a teen in your house? 

Homeschooling prepared her well for college and she had no difficulty getting accepted to each of the colleges on her list with her homeschool transcript.

So if you think that your little one will be headed that way, they should have no trouble getting in as a homeschooler, if you decide to go all the way.  

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her now college grad, whom she homeschooled from day one.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school & college and wrote the book - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind.   She offers free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting

Want to stay in touch?  

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Revised 2019

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