Homeschooling in California

Early Learning

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Our Top Picks
Learning at Home: Preschool & Kindergarten : A Christian Parent's Guide With Day-By-Day Lesson Plans Using the Library As a Resource
Ann Ward
 
Jumpstart Pre-k : Jumbo Workbook
 
Bob Books
 
Get Ready To Learn
Nancy Chupp
 
Jumpstart Pre-k Workbook : Counting 1-20 (Jumpstart)
Anne Scheibner
 

Early Learning at Home
 Homeschooling Preschool Teaching Tips & Ideas
 Early Learning Games and Activities
 Homeschool Preschool Curricula
 Preschool Worksheets and Printables
 Preschool Resources & Supplies
 Support for Parents of Preschoolers
 Things to See & Do in California

Homeschooling Preschool Teaching Tips & Ideas Back to Top
A Homeschool Curriculum for Preschool and Kindergarten
Lillian Jones
"Can anyone recommend a curriculum for pre-K and kindergarten? This is a frequent question homeschooling bulletin boards and email lists. It's a perfectly reasonable question, but some of the responses can be confusing to new homeschoolers. We all come into homeschooling with some common preconceptions of what the program should be - but many who have been at it for a while or raised homeschool grads are likely to strongly suggest not setting up a structured study program for young children. This is where some misunderstanding can come into play. Saying that a structured study program for a young child is inappropriate is not at all the same as saying that learning is unimportant during the early years. It's simply that many experienced homeschoolers and other educators feel there are certain kinds of activities that are much more important and appropriate in early childhood than studying the 3 R's - and that to establish a structure that emphasizes the 3 R's at that age can actually be detrimental. If a child is asking to learn to read, of course, that's a whole different matter - but it's simply a question of helping that child learn to read, which is very different thing from setting up a curriculum.
Developmental Milestones for Preschool Mathematics
E. Geist
Children’s ability to understand mathematics takes a big leap forward in the preschool years. Their strengthening ability to represent using manipulatives, symbols, and signs opens up many new possibilities. Children also make strides in algebra and patterning. They can sequence events in time by age three. By age four, they can re-create patterns or make their own repeating pattern. During the preschool years, the child’s ability to problem solve takes on a new zeal. Children’s ability to classify objects is more developed; they can sort and organize objects into different categories and tell which pile has more. This chart details the skills that children can exhibit at different ages.
Field Trips 101
Vicki Bentley
Field trips can inspire your child to study a topic, give him further insights into his current studies, or provide closure to a completed unit. Is there somewhere you’d like to take your children to reinforce a topic this year? Or just want to visit because it would enrich their lives? If you let your support group (or even just a few other families) know that you are planning to go and they are welcome to tag along (think: group rate)—voila! You’re planning a field trip!
Homeschooling for Preschool
This website is a great resource for anyone interested in learning more about homeschooling for preschool. You'll find information about unpreschooling (unschooling a preschooler), resources for two-year-olds, skills lists, curricula suggestions, and more.
Homeschooling Kindergarten Math
Teaching math to young learners at home can be successful if you respond to your child. Children learn best when they aren't forced to learn. Introduce them to ideas, books, educational television, and most importantly, show them how this stuff is used in everyday life. they will catch on and learn it at their own pace.
Homeschooling with Little Ones ARound
Homeschooling with babies and toddlers underfoot is indeed a wild crazy ride, and one that stretches you to the limits of what you previously thought chaos could look like. But once you embrace the madness, you will love it.
Math Play: How Young Children Approach Math
Douglas H. Clements, PhD, and Julie Sarama, PhD
Mathematical experiences for very young children should build largely upon their play and the natural relationships between learning and life in their daily activities, interests, and questions.
Mathematics Teaching Strategies
As a teacher, you can foster the development of early mathematical skills by providing environments rich in language, where thinking is encouraged, uniqueness is valued, and exploration is supported. Teachers support young children's diligence and mathematical development when they direct attention to the math children use in their play, challenge them to solve problems and encourage their persistence.
Preschool Math
There are many natural ways to teach preschool math. Everyday activities, like cooking and grocery shopping involve mathematical concepts.
Should I Try a Curriculum for My Preschool Child?
Cherie Logan
This article explains why formal homeschooling is often not the best choice for your very young child. Avoid burnout by enjoying the process of learning and living.
Simple Tips for Summer Math Learning
Jessica Efird
Summer reading clubs and story times can help with early literacy and reading, but it might seem daunting to figure out how to prepare a young child for math. Here’s the great news: you’re the right person for the job.
Teaching Young Children at Home
Diane Flynn Keith
How do you teach young children? What do you do all day? How do you provide a "stimulating environment"? These questions are asked frequently by parents of young children who understand the immense magnitude of what it means to take responsibility for their child's education.
Why Preschool Shouldn't Be Like School
Alison Gopnik
houldn't very young children be allowed to explore, inquire, play, and discover? Perhaps direct instruction can help children learn specific facts and skills, but what about curiosity and creativity—abilities that are even more important for learning in the long run? hile learning from a teacher may help children get to a specific answer more quickly, it also makes them less likely to discover new information about a problem and to create a new and unexpected solution.

Early Learning Games and Activities Back to Top
20 Preschool Math Activities
Children should gain an understanding of math concepts at an early age. This can best be done through every day life experiences and through play. these are great ways to introduce math concepts to kids in fun way. Many of the activities are also appropriate for kindergarten and the early elementary years.
7 Fun Ways to Learn Numbers Through Play
Enjoy these activities that introduce number concepts and active learning through play.
75+ Math Activities
These simple early learning math activities teach skills like number recognition, counting, simple addition and subtraction, sorting, sequencing numbers, and measuring.
Adding Fun
With just a few inexpensive supplies, you can make this simple adding activity for your preschooler.
Counting Tubes
The fun and colorful tubes are a great way to practice 1:1 correspondence, counting, and numbers.
Easy Preschool Activities for busy Moms and Teachers
We all have busy lives, yet we want the most productive preschool activities for our children with as little fuss as possible. Here you'll find activities to stimulate gross motor skills, preschool songs, activities to develop visual perception, numeracy, and mathematical concepts, language building activities, and children's bible lessons and faith building activities.
Flower Power Patterns for Preschool and Early Childhood
Practice patterning with this spring-themed set of pattern boards. children will be able to determine the next picture in the pattern and will be able to continue the pattern on each of the boards.
Free Printable Ten Frame Cards
Learn 10s with these free printable cards that offer a fun way to practice. Read about different ways to use the cards for enjoyable math games to teach this concept.
JumpStart Math Activities
When it comes to math, a good foundation is essential. With these fun math activities for kids, numbers become friends and the basic foundation for the subject is established at an early age. Different math activities for kids of different age groups can be effective in teaching them basic but essential math concepts. Here are some interesting grade-based math activities that parents and teachers can use to make math a whole lot of fun!
Lego Challenge Math Activity-Free Printable
Practicing math skills like spatial awareness and geometry can be fun, especially when the math activity involves Legos! Here’s a free printable math challenge for kids using Lego or Duplo bricks!
Let's Count! Learning Numbers in Multiple Ways
Teaching Channel
This great video shows different activities that can be used to teach young children how to count.
Math Songs
Have Fun Teaching
These counting song are available for download. Lyrics can be printed.
Models of 3-D Solids
These printable 3-D models are easy to use. They are pdf files that can be printed out to construct prisms, pyramids, platonic solids, polyhedra, and more.
Montessori Teen Board
This Montessori Teen Board is an easy and inexpensive way to effectively teach the teens (the numbers 10-19)
Online Games for Learning Math, Logic and Strategy
A list of games that make learning math concepts fun and easy.
PBS Kids Math Games
This is a huge collection of online math games for preschool and elementary aged kids.
Place Value with Beads
Learn the concept of 10s with these simple bead and pipe cleaner manipulatives.
Pom Pom Math Activities
These fun math games help encourage counting and color matching using pom poms.
Preschool and Kindergarten Math Games
PBS Parents
These math games are designed for ages 4 and 5. Here you'll find pattern matching, counting games, and shape games.
Preschool Math Idea
The best way for preschoolers to learn math is through lots of fun and creative games that let them explore and discover new concepts about the world of numbers.

Homeschool Preschool Curricula Back to Top
ABC Mouse Homeschool Early Learning Academy
The ABCmouse.com Homeschool Early Learning Academy offers these features:
  • More than 5,000 learning activities in Reading, Math, Beginning Science, Social Studies, Art, and Music
  • A full online preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten curriculum
  • A Step-by-Step Learning Path that guides your child through the curriculum at his or her own pace
  • Our powerful Lesson Builder tool that allows you to create your own lessons for your child

ABCmouse.com’s curriculum focuses on the important educational basics, helping children establish a foundation of knowledge that they can build upon with confidence and success. Because ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy offers a curriculum carefully designed in collaboration with nationally recognized childhood education experts, you can be sure that, while homeschooling, your child will be learning all of the important basics.

ABCMouse.com offers a First Month Free Subscription Offer.
Alpha Omega Publications Mathematics Resources for Homeschoolers
These workbooks help teach pre-K concepts such as time, counting, and more.
Everyday Mathematics
Everyday Mathematics is a comprehensive Pre-K through 6th grade mathematics curriculum developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project and published by McGraw-Hill Education. Everyday Mathematics is a research-based and field-tested curriculum that focuses on developing children’s understandings and skills in ways that produce life-long mathematical power. The Everyday Mathematics curriculum emphasizes:
  • Use of concrete, real-life examples that are meaningful and memorable as an introduction to key mathematical concepts.
  • Repeated exposures to mathematical concepts and skills to develop children’s ability to recall knowledge from long-term memory.
  • Frequent practice of basic computation skills to build mastery of procedures and quick recall of facts, often through games and verbal exercises.
  • Use of multiple methods and problem-solving strategies to foster true proficiency and accommodate different learning styles.
JumpStart Free Math Curriculum
Homeschooling parents will find that when it comes to choosing the curriculum for math, there is a huge variety available. In fact, the number of math curriculums available to choose from may make choosing the right one difficult. These supplemental math activities for grades K-5 are fun ways to incorporate more math into your homeschooling.
JumpStart Free Preschool Curriculum
Preschool is a time of rapid growth and development. While the preschool curriculum is designed keeping in mind the physical and intellectual developmental characteristics of 2 – 5 year olds, there are certain milestones that most preschoolers should achieve before they begin kindergarten.
Life of Fred
This set of books is unlike any other textbooks. Each text is written in the style of a novel with a humorous story line. Each section tells part of the life of Fred Gauss and how, in the course of his life, he encounters the need for the math and then learns the methods. Tons of solved examples. Each hardcover textbook contains ALL of the material – more than most instructors cover in traditional classroom settings. Includes tons of proofs. Written by Dr. Stanley Schmidt with the intent to make math come alive with lots of humour, clear explanations, and silly illustrations that stick in the mind. The student will learn to think mathematically. Completion of this series prepares student for third year college math.
Living Math
Early exposure to real mathematics in natural settings, without requiring mastery of arithmetic on a set timetable is a key to the ease with which kids attain mastery when the time is right for them. Math literature and history humanizes math, makes it come alive, and provides a context to enjoy and retain learning. This wonderful site offers a literature-based approach to math learning, with book lists, lesson plans, and more.
Math on the Level
Math on the Level is a flexible, maturation-based, homeschool math curriculum with a very effective review system. It's unique approach is designed to turn your home environment into a rich, real-life learning experience and make math education meaningful and fun for your whole family.
  • Teach when it is easy for your child to learn
  • Use everyday activities to make math real
  • Review for long term retention without busywork
One curriculum purchase covers your math needs for the whole family from pre-K through pre-algebra.
Math-U-See Primer
In the Primer level your child will learn not only how to write numerals but also addition and subtraction, basic counting, skip counting, geometric shapes, telling time, and they will be introduced to the manipulative block system. It’s a gentle introduction to "doing math."
Numbers Plus - Preschool Mathematics Curriculum
The Numbers Plus Preschool Mathematics Curriculum is a comprehensive set of detailed plans for small- and large-group early childhood mathematics activities, with ideas for extending learning throughout the program day. What’s special about Numbers Plus is that children’s mathematical learning is sequenced within activities — each activity has a built-in progression so children of different developmental and ability levels can participate together and have a positive and meaningful learning experience. By actively engaging young children with materials and ideas, Numbers Plus builds on the latest knowledge from research and practice about early mathematics learning and how adults support it.
Singapore Math
Singapore Math books are clear, logical, and sequential. There is a strong focus on mental math. Word problems and geometry are integrated throughtout the series. Singapore Math® books are a popular choice of homeschool families and for parents looking for math activity books to support what their child is learning in school. There are also titles to help home educators understand the foundations of Singapore Math® methodology, giving you tools to help your student be successful and have fun.They offer math texts from pre-K to 12th grades. This series challenges children to think through and understand mathematical concepts instead of simply memorizing facts and algorithms. One of the benefits of using this program is its affordability. The textbooks are inexpensive and are reusable. The consumable workbooks are priced so that even families with multiple children using this program will find it affordable.
Sonlight Homeschool Preschool Curriculum
Finding the right homeschool preschool curriculum is important. For many children, this will be their first introduction to organized learning. Giving your child the right introduction to the world of knowledge can help them become life-long learners. To learn how to choose the right homeschool preschool curriculum for your child, consult the resources offered at Sonlight.
Time4Learning
The Time4Learning preschool program combines technology, animated characters, original stories and fun music to inspire a love of learning in the littlest e-learners. Ed Mouse and his friends guide children through more than forty topics such as numbers, letters, rhymes, self, time, music and colors.
TouchMath
This pre-K homeschool math unit download includes an implementation guide, module guides with instructional strategies, student activity sheets, answer keys, progress monitoring, and vocabulary. Designed for ages 3-4, it covers counting and number sense, comparing and classifying, sorting, graphing, patterning, 2-D and 3-D shapes, coins, and representing quantities and shapes.

Preschool Worksheets and Printables Back to Top
Free Printable Preschool Worksheets
Free printable preschool worksheets for learning to write the alphabet, numbers and bible memory verses, plus free printable colouring pages and more!
Free Printable Ten Frame Cards
Learn 10s with these free printable cards that offer a fun way to practice. Read about different ways to use the cards for enjoyable math games to teach this concept.
Lego Challenge Math Activity-Free Printable
Practicing math skills like spatial awareness and geometry can be fun, especially when the math activity involves Legos! Here’s a free printable math challenge for kids using Lego or Duplo bricks!
Making Learning Fun
This early childhood education website is filled with free printables designed to make learning fun.
Making Learning Fun Math Ideas
Fun and free printables that are great for preschoolers. These activities make learning fun!
Preschool Math Printables
Homeschool Creations
These printables are free and help provide extra support for teaching preschool math. You'll find calendars, number tracing cards, number mats, patterns, and more.
Preschool Math Worksheets and Printables
Education.com
Preschool math worksheets help your young learner develop essential early math skills. From number recognition to counting to addition, preschoolers learn a lot about numbers in one year. Our collection of preschool math worksheets is designed for kids who want to build skills that will prepare them for kindergarten and beyond. These preschool math worksheets help present new number topics to kids in a way that's fun and easy to understand. Help foster a culture of learning by doing these preschool math worksheets with your child.

Preschool Resources & Supplies Back to Top
  
Bead Sequencing Set
Manufacturer: Melissa & Doug
Age: 4 years and up
Stack the durable, brightly colored wooden beads on 5 hardwood dowels in sequence to match the design on one of the pattern cards. Builds complex reasoning skills as well as sorting and coordination. Includes over 45 brilliantly colored beads, 5 dowels, and 10 patterns that increase in difficulty.
  
Better Late Than Early: A New Approach to Your Child's Education
Raymond S. Moore; Dennis R. Moore; Dorothy N. Moore
Publisher: Reader's Digest Association
Published: 1989
Bob Books
Bob Books are organized into sets that progress in level as your child learns. They have cute stories and darling illustrations. These books are perfect for children ages 4 to 8.
  
Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills: Grade Pre-K
Garret Christopher; Bonita Rio Ferraro; Barbara Reeves; Vincent Douglas
Publisher: American Education Publishing
Published: 2004
Explode The Code
Explode The Code provides a sequential, systematic approach to phonics in which students blend sounds to build vocabulary and read words, phrases, sentences, and stories. Frequent review of previously learned concepts helps increase retention. Each workbook in this series contains exercises that incorporate reading, writing, matching and copying. The consistent format of the books helps facilitate independent work. This series includes primers—Get Ready for The Code, Get Set for The Code, and Go for The Code—which introduce initial consonant sounds. In addition, Beyond The Code provides a comprehension component introducing basic comprehension skills with phonetically controlled stories. You'll find product information here.
Five in a Row
Five in a Row provides a step-by-step, instructional guide using outstanding children's literature for children ages 4-8. Unit studies are built around each chosen book. There is a series for preschoolers called "Before Five in a Row," along with other volumes for older children.
  
Get Ready To Learn
Nancy Chupp
Publisher: Nelson Books
Published: 1994
If you've wondered how to help your preschooler get a head start on learning, Nancy Chupp has the answer. With practical, easy-to-implement activities, you can teach your child a solid base of skills necessary to enter the educational system with confidence. This book carefully weaves the basic tenets of learning theory into a playful, stimulating daily experience for preschool children. Give your preschooler a head start ... read this book!
Happy Phonics
Happy Phonics uses games to teach early reading skills. Simple yet entertaining and educational, these phonics games are printed on colorful, sturdy cardstock ready to cut out. Included is a mother-friendly guidebook which contains details on how to teach phonics and reading, how to pronounce and teach the phonics sounds, how to make your own simple beginning readers, and step-by-step teaching information for each phonics sound. Happy Phonics covers beginning to advanced phonics.
  
JumpStart Advanced Toddler
Manufacturer: Vivendi Universal
JumpStart Toddlers Introduces a World of Learning and Discovery! JumpStart Advanced Toddler has more fun and enriching learning activities than ever in its new 3-CD set designed especially for your Toddlers early learning and developmental needs.
  
JumpStart Kindergarten Reading Readiness Workbook
Liane Onish
Publisher: Cartwheel
Published: 2000
Ready to read and rarin' to go? Hopsalot the rabbit has a whole basket of carrot-shaped stickers for preschoolers and kindergartners who complete this 32-page, full-color workbook featuring the animal characters from the bestselling JumpStart children's software program. The activities in this book focus on beginning and ending sounds, short and long vowel sounds, and rhyming words. Each activity is different, so an adult will need to explain the directions. "Hints from Hopsalot" appears at the top of many pages, with helpful ideas on reading skills for adults to share with young readers. A sheet of reward stickers picturing all the JumpStart characters is included, along with a certificate to fill in and color after completing the workbook. (Ages 3 to 6) --Marcie Bovetz
  
Jumpstart Pre-k : Jumbo Workbook
Publisher: Cartwheel
Published: 2001
Learning means fun with the curriculum-linked, classroom-proven workbook series from Scholastic and JumpStart, creators of the popular educational software for children. Playful animal characters guide prekindergarten-age kids through the exciting new world of letters, numbers, shapes, colors, and sizes. The 320-page workbook contains an entire year's worth of exercises, with three different skill levels for "jumping" ahead. Every page has a new, sequenced challenge for the young learner, from tracing and writing uppercase letters to completing nursery rhymes to matching shapes and colors. Full-color art and lively games and activities make education an adventure, while reward stickers and Certificates of Completion reinforce children's sense of accomplishment as they complete each section. Helpful Eleanor the elephant is on hand to provide learning tips and offer support (and stickers!) to students. What could be more important than giving kids a jump-start in learning? The book includes answer keys and 120 full-color reward stickers. (Ages 3 to 5) --Emilie Coulter
  
JumpStart Pre-K Uppercase Letters Workbook
Anne Schreiber
Publisher: Cartwheel
Published: 2000
Preschoolers who are learning their letters can follow Eleanor the elephant and her friends in this 32-page workbook with brightly colored illustrations, a sheet of reward stickers, and a certificate of completion on the back cover. The worksheets provide a preschooler with practice in tracing uppercase letters and writing them independently, drawing curved and straight lines, recognizing beginning sounds, and grouping sequences of letters. "Tips from Eleanor" (for an adult to read to the child) is included on many pages, along with a complete answer sheet on the last page. The Scholastic JumpStart workbooks feature the same characters as JumpStart, a leading educational software package for young children. (Ages 3 to 5) --Marcie Bovetz
  
