Summer is flying by (as usual), and most of us are beginning to look ahead towards the big question mark sitting in the place where school should be. No one really seems to know what’s going to happen this fall, and that’s a hard pill to swallow.

Personally, as the mom of a first-time preschooler, there’s an endless stream of questions swirling in my already maxed-out head.

Will our local school open its doors?

If it does, should I send my son? 

How on earth will we find balance if we have to or choose to do at-home school?

For those of us with littles who are eager to start their academic journey, the dilemmas are REAL. 

I don’t have the answers, but as a former teacher I do have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to knowing which resources to use with my preschooler this year—whether he’s attending school in person or learning in his pajamas from our kitchen table. 

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The following tools are some of the tried-and-true supplemental resources I have in my cart right now.

This subscription box is an awesome resource if you’re hoping to give your child as authentic a preschool experience as possible from home. Each box comes with a book, a ready-to-go craft, and engaging skill-building activities. 

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These double-sided “Preschool Champion” activity mats are awesome. They cover a range of academic skills from number sense, to reading comprehension, to shape recognition, to critical thinking. The best part is they’re dry erase, so your little one can use them over and over until they master the skill focus!

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This activity set is a great way to introduce a variety of math skills, like counting, sorting, matching—all under the guise of a fun game. The squeezie tweezers used for moving the game pieces have the added bonus of letting kids work on those essential fine motor skills.

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Walk into almost any primary classroom and you’re sure to see a bright calendar on the wall, right? Well this magnetic version is the perfect at-home alternative! Complete with days of the week, months of the year, seasons, weather, emotions, and more, this calendar is a great warm-up exercise for kids to kick off their learning each day. 

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Preschool isn’t just about introducing kids to academics—it’s also a chance for them to learn everyday skills. We take for granted that kids automatically know how to cut, paste, and tape, when in reality those things take a lot of practice. These Melissa and Doug Activity pads walk preschoolers through fun exercises meant to improve their efficiency and build their confidence using scissors, glue, and tape.

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There’s a good chance your preschooler can say his alphabet, but can he also recognize his letters? This set of cards and cubes helps kids discover the connection between the visual and auditory representations of letters, which is the first step towards reading. 

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Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the beauty and chaos of life through the lenses of motherhood, marriage, and mental health. To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward