Getting Started

Have you been thinking about starting to teach your young child at home, but you aren’t sure where to start?   If so, this page is for you!

Just because you don’t have a degree in Early Childhood doesn’t mean that you can’t start working with your little one, as early as you want, to build on the skills they already have.  It just takes a little bit of homework, but I’ll walk you through it!

Don’t go crazy! Stop your endless cyber-search for ideas and materials and start with the basics:

  1. What Skills does your child have? Write down on a notepad some things you have overheard them say (or seen them do) and start taking little notes here and there each day.  In teacher lingo this is called “authentic assessment using anecdotal records.”   These notes will give you the insight you need to build on their foundation.  Here are some things you can do: Sit down with your child and read a book with them.  Ask them some questions before, during, and after you read it to them.  Not yes or no questions, but questions that get them to start talking like “What do you think this book is about?”  or “Do you think Mommy/Daddy is making up the words to this story?”  Encourage them to draw a picture after you read it to them to show you how they felt about the story or what their favorite part was.  Take notes about how they hold their crayon or what parts of pictures they used to represent the story.  For example, did they draw a circle to represent a person, or do they draw each part of a person?  Do they enjoy coloring or do they prefer to act out the story to you?  You can learn so much about what your child’s understandings are, just by reading a book to them and letting them draw a picture about it; if you are looking closely, you will learn!
  2. Are you ready to PLAY? I could exhaust myself providing all the research that says children need to learn through play, but I won’t bore you because you are probably visiting this site to enjoy learning yourself.   This doesn’t always mean open-ended playing like playing with blocks or dolls, and eavesdropping to see what they think about life through role-play.  I am talking about how we are going to MAKE LEARNING FUN!  If you want to teach them something, get ready to get your hands dirty, make a game out of it, or talk in an enthusiastic voice and say “OOOooh…I  have an idea….let’s….!!!!”  Your excitement usually becomes theirs too.
  3. Have you selected an activity? I would start with one of my daily activities…however, you may need to ACCOMMODATE!!!  This just means that if one of my daily activities is slightly difficult for your child then you can think of a way to simplify it.  Or, if it is slightly simple for your child, think of a way to intensify it.  For example, if one of my daily activities requires children to “write their letters” (for example) and they do not know how to write yet then you will take their hand and help them, or write the letter with a highlighter and have them trace over it with a pen, etc.  If your child gets frustrated then take a break…remember, it is supposed to be fun.  Try inviting one of their friends over and let them do the activities together.  I made a list of my earliest posts below, in order of appearance; these are probably some of my more basic activities so they are a great place to start.

Where to Start (click on the titles below each subject):


  1. Modeling Reading
  2. Reading Comprehension
  3. Rhyming
  4. More on Rhyming
  5. Even More To Learn About Rhyming
  6. Fill in the Rhyme

*To continue the Reading Sequence of Activities go to the Reading Page in Daily Funwork*

Letter Naming

  1.  Letter Identification
  2. ABC Match
  3. Games Galore
  4. Letters In A Name 

*To Continue with the Letter Naming Activity Sequence go to the Letter Naming Page in Daily Funwork*

Writing (Read the flowchart from the “Write a Letter” post to learn about the sequence of written language)

  1. Writing Readiness
  2. Drawing for writing
  3. Drawing A Person
  4. Information about letter formation

*To continue this writing sequence of activities go to the Writing Page in Daily Funwork*

Math (Read the Introduction on the Math Page First)

  1. Number Sets 1-10; Hands-on Matching
  2. Counting Practice
  3. Guessing Game
  4. Math Stories

*To continue the math sequence go to the Math Page in Daily Funwork*

6 Comments on Getting Started

  1. Gail Smith
    February 10, 2011 at 4:27 pm (7 years ago)

    I am so proud of you Jessica. I can only imagine the kind of teacher you were in the classroom. So grateful you are staying at home and sharing so much with other Moms! I miss seeing you! Even though I have no little ones at home, I do have grandchildren and I love to read to them and to teach them. These are great ideas. Love you! Mrs. Gail

    • jcook3
      February 11, 2011 at 10:53 am (7 years ago)

      Thank you Mrs. Gail! We miss seeing ya’ll too. And what a great idea for Grandmothers to use this site for activities 🙂
      I hope as many people as possible get to use it for intentional time with kiddos whether it be moms, dads, teachers, babysitters, tutors, and definitely Grandparents too! Thanks for that thought! love you too 🙂

  2. Shanna Boutte
    March 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm (7 years ago)

    Hi Jessica! This is my first time to really check out your site! It is really amazing, and it is obvious that you put a lot of hard work into it! This is an excellent site for mommies to use! Although, I am a teacher myself, I still find it very resourceful! What a great idea!

    • jcook3
      March 4, 2011 at 8:27 pm (7 years ago)

      Thanks Sha…hope you will get to use some of these tricks for nyla in a few years, and then you can help me when SP’s in 3rd-5th grade haha

  3. RaShanda
    July 31, 2012 at 10:49 am (5 years ago)

    Hi Jessica. I was truly blessed to come across your blog via another blog. I have been called to be a SAHM for two years. I have two daughters, 2.5 years old and 1 years old. I have battled with “am I doing the right things…” Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. God bless you.

    • The Mommy Teacher
      February 27, 2013 at 8:15 am (5 years ago)

      Thanks RaShanda! Every mommy teacher who reads and comments makes this site even more worth my time, and rewarding! Email me Jessica (at) themommyteacher (dot) com if you ever have any questions!


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