Jumpstart Pre-k Workbook : Counting 1-20 (Jumpstart)
Anne Scheibner
Publisher: Cartwheel
Published: 2000
A child who is just learning how to write numbers will be ready for this 32-page workbook offering a wide variety of full-color worksheets, a sheet of reward stickers, and a certificate for a job well done. The beginning pages cover identifying and writing numbers from 1 to 10, and the remaining pages concentrate on the correlation between numerals and groups of objects. The activities include beginning math concepts such as counting, grouping, estimating, and determining more or less. An adult will need to work along with the child to explain the different directions for the worksheets. Eleanor the elephant and the other animal characters featured in this workbook are also the stars of JumpStart, a leading software program for children. (Ages 3 to 5) --Marcie Bovetz
  
KNOWLEDGE ADVENTURE JumpStart Advanced Preschool (Windows/Macintosh)
Manufacturer: Vivendi Universal
JumpStart Advanced Preschool has more fun and enriching learning activities than ever in its new travel themed 3-CD set designed to prepare your child for Preschool and beyond. With premium features and extensive content JumpStart Advanced keeps kids engaged and learning for hours and that can bring out the best in your child.
Learning at Home: Preschool & Kindergarten : A Christian Parent's Guide With Day-By-Day Lesson Plans Using the Library As a Resource
Ann Ward
Publisher: Noble Publishing Associates
Published: 1988
  
Pattern Blocks and Boards
Manufacturer: Melissa & Doug
Age: 3 years and up
This set of 10 simply designed colorful wooden blocks and pattern boards includes 100 blocks in six different shapes and colors. They help develop shape recognition and spatial relationship skills. The contents store neatly in a durable wooden case. This games was awarded the Scholastic Parent & Child's 2004 "Top 22 Toys that Make Kids Think" award.
  
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Phyllis Haddox; Elaine Bruner; Siegfried Engelmann
Publisher: Fireside
Published: 1986

* Is your child halfway through first grade and still unable to read?

* Is your preschooler bored with coloring and ready for reading?

* Are you worried that your child will become lost in overcrowded classrooms?

* Did you know that early readers hold an advantage over their peers throughout school?

* Do you want to help your child read, but are afraid you'll do something wrong?

SRAs DISTAR® is the most successful beginning reading program available to schools across the country. Research has proven that children taught by the DISTAR® method outperform their peers who receive instruction from other programs. Now for the first time, this program has been adapted for parent and child to use at home. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is a complete, step-by-step program that shows patents simply and clearly how to teach their children to read.

Twenty minutes a day is all you need, and within 100 teaching days your child will be reading on a solid second-grade reading level. It's a sensible, easy-to-follow, and enjoyable way to help your child gain the essential skills of reading. Everything you need is here -- no paste, no scissors, no flash cards, no complicated directions -- just you and your child learning together. One hundred lessons, fully illustrated and color-coded for clarity, give your child the basic and more advanced skills needed to become a good reader.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons will bring you and your child closer together, while giving your child the reading skills needed now, for a better chance at tomorrow.

  
Teaching Your Child Concentration : A Playskool Guide
Lee Hausner
Publisher: LifeLine Press
Published: 1998
The experts in child development now offer a way to help your child break free from an MTV attention span!
  
What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know : Preparing Your Child for a Lifetime of Learning (Core Knowledge Series)
E.D. Jr Hirsch
Publisher: Delta
Published: 1997
With its comprehensive curriculum providing a sound basis in the fundamentals of math, art, history, language arts, science, and technology, the phenomenally successful Core Knowledge series has become an esteemed tool for parents and teachers striving to better educate today's children. And since it is agreed that the first years of schooling are crucial to a child's lifetime educational achievements, it is no wonder that parents and teachers alike have been asking for a volume for kindergartners.



This primer for those just beginning their school careers was devised with the contributions of over 2,000 parents, educators and students, distilled into a user-friendly volume specifically designed for parents to use with their children. Eighty pages of four-color illustrations enliven the new, bold design of this latest title in a series adopted by hundreds of schools nationwide and appreciated by thousands of adults looking to instill in children a lifetime love of learning.

Support for Parents of Preschoolers Back to Top
CharlotteMasonKindergarten
A group for Charlotte Mason Mom's using the curriculum outline suggested in Karen Andreola's summer of 93 Parent's Review titled, "A Formidable List of Attainments for a Child of Six", and also trying to complete the Kindergarten Skills list as described in Catherine Levison's book, A Literary Education.
CM4primaryyears
To discuss the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling elementary age children, and to share the joys and concerns of everyday life.
Field Trips 101
Vicki Bentley
Field trips can inspire your child to study a topic, give him further insights into his current studies, or provide closure to a completed unit. Is there somewhere you’d like to take your children to reinforce a topic this year? Or just want to visit because it would enrich their lives? If you let your support group (or even just a few other families) know that you are planning to go and they are welcome to tag along (think: group rate)—voila! You’re planning a field trip!
Homeschoolers Teaching Kindergarten
This discussion list is for homeschoolers teaching preschool and kindergarten. Topics include curriculum selection (whether necessary or not), teaching tips, creative learning ideas, time management, unit studies, homeschooling books, neat craft ideas, cooking tips for all occasions, support those who have homeschool burn out, or those who are just starting to homeschool.

Things to See & Do in California  Back to Top
Aquarium of the Bay
The Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco features two 300 feet crystal clear tunnels, 700,000 gallons of filtered Bay water and more than 23,000 aquatic animals. Also includes touch pools.
Aquarium of the Pacific
Experience the world’s largest and most diverse body of water at the Aquarium of the Pacific, the fifth largest U.S. aquarium and home to over 12,000 ocean animals representing over 550 species. Located in the beautiful Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, Calif., the Aquarium of the Pacific takes visitors on a journey through three regions of the Pacific Ocean, exploring the waters of Southern California/Baja, Northern Pacific and the Tropical Pacific through 18 major habitats and 31 focus exhibits.
Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute of Oceanography
Set against a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean, the Birch Aquarium at Scripps is home to more than 350 species of marine life found in waters from the cold Pacific Northwest to the warm tropical reefs of the South Pacific. Forty-six tanks range in size from a 70,000-gallon re-created kelp forest to small nursery tanks. The aquarium also features a man-made tide pool that stimulates an awareness in visitors of the fragility of San Diego's intertidal environments.
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
Located in San Pedro between Point Fermin and the Port of Los Angeles, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium features a touch tank, marine animal exhibits, and special events.
Chaffee Zoological Gardens of Fresno
Chaffee Zoological Gardens is home to the world's first computerized Reptile House, a South American Tropical Rain Forest Exhibit, and numerous animals.
Charles Paddock Zoo
At the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascarero you will discover over 100 animals in five park-like acres. You will be able to view the animals up close in naturalistic habitats.
Children's Museum/Museo de los Niños
The San Diego Children's Museum focuses on the arts as education. Through performances, installations, and exhibits, the Museum, visitors are able to interact with the exhibits.
Coyote Point Museum
The Coyote Point Museum for Environmental Education in San Mateo offers a 4,000 square foot walk-through Aviary, a honeybee exhibit, river otters, and much more.
Gibbon Conservation Center
Located in Santa Clarita, the Gibbon Conservation Center is the only facility in the world devoted exclusively to gibbons, an increasingly rare ape. GCC houses nearly 40 gibbons, among them 5 of the 13 living species. Offers educational tours.
Happy Hollow Zoo
Located in Kelley Park, Happy Hollow Park & Zoo is a peaceful, creative and safe place for children of all ages, with the main focus on "little ones" between the ages of 2-10. There are creative play areas, children's rides, hand puppet and marionette shows, special events, and birthday areas. It also gives hands on experience with many animals and the education that is needed to secure the future of endangered species. The petting zoo features llamas, goats, guinea pigs and miniature horses.
Living Desert
This 1,200 acre facility specializes in plants and animals found throughout the deserts of the world. Many exotic and endangered species can be seen in natural surroundings such as bighorn sheep, oryx, wolves, striped hyenas, thick-billed parrots, leopards and golden eagles. The ten ecosystems of the North American deserts are represented in the immersion gardens. A state-of-the-art wildlife hospital allows visitors to interact with the staff while procedures are being performed on animals. A desert children's play park, live animal shows, Discovery Room and many other features can be found in this unique zoo which sits in the middle of the Coachella Valley, just 15 miles east of Palm Springs.
Los Angeles Zoo
The Los Angeles Zoo houses a collection of 1,200 animals from around the world.
Micke Grove Zoo
Located in Lodi in San Joaquin County, Micke Grove Zoo features native animals and exotic species from all over the world, including several endangered species, such as the Chinese Alligator, the Snow Leopard and the Cotton Top Tamarin. Exhibits include the Tropical Forest Canopy with its Rodrigues Fruit Bats, Paseo Pantera – Path of the Mountain Lion and the Island Lost In Time featuring lemurs, parrots and radiated tortoises from Madagascar.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
The Monterey Bay Aquarium features over 550 different species of marine life and numerous special exhibits, including the Splash Zone family exhibit. The Aquarium's website offers facts and information about sea life, including several life webcams of specific exhibits in the facility.
Oakland Zoo
The Oakland Zoo is nestled in the rolling hills of 525-acre Knowland Park. Each year thousands of families and school groups from around the Bay Area come to visit 440 native and exotic animals that live in naturalistic habitats at the Zoo.
Pretend City Children's Museum
Irvine, CA
Pretend City Children’s Museum features a small, interconnected city designed to “build better brains” through purposeful play, hands-on learning experiences, role playing, and educational programming. They offer homeschool days on the 3rd Friday of each month.
Sacramento Zoo
Learn about animals and their habitats at the Sacramento Zoo, featuring animals exhibits, educational programs, and special events.
Safari West
Nestled on 400 acres in the heart of California's wine country 65 miles north of San Francisco, Safari West is home for over 400 exotic mammals and birds. Not a zoo, not a drive-through park, it's a wildlife preserve where the whole family can experience some of nature's most beautiful animals in a natural habitat.
San Diego Wild Animal Park
The San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park is an expansive wildlife sanctuary operated by the Zoological Society of San Diego. Many of the earth's most rare creatures roam in herds and flocks in vast enclosures resembling their native homelands. It's home to more than 3,500 animals representing 429 species, including the largest crash of rhinos in any zoological facility, and one of the only California condor exhibits in the world. More than half of the acreage of the Wild Animal Park has been set aside as native species habitat. In addition, the Park maintains a native plant seed bank and extensive gardens.
San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is home to more than 4,000 rare and endangered animals representing more than 800 species and subspecies. Newest exhibits include: Absolutely Apes, the Giant Panda Research Station, and Gorilla Tropics.
San Francisco Zoological Gardens
The San Francisco Zoo is home to over 250 species of exotic and domestic mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.
Santa Ana Zoo
The Santa Ana Zoo occupies 20 acres featuring at least fifty monkeys at all times, a rain forest, endangered species, an aviary, a steam train and children's zoo right in the middle of the Orange County urban jungle. The Zoo also offers educational programs.
Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens
The Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens is located on over 30 acres overlooking East beach. In addition to over 600 animals, the Zoo offers the Gift Store, a Dentzel family enclosed carousel and two C.P. Huntington trains to complete your visit.
SeaWorld San Diego
Located on 189.5 acres, SeaWorld San Diego offers marine animal attractions, educational performances, specialty tours, rides, and more.
Sequoia Park Zoo
The Sequoia Park Zoo is located in Eureka and is situated on approximately 5 acres of level terrain northeast of the redwood ravines of Sequoia Park. The forest provides an impressive backdrop to the animal enclosures and blends directly into the hoofed animal paddocks. The Zoo is home for nearly one hundred animals. Admission is free.
Six Flags Marine World
Located in Vallejo, this commercial theme park also offers marine animal attractions and educational performances, along with rides and other attractions.
Steinhart Aquarium
At the Steinhart Aquarium, located in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, you can view poison dart frogs, box turtles, sea horses, and clown fish in jewel tanks. Get an up-close look at sturgeon, giant sea bass, alligator snapping turtles, gars, and moray eels. Touch sea stars, bat rays, hermit crabs, at the touch tide pool. Don’t miss penguin feedings which happen every day Interact with aquatic biologists as they study, feed, and care for the animals.


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