a trip to the “teacher store”

Yesterday I went to the “teacher store”.  There are several in our area, and most I’ve been to since I used to teach in public schools.  Now, on my previous visits, I never paid much attention to what was there.  I was a middle school teacher… not a whole lot of use for all of the things there… in fact, a lot of the words were a little scary at first… manipulatives, language development, MATH… scary stuff.  BUT, since we are sticking with our homeschool plan, I thought maybe it was time I went in there and actually looked at what was offered.  I mean, it could end up being helpful, right?

Well, it was.  And, I’m glad I went by myself.  As a note to people who may read this… the first time really going to a store like that, leave your children behind!  Not only because they will want everything they see, but also because there’s a lot that you will just need to look at, and compare, and price.  I made my goal to stick to a budget of under $75 because I knew it could potentially get out of hand quickly.  And, I also knew in general what I was looking for. 

A.  Real-animal picture flash cards.  These I’m planning on using with primarily Eli (although I know Rachel will jump in to!) to play “animal charades”.  His speech development is still behind, so I figure maybe this would be a good way to play a game and get him to make some different sounds/noises.  At under $3, they were a great purchase.  I’ll have to post later on how it works… since we’ve had a busy weekend, haven’t had the chance to try ’em out.

B.  Since I’m still in the research phase of preschool curriculums to use with Rachel in the fall, I wanted to get her something that would help reinforce her letters and numbers knowledge, as well as work on fine motor skills.  I got several things to help with this:

*  Alphabet flashcards… we can use these for sight knowledge and for sound-making

*  A workbook by Frank Schaffer Publications called “Alphabet Dot-to-Dot”.  It’s pretty neat.  It’s a dot-to-dot coloring book… you can imagine that… but instead of numbers it uses the alphabet.  I thought it would be good for the fine motor skills and the alphabet stuff.  It may be too advanced for her yet, I plan on making photocopies of the pages so that I can use them later if she’s not ready yet.

*  A workbook called “Big book of Beginning Sounds”.  It also looks like fun.  It’s chock full of reproducables that go with each letter of the alphabet.  For example:  for “H”  there is a picture of a house, and 6 empty squares in the house.  On the backside there are 12 squares with pictures… you have to work with the child to choose the pictures that start with “h” and then they cut them out and paste them on the house picture.  So, there again, covering the skills I was looking to cover.  At the back are receipe cards with things to make in the kitchen that start with the letter you’re working on.  Example:  “YumYum Yogurt” for “Y”.  There’s loads of other activities as well.  I think I”m going to like this purchase a lot.  It was pricier… $16.95, but I believe well worth it.

*  I also got the “Go Fish” game, but played with alphabet on it.  Rachel will LOVE this!

Then, of course after I got the items I had intended to get, there were a few extra thrown in too! 

*  A color matching game.  It’s 20 2-piece puzzles.  One piece has a color blot on it in a particular color, and the other piece as a picture of an item in that color. 

*  A memory matching game.  Like the “Memory” game you all remember from childhood, but this one is published by Carson-Dellosa Publishing and uses real pictures instead of art.

And, of course, a basic lesson planning book.  I’m one of those “need to write it out” kind of people, so I thought I’d go ahead and get one of these just so I can keep track of the skills we’re working on, and note when we complete each one (not that we won’t continue to reinforce… but that way I feel like we’re actually accomplishing something!). 

So, that’s it!  I spent $66, which meant I was under budget, and managed to come away with what I went in for!  Of course, I saw bunches of other things I wanted… but will have to figure out what I actually need later on!  For now, we have what we need… 🙂

I’m excited to plan and use my purchases… I’ll update later with the good and the bad!

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One Comment on “a trip to the “teacher store”

  1. I read this yesterday but didn’t have time to comment- how fun! I wish we could go to a “teacher store” together! We’d have a ball! Even better, if we lived close we could share materials! (Actually, you’d probably be passing them down since Rachel’s Harvard-bound! or something…) Love you!

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