Verse of the Day

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Home School Helps for Kids Just Home

Okay, I'll be the first to admit it... I buy lots of school materials.  If I have a weakness for anything, it's books!  I am definitely a teacher at heart!  Through trial and error, these are the materials, in order, I have used with the kids.  I have stacks of materials I purchased that were just too advanced to be of any practical use.  Additionally, although the kids have been through whole workbooks, they still don't know colors or numbers!  It will be a matter of repetition, repetition, repetition!

As a side note, when Blanca first came home over two years ago, I did not attempt any formal schooling until she was fluent in English.  Yet, with these new kiddos--- just out of sheer desperation to fill the day and to make an attempt to prevent the house from getting destroyed-- I started some sort of schooling after just 2 weeks of being home.

"The Jesus Film" in Amharic (
"Tsehai Loves Learning," Vol. 1 and 2 (  This is a preschool video in Amharic


Oral recitation:  ABC's, Counting, Colors
Califone Card Reading System:  (
Puzzles:  started with easy 24 piece puzzles and worked up to 100 piece puzzles

Games: (very important, as kids have difficulty losing gracefully)
"Hi-Ho Cherry-O"
"ABC Letter Game"
"Bingo" (
"Shoots and Ladders"
"Dominoes" (matching patterns; difficult for two of the kids)

Flashcards (ABCs, numbers, first words, colors, etc.)

Critical Thinking Curriculum:  (
"Visual Perception Skill Building, Book 1 Pre-K to 1"
"Hands On Thinking Skills, K-1" with manipulatives (attribute blocks, interlocking cubes, pattern blocks)
"Half 'n Half Animals, A1"

Kumon Books (
"My Book of Easy Mazes" (very simple, but built kids' confidence"
"Numbers 1-30"
"My Book of Mazes--- Animals"
"Uppercase Letters"
"My Book of Alphabet Games"
"My Book of Mazes--- Around the World" (only one of the boys could manage)
"My Book of Simple Addition"
"My Book of Easy Crafts"  (really fun; Blanca enjoys this, too)

I also use small white boards to practice letters and shapes.  The kids seem to enjoy being able to wipe off their work.

You may notice that reading is not on the list.  Yes, I make an effort to read to the kids... but honestly, they are just so wiggly that they have very short attention spans.  Their favorite books have been "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom," "Chicka Chicka 1-2-3", and anything Spiderman or Peter Pan!

What the kids absolutely enjoy--- more than most things-- is singing!  We sing the ABCs, 123s, Bible songs, etc.

Hope this helps someone!  I will add to the list as things "work."


  1. Wow Kristen!! You are full of resources! Thanks so much, I already checked out the Jesus film! Did you just watch it online? Or were you able to order it? I noticed that they have a Childrens film. Yes, we need to play more games, that's a great way to learn.

    Please share more when you find things that work.


  2. ooh! thanks for this! I was just going thru workbooks today to pull out for our youngest...but have been at a loss as to what to do with the older one. Thank you for your suggestions.

  3. Thank you so much for this list. I just brought Kalkidan home a week and half ago - this is perfect. I ordered Tsehai Loves Learning and Kalkidan loves it! I like the English subtitles so we know what is being said. I just ordered Kumon workbooks.

  4. This is a GREAT list, Kristen! Thank you so much for posting this! I ordered the Tsehai DVDs and the Jesus film. Can't wait for them to come! I'm also going to look into that card reading system. :) God bless you for helping us all out!

    PS: Hi, Leslie! :)

  5. PS: forgot to sign my name in that last comment: C is for CANDACE! Thanks again, Kristen!