You may be aware of Core Knowledge, the educational program started by E. D. Hirsch Jr. Various charter schools, for example, base their programs on Core Knowledge (not to be confused with Common Core). And you may be aware that Core Knowledge offers an enormous amount of K-8 learning materials online at no cost to the user.
Last year I started downloading the student readers in pdf form. Volumes cover history (such as Ancient Greece and Rome), science, and literature. These are amazing resources especially for homeschooling families on a budget. I have an old Kindle reader (the kind with the button keyboard) dedicated to such educational books.
What I didn’t realize until recently is that the preschool level offer a lot of great material presented as “activity pages” rather than as “readers.” These offer content for parents to read with their children as well as simple activities.
I found the files difficult to access and hard to use with digital devices, so I combined all the preschool sets, rotated the pages to match alignment, and deleted the blank and useless pages. Because this material is released under a Creative Commons license, I figured I might as well make the resulting 186-page pdf available for others to use. Note that some of the pages are laid out horizontally and some vertically; the horizontally-oriented pages display on my Kindle with margins on top and bottom. If you print the pages out, hopefully your printer will auto-fit the material; if not, you’ll have to make adjustments.
Here is the modified pdf:
Following is the material (selectively) included in this set with links to the originals. See Core Knowledge for the teachers’ guides and additional content.
- All About Me | Activity Guide pdf
- Families and Communities | Activity Guide pdf
- Animals | Activity Guide pdf
- Plants | Activity Guide pdf
- Habitats | Activity Guide pdf
- Classic Tales | Activity Guide pdf
- Important People in American History | Activity Guide pdf
I have also collected 108 Core Knowledge student books and readers for all levels, including a preschool compilation, not including workbooks and other materials. (These are all Creative Commons.) I’ve put a zipped file of this content on DropBox; you’re welcome to download it. (Note: I might have to delete this at some point if I need to clear up DropBox space.)
If you’re looking for more content along these lines for preschoolers (and willing to buy or borrow a book), my five-year-old has really enjoyed my wife reading with him Hirsch’s What Your Preschooler Needs to Know.