Disclaimer: This is a sponsored campaign with Mums the Word Network and Chalk Preschool . All opinions are my own.
The FREE Online Preschool!
My little Laura will be four this year, and it's time to think about preschool. I have been battling with whether I would be able to teach her at home or if I would need to take her to a pricey preschool to receive this vital early learning. That's why I got really excited when the opportunity to bring you a review of Chalk Preschool came up.
When I first signed up for my account (all free, and it isn't even a trial period!), the first thing I noticed was that in addition to the student section, there is also a section for parents. Here you can learn about the program and what you can do to help your child along, as well as get advise on using the program, and preschoolers in general. I also found the Chalk Preschool Blog very useful.
When Laura saw that her new lessons were taught by real teacher in the video she got very excited! "Is that my new teacher?" she asked. I hadn't really thought of this when I was looking through the site on my own, but having an actual teacher on the screen holds her attention much more than any educational programming, because it gives the appearance that someone is actually talking to and teacher HER.
This is the screen that the students see, with the video (which can be played full screen) for the current lesson playing, and the other lessons within that subject below. You can skip around, or you can use the very handy "PLAY ALL" button, and the videos will play back to back in order. This made the site very easy for Laura to navigate on her own.
Each day there are 4 sets of lessons- weather, literacy, math and science, and art. Laura's favorites were the math-science and the art. She felt so proud of herself for being able to call out answers, and LOVED the art projects. I personally liked that included in the weather lessons are also lessons about "today"- what day, month, and season it is. They also cover what day yesterday was, and what day tomorrow is. I think after a couple weeks of these lessons, she will naturally learn the days of the week, and what they actually are, instead of just their names.
Each day there are printables that accompany the lessons for the day. Laura called this her "homework" since she did them at the end of the videos for that day. They also give suggestions on additional activities you can do with your child to help reinforce the preschool lesson plan.
The art projects are very fun and help to add a new layer to the preschool curriculum. They all use items from their suggested supplies list. The list is very comparable to what you would expect to see at a brick and mortar preschool- glue, safety scissors, construction paper, etc.
The first art project was a simple one that will be used in future lessons for counting, sorting, etc. We painted the ends of 25 craft sticks with 5 different colors (5 of each color) by dipping them into small cups of paint. Laura was so excited to be playing with the paint, that she did not sit still long enough for me to get a good picture.
So, what is my overall opinion of Chalk Preschool? I LOVE it! We can have the homeschool atmosphere and flexibility, with the benefit of having a teacher separate from Mom or Dad who actually explains things to your child. Laura has been doing this program for 4 days now, and has already learned so much. I think within several months she will be reading and writing. She has learned to print 4 letters in both upper case and lower case, and knows all about vowels. SO much more than I expected when I heard it was free.
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