Educational Tools for Pre-schoolers

I spent some time this week looking up learning resources for my son…he goes to a day-care and their core philosophy is to encourage children to learn through play. It is a new concept for me but I appreciate the creative ways in which children are taught here…

At the same time, I am aware that my son, Krish’s reading and math abilities are not as advanced as they would be in a traditional education system in Asia. So I decided to look explore reading/maths options for children and I found some really cool resources… the ones listed below are mostly free (unless mentioned) and I tried the first one on my son, which he really liked.

www.Starfall.com – this is a great site to get children to learn to read with wonderful short and interactive videos that teach phonics.

www.pbskids.org – I particularly liked the curious george section as it has some nice printable activities for pre-schoolers as well as some neat interactive games. It helps particularly as my son likes to watch curious george so he enjoys doing activities related to it.

www.superkids.com – this has some cool worksheets for learning how to tell time and do maths…for a little older kids, there are some fun online games (I loved them too!).

www.maths-drill.com – this site has some good worksheets in maths which can be a good visual tool for pre-schoolers

www.rcls.org/ksearch.htm – this is a great search engine for kindergarten and elementary school children. A child can type in what he/she is looking for and the site gives relevant search hits from trusted sources like Merriam-Webster dictionary, encarta, yahooligans, kidsclick etc….

 Tutorials

For in-person tutorials, the best option thus far as told by my friends is Kumon….you need to go to their website www.kumon.com to check if there is a center close by where you can send your kids to evening classes.

Schools

One good option (though a little expensive) for kindergarten and elementary schooling is the Montessori teaching methodology. When I was growing up, I had a lot of friends who studied in the Montessori school (which was housed in our school campus -we had a huge school campus and had 2-3 affiliated schools in it).

I went in recently and spent about 2 hours in a Montessori schools near my house and liked what I saw..a small student-teacher ratio, a holistic learning environment where kids are encouraged to learn by asking questions rather than memorizing, and a stress on building leadership skills of children. For instance, the older kids get an opportunity to be helpers of younger kids…this way they act as role-models for the younger kids and thus develop their leadership abilities and social skills.

There are also some good private schools worth looking into in your local community…however, sometimes the costs are too prohibitive and then I start wondering if I should save up that money for my son’s college fund rather than spend it all in his elementary schooling?

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4 Comments

  1. Aparna

    I sent my son to Montessori from 3 to 6 years ..They taught him phonics, math, reading, manners.
    The place where I sent him to, they have classes till middle school. I pulled him out after 6 years as they dont have tests like crct, itbs in regular school. He is going to a very good public school now. The private school near my home is really expensive but I hear good opinions about it.I dont know if its worth spending money in elementary school either…I would be glad to hear more about this

  2. Maya

    Hiya Aparna,

    I think I’ll do the same – Montessori is a good option for till atleast 6 yrs of age. And it probably isn’t worth sending a child to private elementary schools, unless ofcourse you are making enough money to afford it!

  3. Khushi Mommy

    I think middle school is where private school becomes important. If you have a good public school them it may not be neccessary.

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